Uncle Charlie




Home to some of the hardest routes at Araps, Uncle Charlie is the outcrop at the NE corner of the Pharos, close to the road and recognizable for the twin chimneys.

Emergency Location: Mount Arapiles, Pharos Area

Access issues inherited from Arapiles

Cultural heritage closures now apply to some parts of Arapiles. This advice continues to evolve and may not be fully reflected in this website; refer to Parks Victoria for details applicable at the time of your visit.

Bird Nesting September-December Raptors usually nest on the following climbs in Spring : Cassandra, Eurydice, Harlequin Cracks, Revelations. Nesting usually finishes mid-December. There may or may not be signs in place at these times. Please keep 50m clear of these climbs if there appears to be nesting activity.

State Park - no dogs. No fires allowed Oct-Apr (inclusive).

Descent notes

Most routes have rap anchors, otherwise top out and scramble (carefully) across the wedged boulder onto the Pharos.

Ethic inherited from Arapiles

Mount Arapiles is first and foremost a trad climbing area. The few sport climbs tend to be in the higher grades where no natural pro is available.

Bolting, particularly retro-bolting, is discouraged and should only be undertaken after extensive consultation with the local climbers, first ascensionists, etc. Inappropriately placed bolts have been chopped.

Do not chip the rock.

Look after the park.

  • Stick to the paths.

  • Don't disturb the wildlife.

  • Routes near peregrine falcon nesting sites are closed in the spring.

  • Minimise the impact of your camping (fuel stoves not fires, take your rubbish with you, etc).


Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)


Add route(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit Convert grades
Grade Route

An amazing effort by a relatively unsung local.

This completely natural (read, "not chipped or glued" like its famous sibling) has some genuinely difficult (as if the grade weren't required to confirm it already) slabby traversing early on before pulling into Punks, climbing it for a few metres before escaping out R to the arete.

Start beneath the R-leading arch, a few metres up L of PitG.

FA: Stuart Wyithe, 1994

Joins the hardest bits of both routes and is supposedly a grade harder than each of them. Quite probably still un-repeated.

Start as for Pretty in Punk, finish as for Punks in the Gym.

FA: David Jones

The master of combinations and permutations digs up another classic. This one links the "easy" bits of the two original routes.

Start as for Punks in the Gym, finish as for Pretty in Punk.

FA: Nathan Hoette

The easiest line up a great, albeit only mildly overhanging wall. Probably the world's first 8b+ / 5.14a and ahead of its time in Australian terms - it took nearly ten years before an Aussie (Stuart Wyithe) repeated it!

Despite masses of beta available on the internet, it still sees very few quick ascents, hasn't been onsighted and is still regarded as somewhat of a testpiece with a redpoint crux far above the technical crux and accounting for many an accomplished climber.

Many argue the route is easier than when Wolfgang and Stefan Glowacz did it in the mid 80's due to the increased size of the crux glue hold (the notorious birdbath). For a while considered "only" 31, it seems to have re-consolidated at 32.

Start as for Punks in the Gunks. At its traverse, instead go up, L and up, up, up to chains at the top.


Please do not climb during nesting season (August to December). Start as for Punks up the leaning diagonal, but traverse off R at the second bolt to chains on the arête. The first bolt is very high and a committing clip for those at this grade.

FA: Chris & Lincoln Shepherd, 1982

Please do not climb during nesting season (August to December). Start at the bottom R side of the Punks wall. It's the line just L of the arete with the carrot bolt.

FA: Kim Carrigan & Tony Dignan, 1984

Really fun arete slapping. Please do not climb this route during nesting season (August to December). Start beneath the hanging nose.

FA: Uwe Eder & Axl Krapf, 1995

Please do not climb during nesting season (August to December). Start as for Pearls Before Swine. This should be a trad route but unfortunately has been retrobolted by the first and last bolts of Ciela.

FA: Kim Carrigan & Louise Shepherd, 1979

Please do not climb during nesting season (August to December). Start beneath the hanging nose of Ciela.

  1. 18m (21) Slither up the surprisingly tricky slab to the R side of the nose. Undercling out around the roof and keep gunning up the crack above into the chimney. Belay here or 4m L at the DRB.

  2. 33m (17) From the DRB, go straight up the front of the nose, eventually escaping L around the top bulge.

FA: Kevin Lindorff (Chris Baxter & Andrew Bowman had previously done the 2nd pitch), 1974

The easiest way to sample the awesome front face of Uncle Charlie - if you like grade 25 traversing, that is. If you wish to climb this during nesting season (August to December), please approach via Uncle Charlie's Right Nostril, not the Left.

Start as for PBS.

  1. 15m (21) As for PBS, but belay as soon as you hit the chimney (just beside the peregrine's nest...)

  2. 30m (25) R, and up short sickle/corner to gain the R nostril. R to piton, then hard undercling R to rest. Continue traversing R into India, past a bonus bolt in Ethiopia.

FA: Kim Carrigan, Evelyn Lees & Louise Shepherd, 1981

Uncle Charlie no doubt wonders why everyone calls his right nostril the left! Please do not climb during nesting season (August to December).

Start a few metres down R of PBS, underneath the L nostril.

FA: John Bennett & Russel Judge (aid). Greg Child (freed roof) 1976. Kim Carrigan, 1964

The guides say it's only 15m, but the easier top section makes it almost double that. Please do not climb during nesting season (August to December).

Start up one of the previous routes to gain the base of the L chimney.

FA: Kim Carrigan & Tony Dignan, 1984

Start 2m L of UCRN.

  1. 30m (27) The glassy slab becomes a R-leaning flake, which turns into a stomach-churning overhung offwidth, and then steep discontinuous pods, and finally into the R chimney.

  2. 20m (23) Step R under the bulge and up the bulging hand crack.

FA: Kim Carrigan & Kevin Lindorff (alt), 1979

Starts from the base of the chimney at the top the first pitch of Uncle Charlie's Right Nostril and Picking Winners (the original belay). Step around left to the seam that runs up the buttress just right of centre. A few exciting moves to get going, then follow the line to the top.

FA: Kevin Lindorff, Aug 2016

Old fashioned battle. According to Simey's guide the aid was eliminated before it had even been aided...visionary!

Start beneath the R crack underneath the R chimney.

FA: Kim Carrigan (direct)

FA: Chris Dewhirst & John Moore (aid), 1965

FA: Chris Peisker(deviating into the Picking Winners trench for a few metres), 1978

After the crux of UCRN, easy climbing leads up left for a few metres to the current chains. However, the original belay was another two body-lengths higher at the base of the chimney (this was also the original belay on Picking Winners; the 2nd pitch of PW then stepped right and climbed the obvious bulging crack above).

This variant provides a slightly harder and more sustained pitch than the original. It continues directly up from the crux of UCRN (instead of moving left to the chains) to take the short tricky bulge (the new crux) to a double ring anchor immediately below the start of the second pitch of PW.

FA: Kevin Lindorff, Jul 2016

Deterred many very strong suitors for many years and finally fell to the Kiwi Wizz kid

FA: Wiz Fineron, 2012

The prime line hereabouts. All the hard bit of India then step L and up the middle of the steep wall through the top roof to lower offs.

FA: Kim Carrigan, 1984

An amazing line through some steep bulges. It will work your shoulders and test your footwork as you try to unlock its hidden secrets. No fixed wires at the crux as of 11/12/2021.

Start on the R side of the awe inspiring blank bulging orange face. Up crack before stepping left into the difficulties. Finishes out right up easier ground to DRB.

Notable for an early send by Christine Gambert (FR) in 1986, when it was 29, likely the first female ascent at either grade in AU. Was also the first route in AU given grade 29, originally done by stepping L higher than is now the norm, but has slipped to 28.

FA: Kim Carrigan & Kevin Lindorff, 1982

Not his finest addition. Brutally hard undercling moves and very, very rarely repeated. Start as for Nose Job then bust left.

In typical Lindorff style this is a plum line, but undergraded and underprotected (possibly more so since a block broke off it). Gee it looks good though. Start 2m R of India, up the tough corner, across CoC and up a steep little crack finish to lower offs.

FA: Kevin Lindorff & Kim Carrigan, 1978

Start on Coming on Chris and then at the crossroad with Nose Job follow it right for a much harder finish.

Probably about the same grade as Nose Job because on both variants you get a good rest before the hardest section, but the first section on this variant is easier.

A route on this pinnacle for the mere mortal. A fun climb!

FA: Mike Law, 1976

Straight up past a bolt instead of traversing L.

Was a bolted sport route ....looks to be only one bolt now.

Looks bloody desperate.

Steep deep wide crack. Overhangs more than most 18s! Can be bridged without much thrutching, but some large gear can be handy. Stays dry in light rain too.

Start about 20m up the gully R from CoC.

FA: Phillip Stranger & Chris Dewhirst, 1967

Start on ledge opposite Virginia on the Pharos. Up the cracks, veering left through blocky roof. Then traverse left past the giant chock stone bridge, and up to the anchor on Spasm in a Chasm. Rap off Spasm’s Anchor back to the belay ledge.

FA: Jae Zhong & muki woods, 30 Oct 2019

The pencil thin crack (originally with a manky fixed wire, now with a bolt). After the crack sneak out left and finish up Virginia. One bolt plus trad. Start 5m L of Spasm.

FA: Chris Shepherd & Michael Collie, 1982

Climb nearly all of Yes Please past it's bolt but instead of escaping left under the roof, do a move right and continue up the wall past two more bolts. There's a stance left of the last bolt, from here traverse right along the horizontal break that leads to the last headwall of Spasm. Finish up this (sideways #7 rock in pocket) to glory. Offers superb sustained climbing if head right from last bolt to undercling on spasm and past both it's dynos. 3 bolts plus a handful of wires (or small-med cams).

FA: Gareth Llewellin, 12 Dec 2014

Unless they've joined into one continuous white streak by now, the white patches and ticks will show you the way. Almost certainly easier for the taller types, it's also harder now than when established because a key foothold during the traverse broke off (it's still 25 though).

Take a medium-to-large sized wire (e.g. #6 sideways or #7 WC rock) for the top (above the big jug) which inconveniently reduces the size of a key hold in a non-grade-altering way. A couple of large RP's in a seam at the start should prevent your belayer following you off the ledge in the event of falling getting to the first bolt. Otherwise, stick clip the first bolt or just don't fall.

Start off the wedged boulder near the highpoint of the chasm.

FA: Lincoln Shepherd, 1983

Four bolts on the wall right of Spasm. Don't bridge at the start but do bridge the finish.

FA: Gordon Poultney & Rob Oliver, 2007

Stem up chimney with feet on one side and hands on the other, to a jug. Then climb the steep line with two bolts (new as of 2015). Start just inside the SE end of the Spasm Chasm.

FA: Mark Moorhead & Jon Muir, 1981

Climb directly into Escape without bridging.

FA: Mike Weeks, 1998

The obvious link of Escape start into the last half of Break and Enter. Start as for Escape (original bridging start), then break right and power up through the final boulder problem of B&E. Short, but consistently powerful climbing to the very last move. The route grade is open for debate given it’s basically a V7/8.

Up The Great Escape to half height, then R and up to lower offs.

FA: Nathan Hoette, 2002

Climb the chasm right of Spasm by following a finger crack on the left wall which leads up and right through a squeeze. Top out on the road side of Uncle Charlie's via some juggy wide chimneying. Walk off over the chockstone to the Pharos. Protectable, but a pretty tight fit with a harness.

FA: Unknown

Did you know?

Did you know that you can create an account to record, track and share your climbing ascents? Thousands of climbers are already doing this.


Check out what is happening in Uncle Charlie.

Deutsch English Español Français Italiano 한국어 Português 中文