The Pagoda & Split Rock

  • Grade context: AU
  • Photos: 4
  • Ascents: 18
  • Content Quality: Low



Access issues inherited from Western Gara Gorge

Access to Dome Wall or Persian Carpets involves driving through private property to reach the Gara Gorge. Contact must be made with the landowners prior to heading out there:

Mike Coffey (Kenwood Park): 02 6775 3766

Pete and Susanne or Jeff Moore: 02 6775 3727

It is important to let the Coffeys know you’re coming (as access is very close to their house), and ask the Moores for permission to cross their land (providing the most efficient access to Dome Wall or Persian Carpets).

Good relations with these landowners are essential for New England climbers, and all visitors in the future, to access these excellent crags, so please treat them with respect. Leave all gates as you find them, cross fences at the strongest strainer post, etc etc. Access is likely to be refused if tenants are in the Moores’ ‘holiday’ house, so please be patient or better still ask about staying there yourself.

This is a link to a file you can use in Google Earth to see a map to The Dome Wall Parking area:


View historical timeline

'Split rock' was discovered in February:1980 by Brian Birchall, Mark Colyvan, Al. Stephens and Ed Sharpe who were hunting around for the long lost ‘Dome Wall’. They did the only three routes there, of which only the offwidth ‘Oblivion’ 18 by Colyvan and Birchall is of any significance.

‘The Pagoda’ is very much a pet area of its discoverer John Lattanzio who found the crag in winter of 1982 not long after he had moved back to Armidale to live. He did the first routes there then, most notable of which were 'Higher Purchase' 21 and 'Gutterchild' 23. It has had a steady stream of new routes since then, mostly by Lattanzio or one of his cohorts. In May 1983 Chris Dale led 'Pumpleforeskin' 21 for Lattanio and during the Camp Pog days of 1985 Lattanzio led 'Sleaze' 22 and 'It's a Sin to Tell a Lie' 21 and Tim Ball led 'Cash in Hand'



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Grade Route

Routes described left to right.

Start: The first line from the lefthand end of the cliff. 4m left of ‘Payolla’.

Up crack and around roof to top.

FA: B.Birchall & J. Lattanzio, 1982

Start: On the wall left of, and uphill from ‘Manicure’.

Up thin incipient cracks through bulge to good crack to top

FA: J. Lattanzio & Mike Peck, 1982

Originally done with an aid rest at 23M0 but this was eliminated a week or two later by Lattanzio.

Start: 4m right of 'Payolla'

Up thin crack, traverse left to join base of a second crack. Climb this to the top

FA: J. Lattanzio & E. Sharp, 1982

Start: 1m right of ‘Gutterchild’.

Up crack then step left around block near top, continue to top.

FA: E. Sharp & J. Lattanzio, 1982

Start: just right of ‘Rope Learning’, the slightly diagonal crack.

Follow the crack.

FA: E. Sharp, J. Lattanzio & B. Birchall, 1982

Start: The rather unprotected groove 4m right of ‘Path of Destruction’.

Up wall and into groove to top.

FA: B. Birchall & T. Ball, 1982

Start: The unmistakable clean cut finger crack right of ‘Diminishing Returns’.

Up the crack.

FA: J. Lattanzio & B. Birchall, 1982

Start: 2m right of ‘Manicure’.

Up crack to top.

FA: T. Ball & J. Lattanzio, 1982

(eats chunder out of a dead tadpole’s bum)

Up the hair-line crack to the good ledge and bolt. Thence up, up and away.

FA: R. (Chunder) Chudliegh & T. Ball, 1985

(Or Woz I)

‘You know it’s a good party when you fall off the roof”.

Start: 5m right of ‘Kevin the Cane Toad’ is a cave formed by a large block. Between the block and the wall of ‘Kevin the Cane Toad’ buttress is a short 3m, horizontal crack/roof, Step up to right end of crack. Go left.

FA: Greg Pritchard & Russell Chudleigh, 1985

(gives Tonto a split personality)

Start: On the large separate boulder in the gully 5m left of Rumple foreskin’.

Straight up the slab with protection at half height.

FA: T. Ball, G. Pritchard & Russell Chudleigh, 1985

Start: 3m left of the balancing table rock.

Muscle onto sharp flake, up incipient cracks to overlap and right-hand corner. Up corner and oat right past 2 bolts and up slab to top.

FA: Chris Bale, John Lattanzio & Ed Sharpe, 1983

Start: Marked on the little cliff below the balancing table rock.

Up intermittent cracks to the top.

FA: Mark Colyvan, 1983

Start: As for ‘Sticky Deposit’.

Up the left-hand leaning crack, along the flake, past bolt runner, into the scoop, then follow the seams in the final headwall to the top.

FA: J. Lattanzio, T. Ball & Chunder, 1985

Start: In the small alcove 15m left of ‘Higher Purchase’.

Follow the rightward leaning crack to offwidth and up to top.

FA: T. Ball & E. Sharp, 1982

Start: 2m right of ‘Sticky Deposit’.

Up fiercely overhung water streak, then up groove, trend right up slab to ‘Higher Purchase’, up this to top.

FA: T. Ball, J. Lattanzio & Chunder, 1985

Start: About 15m down right from the balancing table rock. A short left-hand corner.

  1. 15m Up corner to tree then traverse left to a tree belay.

  2. 20m (crux) Up slight corner and slab to overlap, follow crack to top.

FA: J. Lattanzio & B. Birchall, 1982

FA: E. Sharp, J. Lattanzio & T. Ball, 1982

Less rope drag if done in two pitches.

Start: As for ‘Higher Purchase’.

Up corner as for ‘Higher traverse left then up slab to overlap, left, then up corner then right to join crack to top.

FA: J. Lattanzio & T. Ball, 1982

Start: As for ‘Higher Purchase’.

Up the crack and slab, trending right to a shallow corner. Follow this and sickle overlap to crack. On to top.

FA: J. Lattanzio, T. Ball & P. Chudleigh, 1985

Start: The leftward leaning crack 3m right of ‘Higher Purchase’.

Up crack to small ledge then follow corner to top.

FA: B.Birchall, J. Lattanzio & P. Colyvan, 1982

Start: On the lower tier of ‘The Pagoda’, facing ‘The Persian Carpets’. Start in an alcove at the lowest point of the tier.

Into alcove then out right to join crack, follow this up to offwidth (or up wall left of this) to ledge. Up wall into groove and up wall on right to top.

FA: E. Sharp & J. Lattanzio, 1983

The following climb is across the gully from ‘The Pagoda’ in the direction of ‘Dome Wall’ and is on an isolated buttress visible from the left-hand end of ‘The Pagoda’.

Start: The obvious corner on the buttress (and visible from the left-hand end of ‘The Pagoda’).

Jam and bridge up to top.

FA: B. Fawlty, M. Peck & E. Sharp, 1982

Climbs described from left to right.

Start: The obvious offwidth splitting the east face of the boulder. Up jam crack to ledge, step left into offwidth and struggle upwards. (The only protection is stacked tubes and hexes!).

FA: Mark Colyvan & Brian Birchall, 1980

Start: A short corner crack on the southern side.

Up corner crack, a step, then another corner crack followed by a layback.

FA: Al Stephens & Ed Sharpe, 1980

Start: A sickle shaped crack below and right of ‘No Scruples’.

Follow crack, offwidth moves followed by jamming.

FA: Al Stephens & Rob Clark, 1980

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