The Lower Main Cliff




A long and varied wall with some excellent sport routes, including the mega classic 'Absentia' and the pump-fest 'Acid'. There's also some trad routes in the easier grades but they tend to be quite "adventurous" so take care.

There's a few carrots (BRs) scattered amongst the bolts so carry bolt plates.

Climbs are listed left to right.

Access issues inherited from Mt Ngungun

This mountain is very popular. Stay on tracks, don't poo at crags.


'The Lower Main Cliff' starts directly opposite 'Owl Pillar' where it is soon split by the 'Acid' ravine. A rough track continues past the ravine along the base of the cliff for 5-10 minutes with climbs scattered intermittently along the way. 'Claustrophilia' and 'Watch your Back Jack' are located in an isolated ravine found by following the trail above the 'closed cave', then walking approx 50mtrs through the bush to a big rock knob - abseil in.

Ethic inherited from Glasshouse Mountains

Modern climbers establishing new routes have taken great pains to ensure any new routes do not interfere with the historic routes established many decades ago.

Retro-bolting of existing routes is unacceptable!

New routes shall make use of traditional protection where available.


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Grade Route

Start directly opposite 'Midnight Makeout' on 'Owl Pillar'.

Up juggy groove then slab to finish at ledge.

FA: Ian Thomas & Dave Gilleson, 1971

Start 5m R of 'Breakaway'.

Up wide crack then trend L up slab to finish as per 'Breakaway'.

FA: Ian Thomas & Dave Gilleson, 1971

Start at the end of the 'Acid' ravine.

Awful chimney.

FA: Dave Gilleson & Ian Thomas, 1971

Start 3m left of Acid. Bouldery start past 4 FH then joins Acid until it's second last bolt where it breaks right, heading up the corner feature past final FH to finish at Acid's chains.

FA: Alex Straw & Rob Parer, 2011

Climb as for BFI, but punch left into Acid's main crux at the second last bolt. Bring Popeye's stash of pump coins.

Start on the R face of the sharp ravine in The Lower Main Cliff just past Owl Pillar.

Stickclip the rightmost RB then up the overhanging wall of the ravine past 4 more RBs. The climb originally finished here at grade 22, but now continues leftwards with hard technical moves past 3 FHs to anchor. Keep left at the second last bolt and stay on the line-of-most-resistance—breaking right through the corner feature is LSD.

FA: Neil Monteith & Marten Blumen, 1994

FA: Cameron Fairbairn, 2000

Link up. Climb Acid to it's second last bolt, then head straight up through the corner feature that is the last section of BFI, passing a FH to final mantle. Avoids the cruxes of Acid and BFI. The antithesis to Idaho Sunshine.

As for the first 4 bolts of Acid, but instead of breaking left, continue up the rightmost line of bolts past 3 more FH's to Acid's anchors. Some discontinuous, but enjoyable and intriguing climbing that skirts under the top of the ravine. Worthwhile, and soft for the grade.

Start 6m R of 'Acid' at the entrance to the ravine.

Juggy slab route with little protection. Rap from ledge with tree or continue up short wall to exit.

FA: Ian Thomas & Dave Gilleson, 1971

Start about 15m R of 'Good Vibrations'.

Climbs the opposite side of the 'Acid' buttress. Adequate pro but not so good.

FA: Lee Cujes, 1999

Located in the steep ravine found by walking above the cave. Look for the big rock knob - ab anchors on the side. Safely bolted (close) due to proximity of back wall. Makes anyone whining about the acid back wall look like a total pansy! Shame, as the features and climbing are excellent, and this would be a rad sport wall were it not in a narrow ravine! Long tricky moves at the start, jugs in the middle, followed by a hard crimpy crux guarding the anchors.

FFA: Kenny Walker & Shannon Keys, 15 Jun 2013

Starts in the same ravine as 'Claustrophilia', at it's opening - hidden above the vegetated corner 15-20m R of 'Trench Tactics'. To find the ravine either climb up the easy slab from below (dodgy trad), or walk to its top from above 'The Cave (closed)' and rap down.

Stickclip 1st FH then use tree to gain start jugs. Up past 2nd FH, #1 or 1.5 SLCD placement and 2 more FHs to rap station.

FA: Lee Cujes & Menno Smits, 1999

…but not forgotten. Several years earlier, Monteith placed a BR off to the R of this route but discarded it. It took the persistence (and jiggery-pokery!) of Box to get the line bolted and sent.

Start 50m or so R along the cliff from the 'Acid' area at some blocky orange roofs.

Five RBs lead up the overhanging orange rock. The climbing is quite bizarre. A rap station is located on the big ledge above and to the R of the last overhang.

FA: Phil Box & Stephen Parker, 2002

Start 2m R of Forsaken beneath deep orange shield of rock and steepest overhang. Up you go.

FA: Lee Cujes & Sam Cujes, 14 Apr 2013

Start 5m R of 'Forsaken' on the black rock.

Poor rock with minimal protection.

FA: Neil Monteith & Marten Blumen, 1994

Start about 10m R of 'Forsaken'.

Up slab clipping hard-to-spot BR, then overhung climbing past 3 FHs. Past a final BR to chains.

FA: Darrin Carter, 1998

Start 3m R of 'Summer Holiday'.

Climb slab passing RB to beneath large roof. Clip RB above. Strenuously crank over the roof (to the R of the RB) with little finesse to clip RB. Wipe forehead, then move up and L to join 'Summer Holiday' at its third bolt. Note that the final bolt on 'SH' is a BR so a bolt plate is needed.

FA: Lee Cujes, 2002

Start 3m R of 'Biyatch Pants' at featured arête.

Slab up the arête past RB to top (retro BR). Swing straight up onto headwall (RB). Committing, sporty climbing straight up the headwall passing two more RBs to rap station on ledge.

FA: Lee Cujes, Samantha Cujes & Stephen Parker, 2002

Start as for 'Serenade For Rings'.

Don't clip the retro BR at the top of the 'SFR' slab. Instead head R and up past 3 RBs. Finish at the anchors shared with 'SFR'.

FA: Lee Cujes & Neil Monteith, 1999

Start at the 'Present And Accounted For' rap anchor. Note: Currently not climbable after Darrin Carter stole the hangers in the 90s. Stay off until fixed protection is replaced. You can link this with PAAF to create the longest route on Ngungun. From the station, climb slab on L past two FH’s (chopped) to overhung wall. Place high blind #4 Rock and up wall past FH (chopped) to arrive at slab. Up and slightly R past two more FH’s (chopped) and big runouts to arrive at tree-lined ledge. Walk off. The first ascent was done ground-up with handrill at night with only headlamps to light the way!

FA: Gay Welders Union, 1998

Start at the 'Present And Accounted For' anchor.

Traverse R and up to finish at the 'Absentia' anchor. No protection.

FA: Neil Monteith, 1998

Start 5m L of 'Absentia'.

Up past flake and small bulge passing 4 UBs to DBB.

FA: Tom Kjaer-Olsen, 2010

Warning Fixed Gear: 4th FH loose

Warning Fixed Gear: Anchors and 4th FH loose

The original and classic easy sport route in the Glasshouse Mtns. Start about 15m R of 'Present And Accounted For' at pocketed water-worn runnel. If it has just rained don't bother - this route follows a waterfall groove! Most consider this a sandbag. 3 RBs, 2 FHs & 1 RB then long runout on easy slab to rap chain. Route name is based on Neil & Marty being absent from school on the day they did this. Who would have thought a simple case of truancy would lead to such enjoyment for climbers for years to come?!

FA: Neil Monteith & Marten Blumen, 1994

Start 2m R of 'Absentia'.

Juggy wall with a tricky layback flake start through bulge. At 5th bolt step L to join 'Absentia', clipping its final bolt and finishing at its DBB.

FA: Neil Monteith & Gareth Llewellin, 2008

Start at the DBB at the top of 'Absentia'.

Up the wide groove above 'Absentia'. Limited protection.

FA: Neil Monteith, Marten Blumen, Dave Hall & Alister Robbie, 1994

Start at gully 10m R of 'Absentia'.

  1. 15m (3) Up R-leading gully slinging two trees as pro, then climb directly up the easy slab to tree and ledge (natural belay in pockets).

  2. 35m (15) Many of the pockets take gear (mostly hexes), so take a full rack. Diagonally L off the belay to good wire before wide crack, then up to bulge. Go L to avoid the bulge and up to second bulge. Resist temptation to trend R up ramp - instead go L through bulge to pro. Directly up black rock to FH. From here the line is direct up the steep juggy wall passing a crucial #6 hex pocket and second FH. Once on the upper slab, clip the last FH and traverse 5m R along ledge to chains.

FA: 1. Neil Monteith & Marten Blumen, 1994

FA: 2. Lee Cujes & Philippa Newton, 1999

Warning Fixed Gear: 2nd pitch anchor

WARNING: September 16'. Anchors on 2nd pitch are reportedly in a dangerous state - loose nuts. Please excercise caution at the belay for the 2nd pitch.

Start as for 'Kicking Brass'.

  1. 15m (3) As per 1st pitch of 'Kicking Brass'.

  2. 35m (15) Slightly L, then R up white corner to mini-rooflet (3 FHs). Over this, then runout slab to headwall. Up this beautifully scooped groove passing 3 FHs to chains.

FA: Lee Cujes & Menno Smits, 1999


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Selected Guidebooks more

Author(s): Simon Carter

Date: 2018

ISBN: 9780958079068

A few years ago there was basically Frog Buttress and Coolum. Since then there has been more development than Barangaroo and South East Queensland should be on any climbers radar no matter what your style. Except ice climbing, definitely no ice climbing. But over 1250 routes with hard sport, multipitches and quality trad to make a great trip.

Author(s): Jimmy Blackhall & David Jefferson

Date: 2021

ISBN: 9377779499658

Hidden within the ordinary people of Queensland there exists a tight-knit community of scabby knuckles, grazed knees, massive forearms and iron-clad wills. This guidebooks seeks to shed light on this community and blocks of choice with all the information, skills and knowledge to open the door for you to explore all the bouldering that Queensland has to offer.

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