NE Buttress Sector



Access issues inherited from Glasshouse Mountains

Most 'Glasshouse Mountains' climbing is within the Glass House Mountains National Park. Please respect the environment and other people's enjoyment of it. Access to climbing here is a privilege, not a right.

The 2019 Ngungun track expansion & fortification work is now complete, and the mountain is once again fully open.


From the climber's car park, follow the right hand branch of the trail around the base of the mountain. Follow the trail for about 15 minutes. You will pass a round bench at a lookout and then walk up a set of rock steps. At the top of the steps there's a path made of loose rocks and gravel leading up to the left. Follow this path for 50 meters or so and arrive at the base of the cliff at Candy Mountain. The NEB routes start 20m to the right.

Descent notes

Almost all the 'NE Buttress Sector' climbs finish at the top of the buttress. There are a number of ways to descend from here:

  • Follow the rough track along the northeast ridge towards the 'Tibro' summit. Descend either via the 'Caves Route' or the 'West Track' (tourist track).
  • Rap down the last 3 pitches of 'Sunburnt Buttress' then rap straight down to the big tree in the gully below. One more rap off the anchor cable around the tree gets you to the ground. Two ropes required.
  • Rap down 'Blabbermouth' - 7 x 30m raps.
  • Rap down 'El Scorcho' - 4 x 60m raps.

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.


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


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Grade Route

About 100m along the cliff base from 'Desperation Wall' is an obvious slabby buttress with the initials "NEB" at its rightmost end.

1 18 25m
2 15 25m
3 11 20m
4 18 25m
5 19 25m
6 13 25m
7 19 15m
8 16 30m

An adventure route up an interesting section of Tibro. Take some long slings and 14 draws and either a double rope or trail a second rope if rapping (40m rap). Optional #3 C4 Camalot or medium hex, although most leaders will be confident running it out or slinging ironwoods in the absence of gear. There are some run out sections and there are patches of poor rock, interspersed with sections of fun and exposed climbing.

Access: From the old climber's carpark, take the right fork of the Tibrogargan track, heading north. Follow the track until you reach some chairs and a picnic table, after which you'll ascend some steps to find a small trail leaving the main track on the left. Follow this to the base of Candy Mountain. The Ross Miller Route starts directly above this small crag. To access this ledge, head left uphill until the rock face turns back in to form an alcove with a large tree in it. Scramble up the rock on the right-hand side of the tree and traverse right for about 20m. You will find a leftward trending gully with bolts on the headwall directly on its right-hand side. The route begins here.


  1. 25m (18) Up to FH then tricky moves right to 2nd FH, follow the line of FH's avoiding suspect rock as necessary.

  2. 25m (15) Typical Tibro face climbing following line of FH's, when you reach the ironwood bushes, clip the abseil re-direct sling and continue up and left to the anchor.

  3. 20m (11) Head up the obvious corner directly above the anchor (optional gear) to the tree (sling), continue up the corner to the next tree (sling) then delicately step right and head up to FH on headwall then continue up to anchor.

  4. 25m (18) Up following FH's right of blunt arete.

  5. 25m (19) Engaging climbing following FH's into corner and out onto top face, continue up to anchor.

  6. 25m (13) Climb slabby section following FH's trending left in the second half to anchor at base of head wall.

  7. 15m (19) Left off the belay to first FH then cruxy moves for a couple of metres past FH's to anchor avoiding the crumbly holds.

  8. 30m (16) Follow the line of well-spaced FH's to anchor, stop to peer into the madness of sport climbing in cave 5 on the way. To exit:

    • either traverse right along ledge to scrubby bushes and the 5th anchor of SBB, climb its (unprotected) 6th pitch and walk off. or
    • Continue climbing straight up unprotected but easy climbing and good rock.
    • Rap back down in 6 pitches:

      1) 30m Straight down to previous anchor (top pitch 7)

      2) 40m Straight down to anchor at top of 5

      3) 40m Down into free air and then scramble left to anchor at top of pitch

      4) 20m Straight down between the trees then scramble left on the ledge to anchor at top of pitch 2, be careful of loose blocks and small rocks here

      5) 25m Traverse out right underneath ironwood bushes and clip rope through permanent sling and biner to redirect abseil (missing as of August 2018, rap straight back down to anchor at top of pitch 1 or it may be possible to reach the ground on a 50m rap.

      6) 25m To ground and scramble out the way you came in.

FA: Annett Miller, Bernie Walsh & Steve Kloske, 14 Jul 2013

1 18 25m
2 23 25m

Climb to the top of P3 on the Ross Miller Route and scramble 10m L to DBB, Joins the anchors of P6 RMR.

  1. 25m 18 Climb up very poorly protected section of rock to a single cam and wire placement from here run it out to the anchor. Anchor has 1 fixed hanger and needs gear.

  2. 25m 23 climb up bridging and jamming through rooflet on natural prow of all sorts for about 10m until the bolts (5) are reached then continue up to anchor

FFA: Steve Kloske, 14 Jul 2013

FA: Steve Kloske, 14 Jul 2013

1 10 28m
2 13 30m
3 15 30m
4 16 45m
5 13 20m
6 20 30m
7 16 32m
8 10 32m

This is a modern incarnation of the historic North-East Buttress route. It does cross the original line in several places, although the original route remains largely undisturbed.

Access: From the old climber's carpark, take the right fork of the Tibrogargan track, heading north. Follow the track until you reach some chairs and a picnic table, after which you'll ascend some steps to find a small trail leaving the main track on the left. Follow this to the base of Candy Mountain. Around 15m past the right hand side of Candy Mountain is a vegetated weakness faintly marked NEB.

Start up easy buttress about 10m left of vegetated weakness. "Sbo" marking has disappeared, but the route can be identified by a fixed hanger just left of a small tree at around 6m in height.

Gear: Single rack to #2 Camalot, focus on small wires and cams. All DBB for belays, some rust on mallions but still functional (as at Aug 2018).

  1. 28m (10) Easy climbing up buttress (Grade 4) to FH at 6m (left of small tree), continue up into gully passing another FH to awkward DBB on R face.

  2. 30m (13) Go left off belay to FH, follow line of FH and a wire just before DBB.

  3. 30m (15) Straight up following the FH's to DBB.

  4. 45m (16) Nice long pitch with FH and gear, with a tricky move around a smooth mottled rock section to DBB on ledge.

  5. 20m (13) Easy climbing right off belay, following FH's into vegetated gully with a DBB or optional tree belay.

  6. 30m (20 crux) Hard stemming moves with protection improving as you progress up the crack. When crack veers right 30 degrees, escape the nastiness by boldly stepping right onto the face, enjoying the abundant fresh air and with relief clip the FH, then past another to DBB (admire old belay hardware to the right from a bygone era).

  7. 32m (16) Step left off belay under manky block to FH, then straight up following more FH's (passing rusted relics of the past) with a cruxy move near the top, DBB.

  8. 32m (10) Scramble up to NE shoulder and belay on tree or walk right 10m to 5th DBB of Sunburnt Buttress and climb unprotected final pitch to DBB.

Descent: Tourist Track or Caves Route (4x raps), or as for Blabbermouth/Sunburnt Buttress

FA: Wayne Meith & A. Anderson, 2005

1 20m
2 28m
3 37m
4 27m
5 33m
6 18m
7 11 37m
8 33m
9 33m
10 33m

Access: From the old climber's carpark, take the right fork of the Tibrogargan track, heading north. Follow the track until you reach some chairs and a picnic table, after which you'll ascend some steps to find a small trail leaving the main track on the left. Follow this to the base of Candy Mountain. Around 15m past the right hand side of Candy Mountain is a vegetated weakness marked NEB.

Standard rack up to #3 Camalot, focus on small wires and cams.

Warning: 7th Pitch (crux) is dangerous and does not come recommended. It features a manky old bolt ladder which has not fared well after 50 years in a coastal climate. Check "Escape from NEB" or "Sideshow Bob" for bail options.

  1. 20m (-) Easily up gully to tree belay

  2. 28m (-) Up for 5m then right around the buttress below some loose blocks. Keep traversing around to the right, ascending slightly to gain a spacious ledge and natural gear belay.

  3. 37m (-) Ascend right from ledge to short wall. Traverse this to the right and above peg in block. Now ascend tending right slightly up to tree belay.

  4. 27m (-) Cross to the left on sloping ramp up to tree belay below buttress. Stance on spacious ledge.

  5. 33m (-) Straight up on good rock to peg belay below steep wall.

  6. 18m (-) Traverse right around buttress and up into a wooded gully, below a steep, yellow groove. Tree belay. You can escape from the route here by traversing left to meet Cave 4.

  7. 37m (11 crux) Up wall on left, traverse over big loose block and then up to yellow patch below steep wall. Up bolt ladder with hard moves and death blocks galore, then traverse right below big block to belay. Buyer beware.

  8. 33m (-) Pass under block traversing left, then straight up tending slightly right to small bush and ledge. Bolt belay.

  9. 33m (-) Straight up past mangled bolt (useless) to second bolt. Delicate move past this straight up past two more mangled bolts. Gain easier ground. Tree belay.

  10. 33m (-) Scramble out to left on sloping ledge which leads to NE shoulder.

Descent: Tourist Track or Caves Route (4x raps)

FA: Pat Conaghan & Grahame Hardy, 1964

1 14 30m
2 13 35m

A traverse that deserves a description. First used by FA party of North-east buttress to escape the route before the aided crux section.

  1. 30m (14) crux. From the "Crazy Crack" gully climb just above the DBB up the left wall (tree belay or DBB), avoiding the nasty loose block on the arete. Up and around the buttress with marginal protection and suspicious holds in a very airy and unstable scenario. Downclimb into a small vegetated gully with shrub (must not fall) and keep traversing left, on better rock, passing a bolt of the Ross Miller Route and reaching a second small gully. Break the traverse and belay from a small tree to avoid further rope drag.

  2. 35m (13) Continue traversing left past 2 bomber placements (medium to small cam) and reach the broken pillar on top of cave 4 enjoying the massive exposure and unbelievable views. Place gear to direct rope and avoid running it through the death blocks. Carefully downclimb the lower part of pitch 1 of Prometheus 2 to the sign into the cave (tricky).

FA: P. Conaghan & G. Hardy, 1965

From 'The North-East Buttress' continue along the base of the cliff up the slope. After about 100m the ground levels off at an alcove about 10m wide.

1 12 28m
2 16 34m
3 16 33m
4 13 20m
5 14 28m
6 13 32m
7 10 20m

Start at L-hand corner of alcove, 8m L of 'Sunburnt Buttress' before the ground drops away.

  1. 28m (12) Up vague corner passing just R of a couple of bushes. After second one, go straight up to DBB. Most parties choose instead to climb 'Blabbermouth VS', which offers cleaner climbing and more protection.

  2. 34m (16) Traverse out L (FH) for about 10m before heading up past more FHs. After last one, trend slightly R up to belay shared with 'Sunburnt Buttress'.

  3. 33m (16) Step R 2m then up past 2 FHs. Up past lots of slots then more FHs to ledge (the 'Birdsnest' belay).

  4. 20m (13) Straight up past 6 FHs.

  5. 28m (14) Step L off belay. Up corner (FHs and gear).

  6. 32m (13) Step L off belay then up trending L to finish at 5th belay of 'Sunburnt Buttress'.

  7. 20m (10) As for last pitch of 'Sunburnt Buttress'.

Rack: to #3 friend.

FA: Ross Ferguson & Gareth Llewellin, 2004

Start at L-trending crack 3m L of 'Sunburnt Buttress'.

While this is nominally the variant start to 'Blabbermouth', it's so much better than the original that nearly everyone begins 'Blabbermouth' this way. Follow the crack, solid gear placements abound. Merges with the original a few metres before the DBB.

FA: Darrin Carter & Ross Ferguson, 2005

1 33m
2 37m
3 40m
4 11 37m
5 40m
6 37m

Start about 100m right from NE Buttress below obvious large chimney (10m left of the pillar with FH's). This route is loose and has tricky route finding.

  1. 33m Up wall below chimney. Tricky move left around overhanging flake. Move up trending diagonally left until vertical ascent can be made to the base of the chimney. Ascend chimney (narrow and strenuous) climbing out onto main rock wall when chockstone is reached. Climb onto this chockstone and continue on to top of buttress to large tree belay.

  2. 37m Vertical ascent for 8m then horizontal traverse right to seams. Straight up to a small niche/alcove then belay off natural gear.

  3. 40m Delicate move out of belay up left. Ascend until short right traverse can be made to scunge-filled crack. Ascend vertically about 7m and then traverse left, up and out of crack. Tree runner. Continue ascent through scunge until a diagonal right traverse brings you to a large tree belay below a blank wall.

  4. 37m (11 crux) Climb steep ramp in front of belay tree to tree runner and ascend onto vertical wall. Climb directly over loose holds, leading to a delicate traverse on small holds. Handholds around corner of bulge lead to wide shelf and tree belay.

  5. 40m Straight up over extremely sloping horizontal strata to ramp. Follow ramp right until you get to a tree belay.

  6. 37m Straight up over good holds to NE Shoulder.

FA: John Tillack & Dennis Stocks, 1966

1 18 28m
2 16 34m
3 19 25m
4 16 36m
5 14 45m
6 10 20m

Start at the 'Rock Garden' chimney at R end of alcove, 10m L of the 'Peeping Tom' pillar at 'Shadow Glen'. Marked with a small square.

  1. 28m (18) Climb up the 'Rock Garden' chimney for a few moves then step R and follow line of FHs to DBB.

  2. 34m (16) Follow FHs traversing L (line of FHs going R then up is 'The Chris Mann Route') across 'Rock Garden' to DBB shared with 'Blabbermouth'. End of this pitch is very run out without trad gear.

  3. 25m (19) Straight up past 3 FHs then traverse directly L following more FHs to DBB. Due to traversing involved, the second needs to be confident.

  4. 36m (16) Follow FHs L then up to DBB.

  5. 45m (14) Gradient easing now. Well-spaced FHs (can supplement with occasional trad placement) to DBB.

  6. 20m (10) Solo up short easy wall to DBB at top.

FA: Neil Monteith & Lee Cujes, 2000

1 21 53m
2 19 24m
3 14 32m

To start, climb the first two pitches of either Blabbermouth or Sunburnt Buttress.

  1. 53m (21) Follow the first four FH's of SB until it traverses left. Instead of traversing, head straight up for three more FH's then traverse left below obvious short corner to FH. From here, go up passing five more FH's trending rightward. Belay is up and left from last FH. Taking half a dozen long runners is recommended to reduce rope drag on this long pitch.

  2. 24m (19) Step left off belay then up passing six FH's. Eases off in second half.

  3. 32m (14) Clip a FH then gradually join the 5th pitch of SB clipping it's last few FH's.

Pitch 2 and 3 have a couple of optional trad pieces. To finish, either continue up last pitch of SB (10) or rappel Blabbermouth (3x60m raps) or El Scorcho (3x60m raps)

FA: Gareth Llewellin & Ross Ferguson, 2005

  1. 28m As for Sunburnt Buttress

  2. 26m Start out left as for pitch 2 of SB heading for it's first FH. Don't clip it but go straight up instead. Follow corner feature passing four FH's and trad gear, stepping right at last FH to end up on ledge and DBB.

  3. 47m Step left from belay (FH, use long sling) and continue left past another three FH's and small cam slot. Head straight up past abundant but sometimes questionable trad placements and some more bolts before joining up with the last three bolts of The Chris Mann Route after the angle eases.

FA: Gareth Llewellin & Ross Ferguson, 2004

  1. 28m As for Sunburnt Buttress

  2. 26m Step right from DBB and up past several bolts and optional small cam and hidden wire out left (extend). Step right to clip another bolt then up trending slightly to the left to finish on ledge next to bush. DBB.

  3. 45m Step right from belay and head straight up past 3 FH's, stepping left around the arete at the third. Continue up arete passing assorted trad placements and bolts, finishing at "The Perch" belay.

FA: Gareth Llewellin & Ross Ferguson, 2004

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