Mountain Lion

  • Grade context: AU
  • Photos: 8
  • Ascents: 410
  • Content Quality: Medium

Access: Climbing restrictions may apply

ACAV Note: Parks Victoria has advised that rock climbing restrictions may apply at certain locations. Formal advice has changed several times during 2019.

Please refer to the following link for PV's current advice:

For a list of crags in SPA areas see:

See warning details and discuss

Created about a year ago - Edited 6 months ago




Refer to Mentz/Tempest 'Grampians' Select Climbs 2nd ed for topos.

There are lots of lower-grade trad climbs in an accessible location. There is also a large amount of bouldering that has been developed. A few problems are sit starts into the routes.

The highest point of the cliff is visible from the road and is the location of "The Lion in Winter" and is a useful landmark. People in the past have imagined this feature to resemble a "lion's head" profile giving rise to the "Mountain Lion".

© (pharmamatt)

Access issues

The Mountain Lion road sign is currently a burnt pole, so when approaching from the Henty Hwy side of the valley keep your eyes open for a small sandy car park on the right hand side of the road just after the Victoria Range Fire Trail gate (on left).

© (pharmamatt)


From the Henty 'Highway' (A200), follow the Glenelg River Road towards 'The Chimney Pots'. About 3km after crossing 'Harrop Track' there is a small car park (about 3 cars) on the right with a wonky sign indicating "Mountain Lion" (This sign has been burnt since the fires and is just a burnt pole. Look for a small sandy carpark.) Cross the road and follow the track to the cliff. After about 5mins walking the cliff line becomes apparent and the tack divides with one pad going right, uphill, towards the summit and the other going left to the climbs. Follow the pad off left along the cliff base. Walking along the base takes 5-10 minutes to a large cave where a hole on the right gives access to the Vanya Wall, the left-most part of the cliff.

Climbs are described from right-to-left.

© (pharmamatt)


This area has been quite badly burnt from the 2013 fires. Please keep to the foot pads as much as possible to stop further erosion.

© (pharmamatt)


View historical timeline

Bouldering development: 2014 by Dunkeld local and Geelong weekenders.

© (pharmamatt)


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

The seam, dodging around to find protection.

Start: Two metres right of the juggy lines is a thin, closed seam going up diagonally right.

FA: Campbell Mercer, 1991

May be a repeat of "A Soft Furry Thing". As you walk past the southern face of the 'Mountain Lion' there is a slab with a broken corner with two cracks.

FA: John Handley & Dale Wakefield, 1994

This climb appears to take the juggy flake system just left of "Lionhearted". Just to confuse things, here's the original location description, but don't take it too seriously : "The buttress to the left of a large tree growing flat across the track, just up the hill from 'Lionhearted'.".

FA: Scott Johnson & Helen Travers, 1994

Coming around the corner from Lionhearted and just before a steeply overhanging section is a south-facing wall.

Steep bridging and buckets up line 2 metres right of arete on south-facing wall.

FA: Geoff Butcher, 1997

Continue under the overhanging wall to a broken-down gully. On the right wall of the gully is a small orange corner capped by a small roof, Leo.

This is probably more worthwhile as a boulder problem than a climb. Take a couple of mats, boulder to the jugs then jump off. You might even be able to sit-start it.

FA: Jeremy Boreham, Mike Wust & James McIntosh, 1992

Climb into "Leo"'s corner then step right at break to arete. Climb this as for "Leo The Line".

FA: Michael Hampton & Geoff Butcher, 1997

The small orange corner. An energetic start off the ground on the arete directly under the roof. Up to the roof, step left and up.

FA: Campbell Mercer & Peter Seidel, 1991

Up, step right to the block. Up the left side of the chimney to the chockstone. Step onto the right wall and up.

Start: Start at right-hand crack at the base of "Not Christians For Dinner Again".

FA: Scitt Johnson & Helen Travers, 1994

Follow the flake to its top, then up.

Start: Start on the left wall of the gully, just right of the left arete.

FA: Campbell Mercer, 1991

Crack and short wall with rests on runners.

Start: Start 2 metres left of " Not Christians For Dinner Again".

FA: Campbell Mercer & Michael Reggle, 1992

Up, step left at ledge and up right face of the arete.

Start: Start at crack 2 metres left of "Lion Tamer"

FA: Michael Renggli & Campbell Mercer, 1992

Up, step left at break and up centre of arete.

Start: Start at crack 5.5 metres left of

FA: Campbell Mercer, Michael Renggli & Peter Seidel, 1992

Start 7 metres left of "Not Christians For Dinner Again" at crack separating the detached block from the main face.

Follow the main crack until it gets too narrow then continue up right side of buttress.

FA: Darren Lynch & Andrew Lynch, 1992

Mossy chimney then squeeze through the roof and scamble up.

Start: Start 8 metres left of "Not Christians For Dinner Again".

FA: Simon Todman, David Cunningham & Paul Roadley, 1993

Sit start and traverse into the crack and finish as same line as Mr Blobby Right

FA: Dick Lodge, 4 Jul 2014

Sit start, traverse left into the the crack and up,traverse left to big ledge.

FA: Dick Lodge, 4 Jul 2014

Crouch start on lowest part of lip near cliffline. Rising traverse on lip all the way to the highest point meeting with J.S Memorial Choss

FA: Jimmy Stephens, 7 Jun 2014

Not memorable at all. Sit start on slopey rail and reach to the top.

FA: Jimmy Stephens, 2014

Start on edges and make massive (insane) moves and up to jugs, then through scoopy head wall to ledge. V13 plus?

Start on low flat jug, move through crimps and large side pull to jugs and drop off.

FA: Jimmy Stephens, Apr 2014

Pleasant bridging up the wide chimney at the left end of the overhanging wall.

FA: Simon Todman & Peter Watling, 1991

Up crack until it peters out., step right with difficulty, then up more easily in the juggy line above.

Start: On the left arete of "Zsa-Zsa's Crack" is a crack that peters out.

FA: Campbell Mercer, 1992

3 metres up hill from Anteloped (past chimney) sit start with right hand on dish on face, and left in low finger lock. Make powerful moves into crack and finish on juggy slot.

FA: Jimmy

Start as for Finger Lockin' Good but keep traversing left and make tricky moves and finish as for Toe Above All.

FA: Aden

Start on big right hand side pull and small left crimp 1metre left of Finger Lockin' Good walk the feet before moving up and left to finish on juggy block

FA: Aden

Left of twin cracks 1 metre right of small mossy crack.

Start: Start 10 metres left of "Zsa-Zsa's Crack".

FA: Scott Johnson, 2000

Start on rail and move left to slopers, finishing on a jug pinch in juggy crack.

FA: Aden

Same start as 'Off the Shelf' but straight up, same finish.

FA: Aden

Start matched on big bulb undercling, work your way to the end of the arete then mantle.

FA: Josh A, 13 Sep 2014

Start on the blocky jug under boulder, grab crimp and make a big move right and mantle to finish.

FA: Aden, 13 Sep 2014

Start on a sidepull and gaston, climb straight up.

FA: Aden, 13 Sep 2014

Start as for 'Dirt Merchant' but heading out right instead to mantle up the face.

FA: Aden, 13 Sep 2014

Start on two opposing jugs, make large move up to some crimps, then right to top out up seam.

FA: Aden, 30 Aug 2014

Start with left hand on jug and right on flat gaston, engage those shoulders to then climb straight up on small holds.

FA: Aden, 30 Aug 2014

Start on big blocky jug, move up and right to finish as for 'Tiger Tooth'

FA: Aden, 23 Aug 2014

Sit start left L hand crimp and R on side pull. Up through diagonal on opposing holds into large jug. Drop off.

FA: Troy M

Start matched on small crimp rail. 'Tiger Tooth' finish jug

Sit start mactched on large undercling. Stand up and climb up into horizontal break.

FA: Jimmy

Start with a left hand palm down and a right crimp, get straight up to those under clings and finish at the break higher up

FA: Aden, 31 Aug 2014

Sit Start on blocky side pull, work your way up and left to finish on the break with the others

FA: Aden, 23 Aug 2014

This problem is contrived Start as for 'Climbing the Knuckles' but moving across left into the under clings, working your way into the start of 'Jailbreak' and to finish up that problem.

FA: Aden, 23 Aug 2014

The line direct to the top.

Start: This is described as starting 30 metres right of "Wildcat". It appears to be a steep line bounding the left side of an orange section.

FA: Mark Connor & Stuart Willis, 1992

A detached block of steep orange and grey rock stands out from the main cliff-line. There are no climbs on the south face but several routes are jammed together on the west. This is about 50 metres right of The Lion In Winter. Need to identify where this is in relation to boulder problems.

Start 3m to the right of 'Wildcat'

Go up vertical crack line for 2m resisting the temptation to veer left by keeping right and go straight up. At the slightly sloped break (About 1m below scooped out section) veer left to cross 'Wildcat' and take its left handbranch, topping out to the right of the bollard of "Lion Premiums".

FA: Glen Buchanan, Louise Doig, Karen Sutherland & Andy Johnston, 2001

The crack, taking the right-hand branch near the top with some doubtful holds.

Start: On the same block as 'Pangur Ban', 3 metres right of the arete.

FA: Peter Watling & Simon Todman, 1991

Steeper than you expect.

Start: The middle of the orange wall on the detached block.

FA: Peter Treby & Neil Barr, 1990

Up right of the overhang on the arete, move left below the small bulge and straight up on steep grey rock.

Start: Start at the left arete of the detached block.

FA: Mike Wust

Up line, step right to dodge gumtree (probably not any longer), then up.

Start: Start at juggy line 3 metres left of "Pangur Ban" on north-facing wall. This used to be 2 metres right of a large gumtree, but that has now fallen over and lies across the base of the climb.

FA: Campbell Mercer & Peter Seidel, 1991

The next four climbs are on west-facing wall left of and at right angles to Ray Ban and to the right of the large orange roof. On the right-hand side is a large "double chimney".

Start at the arete immediately right of the right-hand chimney.

Up, starting just left of the arete.

FA: Campbell Mercer & Peter Seidel, 1991

Not to be confused with the route of the same name at Muline. Take the right-hand chimney then up the orange corner above to pull through the "eye" (a gap in the small roof).

FA: Campbell Mercer & Peter Seidel, 1991

The right arete of the left-hand chimney.

Start: Start at the base of the left-hand chimney.

FA: Campbell Mercer & Peter Seidel, 1991

Thrutch up the left-hand chimney then up the orange wall. Pull up over rooflet then more easily.

Start: Start at chimney 3 metres left of "The Eye Of The Tiger".

FA: Campbell Mercer & Peter Seidel, 1991

Sit start with R in mono and left on under cling. Move up through side pulls to jugs. Finish on small ledge. Down climb on ramp to the left.

FA: Jimmy Stephens

Start matched high in slopey seam, climb left into the crack and finish on the horn jug.

FA: Martin Buchauer, 30 Aug 2014


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Dopamine Bloc Boulder
Pride Rock Boulder
Lion's Den Boulder
Stu's Bloc Boulder


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Grade Route

A little contrived.

  1. 45m (17) The right-hand line on the main face, leading up to the "lion's jaws". Near the top ignore the easiest line and climb more compact rock to the left. Belay below the jaws

  2. 10m (-) Juggy wall left of the "jaws".

FA: Peter Treby & S. McLelland, 1988

FA: Simon Pateman & Michael Hampton

Superb, but all too short, orange wall. Originally done in two pitches. Start 13 metres left of Soaked And Smoked directly below an obvious break in the roof just left of the triangular orange wall and roof. Up to the roof at 10 metres(belay possible). Pull easily through roof then directly up the compact orange wall above. Tend right at the bush to finish beneath the "jaws".

FA: Julie Nitschke & Campbell Mercer, 1993

Good rock and reachy crux. Start 2 metres left of Sylvester just left of the small orange roof. Follow the left-leaning diagonal cracks to the obvious ledge. Step right and up to the arete. Continue up the blunt arete and then more easily up the upper slab.

FA: Campbell Mercer & Michael Renggli, 1992

Good line with problematic start. Grade opinions vary between 16 and 18. Take the line up the left-hand buttress below the "lion's head".

FA: Kieran Loughran & Meg Sleeman, 1988


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Vanya Wall Sector


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Grade Route

Line 8m L of Masticating Mice. Up line to prominent slot and roof.Over roof and up wall above.

FA: Jon Muir & Miranda Ahearn, 5 Jan 2019


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