Middle Cliff

  • Grade context: AU
  • Ascents: 14

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 7 months ago


The Middle Cliff of Mt Abrupt has a handful of major middle grade adventure climbs up strong lines. These routes deserve to be more popular, and would be on a cliff like Mt Rosea, but the trackless, steep and scrubby approach is likely to ensure that this is never the case.

Access issues inherited from Grampians

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 current and detailed advice:

Please note that due to the fact that the Grampians is a National Park, dogs and other pets are not allowed in the park except in vehicles on sealed roads and in sealed car parks. See


The Middle cliff is the steep, wall with strong lines about a km R of the Power Dive buttress. Park below the cliff [possibly where the walking track starts] and head up through thick scrub and awkward rock steps to the foot of the cliff. It is possible [but longer] to take the summit walking track and then descend down the gully at the RH end of the Middle Cliff coming out around the foot of Fuschia. Allow 1 to 1 1/2 hours for this approach.

Ethic inherited from Grampians

Grampians access issues have emerged due to potential damage to the environment and cultural sites. Climbers need to be aware that there are significant Aboriginal sites in the Grampians, especially in cave areas. Leave no trace and treat everything with care.

The following is a basic list of things climbers in the Grampians need to be aware of. For more detailed information visit

Climber’s Code

Find out about and observe access restrictions and agreements.

Use existing access tracks to minimise erosion - don’t create rock cairns or leave marking tape.

Do not disturb nesting birds or other wildlife.

Vegetation, even on cliff faces, is protected. Wire brushing to remove mosses and 'gardening' in cracks and gullies is not permitted. Use slings to protect trees while belaying or abseiling if belay anchors are not provided.

Large groups can create problems of crowding and excessive damage around cliffs. If you plan to take a group of ten or more people climbing, you are required to register to ensure there is space.

Respect sites of geological, cultural, or other scientific interest. Don't climb near Aboriginal sites

Vehicles must stay on roads open to the public; off-road driving is illegal.

Do not leave any rubbish - take it home with you.

Keep campsites clean.

Avoid all risk of fire - do not light campfires outside of official campground metal fire pits.

Dispose of human waste in a sanitary manner (bury, or even better pack it out) Do not pollute water supplies.

Respect established climbing traditions in ethical matters such as the use of chalk, pitons, bolts etc.

Avoid indiscriminate or excessive use of fixed equipment.

Responsible climbing will protect cliffs and ensure continued rockclimbing



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Grade Route

A good third pitch but vegetad elsewhere. Climbs chimney at L hand end of face.

Good crack on 3rd P. Starts as for Duchess leaving it on P2 to go diagonally R to the crack.

Excellent outing, steep, sustained and varied. This description includes the direct variants added on the first free ascent. Start: R of Duchess.

  1. 32m (17) From below 2 overhangs 22m up Traverse L to avoid the first overhang then R just below the 2nd. Go through it and climb the corner above.

  2. 15m (13) Go a little R and up grey crack.

  3. 30m (18) Up corner for 3m. Traverse L and go up to stance. Exciting moves around overhang then crack to ceiling. Traverse R to exposed ledge.

  4. 18m (12) Traverse R to ledge which is a little lower than the one you leave.

  5. 35m (13) Up wall above. Diagonally up L to ceilings. Crawl L, up.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Michael Stone & Ian ross, 1972

FFA: Chris Baxter & Peter McKeand, 1977

Included in above description

Included in above description

A mega line with some mega choss. The big corner in the middle of the face for 5 pitches.

Takes the big R curving corner heading R out of Gormenghast. The first 10m unfortunately are very dirty and vegetated. Once Gormenghast is left the climbing cleans up and improves enormously.

  1. 48m (14) Start up the revolting choss that is Gormenghast until a line leads out and R to a tree.

  2. 50m (17) Continue in the line to the roof then on up the mega line above. Carry a fairly comprehensive rack for this sustained pitch.

  3. 44m (10) Up wall for a little, R to arête, then up R to summit ceiling which is passed on L.

FA: Geoff Gledhill, Chris Baxter & Alan Gledhill, 1973

Goes up middle of wall between Humble Pie and Flower Power. Start by cave right of Gormenghast.

  1. 30m Right leading line to ledge on left edge of giant cave, roofs.

  2. 40m Move off cliff after reaching it to arrive at blocky terrace under overhangs. Belay 7m left. Wall tending right until above roofs, then mantel to cave. Up from right of cave to stance.

  3. 40m Wall tending left to short, overhanging weakness in cliff-girdling band. Wall to stance.

  4. 30m Veer left up wall to small, vertical wall with horizontal cracks. Up to overlap, then left and up to terrace.

  5. 10m Through summit roof.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Ray Lassman, 1994

A major line which might be a good climb. Towards the RH end of the cliff is a prominent line with a roof on the L at 23m

  1. 32m (-) Climb vegetated crack to narrow ledge below overhang. Go R on this to corner.

  2. 18m (19) L up ramp, then thin crack to ledge.

  3. 30m (15) Up line to small ledge in chimney.

  4. 42m (-) Chimney then corner to below steep wall.

  5. 22m (-) Up obvious weakness in wall.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Geoff Gledhill, 1971

FFA: Chris Baxter & David Gairns, 1977

A strong direct line offering good climbing. Start: 8m R of Flower Power.

  1. 25m (15) Up steep wall via a thin crack to a small ledge. Move R to main corner.

  2. 27m (14) Corner to crack in L wall of main corner. Up corner to ledge under chockstone.

  3. 27m (15) Up RH corner to ceiling. Traverse R to nose of buttress. Up over block and back to line. Up to bushy ledge.

  4. 30m (16) Up and onto L wall and up through overhangs. Continue up to small ledge on L. An exciting pitch.

  5. Line to top.

FA: Geoff Gledhill & Keith Lockwood, 1971

Starts as for A Bit o' the Other.

  1. 25m Up to belay in scrub where it becomes possible to traverse right.

  2. 15m Traverse right to front of buttress. Up to ledge.

  3. 15m Crack and line to stance 3m below roof.

  4. 30m Roof and crack to ledge.

  5. 40m Right and up to tree. Scramble off.

FA: Glen Donohue & Wayne Maher, 1993

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