The Chimney Pots

  • Grade context: AU
  • Photos: 2
  • Ascents: 71
  • 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




Big! Not ideal in winter as it faces south (though there is the nice little buttress on the north side).

One of the earliest climbing spots in Gariwerd. The original climbs are big, historic routes but it is also true that they are serious climbs with poor protection and fragile rock. As they are very rarely climbed they will also be dirty. Don't underestimate these easy climbs, they were put up by very good climbers with very little protection.

The modern climbs are much more attractive and some of them even have decent protection! But not all...

While the cliff is large, numerous escape opportunities reduce the seriousness of many of the climbs. For climbs left of "John The Baptist" is possible to get off the cliff quite easily after most pitches.

In the old days climbers referred to this area as The Temple, hence the naming theme of many of the early climbs. This name as been discarded as, outside those older climbing circles, the cliff is univerally known as "The Chimney Pots".

© (jgoding)

Access issues inherited from Chimney Pot Gap

ACAV Note: Parks Victoria has advised that rock climbing restrictions may apply at this location. Formal advice has changed several times during 2019. Please refer to the following link for current and detailed advice:


Park on the Glenelg River Road where a sign points to the Chimney Pots. Follow the walking track, taking all of the left-hand forks to reach the foot of the south-west face. The track hits the bottom of the face midway beteen "Catwalk" and "John The Baptist".

GR 095620

© (jgoding)

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


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

Start: Start in broken corner-cum-gully 90 metres right of where the track hits the cliff. This is directly below the step in the huge roofs high up and a forked gumtree 40 metres up.

  1. 44m (7) Climb the corner to the large. vegetated ledge.

  2. 28m (7) Climb the small buttress, tending right to a large chimney.

  3. 44m (7) Move up and traverse right into the chimney. Continue up the line to a belay above some bushes.

  4. 46m (7) Up the line to belay amongst the jugs.

  5. 6m (-) Scramble up to the terrace. Walk to the juggy arete on the left.

  6. 42m (7) Climb the arete, move right, along the ledge and up the weakness to the top.

FA: Bob Jones & Steve Craddock (alt), 1961

Poor protection and brittle rock.

Start: Start by scrambling 10 metres up the initial corner of "The Tower Of Babel"

  1. 30m (14) Climb easily up to the crack directly above, then jam up the forked tree.

  2. 45m (14) Continue up the wall, veering right to belay beneath the lower square roof.

  3. 30m (14) Climb to the left of the roof, up the pleasant corner, traverse left and move up and belay (The second tree on Buddha's Wall is 10 metres to the left).

  4. 10m (14) Climb up left to the crack system, then up right to gain the ledge above the line of roofs (Buddha's Balcony).

  5. 30m (14) Climb the steep wall on nasty, brittle dinnerplate rock, tending first to the left and then to the right seeking protection.

  6. 30m (14) Climb the wall to the tree in the cleft.

  7. 45m (-) Climb up behind the tree and continue up the wall.

FA: Peter Treby & John Cayley, 1981

Start: Start a 12 metres left of "The Tower Of Babel" below a shallow corner.

  1. 43m (9) Scramble up to the shallow corner and follow it to a vegetated ledge.

  2. 28m (9) Move up the sloping ledge to a narrow chimney. Go up the chimney to a cliff-towing belay.

  3. 34m (9) Up, then step left into the wide chimney. Climb the chimney to belay next to a long, narrow ledge on the left.

  4. 46m (9) Step right into the next line and continue to the terrace.

  5. 40m (9) Climb the juggy arete then move right along the ledge and up the weakness to the top.

FA: Geoff Shaw & Greg Lovejoy (alt), 1961

A sensational experience in exposed, poorly protected climbing.

Start: Start from the third belay on Buddha's Balcony and walk left to the main overhang.

  1. 20m (-) Walk left to the main overhang.

  2. 25m (12) Move up to the next traverse line and continue traversing left to the end of the overhang. Go up a few moves to a small belay stance.

  3. 40m (12) Up right for 5 metres then traverse left to a wide chimney. Climb the chimney to the terrace.

  4. 46m (-) Climb the chimney to a juggy wall and continue to the top.

FA: Peter Smith & Lyn Cady, 1961

Another big serious route. Originally finished up 'Catwalk' but this description incorporates the steep and poorly protected direct finish.

Start: Start as for Mahommed's Staircase.

  1. 43m (11) Scramble up to the shallow corner and climb it until it steepns. Step right and continue up to a narrow ledge and traverse left to a large tree.

  2. 46m (11) The line to a small stance.

  3. 15m (11) Up to the wide ledge, traverse left and go up to the tree.

  4. 28m (11) Traverse left to the First Terrace and belay.

  5. 22m (14) Climb the diagonal crack to the steep, juggy wall. Climb the wall until it is possible to move right and belay at the start of a crack system on the face.

  6. 40m (12) Climb the line to the terrace (this is all on pitch 3 of "Buddha's Balcony").

  7. 46m (-) Climb the chimney to a juggy wall and continue to the top.

FA: George Glover, Anne Evans & Geoff Shaw, 1960

A serious finish. Start at the right-hand side of the First Terrace.

  1. 22m (14 R) Climb the diagonal crack to the steep, juggy wall. Climb the wall until it is possible to move right and belay at the start of a crack system on the face.

  2. 40m (12) Climb the line to the terrace (this is all on pitch 3 of "Buddha's Balcony").

  3. 46m (-) Climb the chimney to a juggy wall and continue to the top.

FA: Chris Davies & Bern Lyons, 1962

The first climb up the impressive face right of "John The Baptist". The crux pitch is difficult to protect and has friable rock. It is possible that the final two pitches were climbedearlier by Colin Abbott and Richard Morris in Easter 1987 but they may have been on the finish of "Buddha's Wall" instead.

Start: There is an orange and grey corner 63 metres left of "Buddha's Wall". Start immediately right of the corner, below a chimney.

  1. 40m (-) Climb up to a right-leading chimney and climb it to a ledge at its top. Go up the groove leading up from the ledge to belay at the long ledge-slot (start of the "Catwalk" traverse.

  2. 25m (-) Climb the giant flake above then up a juggy groove to a stance on a "fin".

  3. 45m (-) Go up right into the main line and follow it to the top of the huge block on the First Terrace.

  4. -m (-) Clamber down into the chasm behind the block to the foot of the line of weakness up the wall behind. This is just left of the centre of the block and 30-50 metres right of the Exit Cracks.

  5. 15m (-) The line to an alcove.

  6. 35m (17) Up the line above (difficult protection, friable rock) to grassy ledges level with Second Terrace. Scramble off left (roped) to Second Terrace and escape left.

FA: Dave Gairns & Chris Baxter (alt)., 1987

Long and wandering. Might be a better climb if the first two pitches were skipped.

Start: Start as for "Temple Of Doom"

  1. 45m (14) Straight up to right-leading chimney and follow it to its top (as for "Temple Of Doom"). When the line forks, take the right-hand line and go up and a little right to the major horizontal break.

  2. 45m (-) Go left to join "Catwalk" just before the crawl. Follow the break leftwards until below the chimney of "catwalk"'s 4th pitch.

  3. 45m (14) Climb up into a corner a few metres left of "Catwalk"'s chimney. Follow the corner until it turns into a crack that curves left to the arete. Follow the arete to a ledge.

  4. 25m (14) Up the arete to the First Terrace and belay. Scramble to the base of the Exit Cracks.

  5. 48m (17) The left-hand Exit Crack is dirty and often wet.

  6. 50m (14) Climb the wall and blunt arete 8 metres right of the gully in the summit block.

FA: David Shirra & Chris Baxter (var), 1987

An interesting climb and the hardest climb on the cliff for many years. Originally the climb finished up "Catwalk" but it is convenient to leave it at the Gallery Window.

Start: Start at the initialled orange and grey corner just left of "Temple Of Doom", 15 metres right of where the track meets the cliff.

  1. 30m (15) Climb the corner, with a diversion onto the mossy left wall at 10 metres.

  2. 38m (-) Climb up to the catwalk and grovel 28 metres left to a major corner.

  3. 38m (15) Either climb the corner direct or start up the short line 3 metres right of the corner. Follow the line to the Gallery Window.

FA: Gordon Talbett, Peter McKeand. Pitch 3 direct start : Kieran Lougharn & Meg Sleeman Easter., 1988

Hardly the north face of the Eiger but still a classic long, easy route. The route is much better finished up 'The Flying Dutchman' than The Exit Cracks but for now we'll leave the write-up as is.

Start: Start 30 metres left of "John The Baptist" where a short wall leads to a ramp leading up right.

  1. 43m (11) Up the short wall to the ramp. Easily up the ramp to big ledge 5 metres .below the catwalk

  2. 47m (1) Climb up to the catwalk and crwal and walk left for 28 metres to a corner. Continue left for another 10 metres to the base of a chimney.

  3. 43m (11) Climb the chimney until it narrows then climb the wall diagonally right to the Gallery Window.

  4. 15m (11) Go diagonally right along the ramp then go up, tending left to the First Terrace.

  5. 43m (15) Move the belay to the right-hand of two chimney-cracks rising from the back of the terrace (The Exit Cracks). Climb the right-hans Exit Crack

  6. 46m (-) Up the chimney-gully between the summit blocks.

FA: Bob Jones, Robin Dunse & Jan Southwell, 1960

Maybe someone could push it through to the second terrace without going back into the Exit Cracks. Start at the base of the left=hand Exit Crack. Climb up left to the top of the detached buttress. Step across onto the main wall and pick your way up. Eventually move back right and rejoin the left Exit Crack about 10 metres below the Second Terrace and continue up.

FA: Kieran Loughran, Alan Hope & Robin Lim, 1985

Start below the final pitch of Catwalk.

Catwalk Variant Finish 40m 17 This avoids the chimney filled with three inches thick moss and the scrambling through the shrub filled gully, which would otherwise comprise the last two pitches of Catwalk. 6.a as per Variant in VRG. 7.a 40m Sidle left across chimney gully and a further 10m to belay in a scooped out ledge. Tackle the overhang on huge jugs at the obvious weakness in the centre of the scoop. Step right and follow vertical dyke/flake system and then follow flakes to the top, veering slightly left as you go.

FA: Glen Buchanan & Louise Doig, 1999

An impressive, very bold climb that had been looked at (from the track) by several parties.

Start: Start just left of "Catwalk" by a large eucalypt below the looming corner.

  1. 25m (23) Easily to the roof. From the rest above the roof the difficulties are continuous and protection is difficult to arrange.

  2. 30m (25) Up the line to the water-washed bulge. Step right and surmount the bulge then go up right to runners. Head back across left and up to the corner which leads to the terrace.

FA: Mike Law & Chris Baxter, 1988

Sustained climbing up the middle of the inspiring wall above the "Catwalk" traverse; although the abundance of lichen detracts from what is otherwise excellent rock.

Start 5 metres right of the third pitch corner of "John The Baptist". Most easily reached by scrambling 60m up Twin Chimneys and traversing in.

NB: There's numerous ways you could climb this wall; but it's best to trend R across mossy wall aiming for short orange crack/flake, then over that to the belay. 2nd Pitch straight up, trending slightly L. Leave large cams behind, and bring lots of nuts.

  1. 35m (17) Climb the wall, veering a few metres right at 30 metres to a stance.

  2. 45m (17) Veer up slightly right, then straight up to finish directly and steeply to the First Terrace.

FA: Mike Law & Chris Baxter, 1988

A good pitch with some loose rock. The second is strongly advised to wear a helmet. Take care with rope-drag.

Start: Start at the foot of the third pitch chimney of "Catwalk".

FA: Chris Baxter & David Shirra, 1987

The easiest and most enjoyable way off the First Terrace. The final pitch was added during the first ascent of "Ziggurat".

Start: Start at the left end of the First Terrace where a gully cuts deep into the cliff.

  1. 10m (11) From the terrace side of the gully jump back to the main cliff and traverse left to the chimney. There's an ancient bolt somewhere here. The pitch can be done without the jump but where's the fun in that?

  2. 25m (11) Up the chimney.

  3. 35m (11) Continue up the chimney finishing up the left arete, facing out, to the Second Terrace.

  4. 50m (12) Up skyline ridge, starting just left of roof, to summit.

FA: John Fahey, Peter Jackson & Robert Bull (var), 1964

Twin Chimneys Historically interesting but of no climbing values except as an access and escape route. Scramble up the broad, tree-filled gully 63 metres left of Catwalk to a cave. The passageway on the right leads to a hole in the main face, the Gallery Window. This is the route taken by Eric Webb in 1952.

FA: Eric Webb, 1952

No name or grade and very vague. Sort this out if you wish : Some route info that needs sorting : No route name or grade. On the first buttress you hit walking to Catwalk there is a wide chimney high up on the left that can be seen from the car park. 1. & 2. Meander up any way you like for 80m to belay at the base of this chimney. I would give it stars if it wasn’t for the first two pitches - you can make them interesting though as there are lots of little overlaps, which do not need to be avoided. 3. 35m (Crux) Bridge the chimney (taking one wall or the other when needed) to the top, which is really quite dry and clean. Take plenty of slings to wrap around plates for protection. This brings you to the perfect view of Catwalk - which is what we thought we set off on !!! Scramble off the back to the left - you can cut down the walk by rapping from trees on the way down. Louise Doig, Glen Buchanan. (alt) January 1999

A disjointed and vegetated climb. Start at the base of the second buttress in from the left end, 33 metres left of Twin Chimneys. Trek up walls, along terraces and through jungle, tending rightwards to the first terrace.

FA: John Fahey & Peter Jackson, 1984

Interesting, fairly direct route with little in the way of traverses or terrace-bashing.

Start: Start 50 metres up from view-point on the walking track at base of second buttress from left (just left of "Babylon"

  1. 40m (13) Overhang to start then up buttress. Pass leaning arete/pillar to ledge above (take care of big blocks as you step onto ledge).

  2. 40m (13) Up and right a bit to line that leads to ledge. Climb big wall above, keeping 2-3 metres right of arete.

  3. 40m (-) On up to top of buttress, jump across gap and climb easily to First Terrace.

  4. 10m (-) Jump and traverse left as for "The Flying Dutchman".

  5. 35m (-) Up the chimney of "The Flying Dutchman".

  6. 35m (-) Continue up the chimney finishing up the left arete, facing out, to the Second Terrace.

  7. 50m (12) Up skyline ridge, starting just left of roof, to summit.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Peter Canning. 1st 3 pitches Lockwood & Norm Booth (alt) Loren Lockwood, 1997

Start: Start at an arete 100 metres left of "Babylon", near the left edge of the main massif, 2 metres right of an orange, diagonal groove. Initialled.

  1. 41m (12) Climb the arete to a shallow chimney. Go up the chimney and up the arete to the base of a wide crack.

  2. 38m (12) The line to a large ledge.

  3. 43m (-) Easily up the arete.

FA: Geoff & Alan Gledhill (alt), 1971

Poor rock and protection.

Start: Start below the initialled chimney 16 metres left of "The Fatted Calf".

  1. 41m (12) Move up into the chimney and continue to below a pinnacle on the left.

  2. 38m (12) Step across the gap and go up the line to a large ledge.

  3. 43m (-) Easily up the arete as for "The Fatted Calf".

FA: Michael Stone & Chris Baxter (alt), 1971


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