Summit Block



Access issues inherited from Grampians

Parks Victoria has issued the following advice regarding rock climbing in Gariwerd/Grampians (updated July 2022):

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.


Situated on a western spur at the top of the range, 'The Fortress' is one of the most remote major climbing spots in Gariwerd.

Rescue from here has taken many hours even with perfect weather and helicopter support. Mobile coverage has been available in the Passport area but this may vary according to weather or carrier.

© (nmonteith)

Ethic inherited from The Fortress

Avoid bolts.



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

Thin stemming followed by vertical ocean of chickenheads.

Start: Start at the overhanging corner a few metres right of Passport To Insanity.

  1. 20m (22) Bridge up the overhanging corner, surmount the overhang and continue easily to ledge on arete.

  2. 35m (-) Up wall and groove on right side of arete to horizontal break. Traverse right.

  3. 45m (-) Diagonally right up wall for 3 metres to deep groove. Bridge airily up this groove, which becomes a chimney, all the way. Descend by scrambling west down boulder-strewn chasm. Abseil 50 metres from bollard to ground.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Norm Booth (alt), 1995

1 20 50m
2 28 20m
3 18 40m

"The best line in Australia...". Also notable for the fact that Nyrie Dodd's free ascent was the first Aussie female ascent of a grade 27.

The second pitch roof-crack could hardly be in a better position.

This is also a superb mixed climb at 20, M2 if the roof is aided. Sadly it is often under-estimated and the detritus of retreat is often evident. It is not a practice route.

The start is rather obvious.

  1. 50m (20) Up wide crack. Belay at stance where crack ends, about 10m below the roof. A #5 cam is useful on this pitch.

  2. 20m (27) Move R to gain nice rail that leads L to the back of the roof, and the start of the roof crack. Follow crack (at either 27 or M2) to the lip and then up to belay stance.

  3. 40m (18) Ramble up to the top.

FA: K. Lockwood & J Friend, 1974

FFA: Nyrie Dodd, 1986

The second pitch has runout hard climbing. Objective danger in the form of a giant spider may be encountered on the final pitch.

Start: Start at the hand-crack 4 metres left of Passport To Insanity.

  1. 35m (24) Overhanging hand-crack then the thinner crack to a stance at the bottom of a right-leading flake-line.

  2. 35m (23) 'Layback' up the flake and then climb diagonally left across the bulging wall to a ledge on the arete. Step left around the arete and then go up the wall above to the second belay of Passport To Insanity.

  3. 30m (20) Go diagonally left to a thin crack. Climb this and then move horizontally left to a blocky ledge. Finish strsight up the wall to the top.

FA: Louise Shepherd, Steve monks (alt) & Nyries Dodd, 1986

Withering face climbing. A serious proposition.

Start 2 metres left of 'Raving Loonies'.

  1. 40m (25) Up a short hollow flake. Step right and go up on good holds until a difficult move up and left gains a flake/crack line (cam in 'Raving Loonies' protects this). Climb the crack and go left along a horizontal break. Mantle up to another break, then go left and up to a poor spike. Go straight up to easier ground and a good thread. Traverse left for 8 metres to a good ledge on the left edge of the flake.

  2. 20m (19) 'Layback' the curving flake to reach broken ledges. Go up 3 metres to thread belay with insitu worthless tat.

  3. 20m (19) Move left on the ledge and then awkwardly over the first bulge to easier-angled ground. Wander up to a stancebelow a leftwards-curving line which forms the righthand boundary of an overhung recess in the face.

  4. 30m (26) Climb the line and go up to a good horizontal break. Move left and up steeply on chicken heads to a good flake and runners. Fingery, bold climbing leads to the top.

FA: Steve Monks, Louise Shepherd did first 3 pitches. Complete ascent : Steve Monks & Kim Carrigan., 1986

The siuous corner just left of the chasm separating thePassport pinnacle from the main massif.

  1. 10m (16) Awkward short corner to large ledge.

  2. 30m (18) Follow the corner.

  3. 30m (14) Continue up the line until it doglegs right and peters out. Traverse left at this point until able to move up (runout) to the next line that leads to overhangs. Belay where possible.

  4. 40m (17) Continue up the line and through the overhangs.

FA: Keith Lockwood & David Shirra, 1977

A dramatic route with some poorly protected difficult climbing.

Start 10-15 metres left of 'Quincas Borba'.

  1. 30m (20) Up the unprotected wall to a corner which leads to a roof. Move out right around the roof and up the line above to a good ledge on the left.

  2. 30m (-) Step right and traverse right across the wall for 10 metres. Go up a faint groove to a ledge and large blcok. Stand on the block and climb the steep wall, tending left as it eases.

  3. 40m (-) Straight up the series of walls.

  4. 30m (-) Up the groove and over the overhangs as for Quincas Borba's final pitch.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Eddie Ozols & Paul Daniels, 1982

A fine route in an exposed, atmospheric setting on the left edge of the Passport recess.

Start at the square-cut chimney left of 'Mutiny', where a huge block has come away from the wall, 10 metres right of Saxon.

  1. 45m (13) Bridge up the chimney and arete. Near the top, move onto the left wall and follow a diagonal line up left to a prominent vertical line. Go up to a small stance.

  2. 10m (-) Up to next ledge.

  3. 45m (13) When the line runs out, climb the bulge and continue straight up the wall to a prominent notch on the skyline.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Peter Watling, 1981

This huge diagonal line on the north face of the summit blcok can be seen from the highway when the light is right. It's not much good though.

Rock quality and protection are problematic at times.

  1. 37m (12) Follow the diagonal line.

  2. 20m (12) Move up to a steep, juggy wall and traverse left until the jugs become sound enough to allow a safe ascent. Continue up to the cave.

  3. 20m (12) Move out of the cave and onto the right wall. Up the wall, tending right and belay on a narrow ledge. Rope drag and poor protection are issues.

  4. 10m (-) Eaisly to the top.

FA: H. Tutt & K.Guzzwell, 1965


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Selected Guidebooks all

Author(s): Chris Baxter & Glenn Tempest

Date: 1994

ISBN: 0646167308

A Guide to selected rockclimbs at Mt Arapiles,the Grampians and Mt Buffalo


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