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Tower Rocks

Access: Namadgi fire closure

Booroomba rocks and Orroral ridge (e.g., Legoland) were heavily impacted by the 27 Jan 2020 Orroral valley fire (and were already closed prior to this due to fire danger throughout Namadgi and ACT).

These areas are expected to re-open in late 2021 (as of mid-2020), pending major restorations to roads and walking tracks. Refer to Honeysuckle section of Namadgi recovery plan at environment.act.gov.au.

See warning details and discuss

Created 9 months ago - Edited 3 months ago

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Summary

Tower Rocks is a complex jumble of boulders, the biggest attraction being the ease of access and Vertigo - "the" aid climb in the ACT.

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Description

The climbs are described from left to right, starting from the slabby boulder seen as you approach the crag.

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Access issues inherited from New South Wales and ACT

If you have benefited from climbing infrastructure in NSW, please consider making a donation towards maintenance costs. The Sydney Rockclimbing Club Rebolting Fund finances the replacement of old bolts on existing climbs and the maintenance of other hardware such as fixed ropes and anchors. The SRC purchases hardware, such as bolts and glue, and distributes them to volunteer rebolters across the state of New South Wales. For more information, including donation details, visit https://sydneyrockies.org.au/rebolting/

Approach

Drive up Apollo Road all the way to the campground and the squashed remains of the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station (at the end of the bitumen). The dirt road, starting on the right through a gate, provides access to all the 'Orroral Ridge' outcrops. The condition of the road varies, but 2WD is generally possible. Beyond 'Honeysuckle Crag' the road winds up to a carpark.

From the carpark, where the tower once stood, follow the path towards the valley (southwest) for 100 metres

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Tags

Some content has been provided under license from: © ANU Moutaineering Club (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike) © Canberra Climbers' Association (CC BY-SA)

Routes

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Thin climbing up the dyke. An old top-rope project, lead bolted by Chris Warner.

FA: Chris Warner, 2011

Old desperate project of Chris Warner. Has been top roped clean by Zac Vertrees at 27/28. It very difficult to pause and clip.

FA: 2011

The enjoyable crack and groove starting below and four metres left of 'Penny'.

FA: Tony Wood & Ian Taylor, 1972

Worth the effort to see the view. Start on the left side of the easy-angle slab. Take the short slab and crack to the right arete, then up this to the top. There is now a triple bolt belay/rap station.

FA: Ian Taylor & Tony Wood, 1972

Straight up the bolted slab between Penny and Chopper

Climb the righthand side of the easy-angled slab, step across the gap and up the bulge. The climb was "retrobolted" by unknown people almost immediately - now four bolts instead of one.

FA: Geoff Filmer & Cameron O'Neill, 1995

The obvious start to Illusionary lines. Wide fists and laybacks up the corner to to a mantle. Finish up Illusionary Lines.

You could finish up Chopper at around gr20

FA: Dane Evans, 1 Dec 2018

Takes the blunt arête right of Chopper with 2 bolts. Start as for Chopper then move right onto the arete.

FA: Andrew Bull, 2008

The groove-ramp on the right side of the first large boulder seen as you stroll down the path; move right at the top. A rap station replaces the traditional leap across to the top of 'Penny'.

FA: Norm Booth & Lincoln Hall, 1973

The thin and sustained wall with two bolts five metres right of 'Lincoln's Lament'.

FA: Adam Blizzard, Mike Peck & Tony Barten, 1987

Line of bolts right of Atom Blaster, stepping off the big boulder.

FA: Andrew Bull, 2008

Just right of Flourescent, up past a small seam and over ledges to top.

FA: Chris Warner, 2008

The very short and difficult leftward diagonal crack opposite 'Atom Blaster'.

FA: Mike Law-Smith & Adam Blizzard, 1987

Head through the gap in the rocks right of Infidelity, and tend left into a courtyard

Up the crack until it runs out, then step right to the bolts

Straight up the slab past the intrusion at 2 meters

Step left off the block to gain the steep slab. Pad up this to the top

Follow the right branch of the track around the top of the blocks until the scrub gives way to open eucalyptus again

The off-width crack in the vertical wall on the western side of the outcrop.

FA: Mike Law & Damien Jones, 1974

The same crack as 'Darkling' on the other side of the boulder.

FA: Bill Wilson, Norm Booth & Lincoln Hall, 1973

A chimney "located in the heart of the outcrop" below 'Sour Grapes'.

Just left of the top pitch of UD Start from half height, accessed stepping right from zen

FA: Charles Massy & friends, 1974

The steep slab six metres right of 'Darkling'. Fun but friable.

FA: Dave Sargent, 1985

A hard and unpleasant eliminate. Start in the gully left of 'Ebony Quill'.

  1. 18 metres - The diagonal line to a stance, then straight up the crack to a ledge.

  2. 8 metres - Climb the corner.

FFA: John Smart & Norm Booth, 1975

About five metres right, with a marked start hidden behind a flake, is a narrowing corner crack with a very hard move to finish.

FA: Ray Lassman & Norm Booth, 1974

Up the delightful corner crack about 20 metres right of 'Ebony Quill', then balancy moves to a single bolt belay.

FA: John Smart & Dave Sargent, 1985

Obscure. "The squeeze chimney about 20 metres left of 'Norm's Nees', done in two pitches, moving right to avoid the overhang."

This is the closest thing that I've found, although why you would split it into 2 pitches is beyond me. I may have to climb it.

FA: Peter Cocker & G. Cocker, 1974

The arete with two bolts about 15 metres left of 'Norm's Nees'.

FA: Mike Peck & Craig Kentwell, 1988

Start five metres left of 'Norm's Nees'. Up the slabby arete past two bolts to some cam placements. Traverse left to finish.

FA: Craig Kentwell & Andrew Bull, 1988

Pretty grim. The rightwards leaning chimney with a big leaning block above.

FA: Norm Booth, Bill Wilson & Lincoln Hall, 1973

The arete just right of 'Norm's Nees' with one bolt. Take some medium sized cams.

FA: Adam Blizzard & Craig Kentwell, 1987

danger

The unprotected and exposed slab on the north face of the balanced boulder above the start of 'Norm's Nees'. Take a rope to get off.

You can place an anchor at the start that might keep you off the ground.

It gets more friable as it goes, and is much dodgier than it looks from the bottom. Seriously recommend TR inspection

FA: Adam Blizzard & Craig Kentwell, 1987

These climbs can be accessed most easily by walking along the track from Sour Grapes

The wall on a boulder 10 metres uphill from 'The Demon Explores the Sea'. Up past two bolts, exiting using the crack on the left and up the slab to belay.

FA: Adam Blizzard & Craig Kentwell, 1987

Start 15 metres left of 'Slant Flying' where a boulder leans against the wall. Climb the thin wall with three bolts. Bolt belay at the top.

FA: Craig Kentwell & Andrew Bull, 1989

Start as for Dead Fingers Talk, heading left up the ramp

The most direct access to the following group of climbs is to squirm down left of 'Lincoln's Lament' and walk out through 'The Will of the Wind' chimney.

Originally climbed on homemade RURPs made from a stainless steel ruler.

FA: Nathan Kukathas, 1997

Tricky pin stacks and beaks to bolts and bat hooks

FA: Chris Fitzgerald, 2004

The flakey overhanging arete on the left edge of the boulder left of 'Vertigo' (i.e. down and right from 'Atom Blaster') has been bolted but not claimed.

The large chimney left of Vertigo. Start 10 metres in, and trend left to meet up with a crack near the top.

FA: Adam Blizzard (solo), 1988

The arête at the end of the chimney has been bolted. It’s either an easy ~12 ish chimney or a hard dyke climb.

Finally freed but still popular as an aid climb, hence double bolts at the top of the wall. The impressive overhanging crack on the valley side. Up the crack to the fork and take the right-hand crack to the top. Also popular as a commercial abseiling site.

FA: Norm Booth & Lincoln Hall, 1972

FFA: Daniel Fisher, Sep 2019

Branch out from Vertigo at mid height and head for the tiny seam to the right. Lower off fixed biner. The rest of the route (unclimbed) would be bat hooks and bolts to the top.

FA: Chris Fitzgerald

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