Carlton Ridge / Elephant Rock

  • Grade context: AU
  • Ascents: 1




Also known as Elephant Rock, this thin ridgeline is several hundred metres long, and up to 200m high. From a distance, this cliff looks a bit like Arapiles. But on closer inspection, it really is 300ft of muck!

Access issues inherited from North

As for most of northern Australia, this region is mostly pastoral leases (cattle stations) or Aboriginal freehold. Many pastoral lessees are already diversifying into tourism activities or are interested to do so, including obtaining as required an ILUA or the like. See also, etc.

Climbing thus may well be a sustainable and economically positive tourism activity which, in ILUA-suitable locations, could be not only acceptable to but even appealing to pastoral lessees.

Given that pastoral leases cover around 44% of Australia it would be good to see some headway on access for sustainable and respectful recreational tourism uses such as climbing.


Drive out the road to the racecourse, but turn left at the T intersection and drive down about 500m. Take the sand track on the R, which leads around to the base of the cliff. The RHS of the cliff-line, not far from where you park, there are some nice looking lines that could be ok after some cleaning. The route listed here is an adventure route that finds a weakness to the top of major East cliff, and although it is not really recommended, perhaps other climbers might like to know that something has been done up this face.

Descent notes

Descent route from the East face is unknown, but look for some gullies / trees to rap from before you climb, or you can scramble down from either end of Carlton Ridge.


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Grade Route

Cross fence and walk down sandy horse track for roughly 300m, as you near the cliff again, look for a large scree slope covered in spinifex, with some 'steeper' lines on it's lower, RHS. The climb takes the large diagonal line, that looks more obvious from a distance and entirely unappealing close up!

  1. 45m, 14. Climb slab, to overhang/bulge then up on the RHS into the 'crack'. Follow this for another 25m or so until a good stance.

  2. 15m, 10. Continue up past (or next to) some very large and loose blocks and up nose, then into wide left leaning crack to a belay ledge.

  3. 15m, 12. Up the line, aiming for a large hanging tree and tricky finish.

  4. 15m Scramble to top.

FA: Goshen Watts, 26 Jun 2014


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