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Summary

A remote spire offering truly adventurous routes. The harder lines are some of the strongest looking in the Bungles with true cracks, semi detached pinnacles and huge roof cracks. Full value !

Description

This impressive rocky dome/spire offers climbing somewhat different in character from that on other major peaks. The lines are generally more prominent, while the holds frequently are not.

Climbs are descried clockwise from South Arete.

Access issues

Prior access to get the code for a locked gates needs to be obtained from the Park visitor center. No problems have been experienced by the author to date. Be respectful and keep access good.

Approach

Tonduron can be approached from the Grand High Tops if you don't mind a bit of a walk (in fact all four major spires Belougery, Crater Bluff, Tonduron and the Needle -have been climbed in a day using this approach).

The usual access, however, is from near Gunneemooroo campsite in the south part of the park.

It is a 90 minute walk to the base of the west ridge from. The campsite. Follow the river for about 400 m then continue up a creek bed that leads to the saddle west of Tonduron. If you get the right creek, you need to leave it when it starts to contour under the north face, and head up steep talus slopes on goat tracks.

The Naman firetrail does take you closer, but a sign at the start says it is closed to vehicular traffic, and it is a long mountain bike. It is worth seeking permission from NPWS Warrumbungle office, and something ACANSW/ NW regional climbing coalition will be advocating for.

A 4WD/ AWD is necessary with decent clearance and should only be done if dry and if NPWS have given permission.

Directions:

From John Renshaw Pkwy a few km west of Tooraweenah follow National Park signs towards Guneemooroo campground on Mount Terrace rd.

After travelling through private land for some distance the park gate (often locked) is reached. To get to Tonduron turn right immediately after the gate on to Namen Trail. Going straight on Guneemooroo Trail goes to the camp site. The campsite is quite nice and we'll worth staying at.

Namen Trail heads be-musingly south for some time away from the action and goes through paddocks on the south side of a long rocky escarpment. The road then heads north into forest with some steep climbs and creek crossings and passes cool escarpments and outcrops.

After 7 Km a T intersection with Yootha Trail is reached. Turn left and the road begins to climb up the southern flank of the spire with great views of its south and western flanks.

A clearing on the southern side is reached after 3.6 km and is the parking point. If you turn east and go down a steep hill you've gone to far.

Its a short but steepish walk following faint goat tracks to a small saddle then to the west and south ridges.

The best decent is to scramble down slabs and ramps between West Ridge and Southern Gully.

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)

Routes

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Grade Route

'The gayest and most light·hearted climb I can remember, everyone being in the highest spirits.' (Dr. Eric Dark)

Start below prominent S arete / ridge.

1-6) Wander up arete/ridge. Dark remembers passing two chimneys on the way, the second of which by passed 'an enormous overhang right at the top'.

FA: Eric Dark, Eleanor Dark, Eric Lowe, JL Mclnlyre, JL McIntyre & Osmar White, 1932

Start at gully L of South Arete.

1-6) Gully, joining West Ridge just below top.

2020 update - One fixed rope, use at own peril.

FA: Unknown

Little more than a scramble. Start on ridge below stabs.

1-3) 90 m Slabs to grassy ledges.

'4) 15 m Round block, then layback to R. Chimney on L, or up on R (exposed).

5-6) 60 m Easy scrambling.

FA: Unknown

Start at crack-groove on NW side, just off track to West Ridge.

1-5) Crack, past bushy lodge to corner and overhang.

FA: Bryden Allen & Warwick Williams, 1975

Sustained climb on good rock. Original point of aid (19,M1) at top of pitch one has presumably been eliminated by Keith Bell. Start 50 m R of Northern Groove.

  1. 15 m Crack through bulge, then R to thread belay at foot of groove leading to roof.

  2. 35 m Groove, then fine crack on L. Round blunt arête, then slab to roof. Follow roof L to base of groove.

  3. Groove past ledge, then up R to stance below corner.

  4. Slab R of corner then up L above corner to sloping ledge.

  5. 40 m Slab on L, then through crack in bulge to big ledge. Scramble up.

FA: Keith Bell & Ian Thomas, 1974

Start 5 m L of Antares at twin grooves. Follow discontinuous R-hand groove/crack, then L to gully at top of L-hand groove. Up this to base of groove through Antares roof.

FA: Keith Bell & John Fantini, 1986

P1 22 45m

P2 20 35 m

P3 22 50m

P4 14 30 m

P5 5 20 m

FA: David Gray & Vanessa Wills, Oct 2020

Start below major corner and overhangs of N Face.

1-4) Line

Currently the shortest route description in the Warrumbungles.

FA: Bryden Allen & John Davis, 1965

Tackles semi-detached pinnacle called 'North Face Spire'. Start 10m R of A Little Rainbow.

  1. 20 m Chimney formed by large and small spire.

  2. 20 m Chimney formed by large spire and main face. Piton Belay.

Abseil off.

FA: Ian Thomas & Keith Bell, 1974

Unrelenting, with superb rock and good pro. Start 5 m L of North Face Spire.

  1. 42 m Wide crack. Run out between last chockstone and the fig. Body chimney by this stage.

  2. 38 m Corner and L face until line curves L. R to stance.

  3. 36 m Corner, then R on to face. Up R to cracks and rib, then cracks to corner on R. Corner to chockstone.

  4. 34 m (crux) Up to overhang, then R round arete. Up.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Ray Lassman, 1973

Shares the same first 2 pitches as IALR, but after confirming with Noddy, the last two pitches are independent. The psychological crux is still the first chimney pitch, after this the climbing is well protected.

P1 17 45m crack to left of rocket man. Run out between last chockstone and fig tree up body chimney. Belay at stance above fig at 33m or continue through to second fig.

P2 17 35 m continue up R arcing corner to near where it diverges left. Cross slab towards large brown corner, belaying at stance below fig and L facing flake line. IALR continues up and right for its third pitch.

P3 18 60 m straight up to left facing flake and around this flake into double corner system. Approaching ledges at 60 m exit right to belay below L facing corner.

P4 19 35 m up L facing corner for 15 m, then airy hand traverse right for 20 m. Then easy scramble to top.

A beautiful route venturing through some steep and hostile territory. Start halfway between Virago and A Little Rainbow at a prominent straight groove/crack heading for orange overhanging pitch.

  1. 30 m Scramble up slabs to large blocks at base of R facing corner-crack.

  2. 45 m Corner­ crack to just below small overlap (some poor rock). Hanging belay?

  3. 15 m Corner-crack to shattered blocks below roof. May be able to link this with pitch 2.

  4. 20 m Free to start of crack, then aid (pitons -some in place: knife-blades, small angles) as crack dies and leans R. L over roof, Semi hanging belay (wires) on lip.

  5. 40 m Flakes to ledge below and L of end of flake. L along ledge, then slab up L to hanging belay in crack.

  6. 40 m Crack until it leans L, then slab to ledge.

  7. 45 m Large boulder, then crack to easier ground.

FA: John Fantini & Keith Bell, 1987

Climbs the slightly wider crack left of Starlight Express... Accidentally FA’d.

Scramble up diagonal ramp past SE belay to large blocks and bushes at base of crack below stepped orange roof.

Up crack, belay in alcove at 45m or continue up to ledge below roof... Some loose rock

Hard crack straight up or left around roofs seems a likely finish.

FA: Macciza a.k.a. Macca & zach vertrees, 21 Apr 2019

Start at small L corner below yellow roofs.

  1. 20 m Corner, then slab to stance.

  2. 25 m L, then slab. Move R, then wall tending L to poor belay.

  3. 12 m Slab.

  4. 30 m Groove to top of flake, then wall to stance.

  5. 20 m L, then groove.

  6. 20 m L, then crack.

  7. 18 m Crack to ledge.

  8. 30 m Crack, then R to another crack. Up to ledge.

  9. 30 m Up R groove to easy ground. Scramble up.

FA: Greg Mortimer & Keith Bell, 1974

Referred to, but not described, in the 1976 guide as 'Walpurgis'. Start in groove 10 m L of Virago.

  1. 30 m Groove to ledge.

  2. 25 m Up continuation through roof to ledge. Belay on L.

  3. 25 m Crack, then L to flake. Flake to horizontal break, then R to stance.

  4. 20 m L, then crack.

  5. 30 m Ramp on L past flakes, then wall and slab to base of small pulpit.

  6. 25 m Wall, then R through break. Up to base of groove.

  7. 25 m Up groove on R.

FA: Keith Bell & Greg Mortimer, 1974

Start on slabs 60 m R of South Arete, at fig in crack. Chimney to ridge.

FA: Joe Friend (solo), 1976

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