The Watchtower




Emergency Location: Mount Arapiles, The Watchtower Faces Area

Limitazioni per l'accesso ereditato da Arapiles

Cultural heritage closures now apply to some parts of Arapiles. This advice continues to evolve and may not be fully reflected in this website; refer to Parks Victoria for details applicable at the time of your visit.

Bird Nesting September-December Raptors usually nest on the following climbs in Spring : Cassandra, Eurydice, Harlequin Cracks, Revelations. Nesting usually finishes mid-December. There may or may not be signs in place at these times. Please keep 50m clear of these climbs if there appears to be nesting activity.

State Park - no dogs. No fires allowed Oct-Apr (inclusive).

Etica ereditato da Arapiles

Mount Arapiles is first and foremost a trad climbing area. The few sport climbs tend to be in the higher grades where no natural pro is available.

Bolting, particularly retro-bolting, is discouraged and should only be undertaken after extensive consultation with the local climbers, first ascensionists, etc. Inappropriately placed bolts have been chopped.

Do not chip the rock.

Look after the park.

  • Stick to the paths.

  • Don't disturb the wildlife.

  • Routes near peregrine falcon nesting sites are closed in the spring.

  • Minimise the impact of your camping (fuel stoves not fires, take your rubbish with you, etc).


Alcuni contenuti sono stati forniti sotto licenza da: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)


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Grado Via

Worthless one move wonder. May be easier for tall people. Start as for Arachnus, but take thin, left-leaning crack over crux bulge.

FA: Chris Baxter & Andrew Bowman, 1972

Slither like a ferret behind the giant Watchtower flake, starting from Watchtower Crack (top pitch start) and ending up in the Watchtower Chimney.

Getting properly stuck in this is a very serious situation. As it says in "Life On A Line" : "We die if we stand still for too long." Don't go alone.

FA: Davey Jones, 1996

Not a new route; just one of many existing variants to Arachnus. See FA notes for details.


1 8 40m
2 8 21m
3 9 14m
4 8 30m

A truly great climb up the middle of the Watchtower. Many variants are possible, especially in the middle section; yes they have already been climbed. Start up the right-hand of the two deep cracks at the base of The Watchtower. This is just left of the undercut section (Pumping), and 9m R of Watchtower Chimney.

  1. (40m, 8) Up deep crack until it ends. Traverse 4 metres right, up over disconcerting bulge and follow crack to large ledge. (The first ascent traversed all the way to the right arete before climbing bulge).

  2. (21m, 8) Either climb up left of the belay or climb just right of the crack until below bulge and then step left over the crack. Belay on narrow ledge below overhang on left side of The Watchtower.

  3. (14m, 9) Either climb straight up veering slightly right, or traverse right on smooth rock past ancient piton before moving right. Belay in a good cave on the right side of the buttress.

  4. (30m, 8) Move left out of cave and up exhilarating wall to top. Prearrange your signals as communication is likely to be impossible from the top.

FA: Ian Speedie & Rob McQuilkin, 1964

1 8 40m
2 8 12m
3 9 R 23m
4 8 30m

A very popular variant on Arachnus, but more serious because of the poorly protected section on pitch three.

  1. 40m (8) Arachnus p1.

  2. 12m (8) Up smooth wall just right of crack, traverse right, then up to small ledge below juggy crack through overhang.

  3. 23m (9) Up crack, then balance carefully right (poor protection) for 4 metres. More easily up to cave belay.

  4. 30m (8) Arachnus p4.

FA: Ivan Dainis & Gwenn Ward, 1965

The right arete of Arachnus. Quite fun and there are numerous possible variations.

The tough-looking bulge just left of Pumping, to lower-offs. Name TBC.

The thin undercut seam above the cave left of the start of Watchtower Crack gets a star despite the fiddly gear to start and the pathetic rap sling. The very bold second pitch is rarely done and is written up separately (Pumping Part II), in the Right Watchtower Face section.

FA: Kim Carrigan & Mark Moorhead, 1979

Climbs the wall immediately R of Pumping. Two cruxy sections. The first few metres as for Watchtower Crack. Then step up and across onto the left wall to the obvious 'letterbox' slot (cam), tricky past bolt then up easy diagonal crack for a couple of body-lengths. Step L and finish directly up grey face past another bolt to a small ledge near the arete. Double rings

FA: Glenn Tempest & Kevin Lindorff, Ago 2023

Ascends the appealing 8m-wide wall which is left of Watchtower Crack and at right angles to the main slabs. P2&3 are both good. If you want a tougher outing, and/or a line which stays entirely on this slim face, start up Pumping and finish up Xenomorph for pitches of 24, 20, 23 and 26.

  1. 33m (12) Take Watchtower Crack (or Pumping, or Flamingo) to large ledge.

  2. 20m (20) L up orange face past FH. Join diagonal crack to small ledge, then follow ramp to pedestal. Step up L onto short delicate face, then L to good belay cave on arete.

  3. 10m (23) Up flake then over the L end of the roof. Traverse R past FH to big undercling move, then some steep moves to another good belay ledge on arete.

  4. 50m (18) Step up R onto higher ledge, then the reachy lichenous face 3-4m L of Watchtower Crack (small-med cams). Slab easily up L until forced around the arete onto the Arachnus face for the last 20m.

FA: Will Monks & Kevin Lindorff, 2005

Might be a tad undergraded...

Start at the 3rd belay of Watchtower Crack then take the steep bulge 3m L of p4 of WC. Approach up any one of Watchtower Crack, Stumpy Tail or Arachnus, or rap in from the top.

FA: Ingvar Lidman

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Selected Guidebooks more Nascondi

Autore/i: Simon Mentz, Glenn Tempest

Data: 2016

ISBN: 9780987526427

This selected yet in depth guide, in its third edition in 2016, is a must for first timers or regulars to the "Pines". By Simon Mentz and Glenn Tempest. It features 1200 routes over 23 different areas as well as bouldering, history info on flora and fauna, plus heaps more.

Autore/i: Gordon Poultney, Simon Carter

Data: 2013

ISBN: 9780987087461

444 of the best routes on the best stone on earth? Yes Please! Who has time for all those other wondering pitches anyway when Gordon Poultney and Simon Carter have picked out the classics and printed it in a pocket size handy guide with string attachment. You'll take it on the multipitches, you'll take it to read in the toilets, you'll take it everywhere!

Autore/i: Chris Baxter & Glenn Tempest

Data: 1994

ISBN: 0646167308

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

Alloggi in zona more Nascondi

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