About 15 minutes drive out of Ballarat, this small, often loose series of cliffs is uninspiring upon first viewing, looking for all the world like a disused quarry complete with piles of gravel and scree. You'd be well advised to wear a helmet for fear of shrapnel. However on closer inspection one finds some limited, solid rock hiding amongst the choss with routes as tall as 25 metres. One quality route "Shafted" 16m grade 15 (pictured below) is definitely fun, with wild finishing moves. The rock itself looks like petrified bubble wrap in places, with lots of tiny holes. The area resides among grassland, and features the nearby "Woady Yallock" creek, which forms a swimming hole of sorts. Never-the-less, there are far better crags nearby, such as Mt Beckworth, so don't bother day tripping to this one, unless you're a Ballarat local.
Above Right: Entrance Wall as viewed from the gravel piles.
To gain access, find Scarsdale west of Ballarat on the Glenelg Hwy. Turn left at the sign to the Devil's Kitchen following it for 6.2km, then right down "Linton - Piggoreet" road for a further 2.8kms and finally left again, before parking just where the tarmac ends.
Entrance Wall (pictured top of page) is close by on your left as you enter the car park. You'll find "Shafted" (pictured above left) beginning in a small crack line left of a protruding block. Head up to a wicked mantle (or use the jug on the left to avoid it), then tuck in under the mini-roof, before firing up the juggy but exposed crack (bomber fist jam) just right. The finishing moves require cutting loose with both feet while double handing a protruding shoe box sized spike of rock - awesome, scary though protect-able moves! I found this lead hard for the grade but very rewarding. As with every route here, beware loose / brittle rock.
To get to Weed Wall and the swimming hole, you'll need to head left down the 4 wheel drive track beside Entrance Wall and ford the creek. Beware loose rock, that has already caused accidents. River Wall is on the right of the car park, and Kitchen Gorge is about 100m upstream on the right. Nobody has climbed on the wall downstream of the swimming hole. River Wall is probably the most visually inspiring rock when you first arrive, with the tallest cliff and array of vertical columns. However the rock above the columns is often loose, and columns themselves don't offer an easy path up.
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