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General Climbing Discussion

Arapiles in July
10:58:24 PM
I am coming from New York and spending July and half of August in Australia. I want to climb at Arapiles for a couple of weeks but I am getting conflicting information. Some people tell me that it is going to be too rainy and that I should go to Townsville or somewhere else tropical. While other people tell me that it won't be a problem in Arapiles. Could someone give me the straight dirt? I should also note that I only lead trad 13 so I probably cannot lead the really steep stuff.
I am also traveling alone and will need to find partners. Will there be enough people there for me to find partners?
Thank you.


9:10:31 AM
in july it's a tossup whether you'll get good weather.
we are in the middle of a drought so you could be in luck.
check the weather forecasts.
the arapiles permenants would mostly be climbing at about double your grades so finding other climbers during the week would be a problem.

in the lower grades, one area to consider could be Gara Gorge in New England, NSW, via Armidale.
there's a university with a mountaineering club
and a mountain designs shop, which is a good first contact point.
the climbs within 20k of town, with a good number of easier grades. Granite, mostly single pitch. Some of the buttresses require a fair walk in.
There's also basalt at Ebor Falls with a good range of grades.

Admittedly this is not a premier climbing location, but is dry in winter and varied in it's grades.

& Its 450k's from Brisbane.

For adventure, the Glasshouse Mountains, an hour or so north of Brisbane, in Queensland, offer multipitch experiences but you definitely need to find a local. The best place to do this is Kangaroo point, an old quarry on the brisbane river, a popular spot where there are always climbers, and if i remeber correctly, a notice board.

There's not a lot of quality stuff around townsville, and it's a dry tropical area, so lacks the luxurient jungular qualities of, say, Cairns and points north.

9:26:11 AM
Arapiles will be cold and wet - but not too cold. It doesn't snow and th temps will never get below freezing.If you come from New York then you will find it ok. It shoudln't be that hard to find a few climbing partners - the campsite will always have climbers.

9:35:16 AM
townsville's beautiful in july, mt stewart is perfect temp for climbing because it's in the shade from mid day and 500m higher than the rest of townsville. the only downside is there's only a couple climbs that i can think of around the 13 mark. the regulars are real easy going but and if you rock up on the weekend you should be able to at least find someone to tag along with. setting up top rope is really easy too, heaps of natural gear on top of the crag.

send us an email/pm and i can have a look through the guide or give you more info on townsville if you want (btw, the guide hasn't been reprinted so it's a real bugger to come by)

10:46:24 AM
Maybe I'm missing something here, but if I came to Australia in the middle of winter, and climbed at grade thirteen trad, I'd be going straight to Brisbane, find a uni group at Kangaroo Point, and hook up a week at Frog Buttress.

Then, if I had any extra time, I'd go south to the Blue Mountains, climbing at Piddo if the weather was dry, and then get down to Araps for a few days, on a weekend. Even if the weather was cactus, it'd be worth it just to hang out at the Pines and see the damn place.

That way you get to go to the three premier climbing destinations in the country, all of which have good climbs at the grade, and you're at Frog when the weather is guaranteed to be dry and pleasant.


10:57:07 AM
Frog Buttress has only a handful of dubious quality sub-grade 13 routes. Worthwhile routes start at grade 17. Nearby in the G-House Mountains there are quite a few nice under 13 routes - including the fun multipitch Trojan (13) on Tibrogargan. Ngungun has heaps of easy trad leads - but not exactly world class.

If you want the best then suffer the cold and head to Arapiles and the Grampians - they have hundreds of top quality trad routes at that grade.

11:14:00 AM
I wouldnt bother with the armidale region, not for an international trip anyway (its not too bad if you live 1/2 an hour up the road)...

i would argue either go to araps/gramps and put up with possibly getting wet, what about the blueys? plenty of trad sandstone...but again the best stuff is at harder grades (unlike araps).


11:30:55 AM
The Bluies will be just as wet and cold as the Gramps over winter. If it was my call i would spend half the time in warm sunny Brisbane area at Glasshouse Mtns, Kangaroo Point and the other half getting wet and cold at Arapiles. The climbing might not be world class in the Brisbane area - but you can easily go surfing at quality (warm) beaches and explore some decent tropical jungle all within half an hour of the climbing.

12:33:11 PM
On 19/05/2005 sticky wrote:
>Maybe I'm missing something here, but if I came to Australia in the middle
>of winter, and climbed at grade thirteen trad, I'd be going straight to

We've gotta remember the kind of weather people are used to. A hard climbing friend visited Aus (from the UK) and went to Arapiles just outside of summer. The locals were all saying it was too cold. He would ordinarily sack off climbing on a day that hot.
12:36:49 PM
Plenty of good info above, but what I read in your post is that you're coming to climb at Arapiles - understandable given its worldwide prominence.

July in Southern Hemisphere is of course like January in your world - the coldest month. But we don't get a blast of icy air down from Canada so temperatures are much more moderate. Today in Victoria it is fine, sunny and cool and must be a ripper day to be climbing (sigh).

You can get weather info from the Bureau of Meteorology site ( including climate data. Arapiles is just west of Horsham. The average rainfall for July for that area is in the 50-100mm band (but not far from the 25-50mm band) so expect 2-4 inches of rain for the month. You could be unlucky but I suspect this month they've had close to zero. Expect at least one dousing and climbing with cold hands.
- Steve

Eduardo Slabofvic
3:17:48 PM
So far so good at Arapiles(for climbing). The long range forcasts are for a warm dry winter, as El Nino conditions are starting to emerge - this means continuing drought conditions. I dont have a crystal ball, but Im planning on not skiing this year in Australia. The temperature range will be from 1 or 2 at night up to max 20 or so (Celsius), depending on cloud cover/rain, but as I said earlier all reports are for continuing dry conditions, and by dry I mean bone dry. I have noted some of the vegetation around the mount is starting to look very stressed from the lack of rain. We have received only 20% of our average rain fall so far this year. You may get lucky.

In normal years, Queensland would be the go for July, but grade 13s at Frog really suck.

My bold prediction for this winter at Arapiles is that it is going to be perfect for climbing. So stay away because we have already established in this forum that Arapiles is owned by the local climbers.

9:02:27 PM
I didn't read all the replies so sorry if i'm repeating advice already given... anyway i reckon there'll be ppl at arapiles for sure especially during the time you're going. me for one and i'd say a fair few chockstoners + others. I too am just starting trad leading and araps is the BEST place for improvement. unlimited easy-med well protected trad routes, harder sport stuff (not quite sure bout that, never done sport in araps yet) and a fair load of boulders to climb. Also if you're there for long enough you won't need to climb every single minute of every day (as much as we'd love our bodies to be able to) so my advice is make your days off the rainy days so you get the best of all worlds. in the meantime spend some time at the naddimuk pub when raining, meet locals and other climbers to climb with. sounds like a plan! hehe hope this helps,

1:31:01 PM
Yeah, like steph above says.

Just pick places to climb sensibly ... i rember one june day we were doing routes on the atridae, sheltered from the south wind and the rain from the odd shower, while some other guys (the only other people there) were being blasted of the rock, in the rain, climbing on the plaque... Man, if the rock loks like its wind eroded, its for a reason...!! At least we had some pople to laugh at while we had fun....
5:56:45 PM
On 19/05/2005 nmonteith wrote:
>Arapiles will be cold and wet - but not too cold.

Don't understand what's going on here! In the "olden days" the mantra was "In winter when the Blueys and the Grampians are cold and VERY wet...Arapiles will be fine". Has global warming already altered the fine balance of nature as much as you guys suggest?

There are 14 messages in this topic.


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