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General Climbing Discussion

Climbing at/near Philip Island

2:23:20 PM
Does anyone have any info on climbing around Philip Island?
2:25:23 PM
Check the Eastern Victorian Guide for climbing on or near Phillip Island.

2:37:00 PM
Cape Woolamai (spl?) is on the south eastern end of Phillip Island. I have never climbed there but apparently it is very chossy sea cliff granite multi-pitch climbing. The photos look like Coles Bay but the rock is very bad - especially on the top outs. There is a couple of pics on the VCC website.

11:49:20 PM
I've been to Cape Woolamai a few times now and like the place, but it's not to everyone's taste. Basically what it says in the guidebook is all true, it's scary but atmospheric, and being by the sea makes it all worthwhile.
I'd recommend The Pinnacle Traverse (5?) to competent parties, the rock is better than a lot of the cape (gets more washed...), and its straightforward to find. But don't let the grade make you think it's a beginners route, as its fairly commiting, the only way off is back to land!
There was a small map in the old Eastern (also in Rock's Melbourne Best selected) that unfortunatly didn't get into the new guide, that was a help in finding the Big Cliff.

Barnacle Bill has 3 "new" fixed hangers. They were there Dec 02, don't know who put them in, but they make it reasonable (2 runners and belay). For all other mention of bolts, replace with "rusted stump", useful as waymarkers only.

Walking back along the beach in the evening after the adventure is over, with the sun setting into the sea, is just magic :-)

2:03:39 PM
I've just spent a bit of summer down the Island. At the western end of the beach at Cowes is a reef called Mussel Rocks. There's a small overhanging wall of sharp-edged jugs (think scoria) about 2 to 3 metres high and maybe ten metres long. While not worth the trip, if you're down the island it might keep you amused for a half hour or so after scoffing your pizza. There's also basalt columns at Collannades near Woolamai. Don't bother as they are crumbling to dust as you watch. In fact, most of the island is crumbling basalt.

6:27:39 PM
There is a slightly more solid sandstone cliff at Kilcunda. Turn right at the first houses as you approach from the island. Drive to the end of the road and find a small fenced in area. This contains (well it did years ago) a collection of power transmission stuff like little bits of cable, presumably for a sea side corrosion test. Climb below this.

I've never climbed on it but probably would have if I had known about it when I lived in Wonthaggi. It's not Arapiles.

Otherwise go to Wilsons Prom.

James Mc
12:06:11 PM
Any steep caves/walls above the low tide mark which could offer bouldering potential at Cape Woolamai?
10:14:56 AM
Try Forrest Caves - a lump of volcanic stuff about a hundred metres along the beach from the access track (to the left). You can see it from the lookout at the top of the sand dune. Low tide only though. Steep? Vertical walls outside the cave and overhanging inside. A Mars Bar to anyone who can climb out the hole in the roof.

2:43:22 PM
I am thinking about taking a raw beginner to Cape Woolamai cliffs this wekeend. What is the most straightforward route in the area? Does the Pinnacle traverse have dangerous fall potential for the second? If all else fails is their some good roped 'scrambling' at all possible in the area?? Any beta is apreciated! I have the new VCC Eastern District guide as reference...
11:35:28 PM
Did ya go? If so, how was it?

8:28:56 AM
I did end up going and came away quite impressed.We did one route - a single pitch up The Pinnacle to the summit (grade 13 or so when climbed direct). The rock quality was good - the location was awesome. It felt very much like Coles Bay in Tassie - waves crashing around me all the time. I coudln't work out how to rap off the summit without leaving gear behind so i just lowered the beginner to the ground and soloed back down again via an easier way (maybe grade 6 or so?). I had fun for the rest of the day doing highball easy boulder problems - there is tonnes of potenital for bouldering if you don't mind salty rock. It was a great day out.
8:36:25 AM
Neil, any pictures from your day at Woolamai?

9:41:40 AM
9:47:52 AM
Thanks Neil. Great shots as always!
8:23:00 PM
On 9/12/2003 JBM wrote:
>Does anyone have any info on climbing around Philip Island?

I have climbed at the Big Cliff a few years ago. The rock crumbles in your hands - which is good in way cause you can make your own holds! It was also really windy - communication is a big problem. I was with inexperienced climbers so I wanted to belay as far up as possible to avoid a scramble off - which meant belaying in the grass - with my feet suck in the dirt. The bolts I saw were completely forgetable, I wopuldn't trust wires either, cams are ok if plugged nice and deep .

I wouldn't compare the rock I saw at the Big Cliff to Coles Bay in any way. I love Coles Bay - I hate the Big Cliff.

8:55:13 AM
I didn't climb on the Big Cliff - only at the Pinnacles area and only on easy routes. The rock there was good - a little surface crumblign but in general it was ok. Protection was a little sparse though!

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