17 Down Under:
17 DOWN UNDER. "A celebration of moderate grade climbing in Victoria". 184 pages. 285 images. Father & son team, Steve & John Morris, embark on a journey to climb and photograph 50 of the best rock climbs in Victoria, grade 17 & under. Inc bookmark $50.00
Can be just as readily reached from the Grand Canyon, the Sundial Turntable or Halls Gap. From Halls Gap, continue along the walking track past The Goon cliffs etc., until the track is ready to cross from the east to the west side of the range, in a large "gully". Before it does so, a small crag appears on the right with two obvious lines towards its left end. Scramble up to the base of the cliff proper.
Time from car: 50-60 Minutes. (It is probably the same no matter which way you go.)
Descent: Walk along the top of the cliff to the south and scramble down onto the tourist track.
Climbs are described from left to right.
Ginger, Megs 10m 19
Seam immediately left of the left arête of cliff. Chris Baxter, Geoff Gledhill. 8.6.97
Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues 10m 11
The left-hand crack. Julie Tulloch, Bill Andrews. March 1978
Dutch Cap 10m 15
Crack between Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues and Small Change. Kieran Loughran, Peter Megens. 8.6.97
Small Change 10m 10
The right-hand crack moving right at the roof then up. Bill Andrews, Julie Tulloch. March '78
NB. A piece of handkerchief was found tied to a bush below these two climbs; they may be first recorded ascents only.
Cows With Guns 12m 17
Excellent face climbing. From ledge at foot of main face, climb seam immediately left of Glory Box. Step left from ledge into next seam. Chris Baxter, Geoff Gledhill, Kieran Loughran. 8.6.97
Glory Box 12m 17
Good crack climbing up right-hand line on face. Roped scramble up to ledge below line. 1. 6m Pair of cracks to ledge. 2. 6m Single crack. Geoff Gledhill, Chris Baxter (alt). 8.6.97
The sport routes on Weather Wall are all good fun on a north-facing wall that catches the morning sun and gets late arvo shade. Park at the Sundial car park and walk 20 minutes to The Pinnacle. From 50 metres north of this you can look back south and see the wall. Either scramble down to the top of Big Merino Wall and edge fearfully to the rap point above "It's Raining Men" (scary) or walk 100m+ further north and down the gully to the base. Tourists don't see you there unless mates are sitting on the top of the cliff watching you climb.
Rammed 20m 25
Excellent. 6 UBs and a lower-off. Mike Law. 2003
The Big Merino 22m 25
Excellent; sloppy and sustained. 8 UBs and lower-off. Could be sandy after rain – could be worth rapping and cleaning on the way in. Mike Law. 2003
It’s Raining Men 22m 22
Excellent. 3 UBs and 4 FHs to lower-off/rap point. Mike Law. 2002
Sheep Weather Alert ?m 23
A non-sport climb up the slab and blank headwall. Mike Law.
This wall sort of faces south and is at almost right angles to Weathered Wall. The first picture, above, shows Animated Wall. James Mc should be able to provide more detail as I have never been to this particular crag.
Also of note is that the peak to the North is called Relph Peak, after Arthur J Relph an early photographer who produced a booklet containing photos of the Grampians and lots of flowery, romantic words to accompany them.
This is the grey buttress on the left side (facing out) of the descent gully for WEATHERED WALL. It could easily be considered to be a continuation of Weathered Wall, and may well be considered as such in the next guide.
**Animated Sequence 35m 24
Climb the wall then the crack as for Frigging In The Rigging. Move left and up the face just left of the arete, passing a bolt. A classic. Glenn Tempest. 9.12.89
*Frigging In The Rigging 35m 20
An attractive wall. Begin up the crack and from the layback step left and follow the left leaning ramp to a cave. Geoff Butcher, Chris Lawrence. 23.12.89
Frigging In The Rigging VF 21
Follow the route until the orange hole in the face, then move right and up to finish up the higher wall. Geoff Butcher. 2.3.91
Gardens Of Babble On 35m 16
1. 20m Start up Frigging In The Rigging, then traverse right to a crack and up to the ledge. 2. 15m Step right onto the face and up into a dirty chimney. (Typical, let the women do the dirty work. Ed.) There is a good-looking direct finish waiting to be done here. Gary Schmitt, Matilda Schmitt. (alt) 23.12.89
Virga 18m 15
“.... the rain that evaporates before it reaches the ground.” Nice climbing but unfortunately it does not start from the ground. It's a small right facing corner starting from a ledge and finishing at a bulge in a smooth recess about 50m right of the Animated Wall routes. Rap down to the ledge at a cairn. If you want to do an on-sight ascent then you will have to avert your eyes. James and Melanie McIntosh, Frank Zgoznik, David Clark. 20.1.91 Note that the wall underneath it is dirty, unpleasant and would be about grade 20, need bolts and would not be worth doing.
Gain The Pinnacle from either the Wonderland Turntable or The Sundial Turntable. From The Pinnacle follow the walking track towards Halls Gap for approximately 350m, at a steepish gully that leads down to where the cliff unfolds on both sides. This gully lands you between Nimbus and Cirrus.
Time from Sundial Turntable: 30-35 minutes.
Descent: Back along the cliff top to the gully mentioned above. Some of the climbs may have very faint initials at their base. I think they may have been weathered away.
Climbs are described from right to left.
Corona 30m 13
Starts 15m right of the descent gully, at the foot of a slab. 1. 15m Climb up to the crack as for Aurora Australis, and traverse right until the next line is reached. 2. 15m Climb the wide crack to the top. Ray Fenton, Mike March (alt), Iain Sedgman. 8.9.73
*Sirocco 35m 18
A pleasant well protected wall. Start 5m right of Aurora Australis. 1. 15m Up slab past a short flake half way. 2. 20m Up sickle then up left a bit and back right to finish direct. James McIntosh, Melanie McIntosh. (alt) 17.12.89
**Aurora Australis 31m 11
Up the slab, move right and up the steep crack with some delicate holds on the face. Iain Sedgman, Mike March. 1.4.73
Obscured By Clouds 37m 16
The arete just left of Aurora Australis. Move up tending right and through the obvious break through the overhang. Follow the flake to a rest. Move 1m right of the arete and climb the wall to the top. Phillip McMillan, Peter Manley, Arthur Day. 3.3.79
Obscured By Clouds Direct Finish 10m 18
Where Obscured By Clouds moves right, continue up the left wall using a short finger crack the finish right on the arete. Melanie & James McIntosh, Wayne Maher. 23.5.93
The Long White Cloud 30m 17
Start between Obscured By Clouds and Cirrus. The quality improves with height. Scramble up the gulch, then wide bridging past a flake on the right wall. Pull onto the ledge on the right, then climb the curving crack in the wall. James McIntosh, Ollie Clifton (NZ). 8.12.90
Cirrus 25m 6
8m right of the descent gully, up through the gap and onwards. Mike March, Iain Sedgman. 31.1.73
Nimbus 14m 9
Starts in a short corner about 17m from the bottom of the cliff. On a ledge on the left wall of the descent gully. Up. Mike March, Iain Sedgman. 31.3.73
Cumulus 12m 6
Starts 2m left of Nimbus. Climb the line to the top. Iain Sedgman, Mike March. Both solo. 31.3.73
Drizzle 25m 12
About 20m left of the descent gully, immediately left of the low overhangs probably at the blocks. 1. 10m Climb the wall delicately for 5m then into a crack and up to a large ledge. 2. 15m Shift the belay to the right hand edge of the ledge. Climb the awkward crack to the top of the block. Move into the crack and continue up keeping left to the top. Peter Lindorff, Kevin Lindorff. (alt) 28.8.73
*Anemometer 34m 14
20m left of Drizzle between a large boulder and a short wall. 1. 9m Chin up and follow the line to the ledge. 2. 25m Move 3m right and stand up on the loose block. Reach for the rib and invert, jam a foot near the crack and reach for a jug. Pull up and continue easily to the top. Mike March, Iain Sedgman. 31.3.73
Anemometer Direct Start 10m 17
The thin crack 2m right of the original. James and Melanie McIntosh. 17.12.89
These next three climbs are located on a terrace and require a scramble to get to the base of them.
Roaring 40's 35m 18
"Dreaming again?" Starts 20m left of Anemometer. Up the corner and follow the sickle till able to traverse right across the face and into the next line. Up this to the top (beware of the loose block). Kevin Lindorff, Michael Wust. 19.11.83
Variant: Follow the traverse and before reaching the next line move up a weakness and rejoin the original line. Grade 19 with sparse protection. FADU
The Fox Whirlwind 25m 10
5m left of Roaring '40s. Up wall, keeping left of mossy water streak, to an awkward exit at top. John Chapman, Steve Pawley, Don Anderson. 8.2.76
*Barometric Pressure Rising 37m 17
Starts 5m left of The Fox Whirlwind in the big corner on the ledge underneath the overhangs. Best done in a single pitch. Scramble up to the corner. 1. 28m Move up the crack to a ledge and a tree. Continue up the corner (sustained) to a cave under the overhang. 2. 9m Move out of the cave (awkward and exposed) and up the wide crack to the top. Mike March, Iain Sedgman. 1.4.73
The leader used one aid, which was eliminated by the second.
Cold Front Chimney 37m 8
Starts 8m left of Barometric Pressure Rising. Move up a few metres and left into the chimney finishing through a cave. Iain Sedgman, Mike March. 1.4.73
There is also a "D" chipped into the rock next to these initials, an act of vandalism or the start of another climb?
Misty 30m 11
3m left of Cold Front Chimney. Pull up on a jug and move awkwardly into a groove. Climb straight up to the small overhang, around this on the right and up steeply to a large ledge, then a short juggy wall to the top. Mike March, Nick Reeves. 23.9.73
Squall Line 37m 14
Starts 3m left of Misty. Move up on rounded holds. Follow the crack line with increasing difficulty until jugs lead to the top. Mike March, Iain Sedgman. 3.3.73
Hurricane 37m 14
About 5m left of Squall Line at a bouldery start leading into the line. Finish left through the small v-corner at the top. Tony and Ute Veling, Iain Sedgman, Andrew Webb, Glen Donohue. 1.6.85
Weatherbeaten 30m 14
Between Squall Line and Lightning Crack, a straight crack in the orange wall leading to a slightly overhung headwall. Climb the crack, left 2m, pull into the steep groove and then jugs to the top. Peter Treby, M. Woods, Andrew Webb. 16.8.87
Isobarred 40m 17
Starts about 6m left of Hurricane. Take the line up to step left on large holds (crux) into the corner and up. Peter Cunningham, Andrew Webb, Wayne Maher, Glen Donohue. 1.6.85
Lightning Crack 37m 11
Starts 5m left of Isobarred. Climb the large corner to the overhang. Go left onto the ledge and climb the overhanging juggy wall to the top. Mike March, Iain Sedgman. 12.5.73
Fire Storm 18m 19
Starts to the left and below the large corner (Lightning Crack) near the left end of Weathered Wall. This is the small north-facing wall below the access ledge. Abseil in. Climb the centre of the wall. Wayne Maher, James McIntosh. 23.5.93
Mistral 25m 16
A good clean climb that starts in a large undercut groove 10m left of Lightning Crack on a block on the left side of the groove, move into the groove and up with increasing difficulty to an awkward ledge at 12m. Nick Reeves, Mike March. 23.9.73
Mistral direct finish 7m 17
Finishes up line that Mistral starts up. Chris Baxter Stuart Imer. 25.10.97
Winds Of Change 25m 17
The major line in this section. An old, fixed nut below bulge indicated that it had been attempted in the Dark Ages. right-facing corner between Sunset and Mistral. 1. 18m (crux) Bypass initial bushy ledge on left, then take corner to ledge. 2. 7m Undercut start to enter corner above, then finish up its left wall. Chris Baxter, Stuart Imer. (alt) 25.10.97
Sunset 34m 15,M1
6m left of Mistral. The flake/corner, the left of two lines. Up the corner and crack until the line deteriorates. Using a bush to stand on, continue up the line using a variety of techniques until the whole business becomes rather desperate. Use an aid to reach a tree and pull up thankfully. Mike March, Iain Sedgman. 8.9.73
Ecliptic 40m 16
Starts at the extreme left hand edge of the ledge, scramble up between boulder and cliff. Traverse diagonally across the slab into the corner line. Jam up and around the bulge (crux). Continue to the large flake, pull over this and onto a large ledge. Climb the short wall to the top. Iain Sedgman, Mike March. 8.9.73
And in case anybody is wondering where Relph's Peak is, here is a photo from his booklet.
And in case you were wondering where Weathered Wall got its name, it was from a small booklet about the weather that was given out as a freebie at a VCC meeting many years ago. This is the cover of the book.
Ground Zero 12m 17
This climb takes the crack directly below the fenced lookout, it is steeper than it looks and exposed to flying objects from above. Stephen Hamilton, Tim Burke. 7.4.90
Dogs Hind Leg 40m 14
From the Pinnacle Lookout, scramble down to the right of the lookout (facing the cliff), traverse right for 80m to below an orange wall topped by an overhang. It is not possible to scramble further past the right hand end of the wall. Up the thin straight crack on the left of the orange wall for 10m. Traverse horizontally right to the arête and straight up a series of grey juggy bulges to the top. Peter Treby, M. Woods, Andrew Webb. 1984?
From the Sundial Turntable follow the walking track towards The Pinnacle. As you reach the Fallen Giant, a large slab of grey rock that has become detached from the side of the cliff, there is a vague track heading off down right past a rock shelter and down a rocky gully. When a slab of rock in the creek bed is reached, a quick glance to the left will reveal a sign "The Pinnacles". This marks the start of the cliff.
Time from car:
Climbs are described from left to right.
No Sign Of Blood 45m 20
Start 1m right of Sign Your Life Away. A bit run-out. Up the arête and flake to the horizontal, then up the face to the ledge. Exit left. Geoff Butcher, Chris Lawrence. 20.4.91
Sign Your Life Away 45m 21
This climb takes the shallow corner in the centre of the first unbroken wall reached from the descent track/gully at the left hand end. The delicate corner, through the overhang and up the "chicken heads" to a ledge and exit left. Wayne Maher, Chris Baxter, Dave Gairns. 15.2.87
Passiona 45m 15
Left of the above climb, past the first undercut section of cliff and before the second. Up the corner and flake, left under the roof and up the arête. Derek Visser, Ann Scholes. 11.4.87
Sign Of Bad Weather 45m 18
Starts 3m right of Passiona. 1. ?m Up the wide crack and move right to ledge with tree. 2. ?m Up the corner behind the tree to a ledge, exit left. Geoff Butcher, Chris Lawrence. 20.4.91
Always A Bad Sign 45m 19
Start 3m right of Sign Of Bad Weather. An ugly chicken head route. Up the flaky looking crack, moving left to finish at the top of Sign Of Bad Weather. Geoff Butcher, Chris Lawrence. 20.4.91
Signing Off 35m 17
At the arête left of the central orange finger crack wall. 1. 25m Climb the crack and go right up the easy ramp. Go straight up the wall above to a small corner which is climbed to a ledge on the arête which has a pair of rocking blocks. 2. 10m The wall above to a disconcerting finish. Chris Baxter, Glen Donohue, Derek Visser. 11.4.87
Sign On The Dotted Line 15m 21
Starts 3m right of Signing Off, the first line on the red wall. Follow the steep line via flakes to a ledge, either continue on or rap off. Wayne Maher, Glen Donohue, Derek Visser. 11.4.87 One rest was used by the leader, eliminated by the seconds. FFA Geoff Butcher. 20.4.91
Sign From Above 45m 20
An exciting wall and roof on the second pitch. Past the orange wall through some chockstone boulders, one wades through refuse to the base of the prominent line up the orange wall (at the right hand end of the cliff). 1. 20m Up the recessed line taking the corner on the left side of the steepening to a ledge. 2. 25m Up the recessed line taking the corner on the left side of the roof and corner above to the top. Glen Donohue, Wayne Maher. (alt) 11.4.87
From the Sundial car park follow the track to the Bellfield Peak turn off, signposted "Bellfield Peak 200m". Take this track and after an initial wander it soon heads north along the junction between a rocky slab and the scrub, follow this until a sharp (hairpin) bend is reached (with an arrow painted on the track). Now either continue straight on and veer right, or head east along a vague track over a 1metre drop and turn left into the gully. Go down this and the cliff soon builds up on your left.
Time from car: 20 - 25minutes.
Descent: as for access, ie. back along the cliff top and down the gully.
Climbs are described from left to right.
Bicus Dicus 18m 16
At the far left end of the cliff, under Lobotomy Wall. Climb up to and up the roof crack. Geoff Butcher. 25.11.90
Valium 40m 14
A strong line awaiting cleaning and a direct finish. Starts at a large right facing corner towards the left hand end of the cliff. 1. 25m Up onto a ledge and up the line above to a second ledge. 2. 15m Go left and up around the arête. Chris Baxter, Francine Gilfedder, Geoff Schirmer, Jurgen Weller. 15.12.80
*Slippery Lips 75m 23
If you like traverses then you'll love this one. 1. 25m Start up Valium, then traverse right to a double BR belay on Licence To Thrill. 2. 35m (crux) Continue in a magical position to a pedestal, then scary moves up left to a ledge. 3. 15m Scramble off. Stephen Hamilton, Glenn Tempest. (alt) 7.11.89
The Meat Machine 35m 26
A gruelling and grotesque experience in an incredible position up the last of the major unclimbed lines in the amphitheatre. From the belay on Neurology, climb the line to the roof and pull into the tight and awkward position. It is likely to remain a tempest-uous problem (one peg runner). Glenn Tempest. 20.1.90
**Neurology 35m 20
A worthwhile composite route up this wall at a more amenable grade. 1. 15m (19) Start as for Nerve Of Steel and up shallow corner. right to a double BR belay below the hanging corner. 2. 20m (20) As for Nerve Of Steel. Glenn Tempest, Michael Hampton, Gary Schmitt. 20.1.90
**Nerve Of Steel 35m 23
Another outstanding climb. Start below the middle line on the orange wall, 5m left of Licence To Thrill. 1. 15m (crux) Up to ledge and on to horizontal break. Move right and pull onto the wall and on, past a BR. Belay as for Licence To Thrill. 2. Up Licence To Thrill's corner until the going gets tough, then swing right to an unforgettable horizontal crack. Glenn Tempest. 6.11.89
**Licence To Thrill 35m 23
An excellent and varied route. An orange finger crack splits the lower wall below a left facing corner. 1. 15m (23) Start on the left and pull across into the crack. Up this and the wall above. Hand traverse left to a double BR belay. 2. 20m (23) Pull into the corner and continue through the overhang. Glenn Tempest, Stephen Hamilton. 7.11.89
Heebie Jeebies 40m 10
A prominent chimney awaiting an unprotected direct finish. The chimney right of Valium. 1. 20m Chimney up and out and exit through a hole in the blocks. 2. 20m Chimney up the back and finish up the easy crack. Chris Baxter, Francine Gilfedder, Jurgen Weller. 15.12.80
Toucan The Flying Brick 35m 23
Starts 2m left of Inconceivable. The scene of a bad ground fall, hence the name. Hard face climbing to the overlap, clip the BR on the arête. Pull through the overlap (crux) and up the face to a big ledge. Finish easily. Geoff Butcher. 25.11.90
Inconceivable 22m 16
Starts in the main corner between Valium and Monkey With A Mission. Climb the crack to a stance then move left to the chimney and up. Finish up the crack. Geoff Butcher, Chris Lawrence. 4.11.90
Office Rules 20m 17
Climb Inconceivable to the stance then move right to the crack, which is climbed to an overlap. Finish up the face. Geoff Butcher. 25.11.90
Laughing Gas 40m 12
Not a classic. The right facing corner 20m around right of Heebie Jeebies. 1. 20m Climb the short corner then step right and up to the weakness until a hand traverse back left to a sloping ledge. Move left along this to belay as for Heebie Jeebies. 2. 20m Step back right a move or two and climb the main wall to finish up an awkward crack. Chris Baxter, Wayne Maher. (alt) 28.11.82
**Monkey With A Mission 30m 25
Almost at the right hand end of the crag is an easy flake crack running up leftwards to a prominent roof. Amble up to this and then let good pro and bomber jams lure you on through the overhangs past a fixed nut. Steve Monks, Kim Carrigan. 31.1.86
From the Sundial Turntable follow the Pinnacle - Bellfield Peak walking track. Once on top of the plateau an obvious sign posted track leads diagonally right to the cliff edge. Continue along the cliff edge until a gully leads down 100 - 150m beyond the actual summit. Scramble down the gully, when you think you are almost back at Halls Gap tend right (facing out) to the base of the cliff. Walk back below the cliff to the buttress below the summit.
Time from car: 20 minutes to the summit and about another 15 minutes to Beer Pot Wall, which is orange and bulges.
Descent: Back along the top and down the gully again or abseil.
Climbs are described from right to left.
Portergaff 80m 13
Starts from the terrace right of and above Beer Pot Wall. The obvious wall starting low down under the summit, near the left end of the terrace. 1. 25m (crux) Up to the small overhang. Step right and climb the delicate slab moving back into the line and so to a small ledge. Climb the crack above to ledge and tree belay. 2. 25m Step left and up to the roof, surmount this and follow the line to the right around a huge overhang. Move up to a traverse line on the left below another overhang. Move 5m left to a belay stance. 3. 30m Traverse 5m left and diagonally to an overhang. Pull over a slight weakness to a bush and climb the crack above to a large bushy ledge. Scramble up the gully on the right. Peter Watling, Peter Jacob (alt), Kathy Burman. 9.2.74
*Slopover 119m 14
The biggest (6 - 7m) and easiest roof I've ever done. Starts immediately under a small break in the overhang on the left side of Beer Pot Wall. 1. 16m Climb a slight overhanging crack on rotten rock until the line eases. Move right then left to belay under an overhang. 2. 16m (crux) Step left and up a fault in the small overhang. Climb the crack to the roof. Hand traverse right and mantelshelf onto a small ledge. 3. 34m Move up and out through the overhang and continue up a crack to a ledge. 4. 25m Move up right past scrub for 13m then diagonally right to belay at the foot of a V-shaped crack. 5. 28m Move right for 19m beneath an overhang to an easy gully, follow this to the top. Graeme Young, Peter Cohn. (alt) 10.3.68 FFA (one aid) Bill Andrews, Allan Hope. 8.12.84
Slopover VF 11
4a. From the ledge move up a short corner then traverse right across wall and up. Look up and realise that you should have gone straight up and traverse back left across the ledge and go up to belay at the base of a square cut gully which is a closed by a roof. 5a. 9m Up behind the bushes, out across the right wall and up. Bill Andrews, Allan Hope. 8.12.84
Rolling Thunder 60m I9
“If this was at Rosea, people would be queuing up for it!” Chris Baxter. This is an improved version, rewritten for clarity. The major corner marking the left edge of Beer Pot Wall. Approach by 2 x 30m abseils, 20rn north of the 'diving board' on top of Bellfield Peak. If approaching from below, it is about 20m left of and up from Slopover and 20m right of Closing Time. 1. 10m (18/19) Use fragile live and dead trees to gain wall directly below line. Up wall and steep corner (care with fragile rock). 2. 20m (19) Superb, sustained corner to terrace on right. 3. 30m Wend way easily to top taking care with some rotten rock. Kieran Loughran, Meg Sleeman. 29.10.90.
Direct Start: Kieran Loughran, Chris Baxter, Nichola Woolford.
Variant Start: The original way. Up crack 10m left of line for 5m. Traverse right to line. 12/93.
The above climb was approached by abseil. A 30m rap down the buttress to the second belay, and another 30m straight down the corner. On the southern section of Bellfield Peak is a well-worn slabby area with some curious wafer thin overhangs jutting over the face. The climb takes the corner on the side of the major buttress to the north. Abseil down the front of this buttress. On the diagram in the guide, this climb is just right of Closing Time.
Closing Time 68m 12
Heavily vegetated in places. The layback crack 20m left of Beer Pot Wall. 1. 34m Climb the layback flake to a vegetated belay below an overhang. 2. 34m Climb the crack to the right of the belay for 19m to an overhang. Proceed under the overhang to a ledge and continue right to a corner. Climb this to the top. Fred Langenhorst, Bruno Zielke. (alt) 10.3.68
Fair Weather Friends 15m 18
Hardly a classic. The first corner at the left most end of the cliff. The short corner to a ledge, then the overhang above. Wayne Maher, Glen Donohue, Andy Webb, Graeme Smith. 11.6.94
Here's a pic of Neurology Wall. The tree filled diagonal ramp below is followed until it is possible to drop below the lower band of rock and then head left to get to the base of Bellfield Peak. This makes for a long trek, see the description for Kieran's abseil approach above.