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Black Ian's Rocks, Grampians
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Crag Summary (PDF) Quick Stats
Climbs *** ** * Hardest Longest Rock Access
109 0 5 24 26 35m Sandstone 1 mins

View(See Also: Bouldering Guide).
Update April 2011: There is a payment for camping at Red Rock Camp - $5 per car (2 people) or $2.50 per night per person. Barry no longer operates the camp - his son Andrew does. Andrew and simmone have the same phone number as Barrys old number as a contact number.

Barely half an hour from Horsham, Black Ian's Rocks offers a large quantity of great single pitch routes all closely spaced together and within minutes from the road. Tried of bashing into remote Grampians crags via arduous approach walks? Too many in your group with mixed levels of talent for long multi-pitching? Want to throw a top rope over a large volume of routes in the day, or perhaps have your group knock off a lot of nice leads without you all trekking off in different directions? Look no further than this little gem of a crag. It's all there, in one user friendly cliff, with most lines averaging about 15 metres.
Want to practice your jamming skills? There's plenty here to loose some skin on. Hard face routes? It's got them. 

Camping is also possible. From the VCC: "There is now a new camp-site on the private bush block just next to Black Ian's rocks. Look out for a big sign pointing you to "Red Rock Camp". This camp has a shed, lots of off-street parking and a freshwater tank. And, soon, a box for you to put a few bucks in! The walk from your car to the cliff should now take you about 35 seconds. The site was set up by the local farmer Barry Bell, because he didn't like having to drive his stock past climbers bivvying by their cars! You can just rock up, or you can contact Barry on 53 83 7506 or"

Above Right: First view of Black Ian's Rocks from the drive in.

Michael leads the warm up route "Decree Nisi" grade 16.To gain access head south out of Horsham down the Henty Highway taking a right on "Mockinya" road. Very shortly you'll come to Clark's Lane on the left. (See: Approach Map). Drive down this dirt road bearing right at the T intersection. The road will swing around to the left and dip down (beware the sand) before rising slightly again. Park on the next corner, and walk along the fence, either following the walking trail or the 4 wheel drive track for about 300m. Then scoot uphill to the cliff base. 

Right in front of you, is Gallows Pole (17) and Chancery Lane (18), the former with tricky finger locks, the later with bomber hand jams. Both routes have only a few hard opening moves before easier terrain is reached. Both routes end through a distinctive "toilet seat" hole in the top out. If you're looking for a warm up lead, try "Decree Nisi" (pictured left) at grade 16. It takes the open book corner a short ways left of the approach track. The crux is at about three quarter height, where a couple of tricky face moves depart you from the crack, which offers good protection. Head left to top out.Unknown climber leading Objection Sustained, grade 18. 

Above Left: Michael leads the warm up route "Decree Nisi" grade 16. Below Right: Unknown climber leading "Objection Sustained", grade 18.

If you're looking to sink your mitts into something a bit harder the ever popular "Objection Sustained" at grade 18 is well recommended and can be found right of the approach track. The crux is pretty obvious where the crack becomes overhanging at about 2/3rds height. For a similar 18, but minus the jamming, try Prosecutor left of the approach track. The threatened hand jamming never actually presents itself, despite the overhanging cracks. Just when you think you'll be forced to into a skin tearing jam, a delightful crimp will appear on the face, or a nice edge deep within the crack. Well recommended! One route left you'll find Zuma at grade 22, very hard, even with the benefit of a top rope. There's no avoiding the jams this time, with the crux moves requiring some hard hauling over a smooth overhanging bulge.

Kent top roping Prosecutor, grade 18.Owen top roping Ok I Confess, grade 23.Karen Anwin on Malicious Intent (21)
Above Left: Kent top roping Prosecutor, grade 18. Above Middle: Owen top roping Ok I Confess, grade 23. Above Right: Karen Anwin on Malicious Intent (21), Photo By Jill Gara.

A definite must, is "Ok, I Confess" at grade 23. In the picture (above middle) you can see the climber entering the crux. The key hold, hard to spot otherwise, is chalked and high on his left. Utilising this hidden gem you can torque into the smooth scoop, pop another two moves and gain the victory jug above. A few easy moves allow you to de-pump, then there's just one last reachy move before the top out.

There are a large number of quality routes at Black Ian's to occupy your day, especially in the 17 to 25 grade range. It's so easy to toss a top rope over anything you might not want to lead, and the access such a breeze, it's no wonder this place sees many climbers each year. An ideal spot for maintaining contact within a larger group, single pitch leading, top roping, it's all here. The only thing you might miss is a little shade, though you can duck under some of the shallow caves to escape the sun.

Climbs At Black Ian's Rocks:   Push For The Summit

Items in green made it into the Mentz and Tempest "Grampians Selected Climbs" guide, so might be more promising prospects, though "Power Without Glory" is mentioned as one to avoid.

Name Height Grade Stars
Who Shot The Sheriff 10 16  
Holler for a Marshall 10 18  
Aiding and Abetting 10 14  
Summons 12 15  
Royal Commission 12 11  
Detective Inspector Bribe-easy and Police Constable Porno 10 14  
Crime Story 10 19  
The Chair 10 12  
TCU 10 17  
Bring In The Accused 10  22  1
Pleading Insane 10 23  
Jail Bait 10 20  
Shoot On Sight 10 19  
Night Stalker Gets Gas Chamber 10 23  
Snapper Crack 25 22 1
So What's the Verdict? 20 23
Settled out of Court 12 8  
A Brush With The Law 15 16  
Please Be Seated 15 13  
Rumpole 10 15  
Ipso Facto 15 15  
Slanderous Discourse 14 23  
Minor Offence 15 14  
G.B.H. 25 14  
Habeus Corpus 27 13  
Hard Labour 25 15  
Bagatelle 27 12  
Bail Refused 30 15  
Sheep May Safely Graze 25 25 1
The Willows Milkbar 25 23  
Murder One 25 23  
Mr Meaner 25 22 1
Short Term 15 20  
Breakout 19 10  
Blunt Instrument 12 17  
Pudgy 25 24 1
Caveat Emptor 25 24  
Barbed Tongue 23 17  
Barbed Tongue Direct 11 19  1
Red Tape 20 26 1
Ok, I Confess 20 23 2
The Jury Box 21 11  
Life and Death 25 23  
Zuma 25 21 1
Divorce Proceedings 20 24  
Prosector 27 18 2
Persona Non Grata 25 23  
Fatal Attraction 30 18  
Life 25 24  
Decree Nisi 25 16 1
Unfit to Stand 25 17  
Caught Short 25 20  
Gallows Pole 27 17 1
Chancery Lane 27 18 1

Name Height Grade Stars
Robbery, Assault and Battery 20 25 1
Final Appeal 30 17  
Crime of Passion 20 23  
Haley Beth 35 21  
Objection Sustained 21 18 2
Traversity of Justice 20 22  
Malicious Intent 23 21 2
No Rest for the Wicked 27 23 1
Jump for Joy 22 23  
The The Cooler 23 24 1
Legal Aid 27 21 1
The Hanging Slab 10 20  
Down By Law 20 24 1
Power Without Glory 23 19  
Carnal Knowledge 28 19 1
In Session 16 18   
Guilty 20 22  
Law and Order 20 23 1
Subponea 21 17 2
Street Legal 20 24 1
Hang On 20 20 1
The Hanging 20 21  
Call The Next Witness Please 15 18  
Mitigating Circumstances 20 20  
False Pretences 15 10  
The Enquiry 16 16  
Legal Eagle 15 24 1
Doing Time 15 21  
Acquitted 12 16  
Press Gallery 12 17  
On Probation 12  10  
Operation Mindcrime 16 18  
Petty Sessions 18 17  
Stool Pigeon 15 15  
The Long Arm of the Law 20 21  
The Dock 15 11  
The Dock Roof 20 17  
Itchy Fingers 15 24 1
Scumbags of All Sorts 16 23 1
Salubrial Incandescence 15 23  
Roger Mellie, Your Man On Tellie 10 16  
Arresting The Sheriff 10 10  
The Judge's Verdict 15 10  
Loitering with Intent 20 21  
Travesty of Justice 25 22  
First Offence 11 13  


Further Reading:   Push For The Summit
Grampians Selected Climbs - Guide book authored by Simon Mentz and Glenn Tempest and available from local climbing shops or the VCC.

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