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Curiosity Crag, Grampians
 [ Grampians Overview | Climbs | Images | Map | PDF | Forum | Trip Reports ]
  Quick Stats
Climbs *** ** * Hardest Longest Rock Access
22 1 7 7 26 35m Sandstone 25 mins

Download PDF GuideMay 2006: This guide is now out of date. For the latest version download the PDF document.

Curiosity Crag is situated in an amphitheatre 100m before crossing the creek at Slander Gully. The only previously recorded climbs here appear to be Night Owl Theatre grade14!! (probably under graded) by Peter Treby in 1985 (Vic Ranges Guide) and Deadly Earnest 35m grade17 in 1993. The first pitch of Grease Nipples 20 (Mentz Tempest Guide) passes through the right-hand corner of the amphitheatre.Micheal O'Reilly on Careful With That Axe, Liam (23)

Over twenty new routes have been recorded in 2003. The area has potential for more new routes and some bouldering. Bolts, where used, are stainless steel to current best practice. Some gear is required on most routes. Rock  quality varies from average to exceptional. The climbs on the orange A wall offer sustained pleasure, while those on B wall provide a variety of challenges on rock that is steeper and thinner than appearances suggest. While around the corner are a series of hard gym style climbs. The crag is very well sheltered from the sun and wind and climbing is possible on the steeper south facing orange wall in most weather conditions.

Right: Michael O'Reilly on Careful With That Axe, Liam (23). Photo By Robin Holmes. More Images.

Access is very easy and while the atmosphere is relaxing, the climbing should get your pulse pumping. As with most of the Grampians Cliffs it is advisable to wear a helmet while climbing and belaying, there is still some loose rock.

Access   Push For The SummitClick For Larger Map

To get to Curiosity Crag follow the directions for Slander Gully. At the crest of the hill on the 4WD track (100m before the creek at Slander Gully) a double cairn marks the walking track heading uphill and right for 200m to the crag. If the Waterworks Track is open, walking time is only a few minutes. (see map).

Descent   Push For The Summit

To get off climbs 1-11 walk back to descent track. 12 has a rap anchor to lower off and access to the top of B wall is an easy scramble (see map).

[ Steve Chapman July 2003 ]


Climbs   Push For The Summit

1. Big Nose 12m 18Rob Booth on first assent of Big Nose (18)
Start at the nose at left end of left wall of grotto, (where the descent track meets the wall). Committing moves up thin crack, move right and up overhang for five metres, veer left with easier climbing to the top. Continuing straight up makes for a more sustained finish. Rob Booth, Jill Gara, & Ross Timms. 19.04.03

Right: Rob Booth on first assent of Big Nose (18). Photo By Jill Gara.

2. Sticky Beak 12m 17
Climb past loose block up shallow crack. Start in middle of second small tor down from Bug Powder Dust. Jill Gara, Micheal O'Reilly, Tuesday Phelan. March 2003

3. Bird's Nest Soup 10m 16
Start 5 meters left of bolt on Bug Powder Dust. Straight up block on rounded jugs left of the arete. Tricky move at the end to gain ledge. Easily accessed from descent gully. Tuesday Phelan, Jill Gara. January 2003

4. Bug Powder Dust 27m 18 *
Starts just left of grey arÍte. Follow 2 BR to ledge (possible belay). Straight up past another bolt for 6m then step right to finish up juggy arete. Jill Gara, Micheal O'Reilly, Robin Holmes. Feb 2003

5. "I'm Black and I'm Proud" 15m 20 *
Variant finish to Bug Powder Dust. Start as for 2nd pitch of BPD. Climb the left side of the pale central streak direct through top bulge. Swing right to top out. Blackness courtesy of the previous week's Vicparks "controlled burn". Will Monks, Nic Cotton, Cameron Barrett, Micheal O'Reilly 26/10/03

6. The Generator Route 12m 22 * sports routeSteve Chapman on The Generator Route (22)
Nice warm up for the following harder routes on this wall, 6m right of Bug Powder Dust, 3 bolts to ledge. Take cams and bolt plate for belay. Either walk off via ledge or continue up Bug Powder Dust. (2nd pitch possible (yet to be bolted) 14m (23) from the ledge, a hard move then nice climbing up the right side of the arÍte.) Rob Booth, Steve Chapman May 2003

Right: Steve Chapman on The Generator Route (22). Photo By Rob Booth.

7. Screaming Trees 25m 26 **
Up past two FH's and wires to horizontal break. Arrange gear then right up to third FH. Thin moves over bulge bring some relief and good pro in seam. More hard moves over small roof to buckets. Traverse left to belay. Steve Chapman and Steven Wilson October 2003

Variant 12m 21 *
First part of Screaming Trees past two FH and wires to horizontal break, traverse left to belay as for Generator.

8. Night Owl Theatre 18 **
(This is an edited version of the original description). Hal Todd would be proud of this. The Del Monte of climbing. The original route on the cliff. (1) 30m Start up the line which splits the wall. At the overhang, traverse right and finish up the right hand crack. Peter Treby, Andrew Webb, Neil Barr. 10-6-85. Note some loose rock. Take twin ropes or long slings, could be done in 2 pitches, belay at end of traverse.

9. Deadly Earnest 35m 17
A scary girdle traverse on friable rock. 1) 10m Up sandy cleft R of Night Owl Theatre with no runners. 2) 25m (crux) Step across left, around arete, gingerly down and continue L to welcome ledge. Gary Lyons, Gordon Bedford, Nick Tapp 31-1-93

10. Careful With That Axe, Liam 30m 23 ***
Sustained face climbing. Starts 5 m right of Night Owl Theatre. Directly up the wall past 6FHs. Medium wires and cams protect the shallow grey corner heading right to last FH. Launch up left on jugs. Steve Chapman, Robin Holmes. February 2003

11. Curiosity Killed The Black Feral Cat 30m 25 **
Starts 5m right of Careful With that Axe.. Take medium cams. The crux can be solved left or right of the 2nd FH. Sustained climbing past 3 more FH's to horizontal break. Move 1m left and up over grey bulge on crimps. Head diagonally right to final FH and the happy jugs. Steve Chapman, Brian Gray. May 2003

12. The Lynx Effect 30m 23 **
Starts in the chasm 15m right of Curiosity Killed the Black Feral Cat. Up the steep fracture for 8m and finger traverse leftwards 3m to rest on the grey arÍte (belay possible to eliminate drag). Absorbing climbing directly up the arÍte to the highest point on the buttress. Double up on small wires, a few small cams are handy, despite appearances protection is very good. Steve Chapman, Micheal O'Reilly, Jill Gara. July 2003

12. Cat Scratch Fever 30m 23 *
Follow Lynx Effect for 8 metres to where it traverses left. Arrange gear and launch straight up on crimps. Watch your back on the wall behind if you fall. Continue directly up grey wall. Steve Chapman, Robin Holmes Sept. 03 13.

13. A Bridge Too Far 18m 17
Bridge up using crack for protection and traverse right at the top of the big chockstone. Stretch your calves before you start. Steve Chapman, Robin Holmes Oct.03

14. Separation Anxiety 15m 20Jill Gara on first assent of Separation Anxiety (20)
Start in middle of black wall at the top of the grotto under the orange overhang. Up edges on slab to stance below overhang, veer left then up and to anchor. Rob Booth, Jill Gara. 19.04.03

Right: Jill Gara on first assent of Separation Anxiety (20). Photo By Rob Booth.

15. A Paler Shade of White 22m 21
Bold climbing left wards along the rising traverse, starts at the weakness a six metres left of Traditional Arrangement. Double ropes are useful. A small wire can be found, low down, two thirds along the traverse. Continue up the easy arÍte at the end of the traverse to finish at the large ledge. From the belay it is possible to scramble off by climbing around to the left and then up to the top of the cliff. Or a short pitch, across and down right, to the start of routes 17, 18, 19. Michael O'Reilly, Jill Gara, Robin Holmes March 2003

16. Traditional Arrangement 13m 18
Follow the right leaning hand/fist crack starting in the middle of the wall at ground level. Harder than it looks. Finishes on the large ledge at half height. Michael O'Reilly, Jill Gara, Robin Holmes February 2003

The following routes start on the ledge at half height. They can be reached by climbing Traditional Arrangement or from the start of Tarzan's Swing, on the arÍte.

17. Controlled Burn 14m 22 *
Starts below bolt in the middle of face, climb left past bolt then right to gear placement. Committing climbing to top on slopey bulges. Take small cams and wires. Robin Holmes, Steve Chapman October 2003

18. Moonlight Mile 11m 21 *
Starts approx. 2/3m right of bolt on Controlled Burn, and 4m left of the right arÍte. Climb directly up the wall, to the left end of the small ledge at half height. Follow the short corner/ flake and exciting wall above. Michael O'Reilly, Jill Gara March 2003

19. Emotional Rescue 12m 22 *
Starts as for Moonlight Mile. Climb upwards diagonally right to the right end of the small ledge at half height. Follow the horizontal breaks to the small overlap/rooflet near the right arÍte. Committing moves directly up the wall above (crux). Michael O'Reilly, Jill Gara March 2003

20. Tarzan's Swing 16m 22 ** (sports route)
Starts below carrot 3 metres right of arÍte. Follow grey wall and arÍte past ring bolts to lower off. Robin Holmes, Steve Chapman March 03

21. Densei 15m 24 ** (sports route)
R side of scoops, 4m R of Tarzan Swing. 6 RB's to DRB lower off. Ramon Francis, Philip BogenschŁtz & Brendon Abernethy 26/10/03

22. The Organiser 12m 25 ** (sports route)
15m R of Tarzan Swing are scoops, L side of these. 5 RB's to DRB lower off. Brendon Abernethy 26/10/03

 


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