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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.
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.
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.
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).
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 ]
1. Big Nose 12m 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.
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 route
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
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
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 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
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
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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