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Red Rocks, Grampians
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Climbs *** ** * Hardest Longest Rock Access
40 0 6 7 28 55m Sandstone 12 mins

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[ This guide contributed by Neil Monteith. Disclaimer: Rock climbing is a dangerous sport. None of the information contained in this document has been verified. Treat all fixed gear with suspicion, route grades may be incorrect and the rock may be poor. The editors of this document take no responsibility for any injury arising from the use of this information. If there are mistakes in this guide then let the editor know by emailing Download printer friendly PDF version. ]
Red Rocks

This complex area has emerged from obscurity and now contains a wealth of quality sport, semi-sport and trad routes on some of the best rock in Victoria. With easy access and a good variety of grades this crag is destined for popularity. The three dimensional nature of the area means you can climb in the shade all day long or be protected from light rain. The big boulder caves also offer great exploration and have the habit of eating loose shoes or ‘biners. This area is located in the Victoria Ranges in the Grampians National Park, Victoria. Park on Red Rock Road immediately opposite the large pinnacle with distinctive steep orange west face about 1km south of Mt Fox car park. Hop over the fence and stroll across the paddocks and enter some light scrub hopefully spotting the local emus and grey kangaroos. The first big boulder with a couple of rusty hangers on the west face is Pellant Pinnacle. Much of this information comes from Michael Hampton’s forthcoming Victoria Ranges guidebook. Buy it in a store soon!

PELLANT PINNACLE: Sector 1   Push For The Summit
Access: Victoria Gap 116794, 12 minutes, Flat.

This squat boulder is 100m downhill from Red Rock Pinnacle. The routes are not very inspiring but might be useful for a warm-up. Descent is down the N face or by rap slings.

1] A Kilogram Of Pellent Please 12m 16
Flake crack at L end of NW wall. FFA Rick Jeukin, Ross Meffin Sept 91

2] Red Horny Thing 10m 14+
Blunt orange arete with large horn R of Kilogram etc. Two useless FH’s which are positioned in impossible to clip situations. Ignore them and place good trad instead. Rap off bollard or continue up another 20m of rubbish juggy rock. The start is much harder than grade 14. FFA Rick Jeukin, Ross Meffin Sept 91

3] Bottom Juice 7m 16
Not very appetising. Flake (2 BRs), at R end of west wall. Rick Jeukin, FFA Ross Meffin Sept 91

4] Kauk is my Hero 25m 16
Ron would be ashamed of this effort. L orange streak on wall R of Bottom Juice, then wall above to rap station. FFA Ross Meffin (solo) Sept 91

5] An Ewok Adventure 25m 14
Orange streak on R, then to Kauk is my Hero’s rap station. FFA Ross Meffin, Rick Jeukin (solo) Sept 91

VERTEBRAE SPIRE: Sector 2   Push For The Summit

Isolated pillar 50m south and slightly downhill from English Rose.

6] Vertebrae 15m 19 *
A great novelty warm-up. The route climbs the ‘backbone’ arête of the uphill side of the pillar past three FH’s and some small natural gear for the top. Rap off double rings. FFA Neil Monteith 1.9.2002

7] Project 15m 22?
Starts just left of Vertebrae. Up face using numerous underclings. 4 bolts needed. FTRA Neil Monteith 14.9.2002

ESPANOL PINNACLE: Sector 3   Push For The Summit

Down hill and slightly north of Pellant Pinnacle is this stand alone pinnacle. Descent is off slings either back down the route or off rock spike down the other side of pinnacle (shorter).

8] No Habla Espanol 26m 17
On the SE face of the pinnacle is a bottomless wide crack. Up crack (crux) on good gear then head left up rampy corner. Finish up vertical crack on jugs. FFA Marcel Geelen & Jac Cutter 13.10.02

RED ROCK PINNACLES    Push For The Summit

You can’t miss these two obvious overhanging orange pinnacles behind the paddocks to the south of Red Rock creek. The west faces contain a couple of very impressive old school routes which have began to get mossy on the lower slabs. On the back side is an assortment of newer semi-sport routes.

Red Rocks Topo

SOUTH PINNACLE: Sector 4    Push For The Summit

9] Conflict of Interest 25m 21 *
Sport climbing up grey face. Starts about 5m right of Red Ragging on far right side of south face of southern main pillar. Red scooped rock past a FH leads through small roof then onwards past seven ringbolts to DRB lower off. Thin sustained face climbing on nubbins are the main attraction. FFA Neil Monteith & Nick McKinnon 12.10.2002

10] The Propaganda Machine 35m 19

Starts 3m left of Conflict of Interest on south face of southern pinnacle. Up and left on orange rock with no gear to left leading small crack through bulge at 5m. Stem through bulge and swing out left to meet up with Red Ragging. Follow it for a few metres then head diagonally right aiming for the prominent left leaning orange corner. Up corner using jugs on big hollow sounding block to finish with bouldery left traverse to ledge. FFA Neil Monteith & Rohan Archibald 23.3.2003

11] Red Ragging 30m 17
The easiest route on the southern pinnacle. Scramble up the S face to a ledge on the SW arete. Traverse R above red overhang with poor pro then climb directly to the top on juggy grey rock. FFA Louise Shepherd, Steve Monks, Peter Riddy March 89

12] Redback 55m 25 **Dean Chamberlain on the second ascent of Conflict of Interest (21).
Needs a good brushing down low. A fine face pitch leads to wild swings through the top overhang. 1) 25m (24) Climb tenuously past a BR 10m L of the R arete and continue R-ward to a second BR. Up and R to good slots and continue diagonally R to gain short groove and the ledge on SW arete. 2) 30m (25) Up to gain the prominent undercut ‘jug’ on the arete. Heave over the roof and up to a rest. Swing around on to the W face and go up, it gets easier, to the top. FFA Steve Monks, Jane Wilkinson, Martin Scheel March 89

Right: Dean Chamberlain on the second ascent of Conflict of Interest (21).

13] English Rose 45m 26 **
A continuous pitch up the centre of the face, gradually steepening as it goes. Desperate friction moves (mossy) 5m L of Redback lead past a BR to a slim groove. Up L past a second BR to gain a thin crack which leads to the prominent diagonal. Continue more easily up the L leading diagonal crack to a thin vertical crack. When the crack ends, lurch L to gain another overhanging crack, which leads to the top. First pitch is mossy. FFA Steve Monks, Jane Wilkinson March 89

14] Red Rock Arete 35m 23 *
A fairly good climb, taking the L arete of the main face. Start from a ledge gained by scrambling up the boulder choked gully. Climb a short crack from the R side of the ledge then move back L to the arete and up and slightly R to more cracks leading up to the arete again. Move around L of the arete and up to a ledge (belay possible) to finish up the final, steeply overhanging arete. Double ropes a must. Steve Monks, Louise Shepherd, Peter Riddy March 89

15] I Just Called To Say I Love You 20m 18M1
Starts 10m L of Red Rock Arete. Access from rear of pillar. R leading ramp leads to bulge, then L past protruding knob and up. Watch for the perched block of doom. Leader slung knob for aid. Gay Welders Union Jan 2002

16] One Ring to Bind Them 15m 23
Great line but mediocre climbing. The overhung knifeblade arete about 5m right of Variance. Stickclip ringbolt for bouldery start then hang on for the ride up fragile sharp pockets and flakes past a BR and several small wires. Rap off sling on bollard or walk to chain above Fat Fingered Freak. FFA Neil Monteith & Nick McKinnon 2.3.2002

17] Variance 20m 24 *Nick McKinnon repeats the sustained sandstone route, Variance (24), on the backside of Red Rocks
Starts 5m right of Fat Fingered Freak, on the back side of the English Rose block. Stick clip ring from block. Jump for jug and mantle onto ledge. Clip BR and step right then trend back left along sloping orange edge (BR) to under cracked bulge. Pull through this strenuously protected by wires to jug at base of small corner. Clip BR; stem into corner for a few moves then reach out left to escape hold that leads to jugs and top. FFA Neil Monteith & Nick McKinnon 2.3.2002

Right: Nick McKinnon repeats the sustained sandstone route, Variance (24), on the backside of Red Rocks.

18] Fat Fingered Freak 20m 23 *
Pumpy with some novelty moves. Located 5m left of Variance in shaded chasm. Steep short corner (ring) to ledge. Step R then up flake system past two rings and small natural gear to rap chain. FFA Nick McKinnon, Neil Monteith 27.1.2002

NORTH PINNACLE: Sector 5   Push For The Summit

19] Grey Matter 40m 13
Long gentle wall left of Womble. First move off the ground is the crux. John Taylor and Mark Sewell did an un-recorded climb in this vicinity during Easter 1978. Start in the gap between Red Rock Pinnacle and the Hamstrung pinnacle. Pull onto the wall then follow intermittent seams up the grey wall, trending gradually rightwards. If the first move is problematic, you can bridge between the two pinnacles. FFA Keith Lockwood, Pete Canning, Norm Booth, Ed Neve. 3.5.03

20] Womble 20m 13
Easy juggy face on wall opposite I Just Called etc. Top out on the pillar next to the wall with English Rose. FA Gay Welders Union Jan 2002

21] Strike the First Blow 17m 25 **
On back side of wall L of English Rose. Starts from large suspended chock-stone bridge. Three FH’s up rounded rib leads to jug. Traverse R along break past wire and FH then head straight up (FH) to chain. FFA Neil Monteith, Nick McKinnon, Marcel Geelen 26.1.2002Neil on the FFA of the bouldery Strike the First Blow (25).

22] Static Ticking Rampage 20m 22 *
Scoopy steep sport route. Starts below suspended chockstone belay of STFB on backside of northern pinnacle. Up into scoop and over rooflet then easily up jugs to tricky step right onto small ledge. Blast straight up orange overhung wall above to horizontal break and finish up left past the last FH of STFB to its rap chain. 6 RBs. Neil Monteith, Tim Lee. 27.10.03

Right: Neil on the FFA of the bouldery Strike the First Blow (25).

23] Project 17m 26?
Orange bulging face about 20m right of Strike the First Blow.

24] Hamstrung 30m 18
Directly left of English Rose is a gully. Left of this is an Arapiles style unclimbed overhung crack. Left of this is an easy angled left facing orange corner. Up this to meet with top of pine tree. Peer around the corner to find horizontal rising crack with occasional tufts of grass. Traverse desperately along this with nigh all footholds to end up perched on sharp rest flake. Finish up easy jugs to top. FFA Neil Monteith & Nick McKinnon 2.3.2002

25] Project 15m 28?
Overhung thin rounded crack. Any takers?

BACK WALL: Sector 6   Push For The Summit

26] Wimbleton 40m 14
Directly opposite Strike the First Blow (back of main wall), is a juggy wall. Start a few metres right and climb the grey face which gets easier the higher you get. At the small red cave climb out the overhung right side and up easily to ledge. FFA Gay Welders Union September 2002

27] Moria 40m 16
Starts about 3m right of Wimbleton at smooth part of grey wall. Up a few moves then right 2m. Follow easing seam, trending slightly left, to break overhang just right of the small red cave on Wimbleton. FFA Keith & Tim Lockwood, Ray Lassman. 19.4.03

28] Height of Darkness 20m 15
Grey slabby wall directly opposite Fat Fingered Freak and 50m right of Moria. Bouldery start which relents to big pockets and some seriously large jugs at end. Three BR’s and natural pro. First ascent was climbed in the pitch dark. FFA Neil Monteith & Jacqui Middleton 21.9.2003

29] Gimli 25m 14
Pinnacle 30m right of Wimbleton. Climb easy-angled grey rib for about 7m, step left then steeply to top of pinnacle. Descent can be accomplished over the next pinnacle. Ray Lassman, Keith & Tim Lockwood. 19.4.03

MARIANAS TRENCH: Sector 7   Push For The Summit

From Strike the First Blow walk north about 30m past large boulder. Head uphill for about 100m and locate large cleft on the rock wall to your right. This is the ‘trench’. An excellent bouldering area dubbed the ‘Skull Cave’ is located 50m out from the entrance. To get into the trench with the sport routes you must climb a 20m grade 2 bridging corner into the cave.

30] Wave of Mutilation 10m 24 **Tim Marsh ticks the first ascent of Wave of Mutliation (24) on the superb rock of the Red Rocks area.
The route begins at the left hand end of the Trench. Follow 3 FH to a chain anchor. A tricky crux on sensational rock. A #2 Rock will protect the start, or stick-clip the first bolt. FFA Tim Marsh 16.11.2002

Right: Tim Marsh ticks the first ascent of Wave of Mutliation (24) on the superb rock of the Red Rocks area.

31] Bathysphere 15m 25? (project)
Four bolts up thin orange face 3m right of Wave of Mutilation. Tim Marsh project

32] Spinal Tap 25m 23 **
4m right of Wave of Mutilation. Chimney up the start to the first FH. Flakes, pockets and hecuos lead up steep orange wall past eight FH’s. Watch the lurking block behind you between the fourth and sixth bolts. Neil Monteith & Nick McKinnon 2.1.2003

33] Used Platypus Condom 15m 19 **
Steep pumpy jug hauling on orange rock. Located on upper wall deep inside chasm. Two RB’s to start then medium gear to DRB lower off. FFA Neil Monteith & Dean Chamberlain 12.10.2002

34] Aleutian Crack 35m 16 *
The shrubbery isn’t as bad as it looks! On the left side of the entrance to the Marianas Trench there is a wide crack. From the ground, scramble up on jumbled blocks for 5 meters to gain the base of the crack. A couple of layback moves take you to a grassy ledge. Climb the slab on the left of the crack to avoid some vegetation before stepping back into the line and on to the top. A big cam (4 Camalot or similar) is useful. FFA David Jupp, Tim Marsh 2.11.02

36] Pike 35m 17
Good, delicate and well protected slab climbing. The slab and shallow cracks 5 meters left of Aelutian Crack. Climb short grassy crack onto the slab then follow the cracks to the base of the compact red/orange corner. Move left and finish up Cindy. FFA David Jupp, Tim Marsh & Michael Homfray 16.11.02

37] Pike Direct 35m 21?
A direct finish up the compact red/orange corner and the arete above has been top roped in the low 20’s (depending upon reach), however, both rock and protection are poor. FTRA Tim Marsh, Michael Homfray 16.11.02

38] Cindy 35m 14
Well protected moderate slab climbing with an entertaining finish. The short chimney crack to a dog leg crack three meters left of Pike. Take the ramp up right to the base of the shallow orange corner at the apex of the wall which is passed on the right. FFA David Jupp, Tim Marsh 3.11.02

39] Elver 30m 9
Two meters left of Cindy is a broken chimney which splits the slab in half. Start 1-2m left of this chimney (5m left of Cindy) and follow the cracks in the slab before weaving through the tufts of grass above. A tricky start with minimal gear quickly gives way to very easily protected if occasionally mossy climbing. FFA David Jupp, Michael Homfray & Tim Marsh 17.11.02.

SKULL CAVE: Sector 8   Push For The Summit

Excellent bouldering cave located inside perched boulder. You can traverse the entire roof in one pumpy problem. It is located 50m directly north from the entrance of the Marianas Trench.

RED ROCK GALLERY: Sector 9   Push For The Summit

This is the original Gallery in the Victoria Range, not to be confused with the Buandik Gallery two kilometres further south. This Red Rock Gallery was named with art in mind, whereas with Buandik Gallery it was peanuts! A few hundred metres up the N side of Red Rock Creek from Red Rock Road are a collection of chossy pinnacles. The highest and E-most pinnacle has a long, overhanging north wall. Walk up the N side of the creek, around the E side of the pinnacles, and up the gully behind.

40] Art For Art’s Sake 35m 21
Start from a cave passing R through the pinnacles. Slippery finger jamming in the striking diagonal flare, followed by easier but loose climbing to a dramatic finish. FFA Mike Law, Chris Baxter 2.12.1989.


Further Reading:   Push For The Summit
Red Rocks - More pics and notes from Neil's web site.
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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