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
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This guide records the new development that has occurred
in the hidden crags within walking distance of the Mt Stapylton
Campground, Northern Grampians in Western Victoria. Most of the better
routes are steep bolted sport routes which are marked with (S). The rock
is coarse with a similar feel to the Blue Mountains and has patches of
utter choss. If you are climbing on trad then take extra care as many of
these routes have had limited repeats. If you want to clip bolts then this
area is a great place to start your Grampians experience. Leave your bolt
plates at home - almost everything here is ring-bolted. To locate these
crags from the car park refer to the map.
Cave | Sentinel Wall |
The Guardhouse |
Access: 15-20mins, Late afternoon sun, Rain protected.
is a large cave of excellent rock high up in the valley behind Stapylton
Campground with an easy flat walk-in. (See:
detailed approach map of walk-in). Hidden amongst vast amounts of choss
this area features very steep sport routes on coarse orange rock.
Mt Stapylton Campground aboriginal shelter car park walk south east
following the east side of a vegetated creek. A few minutes into the walk
you will pass an isolated pillar of rock ‘castle crag’ with a few ok
routes on it. Keep following the creek, walking along nice kangaroo grass
and ferns for ten minutes until you can see a red cave above some large
walls up and to the left. Try and locate some rock cairns and follow these
up gentle hill. Follow left branch of ‘creek’ up small rock gully on the
left side of the cave until you can traverse directly right across exposed
rock to get into the cave. A RB is positioned at the end of this traverse
to use as an anchor to belay people who may be scared of the traverse. It
can also be used to abseil out of the cave when the traverse is wet from
Easier Puzzle 12m 10
Easy trad climbing on big jugs. Start at small corner break 2m left of
Half Shark Half Man. Follow break to finish at HSHM anchors FFA Phil
Neville, Joe Morgan-Payler, Michael Schedlberger 18.4.03
1) Half Shark Half Man 14m 17
Nice steep and juggy warm-up at the far left
end of the cave. Starts halfway across the approach traverse. Up through
orange jugs and then grey cracked face. Three RB’s and DRB lower off. FFA
Joe Morgan-Payler, Stephen Hawkshaw & Neil Monteith 2.3.2003
2) Media Puzzle 16m 23 *
Starts at left end of cave at small rooflet.
Good pumpy workout on nice orange rock. Out left across crux roof past two
RB’s then up scoops on jugs (2 RB’s) to good rest. Step right (#1 cam
optional) and thug through steep territory past RB to jugs and DRB
lower-off. FFA Neil Monteith, Joe Morgan-Payler & Jacqui Middleton
Media Puzzle Special Addition 21m 23 ** (S)
A bonus finish to Media Puzzle. From double ringbolts monkey
upside down on jugs out right along the horizontal break for 4 m pass 2
bolts then up the chains (crux ) to finish. FFA Peter Daish & Damian Hall
3) Roof of Doom 35m 22
A novelty route across a big roof.
Originally attempted on trad – but after Neil pulled a huge block off the
lip and whipped upside down it was decided to bolt it. Climb to first bolt
on Stepping on Snakes, traverse left across Army of Ants to big ledge.
Walk left across this to FH and keep going across line (big cams) to roof
flake (FH). Out impressive 3m roof and up steep arête past RB to lower off
bolts. FFA Neil Monteith, Jaqui Middleton & Joe Morgan-Payler 2.3.2003
Antics 15m 26 **
An impressive five metre roof climb. Follow Army of Ants to first
bolt, then traverse left to ledge. Climb left leading roof flakes directly
above the ledge past 4 FH's to lip. Back climb to clean. No anchor. FFA
Malcolm Matheson & Jacqui Middleton 24.05.2003
4) Army of Ants 15m 26 **
Start just right of small arête in centre of
cave. Tough sport route. Don’t wear slip-ons unless you’re OK with losing
a shoe mid-route! Thin reachy face to start precedes big dynamic moves up
steep wall and finish via big scoopy roof 1 FH & 4 RB’s. Lower off chain.
FFA Rohan Archibald, Neil Monteith & Jacqui Middleton 2.3.2003
Right: Jacqui Middleton on the lower moves of
the very steep Army of Ants (27).
5) Stepping on Snakes 14m 23 **
The second route on the right side of the
cave. Mantle onto slab then up very steep horizontals to final roof dyno.
Five FH’s and double RB lower off. FFA Neil Monteith 16.11.2002
6) Dwarf Pumper 8m 20
Far right side of cave. A Nowra style
pumpfest with a tricky crux. Two RB’s up steep orange wall. RB lower off
at top. FFA Neil Monteith and Joe Morgan-Payler 3.11.2002
Area: Sentinel Wall
Access: 15-20 minute walk-in, Afternoon sun
On the other side of the access gully is a rock
buttress. About 100m left and slightly uphill from the cave is this orange
wall with large horizontal pockets. Scramble onto large ledge from the
left side to belay.
7) Sunsation 15m 18
Start slightly left of Fot as Huck. Up to thread then over
bulge to break. hand travers left to obvious jugs and up the juggy face
above. FFA Stephen Hawkshaw & Andrew Morrison 19.4.2003
8) Fot as Huck 20m 17
Starts on the left side of the wall just
right of grey roofs. Up slightly overhung wall on big incuts and lots of
cam placements to juggy finish. FFA Joe Morgan-Payler 16.11.2002
9) Sunraysia 20m 20
Starts about 4m right of Fot as Muck. Long
reaches and a scary runout in the first ten metres. At the horizontal jam
crack traverse slightly left to finish up Fot as Huck. FFA Neil Monteith &
Joe Morgan-Payler 16.11.2002
Right and slightly downhill from Sunraysia is this
wall with some obvious crack lines.
10) Tatiana 12m 15 *
Start 2m right of central crack on buttress slightly downhill and
right from Sunraysia. Up through thin start to pockets and past technical
finish to tree belay. FFA Michael Schedlberger, Phil Neville, Joe Morgan-Payler
11) Know your signals 14m 15
Start 4m right of dirty roof hand crack and right of Tatiana. Follow
weakness through thin start to under roof. Watch for loose rock. Traverse
left 2m and finish at tree belay. FFA Phil Neville, Michael Schedlberger,
Joe Morgan-Payler 18.4.03
Access: 20 mins, Afternoon sun
A small gently overhung amphitheatre of rock with a couple
of good Blue Mountains style sport routes and plenty of potential for new
routes. The orange wall is clearly visible on the hillside when driving in
from the highway past the olive grove. Walk in as for Sentinel Cave (see:
approach map). After hopping
over a big dead tree about 8 minutes into the walk turn left and follow
small creek bed steeply uphill heading for the obvious orange wall high on
the hill. Scramble up ledges and small fixed rope to get to base of wall.
Above Left: Topo of the Guardhouse. Above
Right: Neil attempting the second ascent of Little George (22).
12) Ranger Danger 14m 24
Weaves around black streak on far right side of crag. Bouldery start
(stick clip ring) up slots to easier ground. At halfway head slightly
right to hidden RB and crux dyno. Finish up steep jugs. Five RBs and DRB
lower-off. FFA Neil Monteith Kent Paterson 14.6.2003
13) Little George 25m 22 *
Named after George the baby gecko, that hitched a ride on a backpack all
the way to Brunswick... causing havoc at Jac's place for two weeks before
being returned to the Grampians! Follows left-trending line of four
ringbolts in centre of crag just right of big scoopy hueco in rooflet.
Stroll through delicate start just left of first bolt, locate the secret
hold, and march your way to glory over steep juggy terrain. Double RB
lower off. FFA Jacqui Middleton, Neil Monteith 25.04.2003.
Check out the video clip
Little George (3.3
Meg, 53 seconds) - In the setting sun, Jacqui Middleton grabs the FFA. Jac's smooth,
leisurely pace appears more dynamic in this footage edited to reduce file
Warden Wall Access:
6 minute walk-in, Afternoon sun.
Small featured wall on left side of track about 100m past
Castle Crag on the walk in to Sentinel Cave. These are short trad routes
on good rock.
14) Crimps of Doom 10m 17
Face round corner and 1m left of Rohan's Route, a few balancy
crimp moves gets you to the top. Joe Morgan-Payler. 25.10.03
15) Rohans Route 10m 17
A hard and bold mantle at the start reaches jugs (crux) and easy
hauling to top. Rohan Archibald. Solo. 25.10.03
16) My Bitch Bubba 10m 18
Same start as for Gormet, only stepping onto thin face after
reaching first block, then following the break on left-hand side of face.
Tuan Le. 25.10.03
17) Gormet 10m 14
Nice climbing up an attractive line. Follow orange corner to top. Hanh
18) Photographers Solo 10m 8
Best access to top as well as an easy down climb.
Selected Climbs - Guide book authored by Simon Mentz and Glenn Tempest
and available from local climbing shops or the VCC.
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