For the latest revision please
download the PDF.
The Loddon River is not a thundering torrent of
white water, even in mid winter. The "falls" (pictured below) consist of a short,
polite drop into a tranquil little pool suitable for swimming, surrounded by 25m high basalt
cliffs, that are probed by the tentacle strands of brambles. Said spiky
intruders also guard the opening moves to what small number of routes
exist, and hug the lip of the crag making belays less than pleasant.
Recent new routing and establishment of belay bolts, however, has helped
greatly to improve this crag.
surface rock is also prone to splintering, making wearing a helmet an
absolute must especially for those below. It has to be said, if you're
looking for a picturesque water fall try the near by Trentham Falls
instead, and if you're looking for a full day of cragging - well there
still isn't that much here despite recent first ascents.
Never-the-less, the Loddon River Falls area is a surprisingly fun outing,
offering a sense of adventure, at least three nice lines and tranquil,
perhaps even beautiful surrounds.
Access is gained from "Sewell Road", off
"Holcombe Road" out of the little township of Glenlyon. (See: approach
map and check the VCC
guide for details). You can drive down the final dirt track for about
1.5km, then get out and start walking across the paddock on your left
until you strike the river. You'll see the cliffs pretty quickly. A small
foot-pad leads down through the brambles to the base of the main wall.
Dump your packs beside the stream, and looking directly across at the
highest section you should spot a reasonably obvious line following one of
the many vertical cracks (pictured below). Start in the dual cracks, then,
at about halfway up, the right side
of the line terminates at the top of
a slightly free standing pillar (good rest), and the climb continues on
the left crack/arête to the summit.
Above: Michael on the FA of "Fear Of Choss", 20m Grade 16. The rock
is a tad crumbly on the final three of four moves, but should clean up
Of Choss", 20m grade 16 is deserving of at least one star. If the
line was transplanted to somewhere popular (like Werribee
Gorge), it would
be given two stars and raved about. Out at Loddon River, it needs a bit
more traffic to knock off the remaining loose chunks before it could be
considered a classic. (Gear goes into the solid crack system. The loose
stuff is all merely surface material). During my lead I had to fight off the brambles near
the start and deal with several splintered holds making us fairly confident
the line had not be done before. (FFA since confirmed with VCC). Our second triggered the fall of some
football sized chunks, but the route should now be reasonably clean,
making subsequent repeats safer and more enjoyable than my nervous
The line eats cams, accepting camalots size .75, 1 & 2 with ease. I
had doubles of these sizes, but could have used more. You no longer need a
20m length of static line to set the belay off a large tree set a ways
back from the top, due to the new lower off rings.
Beware the mine shaft immediately left of the base
of the aforementioned climb - you can't see it until you're inches from
it. The route leading up from the mine is "Mine, Mine, Mine" 20m grade 23
and has one bolt protecting the opening moves with the rest traditionally
protected up the the same lower off rings. Beware the chossy top out. Five
metres left of the mine shaft is "Shellshock", the 20m grade 17 that
follows two yellow streaks. I haven't climbed this line, so I can't
comment on it.
Above Left: Neil does a high clip on the first
ascent of Stem Cells (22). Above Middle: Kent on first ascent of
Pull the Pin (20). Photo By Neil Monteith. Above Right: Nick
McKinnon on the first ascent of The Dirt Unit (22) Photo By Neil Monteith.
Left again you'll find Sick Baby Blues (18) and just
left of the upper waterfall you'll find two new routes on a 10m wall. Stem
Cells (22) is described by Neil as "involving very powerful stemming and
using very unconventional holds. The crux is protected by a couple of
rings then the finish climbs boldly above a few small wires". Pull The Pin
(20) sits left of Stem Cells is a "It is a great bolted subtle arête with
a few tricky moves".
There is potential for more new routes in this area.
Have fun, and don't forget your helmet!
Climbs At Loddon River Falls:
Guide By: Neil Monteith. For the latest revision please
download the PDF.
West Side - Main Wall
This is the large wall on the opposite side of the river from the carpark.
It is150m wide and about 20m high. The bottom is quite overgrown with
brambles and thistles. A deep mine shaft sits directly under the route
Mine Mine Mine. Robin Holmes came face to face with an irate and hungry
Tiger Snake in the bottom of this mine when attempting to retrieve a lost
shoe! This wall gets full morning sun until about 2pm.
1] Question Mark Crack 15m 15
Jon Bassindale, B. Hindmarsh. 4.4.03
2] Mud by Pig 15m 15
B Hindmarsh, Joni 20.3.04
3] No Knees 15m 14
C.Goy, Bryce, Anna Mezzaros, Craig Golding ??.2.03
4] Unknown arete 17m 23?
FTRA Jon Passindale 11.7.2004
5] Club Mud 15m 15
Jon Bassindale, Anna Mezzaros ??.2.03
6] Wee Blinder 10m 19/20 **
Excellent thin crack starting from the left side. Jon Bassindale 28.3.04
7] Fear of Choss 18m 16 **
Stellar double hand crack between columns. Starts about 5m right of mine
shaft. When the right column runs out finish up left crack to dirty top
and double U bolt lower off. Bring lots of hand/fist crack sized cams.
Michael Boniwell, Kent Paterson 25.05.2002
8] Mine Mine Mine 18m 23 **
Classic. Thin crackline located directly above mine shaft. Take care
climbing above shaft from the left to clip hard to reach FH. Bouldery crux
then into thin finger crack. At horizontal break at two thirds height step
right and finish up finger crack to double U anchor. Kent Paterson, Neil
9] Tiger Feet 18m 16
Nice start then average loose ledge traverse. Starts 4m left of Mine Mine
Mine. Up cracks onto ledge. Wander up and right to loose topout. Jon
Bassindale, Bryce, Dominic Hindmarsh. 28.03.04
10] Sick Baby Blues 17m 19
Depressing. Starts 5m L of mine shaft, at the R side of the orange wall.
Up rotten crack to ledge on R. Up line on left passing wedged block and
high FH. No anchor. Nick McKinnon & Neil Monteith 7.12.2003
11] The Dirt Unit 18m 22
Fun moves but somewhat contrived. Start 5m L of mine-shaft. Up SBB for 3m
then step L onto dirty ledge. Arrange wires then up the orange scar face
and hanging corners above passing 3 FH’s. Keep off the ledge on L. Above
third FH make a delicate step R around the arete. Clip the FH on SBB and
finish up corner. Nick McKinnon, Neil Monteith & Jono Schimdt 12.7.2004
12] Line Boring 19m 16
Crack just left of TDU. Jon Bassindale 30.3.03
13] Shellshock 20m 17 *
Starts 10m left of mineshaft at the base of a wall between two extensive
yellow rock scars, beneath an obvious hanging rib. Climb the cracked wall
on the left , until a step right gains the top of the rib and a ledge. The
short corner and rib above. Belay to a tree well back from the edge
(10-15m). Andy Long & Gordon Talbett 10.5.1996
14] Mudslide 10m 16
Nice short crack ending on ledge. Needs lower-off. Jon Bassindale, Bryce
15] My Name Is Mud 15m 18
A long way left you’ll find another patch of trampled bush beneath two
nice cracks.Climb these to a ledge with a big perched block. Climb crack
right of this to a lurch left leads to wide finish and thus avoiding
grassy ledge. Bryce, Mick Rogan, Anna Mezzaros 2003?
East Side – Upper Waterfall
This small wall rises from the eastern banks of the upper swimming hole
with the impressive waterfall. On either side of these climbs are shorter
and broken walls which could contain several easy trad routes in the
future. A single U bolt serves as a lower off point. This wall gets
16] Bryceless 10m 15
Broken crack. Jon Bassindale, Craig Seelenmeyer 18.11.02
17] Ledgebound 10m 20 *
A non-direct trad version of Pull the Pin. Jon Bassindale, Chris Goy
18] Pull the Pin 10m 20 *
A more direct and retrobolted version of Ledgebound. Consumer classic with
lots of fun moves. FH and two ring bolts up subtle arete on left side of
smooth wall. Rap off U above Stem Cell. Kent Paterson, Joe Morgan-Payler &
Neil Monteith 7.12.2003
19] Stem Cell 10m 22 *
Starts 2m right of Pull the Pin. Technical bridging up a face with
some baffling start moves. Two ring bolts and wires to finish. Lower off
U. Toproped by Jon prior to first ascent. Neil Monteith, Joe Morgan-Payler
& Kent Paterson 7.12.2003
20] Built in Obsolescence 10m 17
Jon Bassindale, Stewie Beekmeyer 23.3.03
21] Mudlust 10m 13
Jon Bassindale, Anna Mezzaros, Stewie Beekmeyer 23.3.03
Victoria, A Rockclimbers Guide - A climbing guide book, edited by
Chris Watson, Bill Andrews and Michael Hampton and available from local
climbing shops, or the VCC.
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