The Meredith area crags offer one quality, fun wall, "Oxbow Rocks" and the rest isn't worth a second glance, despite the volume of routes. The rock is best described as "shale", yellow to grey in colour, easily fragmented. Bring a trad rack, and possibly a short length of static rope to rap off as a time saver.
Right: Adrian, leading "Roller Blind", 18m grade 16 at Oxbow Rocks.
If it's hot, you might be tempted to take splash in the stream. The water was fairly shallow during our August visit, but quite clear, cool and inviting.
To access this wall, take the Durdidwarrah road from the little town of Meredith until you shortly come to the bridge across the Moorabool river. The good parking is on the other side, however, you want to start your approach hike on the Meredith side of the river, heading downstream. There is no track, so don't expect to find one. (See: detailed drawing for correct approach). The easiest walking is well up on the bank, nearing the ridgeline but without loosing sight of the water. If you hike along the waters edge you'll be in for considerable bush bashing. Follow the river east for 10 to 15 minutes, from above, until it sweeps left and a spine-like ridge appears. Either side of this very narrow ridge has a steep descent. At its terminal point you'll find the 18m cliff, with the water a few feet away.
If you know how to do it without ring barking trees,
set your abseil here, to do multiple routes while avoiding the walk
around. Below you'll find a series of slanting cracks that offer the
area's best routes. As mentioned before the rock can be easily fractured,
however, this did not seem to detract from the enjoyment of these fun
climbs (just pay attention when placing gear on lead). There are about
five cracks in a row and each is well worth a star. With the stream
nearby, and sun out, this little crag provides a thoroughly pleasant
afternoons climbing, if you're into grades around 15 to 17.
Protection on Oxbow Rocks is in the form of small nuts and cams, though there are a few old rusty pitons (pictured above right), at crux sections. After a slightly pumpy opening section, Traindangle's crux is the last few moves, where the protection runs out (above pictured piton) and rock quality drops. Never-the-less a very enjoyable lead, as are all the crack routes at this wall.
Continue downstream, following the sharp bend for a
100 metres or so. An extremely disappointing little rock appears above a
nice inlet. Incredibly there are 6 routes here, most with a single lead
bolt. 10 metres is a joke. It would be lucky to make 5. Don't bother,
unless you're bored.
Forget it, they're choss. If you really must, go back to your car, drive back to Meredith, and this time take Steiglitz road for 5.2 km, until you hit a bridge. Bush bashing left along the river bank for about 100 metres, without loosing site of the bridge, you'll find a telecom wire spanning the gully. Below it, on the water's edge, is the most pitiful excuse for a crag you'll ever come across. 16 metres, my ass! Its more like half that and the stars in the guide should have negative signs. Why anyone would bother to climb it let alone bolt it is beyond me. I defy anyone to find a more useless, diminutive lump of choss, paraded as a two star climbing destination!
Right: Kent bouldering "Mhadaidh Two" 12m grade 18.
Castle Wall is best reached via the dirt road you
past just before driving down to the bridge. Its labelled "Meredith
Education Centre". Don't bother.
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