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Mt Beckworth, Clunes
[ Climbs | Images | Map | Forum | Trip Reports ]
Crag Summary (PDF) Quick Stats
Climbs *** ** * Hardest Longest Rock Access
330 4 20 41 25 55m Granite 10 Mins

Looking back at the "Main Wall", as seen from the "Cave Group".Mt Beckworth is about 25 minutes drive from Ballarat, or approximately an hour and 20 minutes from Bendigo, or Melbourne. It rises behind the little township of Clunes (voting population 7, and one of them is a boarder-collie), like a patient observer, unfazed by the shrieks of granite loving climbers. I think the Clunes Shire Council must know they have a good thing, and wish to keep it to themselves, because you won't find any road signs indicating "Mt Beckworth this way", until you've almost navigated the array of tracks leading in. Essentially, you'll want "Mountain Creek Road" about 3kms down "Fentons" road. (See approach map for details). Once there, however, you'll be rewarded with a picturesque little mountain, suitable for a family picnic or bush walking destination, as much as it is home to Ballarat's climbing population. 

Power Drills Are BannedNotes On Bolting
Power drills are banned and things like excessive cleaning and fixed hangers are unwelcome. All new bolting has to adhere to an established policy. (See VCC guide for details). There's a general climber's code of conduct at Park's Victoria's web site, though I'd imagine the VCC would also answer any questions in regards to establishing new routes.


The Main Group   Push For The Summit

Kent, leading "Afternoons", 14m Grade 11.If this is your first visit, head straight for the "Main Group" (turn right as you enter the park, and then right again, following the track anti-clockwise around the hill until you eventually get to the cork trees area), situated above a delightful little valley with curious cork trees, questionable toilet block, and nearby picnic table. If you've brought the wife and kids on the pretence of a picnic, this might be a good time to off-handedly remark upon the granite tors uphill and on your left as you enter. Grab your gear, which fortuitously was in the boot, and with a quick "honey just off to check these boulders out", make your way steeply uphill - it's a sharp hike, but quite short. You can wade through the bracken on a small foot-track, or bear slightly left around it, steering clear of the revegetation area. Ben, Leading "Quartz Route", 18m grade 17.

Either way, make your way to the centre of the main cluster of exposed rock called the "Main Wall" (pictured above right), where you'll find "Afternoons" (pictured above left), the 14m grade 11 ramble, suitable for a warm-up. The crux, if indeed there is one, is probably the little, smeary layback corner leading to a small recess just above the climber pictured. Natural protection abounds so it's probably a good one to send a beginner leader up. 

Above Right: The "Main Wall" as viewed from the "Cave Group". Above Left: Kent, leading "Afternoons", 14m Grade 11. Right: Ben, Leading "Quartz Route", 18m grade 17. Below Left: Me, Leading "Cozy Corner", 15m Grade 13.

Me, Leading "Cozy Corner", 15m Grade 13.Just left of "Afternoons", is the superb classic slab "Quartz Route" (pictured above right) 18m grade 17, with three bolts to glory. The opening moves require a delicate balancing act, until you can stand on a horizontal crack and reach high for the climb's namesake crystalline pocket. Pull the pocket and you're soon mid-way and at the crux slabbing where small edges can be utilised to gain easier terrain for the top out. All in all a delightful route, and well worth the three stars. Probably my favourite line at Mt Beckworth!

Left of "Quartz Route" (as you face the rock), in the sheltered alcove you'll find a goodly number of quality routes. This section is also a handy place to get out of the sun or rain and have a bite of lunch or whatever. The most obvious line is the corner crack, aptly named "Cozy Corner", (pictured left) 15m grade 13. It's a hoot of a climb, and eats cams in exactly largest (#4 camalot) to smallest (#2 camalot) size. The crux is smearing your left foot on the slab here and there, but your ascent is greatly aided by a huge jug on the right wall at about the mid-way point. At grade 13, it's an easy tick and well worth taking a punt. On the slab face to it's left you'll find "New Kid In Town", the smeary 16m grade 20. Classic slabbing and cranking of micro edges leads past a single bolt to the summit. The line has some history, and is a bold lead, though achievable.Kent Leading "Scansorial", the 14m grade 22.Kent Leading "Scansorial", the 14m grade 22.

Left again, on the smooth arÍte, you'll find a line of three bolts ("Sophie", 16m grade 18), that might inspire you, however, beware the run out, bouldery start and pick your landing zone ahead of time. At about mid-way you find yourself with your back against the opposite tor, chimneying, but wanting to commit to the face. Perhaps send your partner up this one instead!

Right: Kent leading "Scansorial" the 14m grade 22 that tackles the thin finger crack and makes you beg for foots holds.

On the block directly opposite "Cozy Corner" you'll find "Scansorial", (pictured right), the 14m grade 22 route that follows a thin finger crack, past three bolts to a crux top out where a set of chains reside. At grade 22 it's no giveaway. Delicate and precise footwork is required, and a certain degree of luck and power to pull the final crux moves. The line that heads up this same block, but from the other side (at the entrance to the alcove), is "Simple Simon", the 10m grade 25 and one of the hardest leads at Mt Beckworth. I didn't personally enjoy it, even on top rope, but others do. When the finger crack all but disappears reach over, high and right for something on the lip of the face.

Kent leading Primeval Upheaval, grade 18.A third climb that gains the same summit chains as for "Scansorial", and is worth a look is "Time's Up", the 20m grade 11 that follows the hidden, low angle slab facing the valley. From the alcove , you'll need to down climb into the gap a bit to gain the climb's start. The opening moves are a layback crack that can be naturally protected, but there are bolts for the slab finish. Abseil off the chains. Also in the alcove, check out "Stegophilist" the 18m grade 14, that includes a fun hand traverse which can be cammed up with ease.

Walk right (as you face the rock), back past "Afternoons", and on until you arrive at "Taking It Easy" wall, nestled against the bracken. Just right of a small tree you'll find a slab line with a single bolt protecting it's super runout finish. This is "Primeval Upheaval", the 13m grade 18. It's not a lead to be taken lightly. Popping off towards to the top will mean a ground fall.Me leading "Taking It Easy", 13m grade 16.Me leading "Taking It Easy", 13m grade 16.

Above Left: Kent leading "Primeval Upheaval", grade 18. The single bolt can be clipped from his stance, then it's a bold solo to the pseudo "top", where a single belay bolt resides. Right: Me leading "Taking It Easy", 13m grade 16.

A couple of metres right of "Primeval Upheaval", you'll find "Taking It Easy" (pictured right), the 13m grade 16 that follows the thin finger crack to gain the same false summit, and single belay bolt. It's protected by small nuts, and micro cams, so bring the smallest two aliens or you'll be stressing over the last few metres. A hard-ish move guards the start - just step up and reach high for crimps. Despite this, the line is genuinely enjoyable and worth the three star rating. To get off, you can continue up the slab to the real summit, or very carefully traverse right and down climb the easier terrain (use your own judgement). If you have a beginner who doesn't like "Taking It Easy" at grade 16, send them up a couple of metres right of it, where the grade is more than halved.

Looking at the Cave Group, from the top of "Taking It Easy"Kent in the Cave Group's Alcove.Several metres right again, and you'll enter "The Cave Group" (pictured left). We've done a route in the Cave Group's alcove (also pictured left), on the large block shown, possibly "The Eternal Optimist", but I'm not sure. In any case you start where Kent is pictured and then veer right across the face, past a few bolts. I don't recall enough about the line to recommend it. 

There are numerous other outcrops in the "Main Group" worth investigating. Some of them are right back down near the picnic area, other's are scattered about the hillside. I'll mention "The Resurrection", a short 8m, grade 23 as the pick of these. It's situated at what is known as "Easter Rocks". These can be found several metres left (as you face the rock), and down a tad of the Main Wall's alcove area - heading back towards the picnic table. "The Resurrection", has two bolts and two crux's. The first is working double under-clings, smearing up, and stabbing a good fin-like hold from which bolt two can be clipped. The move is beyond me, even on top rope. The second crux is crossing the delicate facing climbing on the top out. A further two bolts can be found at the summit, useful for a belay or top rope set up. It is possible to down climb the block via the chimney to the right of the line.Kent Leading The Resurrection, 8m Grade 23.Kent Leading The Resurrection, 8m Grade 23.

Above Left: Looking at the Cave Group from the top of "Taking It Easy", and Kent standing below "The Eternal Optimist", in the Cave Group's alcove. Right: Kent leading "The Resurrection", 8m Grade 23 at "Easter Rocks".

As for the rest of the hundreds of lines at Mt Beckworth's further areas, such as "Baal Spur Rock", "The Plantation", "East Side", "Upper Valley".... well I'll leave these for you to investigate. Suffice it to say that they are scattered about the mountain with significant walking distances between them. Route finding is not straightforward, and in some areas there might only be one or two lines genuinely worth doing, despite the plethora of documented routes. My advice is to demote investigation of these areas to a day with less than perfect weather, when you've got plenty of time on your hands for wandering about. Good luck and climb safe!


Reader's Feedback:   Push For The Summit

"The single belay bolt you mention on Taking it Easy was put there by Ray Fenton some time after the route had been put up. Ray likes to rope solo the routes and has placed many bolt for this purpose out there. The true belay is at the blocks at the top of the slab" - Chris Watson.


Climbs At The Main Group, Mt Beckworth   Push For The Summit

Elephant Rock Height Grade Stars
Clingle 6 13  
Solo You Wimp 8 5  
John Colgate 7 8  
Prawn of Death 9 10  
Baby Elephant Walk 11 13  
Tusker 12 19 1
Ivory Coast 10 24  
Balance Of Power 12 17 2
Trunk Line 10 17  
Slave 9 23  
Laydown Mrs Marsh 10 12  


Stranger Stone Height Grade Stars
Give Me Danger Little Stranger 7 21  
Three Moves to Nowhere 6 8  


Easter Rocks Height Grade Stars
Rhythm and Blues 12 9  
Crank Start 10 14  
Cross Roads 8 4  
Cessation 9 16  
Hot Pink 9 16  
Fancy Pants 10 10  
Loose Connection 10 19  
Easter 'eads 7 9  
The Resurrection 8 23 2
JC Was Here 12 12  
Strolling Bones 9 13  
Rolling Stone 8 14  
The Deception 7 15  
Rejected 7 10  
Cloud 9 6 15  
A Step In Time 6 11  
Kookaburra 5 10  


Thingamejug Height Grade Stars
Over The Moon 9 22  
Gecko 7 14  
Thingamejug 8 20  
The Bridge 8 13 2
Tiptoeing the Arches 15 17 1
Every Step I Take 7 14  
Crumbling Confidence 7 16  


The Alcove Boulders Height Grade Stars
Simple Simon 10 25 1
Out Of The Hat 14 12  
Reborn 14 12  
Reaming Me Sleazy 12 3  
Bribing Miss Beazly 14 10  
Seamingly Easy 16 6  


Cozy Corner Height Grade Stars
Sophie 16 18  
Revelation 16 23  
New Kid in Town 16 20 2
Cozy Corner 15 13 2
Oubliette 20 16  
Stegophilist 18 14 2
Stepping Out 8 19  
Nothing Flash 7 16  
Scansorial 14 22 1
Time's Up 20 11 2
Unnamed 12 6  
Solo or Nothing 6 12  
Porcelain Dreams 10 20  
   
Main Wall Height Grade Stars
Digital 18 19  
Old Dogs 15 15  
Girdle 22 17  
Quartz in a Pint Pot 16 14  
Of Quartz I Can 18 14  
Quartz Route 18 17 3
Right Off Quartz 18 17 1
Fish 14 15  
Afternoons 14 11 3
Afternoons (Direct Finish) 14 16 1
One Of These Nights 18 14 2
O.O.T.N. Direct 16 15 1
O.O.T.N. Super Direct 15 18 1


Surf Slab Height Grade Stars
Steps 8 11  
Hard Men Go Surfing 8 10  


Taking It Easy Wall Height Grade Stars
Up 'n' Over 9 11  
Super-Nova 8 15  
First Class Honours 8 15  
Edges 8 13  
Second Class Bolting 8 9  
Primeval Upheaval 13 18 1
Taking It Easy 13 16 3
Primordial 12 16  
The Amazing Shrinking Harness 10 10  
(As Easy As) Winking 10 5  


The Cave Group Height Grade Stars
Claret and Scones 9 19  
Port and Cheezels 7 18  
What the Policeman 10 12  
Loop d'Loop 10 19  
Leeper 10 17  
Hierachertherium 16 17  
To Bridge Or Not To Be 12 14  
The Pink Budgie 14 19 1
Rising Care Factor 20 20  
Grand Finale 18 21  
Staphylococcus 18 16  
Fata Morgana 12 21  
Steep Steppe 12 21  
Rockwork Orange 12 21  
Clarrie O'Shea 11 14  
The Eternal Optimist 14 23 2
Dyno for Daylight 11 23  
The Cave Chimney 14 17  
Calculus 16 10  
Tensor 15 12  
Making his Marc 18 16 2


The Lip Line Height Grade Stars
Lay It On The Lip Line 12 16 1
Loose Lips Sink Ships 12 15  
Stiff Upper Lip 11 11  
Way Off Courtz 9 11  


River Slab Height Grade Stars
All The Rivers Run 30 2  
The Mini-Series 55 6  


Climbs At Baal Rock Spur, Mt Beckworth
   Push For The Summit

Baal Rock Height Grade Stars
Faces and Names 9 9  
Fooled U 12 13  
The Harlin Route 12 20  
The North Face 16 24 2
The Hoopie 14 16  
Hop Hop Hopping Along 14 15  
Oliver's Travels 15 12  
Me and U2 9 16 2
Me and US (Variant) 9 13 1
C U Jimmy 8 16  
The Classic Mist 9 18  
Blue Kangaroo 6 8  
Prim and Properly Pampered 6 18  
Reclining Nude 9 12  
Watson Monopoly 8 5  
A Matter of Life and Debt 8 7  
Reunification 10 18  
Free Form Funkafile Filth 10 18 1
Let's Go Humping 12 13  
Who R U? 6 14  


Lennon Wall Height Grade Stars
Instant Karma 8 6  
Name Games 9 10  
Power to the People 25 18  
Shaved Fish 10 17  
Shaved Fish (Direct Start) 9 18 1
Clutching at Nothing 9 19  
Cold Turkey 9 19 2
Shark Bait 9 18  
Mind Games 9 15 1
   
Windy Boulders Height Grade Stars
KT 8 8  
The Power of Balance 7 16  
Hit Me with your Windy Stick 8 10  
Mary 8 7  
Winds of Change 8 8  
Blowing in the Wind 8 9  
Abby 7 9  


Shadow Walls Height Grade Stars
Jumping at Shadows 8 18 2
Jumpjack 6 10  
Mangle the Dangle 7 12  
Dangle the Angle 8 9  
Anything Goes 10 10 1
Shrub a Dub Dub 12 8  
What Am I Doing Here? 12 9  
Common or Garden 8 8  
Testicle 7 7  
Piece of Cake 7 10  
Visions Shared 9 12  
First Ascent Fever 9 13  
On a Roll 9 5  
Strolling the Vertical 9 19 1
World in Harmony 10 14  
Shadowjack 11 10  


Pygmy Wall Height Grade Stars
Better Tall Than Small 7 5 1
Leprechaun 8 9  
Out of Reach 8 6  
Pygmy 8 10  
Spiffing 10 15  
Cling 8 15  


Climbs At Upper Valley, Mt Beckworth
   Push For The Summit

Scarface Rock Height Grade Stars
Desperately Seeking Scarface 7 17  
I Climbed with Scarface 7 10  


Misfit Rock Height Grade Stars
The T.W. Editorial Memorial 10 13  
The Turning Away 9 18  
Earthbound Misfit 10 17 1


Traveller's Wall Height Grade Stars
Fly, Fly Away 8 9  
No Room in Khartoum 9 15  
Bolderdash 8 20 2
Don't Cry Over Spilt Blood 11 22 1
Impending Journey 10 16  
En Route 7 13  
All Guns Blazing 16 18  
Off Limits 14 16  
Detour 10 4  
Cruise Control 10 14  
That Was Klaus 9 22  
The Classicist 14 19 1
Hidden Charm 10 19 1
Sleight Enigma 13 21 1
Pyramidal Muddle 12 15  


Butterfly Rocks Height Grade Stars
Insolence 7 7  
Arrogance 6 12  
No Vacancies 13 14  
Big Mouth 9 8  
No More Mr Nice Guy 10 14  
Premonition 6 16  
The Weasel 8 6 1
Fergus The Ferret 8 10  
   
The Arborist Walls Height Grade Stars
Proless 7 9  
Mean Machin 8 11  
Wet When Slippery 8 14  
Double Boots 8 14  
Arboring a Grudge 7 8  
The Arborist 8 11  
Greenpeace 7 13  

Lumber Slab Height Grade Stars
Left Lumber 8 16  
Surface Tension 8 18 1
Lumber Slab 8 16 3
Lumber Right 8 16 1
Vector 9 10  


Wire Brush Rock Height Grade Stars
Death of a Wire Brush 7 6  
Wire Brush's Revenge 7 7  


Bum Rock Height Grade Stars
Cheek to Cheek 7 19  
This Sport Needs an Enema 6 14  
Enema Indirect 6 10  
Good Times, Great Mammaries 8 16  


Cunning Stunt Wall Height Grade Stars
Cunning Stunt 7 13  
Takris 8 19  
Lay Back and Like It 7 6  
Thanks For Nothing 6 17  
The Lecherous Layabouts 7 11  
Thinking Of England 6 13  
I Wonder Where I'll Land 11 19 1
Arrive Refreshed 10 14  
Turn of the Tide 8 17  
Too Late Kuwait 10 12  
Scud Marks 10 12  
Unsound At Any Speed 8 10  


Climbs At The Plantation, Mt Beckworth
   Push For The Summit

Name Height Grade Stars
Crackerjack Crack 7 14  


Wave Rock Height Grade Stars
Cartesian 10 14  
Polar 12 13  
Cylindrical 10 11  
Lightning Crashes 15 12  
Heropsychodreamer 15 16  
Clip The Eucalypt 20 19  
Ethlers Danios 20 20  
Osteogenesis 20 23  
Slot 20 21  
Tsunami 35 9  
Scrub 10 12  
Easy 15 3  
Card Sharp Shoes 6 10  


Plantation Slab Height Grade Stars
Back Pack Crack 30 6  
Badgers Keep 15 6  
All Too Daft Eh? 50 3   
Walkabout 50 3  
Gabbro 35 4  
Bleak House 35 4  
Surfacing 35 5  
Buda 35 7 1
Hymettus 45 7  
Great Flake 40 5 2
Yuulong 40 3  
Saint Earth 40 3  
Hush 35 2  
Tumblers Green 20 10  


Plantation Wall Height Grade Stars
The Moke 10 6  
Panache 18 14 1
Ehcanap 18 13 1
Escalade 13 11   
Acclivity 11 12 1
Hazel 10 20 1
Upsurge 10 20  
Undulation 10 15  
Soarer 6 16  
Foretopman 10 7  
Archetypal 11 11  
Inchoate 11 12  
Cacoethes 13 15 1
Far Enough 13 7  
   
Lost In Space Wall Height Grade Stars
Danger Will Robinson 8 9 1
After The Sting 8 3  
Never Fear, Smith Is Here 8 9  
Silence You Ninny 8 13  
Continued Next Week 8 14  
Here's To You Mrs Robinson 7 15  
Penny And The Carrot Man 7 5  


Dust Wall Height Grade Stars
Sit On It 7 16  
Child's Play 10 17 1
Dusty 10 14  
Dust Up 10 16  
Dusty Bates DS 10 15  
Dusty Bates 11 12  
Umbral Twitch 10 12  
Handful Of Dust 8 18  
Ashes To Ashes 8 18  
Dustbuster 9 17  
Dust My Broom 8 14  
Jus Ter Fee Cher ? 10  
Restored 7 8  
Reviewed 7 10  
Created 7 13  
WA Inc 8 3  
State Bank 8 15  
Bond Corp 6 16  
VEDC 6 10  


Climbs At East Side, Mt Beckworth
   Push For The Summit

Elevator Rocks Height Grade Stars
Captain Memo 8 12  
Climbatic Variations 7 18 1
Sillyman 7 19  
Bark In Both Hands 8 14 2
Bark In Both Hands DS 8 17 2
Brucellosis 8 14  
Tripping Up The Stairs 6 16  
Minnie Bannister 7 15 1
Take The Lift 6 18  
Elevator 15 7  
The Brink 7 20 3


The Middle East Height Grade Stars
Surfing In Suez 7 14  
Jericho 6 10  
Assassination 6 13 1
Bonking in Beirut 6 16  
Gaza Strip 6 15  
Pharaoh's Revenge 6 12  
Gallilee 6 10  
Why Wasn't Wilson With Us? 10 5  
What A Prick 7 15  


Worthless Wall Height Grade Stars
Rouble 6 8   
Rial 7 12   
Zlotty 7 14   
   
Wall Street Height Grade Stars
Blue Chip 14 10    
Yuppie Zone 10 12    
Breadmaker 20 18
Wall Street 20 18 1
Indices 20 15  
Tao Jones 20 12  
All Ordinaries 20 9  


Stone Wall Height Grade Stars
Stoneage ? ?    
Stonefaced ? ?    
Stonemarten ? ?    
Stonechute ? ?  
Stonewalk ? ?  
Stone Idol ? ?  
Stonehouse ? ?  
Stonewall ? ?  
Stonemason ? ?  
Stonemonkey ? ?  
Stonehenge ? ?  


The Lost World Height Grade Stars
Aprilfust 7 11   
Grand Central 7 11   
J.O.K. 7 12   


Further Reading:
Northwest 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.
Mt Beckworth Reserve - Park's Victoria's page on this area.

 

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