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The Cathedral, Mt Buffalo
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Climbs *** ** * Hardest Longest Rock Access
56 5 1 8 25 115m Granite 10 mins
UPDATE May 2007: See PDF Guides below for Topos (Contributed By Josef Goding):

Contributed By: Will Monks

The Word: Stacked with classics.
Sun/shade: Plenty of sun, though Sultan gets afternoon shade.
Wet weather options: No.
Style & Length of Climbs: 15-90m. Take as many as 10 bolt plates plus a rack.
Grades: 13-28

Above Left: The climbers at the highest point are atop Sultan (which comes from the left) and Maharajah (which comes from the right). The cleancut corner at centre bottom is Compulsion (13), and the major smooth arete at far right is The Dreaming (23) - 90m high! Above Right: Here's a shot of the road-side of the Cathedral. Notice Kevin on the slab, and just to his R is Sultan p1 which follows the beautiful large corner, then traverses around R and up the obvious flakes.

Right: And here's a shot of James on the same slab, just L of the corner of Sultan. There's a new route with FH up that steep arete on the right - looks hard!

*** Sultan 60m 20
A bloody brilliant route, and coming from me (who'd usually rather swallow a fork than climb on granite) that's saying something! In fact this is the best route I've done on the whole mountain. 1) (*** 25m 20) An awesome corner. Sitting below it's fearsome offwidths you're likely to tape up, but it actually goes to extremely elegant laybacking, smearing and underclinging! The only time I actually jammed was to stop to place gear! 2) (** 15m 15) Steep juggy flakes to roof then traverse 12m round R to a SHB at base of flake system. A great airy traverse which stays interesting the whole way! 3) (*** 20m 19) The stunning flake system up the airy headwall. The start is quite strenuous, but well protected so no need for factor twos! Then continuously lovely laybacking and underclinging around rooves leads to the short nice airy slab finish shared by Maharajah pitch 4.

Above Left: A view across the second pitch of Ben on the semi-hanging belay 30m off the deck, with the beautiful alpine plateau stretching off into the distance. Above Right: And looking back down the hard section of pitch 3 to Ben still on the same belay.

*** Maharajah 42m 17
Originally done in 4 pitches, but it's a great single pitch if you take care to extend gear, or have double ropes. 1) (* 9m 17) The flake start is a nice little problem (place a high #4 camalot in the original to protect the start), med wires and small cams. 2) (*** 15m 17) Up to the twin cracks, apparently the L (grassy) one is off-route. Awesome (crux) moves lead up the R crack for 5m to a nice step L into the V-groove and through the bulge. 3) (* 9m 17) A lovely undercling/smear problem around the first block (there are several good lumps to smear on) deposits you on a ledge, then some easy moves past a good thread to the top of the flakes. 4) (* 9m 14) The short slab succumbs to good footwork, then back to the chains.

Above Left: And here's a shot of the entire route, with Ben "3 pitches" up it. Above Right: Here's a shot of Ben on pitch 2, avoiding the "proper" way up the right hand crack.

Above Left: I caught up with Geoff so got this shot of him after doing the nice undercling move on pitch 3. Above Right: And here's a view of Geoff seconding pitch 2, about to get to the lovely twin cracks.

* Strange Angels 20m 20
A nice little number. Take a #4 camalot to preplace high in Maharajah as a side runner, otherwise the start is very bold. Nice moves lead up to sinker wires in the obvious grooves, then thinner moves up the shallow corner/flake past a FH. The crux is past the 2nd FH, get tiny crimps either side of it, and run your feet up the flake to get your R foot on top of it, swing your L foot onto a high crappy hold, and delicately stand up to snag some little crimps at full reach, then to the jugs on top. Rap ring.

Right: The shot to the right shows James approaching the last-move crux.

Further Reading:
Mt Buffalo, A Rockclimbers Guide - A climbing guide book, edited by Jeremy Boreham and David Breeton and available from local climbing shops, or the VCC.
Wills Climbing Page - Details on this area.


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