Rock trip in the Grampians

 In Outing report

Invited by some friends to join their 8 days rock climbing trip to the Grampians in Australia, it didn’t took me too long to take my decision and two weeks ago, found myself drinking coffee on the terrace of our cottage in Halls Gap quickly welcomed by all our hungry neighbors.


Also welcomed by rain, we spend the first day, visiting around and getting our bearings. Season wise it is one of the most rainy in the Grampians but it is not the worst to climb. The temperature are cooler and more appropriate for climbing and in 8 days, despite frequent rain, we still managed to climb 7 days in a row.

Black Range

This is how we ended up going to the Black Range the second day to avoid the rain. Geologically speaking I think it is outside of the Grampians range but distance wise, from Halls Gap it is as far as going to crags in the Victoria Range and it does offer very nice crack climbing with a lot of jamming compare to the Grampians trad climbs which are more face climbs with occasional jamming. In the end it was a very sunny and hot day on a crag with a good concentration of very good climbs.

Grampians Black Range cragClimbing at Grampians Black Range - 1Climbing at Grampians Black Range - 2Climbing at Grampians Black Range - 6Climbing at Grampians Black Range - 7Climbing at Grampians Black Range - 4Climbing at Grampians Black Range - 5Climbing at Grampians Black Range - 3Climbing at Grampians Black Range - 8Climbing at Grampians Black Range - 9Climbing at Grampians Black Range - 10Climbing at Grampians Black Range - 11View from the top of Grampians Black Range crag

Summerday Valley

The next day the weather forecast was rain showers so we decided to go to the Summerday Valley crag which is very close to the Hollow Mountain parking so we could retreat easily. We did experienced some small and short rain showers but nothing that stopped us from climbing. It was also a good place to get a taste on easy climbs of protections placement on Grampians routes.

Climbing at Grampians Summerday valley 1Climbing at Grampians Summerday valley 2Climbing at Grampians Summerday valley 3Climbing at Grampians Summerday valley 6Climbing at Grampians Summerday valley 5Climbing at Grampians Summerday valley 4Climbing at Grampians Summerday valley 7Climbing at Grampians Summerday valley 8Climbing at Grampians Summerday valley 9Climbing at Grampians Summerday valley 10Grampians summerday valley


After adapting for two days we headed to the Bundaleer crag, not too far from Halls Gap, to warmup on the classic short-three-pitches Gerontian route (grade 17/5.9) before tackling one of my friend’s objective: Blimp, an amazing 25 meters (82 ft) long corner graded 20 (5.10c). One of the most beautiful corner crack I have ever seen which surprinsigly turns up to be almost entirely a face climb with the crack being just good for protection.

Grampians Approach to Bundaleer - 2Grampians Panorama from BundaleerGrampians Approach to Bundaleer - 1Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-1Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-2Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-3Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-4Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-5Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-6Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-8Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-7Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-9Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-10Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-11Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-13Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-14Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-15Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-16Grampians Climbing in Bundaleer-17

Cave and Wave

A storm with strong winds was forecast to pass over the South of the Victoria State with warnings issued. So once more we headed toward Hollow Mountain area to go to the Cave and Wave crag, which is not too far from the parking so we could retreat quickly if need and overhanging so partly protected from the rain. We ended up climbing just two easy routes before retreating as the weather was deteriorating. But I have to say I was happy to get half of the day to rest.

Grampians climbing Cave and Wave-1Grampians climbing Cave and Wave-2Grampians climbing Cave and Wave-3Grampians climbing Cave and Wave-4Grampians climbing Cave and Wave-5Grampians climbing Cave and Wave-6Grampians climbing Cave and Wave-7Grampians climbing Cave and Wave-8Grampians Cand and Wave area

Mount Stapylton Amphitheater

As we wanted to do some multi-pitch I chose the Simpleton route on Mount Stapylton amphitheater. Another classic it seems as the topo is saying that it might be the most climbed multi-pitch in the Grampians. But that’s not why I chose this climb. What attracted me is the amazing looking 60 meters tall corner that the line follows. I ended up leading both pitch 2 & 3 and got my ass kicked taking tension on the rope at the beginning of pitch 2. It also took me quite a while to commit to the last pitch traverse. If I ever got the chance to go back climbing in the Grampians, I’ll definitely got back climb that route and some other multi-pitch in the area.

Grampians Heading to Stapylton Amphiteather-1Grampians Heading to Stapylton Amphiteather-2Grampians multip-pitch on Stapylton Amphiteather-1Grampians multip-pitch on Stapylton Amphiteather-2Grampians multip-pitch on Stapylton Amphiteather-3Grampians multip-pitch on Stapylton Amphiteather-4Grampians multip-pitch on Stapylton Amphiteather-5Grampians - a busy rackGrampians multip-pitch on Stapylton Amphiteather-6Grampians multip-pitch on Stapylton Amphiteather-7Grampians multip-pitch on Stapylton Amphiteather-8Grampians multip-pitch on Stapylton Amphiteather-9Grampians multip-pitch on Stapylton Amphiteather-10Grampians multip-pitch on Stapylton Amphiteather-11Grampians multip-pitch on Stapylton Amphiteather-12Rapelling down Simpelton-1Rapelling down Simpelton-2Grampians back from Stapylton AmphiteatherGrampians Heading to Hollow Mountain

The close-by Taipan wall looks truly amazing and appealing but I would definitely had to step-up my game my two range of climbing grades.

With some time left, we decided to go to Hollow Mountain as my friends was interested in the uncommon Golden Showers and Group Sex (grade 20, 5.10c), where you have to crawl through a huge hole to go from the left side of the arete to the right.

Grampians Climbing in Hollow Mountain-1Grampians Climbing in Hollow Mountain-2Grampians Climbing in Hollow Mountain-3Grampians Climbing in Hollow Mountain-4Grampians Climbing in Hollow Mountain-5Grampians view from the top of Hollow Mountain

Victoria Range

With a good weather window we headed to the Victoria Range to target another of my friend’s project and Grampians‘ classic: Twentieth Century Fox (grade 20/5.10c), an amazing line starting by a crux crack climbing and then a slab climb protected by what is still for me one of the scariest protection possible: the Australian carrot bolt. Was a nice onsight from my friend who onsighted all his projects in the Grampians with that climb.

Grampians trail to Victoria RangeGrampians climbing Victoria Range 1Grampians climbing Victoria Range 2Grampians climbing Victoria Range 3Grampians climbing Victoria Range 5Grampians climbing Victoria Range 6

Mount Rosea

Then came the last day of the trip. Despite the iffy weather, we managed to have our seventh climbing day in a row. We headed to the Mount Rosea to do an easy multi-pitch before driving back to Melbourne in the evening.

Grampians multi-pitch climbing on Mount Rosea-1Grampians multi-pitch climbing on Mount Rosea-2Grampians multi-pitch climbing on Mount Rosea-3Grampians multi-pitch climbing on Mount Rosea-4Grampians multi-pitch climbing on Mount Rosea-5Grampians multi-pitch climbing on Mount Rosea-6Grampians multi-pitch climbing on Mount Rosea-7

Yes, except some indoor bouldering few weeks before the trip to the Grampians, I hadn’t climb at all for 7 month and was out of shape and endurance and out of the trad climbing mind game, but the climbing was up to its reputation: bold.

We didn’t climb in all the crags, but from what we experienced and what I could see, except some areas like Mount Stapylton amphitheater (where the Taipan wall is) and Bundaleer, the crags in the Grampians are not that amazing in the sense they don’t have a lot of very interesting routes. However, each crag has few routes which are pure gems with stellar climbing.

I would love to go back climbing in the Grampians in better shape to be able to redpoint some of the classic trad routes I couldn’t onsight, be able to tackle some hard sports climbs and have more time to also discover Blue Mountain and Tasmania.

Information about the Grampians

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