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The Australian Route Register

Mt William Upper

  - Gariwerd (The Grampians)
    - 05. Mt. William Range
      - 05. Mt. William Road
This area is unlocked for editing, and its routes are unlocked. Route additions are allowed.
Description:The highest peak in the Grampians is not a winter destination. A long cliff line in a striking location but few strong lines. There are however a number of good buttresses with unxepectedly good holds and gear turning up on many of the faces. A number of good climbs are available and access is quite straightforward and relatively short. The climbs around Conqueror and the Major Mitchell buttress are easy to find and are the best starting points for visiting the cliff. A lot of the original routes were very undergraded. This probably happened in the late 60s when the grades were translated from the old [badly applied] English system to the Ewbank system of grading without any one actually repeating the routes to see what grades they really were. Mt William is very much a summer cliff and is often much cooler than other cliffs even though it faces North.
Location:From the Halls Gap/Dunkeld road take the Mt William road to the carpark at the locked summit road gate. The RH end of the upper cliff is visible above the carpark. Walk up the summit road to the 4th and last zig zag corner. Depending where you want to go there are now two options. **OPTION ONE - this is best for the climbs around Conqueror and from there Rward to Order of the White Elephant. From the 4th zig zag continue along the road for 15m. On your L is a scree slope get up onto this and find a cairned route. This route initially keeps about 50m away from the cliff edge, after the first 100m it moves into quite clear and easy terrain and hits the cliff edge in little more than 5 minutes about 20m short of the abseil chains above Marie. These abseil chains are over the cliff edge and it is advisable to connect in with a sling before setting up the abseil. 2x50m ropes required [45m abseil]. Gear up at the top and abb down to climb. **OPTION 2 - this covers the area from the Major Mitchell Buttress Rwards and back L as far as Lower Orders. For these climbs head out on a faint track from the last zig zag to the cliff edge 40m away. If you walk R [facing out] along the cliff edge for 30m you will arrive at a descent gully. There are 2 abseil bolts a few meters down in the gully. A single 50m rope will get you down from here [25m abseil - If preferred this gully can be scrambled down and back up with some difficulty]. From the foot of this gully the Major Mitchell buttress is about 20m R. Or you can pick your way L from here on a rapidly improving pad to get to the area around Conqueror.
Rock:   Walk:   15-30 mins
Wet Weather:Soaked
Kid friendly:NoAuthor:armstp


Map One

(scaled down)


    Your Worst Nightmare 75m 16trad
 Good luck finding this.
South of the summit is a lot of cliff. This route is in a large amphitheatre accessed from the first prominent saddle south of summit area. Start 5m L of prominent spur.
FA: Graham Gittins, Wayne Maher [alt] - 1993-02-13
P1(25m, -)Through scrub and up broken corner to ledge and tree on R.
P2(20m, 16)Offwidth and squeeze chimney
P3(30m, 16)Move 4m R then up wall. Traverse R then up and L. Up through scrub to major spur dividing amphitheatre.
    Montague 62m 18trad
 A long way L of the other routes, look for a groove line starting high on the cliff [it has some bright green lichen on the left wall high up but this doesn't stand out as much as it did 40 years ago!]. It is a V groove leading to an overhang then a steep R facing groove up the headwall. It is not however easy to find. I recently repeated it thinking I was on a new route, and as I had done the first free ascent of it in 1978 I should have had some idea what it looked like.
FA: Michael Stone, Chris Dewhirst [alt] Rein Kamar - 1972-12-16
FFA: Philip Armstrong [1 point] - 1978-00-00
P1(40m, 12)Pick you way carefully up broken walls and ledges to below the groove. Up a short section of groove to a ledge with a large dead banksia below where line steepens. If anyone really wanted to do this route it would be better to abseil in to this point, but of course you would never find it from above.
P2(22m, 18)Up V groove, exiting L to a ledge. Up and L to bushy ledge. Up to roof then traverse R under roof[crux] to get back into main groove line. Swing up aroung overhang to ledge and possible belay. Up steep groove to top.
    Queen Anne 44m 10trad
 Nothing royal about this
Below a buttress with a distinctive triangular roof.
FA: Rob Taylor, Daryl Carr [alt] - 1966-10-22
P1(22m, 10)Up broken rock into corner and up to small stance.
P2(13m, 10)Chimney to small ripply wall.
P3(9m, 10)Chimney L of wall to top of pinnacle. Up wall to top.
    Brace and Bit 40m 18trad
 Originally escaped off R, the exciting finish as described gives a good route.
R of the QA buttress is a buttress distinguished by a 1m wide overhang just below its top. This overhang has a a couple of lines though it towards the RH side.
FA: Jerry Maddox, Philip Armstrong P1 07-05-1978, Philip Armstrong, Richard Curtis P2 - 1981-01-26
P1(25m, 16)Up thin shallow cracks towards RH side of buttress moving L to foot of deep crack.
P2(15m, 18)Good crack up and L to overhang. Jam through this and up.
    Bloody Mary 58m 15trad
 Next buttress R of B&B and possibly 10m L of The Ego Trip.
FA: Rein Kamar, Bob Connell [alt] - 1972-12-29
P1(22m, 15)Corners on L wall of buttress.
P2(36m, -)Up crack for 5m, traverse L to corner chimney and up.
    The Ego Trip 45m 8trad
From end of terrace L of Stage Fright
FA: Alan Gledhill, Geoff Gledhill [alt] - 1972-11-12
P1(36m, 8)Broken line to tight chimney, up.
P2(9m, 8)Chimney crack on R.
    Stage Fright 45m 17trad
 Big line 13m R of ET, originally described as a 'proud corner' it actually looks like a steep grotty gully...and what do you know, when you climb it that is just what it is.
FA: Chris Baxter, Geoff Gledhill, Julie Tulloch - 1973-02-18
Tweedle Dee
45m 15trad
 As for SF
FA: Geoff Gledhill, Michael Stone [alt], Alan Gledhill - 1972-11-11
P1(30m, 12)Up over rubbish as for SF for 6m then into and up subsidiary line on R.
P2(15m, 15)Corner to overhang with a fraught move getting past the bush, followed by a terrifying swing R on huge detached blocks to finish more easily.
    Banksia 39m 13trad
 Not bad but a bit mossy.
7m R of TD. Has a prominent square and letter B at its base, making it a good landmark in this area.
FA: Ann Richardson, Jerry Grandage [alt] - 1966-10-22
P1(18m, 12)Climb initialled corner to ledge. Veer L and climb crack beside detached pinnacle. R and up crack to small stance.
P2(21m, 13)Nice moves around overhang then line.
    Free Bird     IMG 60m 20trad
 Excellent positions.
3m R of Banksia
FA: Kevin Lindorff, Rod Young - 1978-05-07
P1(25m, 20)Up wall then R around arete. Up corner a few moves then back L around arete and up wall to ledge. Step R and climb thin crack to exit R to block.
P2(35m, 20)Wall then finger crack to roof. Step R and up line to step R to ledge. Finish up crack.
    Fedallah     IMG 47m 22trad
 A dramatic line and an atmospheric climb. The 2nd pitch was originally all aid.
Initalled corner 9m R of FB
FA: Peter Jackson, Ian Guild [alt] - 1966-10-22
FFA: Kevin Lindorff, Peter Lindorff - 1978-00-00
P1(18m, 15)Corner, over overhang and up short wide crack to ledge.
P2(13m, 22)Up corner and L leading flakes moving L to a small stance under roof.
P3(8m, 15)Up crack then step R to sloping ledge. Up to small terrace. [Alternately go straight up without moving R at grade 18. Peter and Kevin Lindorff 1978]
P4(8m, -)Chimney on L
    Harpoon     IMG 50m 19trad
 The excellent crack [which the abseil route goes pretty much straight over] on the 2nd pitch links together sections of existing climbs to give an exciting route finishing at the abseil bolts.
FA: Peter Cody, Philip Armstrong [alt] Jerry Maddox - 2012-04-01
P1(18m, 15)As for P1 Fedallah
P2(32m, 19)Up the corner to the bulge, step out R and up to the ledge above the bulge. Traverse boldly out R to the thin crack, up this exiting L at the top. Step back R and up to join the top corner of Marie.
    Kiss of the Spider Woman     IMG 50m 20trad
 Very unlikely looking wall climbing which is not well protected. Sustained.
2m R of Fedallah
FA: Stephen Hamilton, Chris Baxter - 1990-12-16
P1(25m, 20)Up face to short corner which leads to overhamg. Swing R onto steep slab then make a dramatic move L to a hanging slab. Up and L to join Fedallah for 2m. Where that climb swings L cont. up line to stance below overhangs.
P2(25m, 20)Short corner to roof. Move L and pull up R around lip in exciting situation. Follow line up R to join Marie, finish up this.
    Marie     IMG 50m 17trad
 Two clean, varied and enjoyable grade 17 pitches which deserve to be popular. There are abseil chains at the top. 2x50m ropes required.
Crack 4m R of KotSW and 3m L of the prominent corner of Conqueror.
FA: Stephen Hamilton, Chris Baxter [alt], Gary Schmidt - 1990-03-12
P1(25m, 17)Climb crack, when it stops above steep wall step R and climb Conqueror for 4m to sloping ledge on L.
P2(25m, 17)L facing corner above. A nice pitch of jamming and bridging.
    Conqueror 47m 16trad
 A solid undertaking up a powerful line. Would be quite good if it were a bit cleaner. Originally graded 11! Possibly the hardest route led by a woman in Australia in 1966.
Initialled corner 3m R of Marie
FA: Jerry Grandage, Ann Richardson [alt] - 1966-10-22
P1(26m, 14)Corner to ledge.
P2(21m, 16)Up R hand line [L hand one is Marie] with some steep and awkward moves.
    Rameses II     IMG 45m 18trad
 As for Conqueror
FA: Kevin Lindorff, Philip Armstrong [alt], Tony Dignan - 1978-01-20
P1(25m, 18)Up Conqueror a few meters then R and up unlikely looking wall to arete and V corner. A hard start to the corner then R and up to small ledge.
P2(20m, 14)L of 3 lines
56m 19trad
 Dirty, loose and poorly protected
8m R of Conqueror.
FA: Chris Dewhirst, Michael Stone [alt] - 1972-11-05
FFA: Stephen Hamilton [1 aid] - 1992-00-00
P1(26m, 19)Corner to overhang [very loose flake], R to nose then up to and up groove.
P2(30m, -)Flake and corner, L under overhang and up groove easing.
    Swarm 50m 19trad
 P1 gives good climbing on good rock, however the route is ruined somewhat by a dirty unstable section on P2
7m R of Nails
FA: Stephen Hamilton, Chris Baxter - 1990-12-16
P1(25m, 19)Climb groove to overhang, L under this [crux] then up next groove stepping R to ledge below roof.
P2(25m, 18)R along ledge, climb corner to ledge on R. Up thin crack above to exit onto unstable ledge. L on this then up crack, veer up L to arete and follow it to an unexpectedly difficult conclusion.
    Snake Pilgrim Despondency 70m 18trad
 See note above. The start of P2 is the same as for Swarm and it is possible to finish up that route after the crux corner of SPD.
Wide crack 1m R of Swarm
FA: [P1] Brian Oates, Barbara Gillespie 22/10/66 [P2] Chris Dewhirst, Mike Stone 12/11/72 [P3] Geoff Gledhill, Alan Gledhill, Mike Stone 11/11/72
P1(15m, 13)Up wide crack to nose, swing R and up to ledge. Up to block, climb crack behind block to ledge below overhangs. This is the same belay as for Swarm.
P2(35m, 18)Traverse R to short corner, up this [crux] then traverse R on unstable ground to solid crack on R wall of groove.
P3(20m, 14)Up the steep crack.
    Despondency 46m 14trad
 Awful first pitch.
At the R edge of the gully/groove line R of Swarm is a large detached pinnacle.
FA: Alan Gledhill, Geoff Gledhill, [alt] Michael Stone - 1972-11-11
P1(34m, 14)Up the R side of the pinnacle then R ward into a series of short corners leading to a ledge below a steep exit crack.
P2(12m, 14)Crack and chimney.
    Excalibur 49m 16trad
 20m R of Swarm. Marked with a white square. The climb starts up a fairly obvious crack/seam above an overhang which was originally graded 11. Not a bad route with the variant finish.
FA: Daryl Carr, Rob Taylor [alt] - 1966-10-22
P1(23m, 16)Up the undercut crack for about 5m. then make an ascending traverse L across steep wall and up to ledge. Up short wall to ledge at base of chimney.
P2(26m, 10)Chimney to ledge and large block. Move R around bock and finish up short crack.
    Excalibur variant 47m 16trad
 A better way to do Excalibur, start as for that climb. Interesting climbing on both pitches.
FA: Philip Armstrong, Jerry Maddox [alts]. - 2011-10-27
P1(18m, 16)Up as for Excalibur but belay at the first ledge.
P2(29m, 14)Climb the little corner on the R to the overhang. Pull R ward through overhang then step back L. Up to roof, step L to finish up Excaliburs chimney
    Yesukai     IMG 42m 17trad
 Originally erroneously described as starting up Tweedle Dum, it takes the attractive shallow corner 15m R of Excalibur which the First Ascent party must have assumed was the corner TD started up. Clean and steep, with some unexpectedly good holds and excellent gear. Up corner, move out L when it ends and up to overlap. Above this traverse R [crux] to crack near arete. Up this to ledge [possible belay] then R and up 2 short walls.
FA: Rod Young, Kevin Lindorff - 1678-05-07
    Tweedle Dum 45m 14trad
 About 22m R of Excalibur, and 7m R of Yesukai are a pair of short corners just R of some rooves. Initialled. Up the RH corner to a ledge, rising traverse L ward for 3m then up short wall to ledge. Up wide crack, then short walls, cracks and gullies to top.
FA: Alan Gledhill, Geoff Gledhill - 1972-11-05
    Dorothea Jordan 45m 19trad
 As for Tweedledum.
FA: Philip Armstrong [P1,2] Jerry Maddox [P3] - 2011-10-27
P1(14m, 14)Up short corner to ledge. Rising traverse L ward for 3m then up short wall to ledge [This pitch is as for Tweedle Dum which then continues up the wide crack above]
P2(12m, 19)R to corner, up this to roof. R around roof and up to ledge.
P3(19m, 18)Up crack and steep seam in wall behind, then another short wall and a corner on the L to the top.
    Mitchells Carpenter 47m 8trad
 I am not sure about the location of this route. It is described as being about 5m R of TD, however there is no rock fitting this description or of this grade 5m R of TD. I don't think it was originally recorded in relation to TD, someone possibly decided that this is where it must be. By the description it could be an undergraded repeat of TD.
FA: Tom Banfield, Keith Woodward - 1972-00-00
P1(18m, 8)Crack, exit R at overhang. Up L past overhang.
P2(18m, 8)Crack, R to ledge.
P3(11m, 8)Chimney
    Tolpuddle 45m 15trad
 Start at the bushy ledge beneath Upper Crust. 10m R of Tweedle Dum.
FA: Philip Armstrong, Jerry Maddox - 2012-04-15
P1(30m, 15)From L end of ledge head easily up and L a few meters to a ledge. Up short corner on R to roof, step out R and up line around bulge to ledge. R and up short crack to large ledge.
P2(15m, 15)As for Upper Crust
    Upper Crust     IMG 45m 17trad
 Steep and enjoyable face climbing
10m R of TD, a seam/crack up an attractive wall. Initialled [altho' you can't see the initials from the track thanks to some bushes].
FA: Philip Armstrong, Jeremy Maddox [alt] - 2006-03-11
P1(30m, 17)Up crack and slightly R onto ramp, up and L to foot of crack, up this to ledge. Up short crack to large ledge.
P2(15m, 15)From the top of the large pile of blocks climb short walls to a ledge. Up short jam crack.
    Order of the White Elephant 40m 17trad
 15m R of Upper Crust is a L facing corner, initialled. A worthwhile outing at the grade.
FA: [P1] Greg Aimer, Chrissy Freestone 10-04-1994 [P2] Philip Armstrong, John Stone 20-11-2011
P1(25m, 17)L facing corner then overhanging crack to sloping ledge. R to sentry box, then crack to ledge.
P2(15m, 17)Cross crevasse and up wall to steep R tending seam in headwall, up this [route originally exited off L].
    Silly Billy 35m 15trad
 About 30m R of Order of the White Elephant is a buttress with a band of steep orange rock across its base. Scramble up to the RH edge of this band.
FA: Philip Armstrong, Jerry Maddox [alt] - 2012-01-05
P1(18m, 15)Up RH crack over two bulges to a seam. Up seam until it steepens, step L and up to ledge. Up and R to ledge next to chimney.
P2(17m, 15)Up chimney and crack
    Lower Orders 40m 19trad
15m R of SB. An initialled crack leading to a bulge [This is about 50m L of the Major Mitchell Buttress descent route]
FA: Jeremy Maddox, Philip Armstrong [alt] - 2004-12-30
P1(20m, 19)Steep crack then up and R through bulge finishing up seam.
P2(20m, 17)Up to and up obvious crack which is a good deal more awkward than expected.
    Major Mitchell's Cup of Tea 33m 19trad
The buttress directly below where you reach the cliff. There is a distinctive boulder/pinnacle at the L edge of the face.
FA: Greg Aimer, Chrissy Freestone - 1994-03-28
P1(25m, 19)Up line behind pinnacle, trend R through small overlap into R hand seam. Up this to sentry box, exit R and up through bulge to ledge.
P2(8m, 16)Step out R from ledge to finish up steep crack. [Can be avoided but is a lot of fun]
    Major Mitchell's Fan Club 28m 16trad
 From top of pillar, 4m R of MMCT. Steep wall, short flake then L hand seam.
FA: Greg Aimer, Chrissy Freestone - 1994-04-10
    Royal Bastard     IMGIMG 28m 19trad
 Excellent, sustained climbing. Start 4m R and 8m below MMFC. Easy square cut chimney to ledge on L [possibly better to start from here]. The surprisingly frantic groove and seam exiting Rward to finish up short cracks and steep head wall.
FA: Jeremy Maddox, Philip Armstrong - 2005-03-14
    William Who?     IMG 27m 17Unknown
 Nice varied climb. The next buttress R of the King Billy buttress has a steep bushy gully in the centre [about 10m R of RB].
FA: Jeremy Maddox, Philip Armstrong [alts] and Chris Armstrong - 2005-03-13
P1(12m, 17)The clean arete just R the gully moving R when the angle eases to belay on ledge.
P2(15m, 16)Corner then out R to finish up steep line.
    House of Hanover 33m 19trad
 Start 3m R of William Who? Wide crack to ledge below overhang. Follow good crack around overhang and Rward up steep wall then back Lward to finish as for WW?

FA: Philip Armstrong, Peter Cody - 2007-11-24
    Last Will 18m 11trad
 About 10m R of WW starting on top of the platform 8m higher. Take crack up R side of short pillar and continue up through bulge to foot of large chimney. Climb R arete of chimney.
FA: Philip Armstrong, Chris Armstrong, Jeremy Maddox - 2005-03-14
    HMS Valiant 24m 17trad
 Enjoyable face and arete. 40m R of HofH is a buttress with an orange seam towards it L side, a few meters L of a deep line with 2 wide cracks up it. Steeply up seam until it ends at horizontal break, L to arete, up just R of arete to ledge. Line just L of arete to top. Cairned.

FA: Philip Armstrong, Peter Cody - 2007-11-24
    Earl of Munster 10m 12trad
 40m R of HMSV [and clearly visible from the top of it] is a steep jamcrack up the R wall of a gully. About 6m L of Little Willy.

FA: Philip Armstrong, Peter Cody - 2007-11-24
    Little Willy 16m 21trad
 Strenuous and pushy. On the front of the face around R of EoM. The thin seam on the L side of buttress which has wide cracks on its R side. At 10m step L to avoid a small corner leading toa dubious boulder.
FA: Stephen Hamilton, Peter Woolford - 1991-04-07
    The Milkshake 30m 12trad
 The original description said 'A track from the car park crosses the cutting near the N end and goes NE to the ridge. From the start of this track above the cutting go S to cliff above car park, L of 3rd gully'. So the climbs are somewhere on the cliffs visible from the car park.
FA: Tom Banfield, Laurie Doe, D Delves [var] - 1972-01-03
P1(12m, -)Climb corner 7m L of middle chimney [Dodo]
P2(13m, -)Corner to scrubby ledge.
P3(5m, 12)L front of boulder
    Hello Sailor 36m 5trad
 2m R of The Milkshake
FA: Laurie Doe, Steven Pinder - 1972-01-03
P1(21m, 5)Front of L corner of buttress.
P2(15m, 5)Short wall, scramble to next face, climb R crack.
    Dodo 36m 8trad
 5m R of HS
FA: Laurie Doe, Keith Woodward - 1971-12-27
P1(21m, 8)Chimney
P2(15m, 5)As for HS

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