- Gariwerd (The Grampians)
- 01. Northern Grampians - Mt Zero Range
- 05. Mt. Stapylton Amphitheatre
|This area is locked for editing by the parent crag. Route additions are allowed.|
|Description:||Most of the following has been copied directly from Kieran Loughran's excellent Amphitheatre guide - thanks!|
Central Buttress is the big somewhat scrappy looking area extending right from the Amphitheatre Gully, until the cliffline breaks down into a gully before the Grey & Green Walls. It offers a wide variety of climbs with a few outstanding classics. While some of the cliffs do not look particularly attractive at first sight, don't let that put you off. The highlight of this area, and the best section of the entire Amphitheatre apart from Taipan Wall, is the recess containing Simpleton, Missing and Technical Ecstasy.
Central Buttress is in the shade until early afternoon. Simpleton gets sun only on summer evenings. An early start on a hot day can see you up a good climb before the heat of the afternoon. The climbs left of Simpleton appear grey and amorphous but are generally quite steep and more difficult than appearances suggest.
|Location:||Follow the walking track from Flat Rock down into the Amphitheatre for about 150m past Epsilon Wall, avoiding any right-hand turns. Follow a faint pad on the left to soon arrive below the Amphitheatre Gully. Central Buttress extends from here to your right.
Descent: Descend via the abseil near Simpleton or the Hollow Mountain walking track towards Summer Day Valley (return into the Amphitheatre is then possible by walking beneath Amnesty, Clicke, Kindergarden and Northern Walls areas). Avoid the horrible dangerous Amphitheatre Gully (which I refuse to call by its traditional name of "the descent gully"!). Parties with novice climbers are strongly advised to use the walking track for descent.
Simpleton Abseil Route: This is the only abseil descent from this area, and allows the awful Amphitheatre Gully to be avoided, but it has its own hazards. If you have two 50m ropes, you need to use the old anchors: from the top of Simpleton (near a lonely 4m pine tree), move out to the front of the cliff and scramble down 5 metres to the chains, the scramble is fairly easy but very exposed - one snapped hold or foot slip and you're facing a death fall. If in doubt, keep the rope on. Have slings ready to clip into the anchors, which are now worryingly rusty. It is a 50 metre abseil, and the first 40 metres are free hanging. Abseil ends on long ledge at the base of Missing. Either scramble down the initial slabs of Technical Ecstasy or do a further short abseil from trees. If you take novices on this descent (not recommended) you must be able to rescue them if they get stuck on the long free abseil section. On a pragmatic note, remember that belaying a novice on descent can take just as long as simply walking off.
In May '09 a new anchor was added at the top of the Simpleton corner, and this can be accessed much less dangerously than the original anchor because you don't need to do the scary 5m downclimb. To use this new anchor you need two 60m ropes.
Climbs are described from left to right.