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The Australian Route Register

04. N & NE Mt Stapylton - Hollow Mountain Side

Region:VIC
  - Gariwerd (The Grampians)
    - 01. Northern Grampians - Mt Zero Range
This crag is locked for editing, and its areas are locked. Area additions are not allowed
Description:First things first:
(a) Before you leave the car, please try to poo in the toilets at the Hollow Mtn / Summer Day Valley car park;
(b) if you need to poo while at the crag (which should be rare if you adhere to (a)!), then please walk at least 50m (no, 10m from the base of the crag is NOT ok!). Choose a spot which gets rain (i.e. not under rock overhangs), to accelerate breakdown. Do NOT poo within 50m of a watercourse (even if it's not flowing). And bury your poo and paper;
(c) do not burn your paper. Visiting Americans and Euros bringing this practice with them start bushfires all too often - the Australian bush is highly flammable!

Ok, now onto the good stuff.

Introduction - The Hollow Mountain side of the Mt Stapylton massif (being the North and North-East facing cliffs) contains hundreds of world-class single pitch routes and a small number of more adventurous multi-pitch climbs. This is one of the most popular climbing areas in the Grampians because of the wide range of routes, very easy access and close proximity to spectacular walking trails and aboriginal art sites. The area is incredibly complex with gullies, multi-tiered cliffs and thousands of hidden boulder problems under the tree line. A huge assortment of routes exist, including ultra hard sport climbs, runout slabs, powerful cracklines and wandery easy jug fests. In fact, the sheer variety of the area can produce a route of each of these styles at almost every small crag! The rock is generally coarser than most of the Grampians with a tendency for wildly creative rock features including man sized huecos and bizarre sloper covered faces.

How To Use This Guide - There are a few special features that may need explaining. On approach maps blue lines are for official tourist tracks and red lines are for climber specific paths. If a route is marked Toprope/Yes then it can be easily setup as a toprope by walking to the top of the cliff. The route will also not feature large traverses or roofs which can cause topropers to deck out. These routes are perfect for beginners or instructional groups requiring safe climbing areas. If a crag is marked Kid Friendly then it means the area is easy to get to, has no large dropoffs nearby and the rock quality is generally good enough to have kids lurking beneath. Obviously no climbing area is truly safe for kids, so you really should keep them away from any potential dangers. You can use the Route Search functionality of the online guide to narrow down climbing grades and styles that you prefer. It is easy to search for three star overhung sport routes at grade 23 for example.

Ethics Police - Australia has a long tradition of naturally protected climbing. Almost all of the routes in this guide feature trad gear in some form. Mixed routes featuring bolts and trad are also very common, and are a unique part of the Grampians climbing experience. The use of mass bolting to create sport climbs is a very recent phenomena that has only emerged in the last ten years. Officially bolting is not encouraged by Parks Victoria (National Parks management) and due restraint is needed for anyone considering establishing new routes in the area - especially at areas near tourist tracks. There is an unspoken rule that routes within view of tourist tracks should remain unbolted. Obviously there is exceptions - Sandinista Wall is a glaring example. Power drills, overuse of chalk and antisocial behaviour should be kept to a minimum - preferably as an after dark activity. Unlike Europe, our Australian climbing areas remain relatively untouched by the damage of people. Human shit, ghetto blasters and rubbish belong in the city, not in the Grampians. Bury, or even better pack out your toilet waste. Pack out all rubbish including those little bits of finger tape and cigarette butts. We have a very precious resource and need to protect it for future generations. Respect.

Weather -These northwards facing cliffs are a suntrap and make this area ideal for cold winter days (June to October). In summer (December to March) it is best to take a late start and climb in the afternoon shade on one of the more southern crags such as Van Dieman's Land. At other times of the year it is ideal low 20'C temperatures and mostly dry conditions as this area suffers from central Australian drought conditions. The rock dries quickly after rain although there are several seeping lines at the steeper crags.

History - Surprisingly this area was all but ignored during the golden years of climbing development in Victoria (the 60s and 70s). Whilst the early pioneers were bashing steel into Bundaleer, Rosea and even nearby Taipan Wall this area remained forgotten apart from occasional visits by Keith Lockwood doing easy ascents of routes such as Paperclip (13) and Pig Sticker (14) in the early 1970's. John Filton and a cast of thousands scored the first route in the area with Filton's Folly (17) in 1973. As the 1970's ticked over into the heady days of the 80's and nearby Arapiles entered an era of fevered development the ever keen Kevin Lindorff began to unearth new routes at Hollow Mountain. He had the place pretty much to himself for a few years and his name appears on many mid grade routes on the northern end of the cliffs. These routes were hardly stretching the technical grades of Australian climbing but they did begin to introduce the area to a wider audience. His best creations were the killer lines including Sandinista (23), The Territorial Imperative (20) and I Surrender (22). James McIntosh explored the far reaches of the cliffs in the 1986 by thrashing to either end. By the middle of the 1980's the cliffs began to feel the pressure of constant development. The Natimuk crew were spreading their wings and discovering many new routes in the area. In 1988 Louise Shepherd and Steve Monks added some quality wall routes to Amnesty Wall including Amnesty International and Chinese Water Torture (22). During the late 80's Malcolm Matheson added the hardest route in Australia outside of Arapiles with Journey Through Nicaragua (30), an all trad protected corner of exceptional beauty. This route kicked off a wave of quick development that saw overseas climbers such as Martin Scheel repeat and climb their own testpieces on the Sandinista Wall including Daniel Or Tiger (31) which remained the hardest route in the Grampians until the late 1990's. New Zealander Dave Vass spent considerable time in the late 80's establishing several of the best lines in the area including That Fearful Vortex (25) and Us Esoterics (23). As sport climbing began to infiltrate the Victorian climbing community in the early 90's a new crag was unearthed on the far southern end of the Hollow Mountain cliffs. The exceptional Van Dieman's Land was the result with several of the best mid grade sport climbs in Victoria becoming new wave classics. John Miller, Peter Stebbins and Matt Brooks were responsible for this still very popular area. The controversial bolting practices of Matt Brooks and friends raised a few eyebrows at the time although this was soon forgotten once people actually tried the excellent climbs. In the late 90's bouldering sprung onto the scene with a vengeance. By the start of the new millennium hundreds of overseas climbers were making the pilgrimage to the Hollow Mountain Cave and its collection of uber hard roof climbs established by Nicole, Loskott and assorted strong locals. The scattered boulders of Andersons also became very popular. Dave Jones fought his way up Sandinista Wall establishing the hardest route in the area with Samosa (32) in 2000. A year later strongman Nathan Hoette linked Daniel Or Tiger into Samosa to create the hardest route in the Northern Grampians, Sparticus (33). In the early years of the naughties a bunch of new sport routes emerged from smaller cliffs near Van Dieman's Land to fill in the gaps of un-developed rock. Neil Monteith and Nick McKinnon developed the excellent Cut Lunch Walls sport crag, Matt Brooks returned from the Blue Mountains to lead several new routes at Amnesty Wall and in 2005/2006 Neil Monteith and friends developed Tribute Wall and Bad Moon Rising Wall into popular sport climbing venues. In 2008 Kevin Lindorff and the Yerba boys established a heap of new routes on the long forgotten wall above Amnesty. After a year away from his favorite cliff, Van Diemans Land, Kent Paterson returned in 2009 and put to rest several old Martin Lama projects and added several new routes. In 2010/2011 Kent added a whole bunch of easier lines and linkups with his new apprentice in bolting Chris.

Location:Refer to road map one level up from this guide. Drive to Melbourne - Ballarat - Stawell - Dadswells Bridge (The Big Koala). Now continue north on the Western Highway for 11km then turn left towards Laharum and Mt Zero. Continue for 3km along bitumen then turn left onto Flat Rock Rd (dirt). Follow this rutted dusty road for 3km (watching for suicidal kangaroos) and turn right at T-intersection towards Hollow Mountain and Mt Zero. Follow this major dirt road for 1.2km then turn left into the Hollow Mountain and Gulgurn Manja tourist carpark. This carpark is very safe for leaving gear in vehicles, there have been almost no recorded car break-ins in recent times. There is a toilet, water tank not much else at this carpark. Follow the signs and refer to map one level up. To reach the climbing from the Hollow Mountain carpark shoulder your pack and follow walking signs from here towards the signposted Hollow Mtn (1.2km). The first crag reached (after passing the Summerday Valley areas on your left near the carpark) is the impressive orange Sandinista Wall (620m from carpark). This walk should take 10 minutes from the carpark. To the right of Sandinista Wall are several crags including Amnesty Wall and Guernica Block. To the left of Sandinista Wall is Tupameros, Cut Lunch Walls, Van Dieman's Land plus many others. Directly above Sandinista Wall is Echoes Block, Red Wall and the uber famous Hollow Mountain Cave bouldering area. To reach the Echoes Block follow the tourist track left from Sandinista Wall and up right through the cleft following the worn track and paint arrow markers.

Camping: is not allowed in this area but can be easily found at the Stapylton Campground about 10km south. If approaching from Melbourne, the campground is best accessed via Dadswell's Bridge, not via Roses Gap or Halls Gap.

Useful Info:Other Resources - It is best to use the excellent Grampians Select Climbs print guide by Simon Mentz/Glenn Tempest to acquaint yourself with other crags in the area. Recent roadworks and trackworks have made some of this area a little confusing to first timers.

Warning and disclaimer - Climbing is a high risk activity. The safest climb in this guide can kill you. The author accepts no responsibly for injury, death or financial loss from use of this guide. This guide is not an instruction manual, it merely describes an area suitable for experienced climbers who want to know what goes where. You are responsible for your actions. The author and publisher is not responsible for you.

Acknowledgments - Thanks to Bill Andrews for his hard work in creating the original guidebooks, the updates and for keeping a record of the hundreds of confusing new routes generated every year. The Victorian Climbing Club for maintaining an amazing central source of information about Victorian climbing. Kyle Dunsire for his awesome online guidebook database system, which he kept revising whenever I required more features for this guide. Tempest and Mentz for their inspiring Grampians Selected guide which opened my eyes to this area. Will Monks for proofing and being a fickler for detail. Climbers who helped massively with research include Kieran Loughran, Keith Lockwood, Malcolm Matheson, Matt Brooks, Kent Paterson and many others. Thanks to the many people who climbed and helped me with the clipboard during research.

� Neil Monteith 2006. No part of this guide including text, diagrams or photos can be used without permission from the copyright holder. Please contact nmonteith@yahoo.com for this permission.

Author:nmonteith

Issues

Bolts loose!Cosmic Psycho routewarningcurrent2009-02-23


Areas

Gun Buttresssteep trad climbing
12 routes
Sandinista Wallsteep sport climbing
15 routes
Rambla Wall (Bouldering)steep climbing
7 routes
Pensioners Wall / Moral Vandal Blockvertical trad climbing
9 routes
Amnesty Amphitheatresteep sport climbing
27 routes
Crank Start Amphitheatresteep trad climbing
10 routes
Orange Blossom Areaslabby trad climbing
8 routes
Guernica Block Areavertical trad climbing
9 routes
Andersens (Bouldering)varied climbing
61 routes
Battlescarred Blocks (a.k.a. The Ammo Shop)steep trad climbing
6 routes
Red Wallvertical trad climbing
9 routes
Echoes Blockvertical trad climbing
14 routes
Echoes Block (Bouldering)varied climbing
19 routes
Hollow Mountain Cave (Bouldering)steep climbing
40 routes
Loopey's (Bouldering)steep climbing
13 routes
Tupamaros Areavaried trad climbing
16 routes
White Wallslabby trad climbing
11 routes
Cut Lunch Wallssteep sport climbing
23 routes
Legoland (Bouldering)vertical climbing
15 routes
Koalasquatsy Wallvertical sport climbing
11 routes
Tribute Wall - Uppervertical sport climbing
8 routes
Tribute Wall - Lowervertical sport climbing
11 routes
A-Frame Bouldersvertical trad climbing
3 routes
Bad Moon Rising Wallvertical sport climbing
21 routes
The Dungeonvertical sport climbing
7 routes
Van Diemans Land - Beaver Wallsteep sport climbing
15 routes
Van Dieman's Land - Pocketed Wallsteep sport climbing
9 routes
Van Dieman's Land - Wastelandsvaried trad climbing
6 routes
415 routes







Map One


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Map Two


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Copyright, ACA, 2012