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Kalbarri – new routes in Stellar Wall area

Posted by robjwall on October 15, 2019

Its amazing to live somewhere with so much unclimbed rock (even if the Golden lines were taken by visiting Victorians).  We climbed two new routes this weekend:


Kalbarri Bronze, 20m, grade 18.  Trad (one bolt at crux), Head up the really obvious blocky steep crack opposite Stellar Wall to bolt belay.  FA R Wall, K Stübner 13th Oct 2019 (pretty sure this is a new route based on the fact that it took 4 hours to clean the loose blocks and sand off). The line is amazing, with fun steep moves – it feels more like a gym climb than a crack.  The rock is not quite as bad as it looks…

Kalbarri Bronze


Lone Gum, 18m, grade 15, Trad.  Approx 50m L of Stellar Wall, head up the shallow corner/crack on clean orange rock; traverse slightly left to follow the easiest line to the beautiful white tree. FA R Wall / K Stübner 13th Oct 2019 (unless someone has done it?!)  The rock is solid with quite good small cams and wire placements. Rap off the tall white gum.  (If this route gets any traffic I’ll put in a lower-off).

Lone Gum

We also repeated Owen Davis’ classic Hollis Crack (16).  A #5 Camalot makes this route a pleasure.  I’d like to clean this and put in a lower off.


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Routes at Secret South Coast Spot…

Posted by robjwall on January 1, 2017



Kira Wall on the FA of “No Hoes”.

Crocboating Area:

The following 3 routes share a two bolt anchor on top of the “Croc Boat” boulder.  The starts are all normally  separated by fresh flowing water! To get off, leave crabs on the bolts or solo off via a tree on the back (easy but exposed)

Left. Croc Boaters 10m, 3 bolts  (grade 17). Kira Wall April 2011

Middle. Just a couple of crimps 11m, 2 bolts (grade 18). Rob Wall April 2015

Right. *No Hoes (grade 18, easier if you stay right?).  12m, 3 bolts. Kira Wall April 2011.

The next route is on the face of the big boulder to the left (downstream). ie in the Chimney.

**Aladeen 12m, 3 bolts (grade Aladeen, but harder (prob Aladeen) if you don’t lean back on the Croc Boat boulder).  Tarky Wall April 2011

Further down the creek on the right side is an excellent bolted arete/chimney 12m  (grade 20???). **No name.  FA by S.

On the other side of the creek is a really good hard short 7m finger crack (grade 21?)  *Crime.  FA Rob Wall April 2011.





Magic Faraway Tree area


Rob Wall near top of  Sandcrawler, 20

To get here walk past ‘Crime’, uphill on river left (ie East bank) on a sort of track, under a tree and over some rock to an obvious cliff about 80m uphill.  You know you are in the right place when you see the most amazing tree (and some bolts shhh).  From right to left the routes are


FA of Magic  19


Bolting team hard at work.


Bolt man

Sandpeople 13m, grade 17, 3 bolts to rings. Starts on top of the flake/block. FA T Wall Dec 16.

*Sandcrawler 18m, grade 20, 5 bolts to the same rings.  Sustained. Bring spare fingertips.  R Wall Dec 16.

big blank section then:

Magic 15m,  grade 19, 3 bolts to a two bolt belay

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Kalbarri Info

Posted by robjwall on August 24, 2012


I have extracted some of these old Kalbarri route descriptions from my diary / brain. Neither is very well organized. These descriptions and grades all need checking!  This is not consumer cragging, but always an adventure.  You will run out of water.

Stellar Wall. All 20m. <1km up river from 4 ways on river right. Obvious clean wall with overhanging off-width on RHS. Routes from R to L

“Hollis Chimney” 16, Owen Davis 2005.  The offwidth, actually better than it looks. “The Rest of the Robots” 22, Rob Wall. Sustained climbing on 4 bolts and cams, Go left of the crack feature at to to finish on [new lower off added this year by Remi]. Owens Route 22 (shares same lower off). 2005 * “Absence of the Bear” 7 bolts to loweroff. 24 Kate swain, 2005. The best route on the wall. “The Aimless Blade of Science”. The interesting bolted arete. 21 Rob Wall, June 2006. [this route could use another bolt before the first perhaps – if you want to put one in, do so!].  Lower off two bolts (quite spaced) at the top of the hard climbing.Red Wall. 1.5km upstream from 4 ways on river left (the sunny side). The obvious red wall facing down river. “Red Woman” 15m Grade 20+ Up middle, around L side of cave. Trad gear to bolt belay on top.Done ground-up style. Rob Wall / John Smart, August 2005. Most loose rock removed during FA.  Its a long walk off, or rap off the bolts (very hard to pull rope 😦 ).Wonder Wall. The largest clean wall in the Gorge (its on river right) , but suffers from seeping.  About 2km up from 4 ways.  Very good camp cave on river left with some bolts on top of wall above cave (left rhs top-rope problem is very good and was done by Dan and Rob in 1990s and is about 21 – the others are harder – I don’t recall if they have been done or not). The main wall on the R is above water, and has an unfinished Rob Wall / Dan Harris bolted project from 1990s in the middle, and one bolted route on the left. “The one that saves me” 23. Access from RHS of  ‘purple haze’ ledge.  Rob Wall, April 2009. Wonderwall  central butress has a good trad crack / overhang: * “Purple Haze”, 19 Rob Wall/Dan Harris 1995ish. Lower off tree on large ledge. The first route in the area. “Bridge over troubled waters”. 15. do purple haze, walk R on ledge and make improbable moves across and up (close to CCT L2), and easily up to top of gorge. Rob Wall / Gerard Chipper, mid 1990s. Pete McKenzie also came here with me one trip and led the runout easy slab up from the L of purple haze. Wonderwall  left side is accessible from a broad ledge and has some routes L to R “High class games of sorrow” Trad. L1 17. Obvious crack then flake left of tooth.  L2 23?  up from flake into wild overhanging country, crux was scary traverse R & use kneebar to place pro?. Rob Wall / Florean Wellman.  Use 2 ropes? “Cracken” 22 obvious R trending crach up tooth. . Wires then 4 bolts to BB. Rob Wall oct 2008 “The Cure” 22 up hand crack then 2 bolts to BB, Ed Nepia Oct 2008 “can’t change time” Trad.  L1 19. very R of wall up wide crack (bouldery start, needs bolt) then easily up to purple haze ledge. L2 21. walk R then wild foot first move up. Rap 28m to water. Rob Wall / Florean Wellman.  “Secret Garden” 12m, A very nice grade 5, is about 100m left of the central butress at the very left of the ledge system.  FA Demelza Wall (solo) 2005.

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If you read one blog – read this one (some of my climbing partners have progressed to better things :) )

Posted by robjwall on May 12, 2012

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Across Australia

Posted by robjwall on February 11, 2012

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Posted by robjwall on July 9, 2011

June 30th.  Kira (now 11 1/2)  and I wake up to light rain.  I wasn’t feeling too lucky after breaking a seat-post bolt and having to walk out of ‘The Plunge’ with Kira on a very wet day before.  Over breakfast it cleared a little and we decided to have a go at ‘The Chief’ today, as we only had a week left. Kira and I had done 2 or 3 multi-pitch routes together recently, and she was climbing well, and more importantly managing belays, cleaning and abseiling.  At 9am we left the car in the Apron lot, and started up ‘St Vitus Dance’.  We moved pretty well up the Jungle pitches, having done them a few times now.  I was really enjoying the 3rd pitch  – a super clean 5.9 hand crack, when it really started to rain.  Bugger; its madness to do this today, I am thinking…  We need to lower off, but my belay was 3 Cams and I would have to leave at least two behind.  I decide its easier to ‘fail upward’ and climb some more 5.8/9 to the top of the Apron and  walk off.  Kira came up the crack with a big smile on her face “This is Awesome” completely unfazed by the rain.  Of course by the time we got to Memorial Ledge, it was warmer and dry, so we had a 20 minute lunch (tuna and wraps!) and pondered.

Kira was keen to climb on, so I led up the fantastic ‘Memorial Crack’.  Climbing as good as it gets.  Then we had a 15 minute hike up the woods to the base of the ‘Squamish Buttress’ slab.  These easy pitches were harder and better than I remembered (we just managed to link them into 1 with a 60m rope).  More walking and scrambling and we could see ‘The Buttress’ above us.  The normal finish is a short 5.9 crack and then a no nonsense pitch of 5.10c.  But the genius of ‘Buttface’ is that you can avoid the last two pitches — instead head left through a small cave and  boulder on up  to a  bolted  wall.  Its 5.9, but a bit different to the rest of the climbing.  You have to pull on some side-pulls with not much for the feet, heading up left.  There is a bolt or two just where you need them.  Then you walk left along a ramp to a two bolt belay (pictured)The 2nd pitch heads back right to a chimney.  It looks really hard from below (can we be lost?), but if you put your back to the rock some amazing foot-holds appear and its ok, then some good cams, and a monster jug :).  Its now raining quite hard and we are expecting to scramble off, BUT this final scramble is actually loose and hard to protect — I actually thought it was dangerous, and given that there are bolts on the route, I think one here would be good.

We Enjoy the summit glow for a while before the traditional getting slightly lost on the tourist trail descent, and grabbing our bikes from the camp to ride back to the car (about 11 hours and 15 roped pitches all up).  Thanks  to Sonny and the guys who did the work establishing this route.  You can read about that here.

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Sea Kayak to Garden Island

Posted by robjwall on April 25, 2011

Back in Fremantle now, with a new toy.   To see it watch this 2 minute video of the first recorded ascent of Mt Haycock (40m)   ha ha ha on Garden Island which is about 10km offshore.

Mt Haycock

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Kangaroo Rock – article as submitted to “Australian Rock”

Posted by robjwall on October 27, 2010

Its March 1792.  The French Frigate L’Esperence (“hope”) is sent to the bottom of the world to search for missing sailors.  Its crew become the first Europeans to set foot on the amazing coastline of Cape Le Grand National Park.  Skip 214 years and we are there on a holiday. Something in the back of my mind can’t stop searching this perfect granite, hoping for a line.  Mostly its typical W.A. rock, either too slabby or too blank, but while paddling I see an incredible snaking crack splitting an enormous orange boulder. I snap a photo from the kayak.


You can see the “Kangaroo” and the crack line up its haunch.  The next day I’m up early to try the route on self-belay.  Its mostly a clean finger crack (my favourite!) but the start of the crack is too narrow for me.  Eventually I find an improbable move out right to a slopey undercling that solves the problem —  I vow to return.  That afternoon I chat to a friendly park ranger about climbing in the park.  It transpires they don’t have a problem with it, as long as we can’t be seen from the tourist tracks.  I don’t dare mention bolting…

After some failed attempts to lure climbers the 780km with the photo, we return in Easter 2008.   The crack route is hard to get to safely with my 10 year old daughter Demelza, so after some exploration I place 6 stainless expansion bolts in a stunning Arete further left.  The crux move is again near the start: you have to pull hard on an ‘ear’ with your left hand, smear high with your left foot, and cross your right foot improbably high over the left, then balance up on one leg.  (No-one has yet onsighted this bizarre move, yet everyone eventually does it the same way!).  Demelza has belayed me on TR before, so after a quick lead-belay lesson she clips in to shiny new belay bolts on the narrow ledge above the sea.  I don’t plan to fall off.  I fell off — snapping the ‘ear’ off.  The grey sky now delivers light rain, and we notice some blood on the rock.  I feel a strange mix of emotions, but Demelza assures me she is OK, so we decide to give it one more shot.  I barely manage it, yielding the area’s first route “Family Affair” 22.

In January 2009 I do a lightning trip down to meet visiting Kiwi guides Rachel Ryan and Ed (“I love a bit of adventure”) Nepia.  In a two day mission we clean and bolt the 3 excellent sport routes on “Kiwi Wall” to the right of “Family Affair”.   Ed can’t believe how easy the cleaning is compared with NZ (we just kick the rock a couple of times and pronounce it clean).  Ed also leads the hyper-classic grade 15 corner to the right of Kiwi Wall, naming it “Windjammer”
For some reason we laugh a lot on this trip, odd things happen:  Rachel has to climb in one shoe and for the first time in my life I rap off the end of a rope, falling two metres into a bush unharmed. On our last day Ed and I climb the crack I have been obsessing over for three years (take an 8 rock for the crux!), naming it after the question with the answer 42, because thats what it feels like.  The contentment lasts the whole, long drive home.

We can’t believe the quality of climbing Kangaroo Rock is giving.  All the routes so far have been twenty to thirty metres of interesting moves on clean, featured granite.  We’re also watching Kangaroos, Seals, Octopus, and wondering about the bouldering on the hundreds of boulders all over the park.   Ed and Rachel are in NZ now, but Shane Richardson agrees to come down just before Christmas 2009, “for a look”.  His family beat us there, and Shane transforms into a new-routing super-hero, doing 10 or 12 pitches on self-belay, and chalk-dotting the bolts for two routes on his first day. One follows an amazing series of flakes up the orange wall right of “Windjammer”, and is now possibly the best middle grade sport route in WA.  Bastard.  I bolt a steep line through the big series of wacos left of “Family Affair” and reckon its about 18, so I offer it to the kids.  Kira has a go, succeeding on top rope.  Demelza looks solid on TR, and starts thinking up route names!  But after she falls on her first two attempts (her first lead falls) she is less keen…

An hour later Demelza fights it all the way on her 3rd attempt, naming it “L’Esperence”, 18. We also came in  hope, and we found the lines we were looking for, and I feel strangely connected to those brave 18th Century French who trod here first. (But didn’t record any routes!)


The Routes L to R

Music Wall:
*L’Esperence, 18, 15m, 5 bolts.  DW 12/09. Steep fun.
UNNAMED, 21, 20m, 6 bolts + take one thread. SR 12/09.  Tricky move L near top.
Tingle in Your Fingers, 23/4, 24m, 6 bolts.  RW 12/09. Desperate at the start.
Kiwi Wall:
*Family Affair, 22, 28m, 6 bolts. RW 4/08. Crux at start.
Flying Kiwis, 18/19, 28m, 5 bolts.  EN 1/09.
There She Blows, 19, 28m, 6 bolts.  EN 1/09.
Dance on Fires, 20/21, 28m, 6 bolts.  RW 1/09.
*Windjammer, 15, 25m, Trad. EN 1/09.
Orange Wall:
*UNNAMED 22/3, 25m, 6 bolts. SR 12/09. 21 until the last move!
Universe Wall:
Ultimate Question, 22, Trad with 1 bolt.  RW 1/09.

All these 10 are stared routes (really, new route developers are never biased). The * means absolute classic!.


From Esperence head East, making an improbable number of consecutive right turns following the signs to “Cape Le Grand National Park”.  Once in the Park follow the sign to “Lucky Bay” (named by Matthew Flinders who sought refuge there in 1802), where you can camp for $8 per night and have free solar hot showers.  It does get busy in peak times as its a fantastic snorkelling and swimming spot.  To get to the climbing walk on the signed trail toward “Thistle Cove”.  After 1km, near a hilltop you will see a balancing croissant rock, just after this take a left fork and follow the fisherman’s track down for 50m.  You get to an obvious ledge facing “L’Esperence” , and can scramble down the gully (grade 5) to the climbs.  The climbs all reach top-bolts so you can belay on top and walk off.  Long slings are needed if you want to lower off.

Photographers and Climbers

RW Rob Wall
DW Demelza Wall
KW Kira Wall
KV Kate Vyvyan
SR Shane Richardson
EN Ed Nepia

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Squamish – long routes

Posted by robjwall on October 12, 2010

Well the climbing season is at an end now, but I’ve been able to do some great long routes over the summer.  Here they are as I remember them (in order, more or less)….

Snake (5.9).  A great 5 pitch route on the Apron done with Pad.  I recall it feeling runout on the top slab!  We did a couple of great single pitch routes on top of it including “Memorial Crack”.

Diedre (5.8).  Six pitches.  One of the world’s great easy routes I think.  Several pitches in a row of immaculate low angled corner crack.   A great day out in the Sun with Australian Dave, and Kira.  This was Kira’s first multipitch route

Birds of Prey(5.10a) on “The Squaw”.  Six pitches done as 3 with a 70m rope.   Not my favorite long route – but you get a good look at Pipeline (Arrrgh).  I would like to get back on the Squaw to try “The Great Game” to the right — it looks awesome

Rock On /Squamish Buttress.  (5.10c)  A good way to get to the top of The Chief.  A lot of rambling pitches up high, but the top pitch is especially fine,  I struggled, but made it in the end when someone from a party above told me I was “almost in the promised land”.  Rock On felt quite greasy to me, and had one scary move.  Did these last two routes with visiting Sweedish Filmmaker Sean.


Calculus Crack. (5.8)  A very exposed route.  Demelza and I slept at the base, and got up early.  This is the  first time I had attempted something like this with the kids with no other adult in the party.  Demelza climbed quickly and efficiently and didn’t’ seem to notice the exposure, which is very real on this route.   She seemed to have no trouble taking the belays apart and making all the right calls.   The couple of 5.8 handcrack pitches that are the core of this route are absolutely brilliant.

Borderline. (5.10d)   This was a fun day.   I led the 3rd pitch which has some incredible, technical and exposed climbing (with lots of bolts thank god), and the fourth pitch (which I fell off seconding) has the most amazing wide hanging chimney.  It was the first time I had climbed with local ex Ranger now Nurse Aaron, we decided impromptu to finish by climbing the Angels Crest.  Unfortunately we got about 4 pitches from the top when the rain poured, so we had a very long wet series of Abs to the gully.  Neither of us could remember when we had last had to retreat!

Angel’s Crest. 5.10b, 14 pitches.   A few days after backing off the top of Angles,  Peter Larose drove up from Vancouver nice and early, and we got on the full Angel’s Crest.  The climbing is not hard, but there is a lot of it!  Its a fun day out, rather than great climbing.  There are  some great positions, and a few pitches of good climbing, including the last.  You have to muck around with a short rap and some walking on the ‘towers’ in the middle.  We were a bit slow in 8 hours, I’d like to do it quicker.

Banana Peel. (5.7, 6 pitches)   Tarquin’s turn for an adventure.  We slept under the route (in colder weather) and did this in the morning cool.  Tark found the crux section hard.  I had a rope stretching lead linking pitches at one point, and we actually had to simo-climb for 5m!  Tark led the  last 5.5 pitch, and placed some good gear (he forgot to clip the rope into one piece which is something we can tease him about when he is dragging me up 5.12 one day).

Vector (5.9, 6 pitches).  Kira and I snuck this in one Autumn afternoon (Kira wanted the full dad and kid experience too), after a rainy morning, and the obligatory coffee at the Squamish Kite-surfing shop (best coffee in town)  and a quick visit to climb-on to buy a #4 Camalot .  We had intended to do the parallel route “St Vitus Dance”, so didn’t think we’d need my new #4, but we ended up on Vector.   The long off-width pitch is an amazing clean crack.  I had my shoulder and knee in at the crux, and  found my new Cam very comforting!   Kira and I had a rest on memorial ledge and then walked off just making it back to the bikes on dark…

Sunblessed. Got its own post 🙂

Generations apart: John Fantini and Kira Wall.

The Grand Wall. (5.11a, 10 pitches).  This is an incredible route.  I was due to do it with Fantini, but had to pull out because of my bike crash.  I was very sad about this.   Most difficult climbs  are either long or hard, but this is both.  I was lucky to have a strong partner (local lad Marc-Andre) so I knew I didn’t have to lead my half, but I wanted to, so I didn’t feel ‘guided’.  We had a really warm day, after a long wet spell. Marc  got us two pitches up via Apron Strings (hard start), then I linked Mercy Me in a 70m pitch, with about 6 bolts and small waterfalls coming down… mentally tough!.  I got to lead “The Split Pillar” which I really loved.  I fell off seconding “The Sword” (insert wet rock excuse here).  I got to lead “Perry’s Layback” in the usual way (resting on the bolts!).  By the time I got to my last lead, the magnificent “Sail Flake” I was so tired I couldn’t hold onto the top jugs, and took my first real whipper in Canada:  “About time” I  remember thinking as I fell some way onto a good Camalot.  TheBrew pub beers tasted especially good.

Dancing in the Light (5.11b, 6 pitches).  Marc and I did this the next day which was also a rare fine day.  He hadn’t been able to find a partner for it.  Not surprising with 10m or more runouts being the norm.  I only led one pitch of this!  The crux is maybe not as hard as they say (I can’t climb 11c slab).  Its quite a journey, but suffered a little from damp rock and moss.

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Posted by robjwall on September 26, 2010

Its been a very wet September here.  Kira is keen to do a two day easy route on The Chief, but we have had no chance.  Last Saturday we snuck in a quick ascent of the classic Apron 5.9 “Vector”.   It had been wet in the morning, and we were the only climbers on the whole Apron.  The cux pitch is indeed as straight as an arrow, and wide (I was very glad of my new #4 Camalot that we purchased that morning).  It got dark just as we got back to the bikes.

Yesterday we thought we try something a bit more challenging.  After days of heavy rain that once again ended on a Saturday morning we needed something high, that would catch sun and wind.    We decided on a  route on the back of the Chief with a famously long walk in: “Sunblessed”.  Demelza, Kira and I left the house at 10.30am and wasted some time in the Coffee shop /juicebar/kitesurfing shop on the way.  By the time we had ridden to the campground, and then walked up the trail, following the tricky but accurate directions in the guidebook it was 2pm., and the sun was actually out!   The first bolt is 10m off the deck up and incredible dike feature. (There has been a lower one added, but chopped…)   I went up and clipped it before lunch so we could enjoy our pita bread and tuna knowing the scary bit was done.    The girls had no trouble with this pitch (easy 10a) and we all managed to avoid the little stream that was flowing over one hold with no problem.   The rest of the rock was incredibly dry.

The second pitch is a 35m thin hand crack in a stunning position, on perfect rock, with incredible  views to the South.  We are pretty fussy now after months of climbing, but we all agree this was a really really nice pitch: long, clean, good pro….  It took a while to get all of us up it though!  A quick roped scramble and we had 3 options to get off (the clouds were back with a vengeance now and it felt like rain any minute). 1. continue up the route via the 10b fist crack with “difficult pro”.  2. climb the nice looking 10a Arete to the right, which has had the first bolt hanger removed by some idiot. (I was thinking I could put a wire over it?)  3.  Go back down to the anchor at the top of the 2nd pitch and rap (I think it was 65m to the ground, and we had a 60m and a 70m rope with us).  The girls are good at abseiling, but it would be better if they could make the ground in one rap, as they are not experienced at multipitch raps.

There is one rusty bolt in the tricky part of the 10b so I decide to try it.   I place both the 3 and 4 Camelots before the bolt in the flaring crack (the 4 is actually not too bad).  Above that its just lots of grunting, some fist jams, and continuous painful left foot jams to get up the corner.  I  need both the 1, and both the 2 Camelots also in this short crack.  The crack is  damp, and I am slightly more scared than usual…!  As I reach the anchor chain there is a sudden heavy rain shower and the crack becomes  a mini waterfall in less than a minute.  The timing is exquisite.  I am able to lower the spare loop of rope down so the girls have that to pull up on while I take in.  They don’t muck around trying the soaking fist crack but both quickly pull up on the rope while I take in.  Its now late, cold, and nearly dark.  Normally you could solo up from here, but I take the rope up and around a tree and bring them up on TR.  We walk about half way down but get to a section of slab that probably only  20 or 30 degrees from horizontal, but slippery so we do the most horizontal abseil of my life (with a tangled rope of course!) down to a cairn that marks the trail.  I run back to the start of the route to get the packs, and we do the long walk down by headtorch, down the gully, which is now more of a river than a trail.  We ride very slowly home in very heavy rain for a warm bath and hot meal at 9pm.

Some photos of the route I found are here.  We had no time for photos, and the camera would have been ruined anyway!

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