Over the Hill – new crag down past Mt Randall / Cuthbert

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Neil 2 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #157203 Reply


    We have a new crag that might be nice to visit this weekend since things have been fairly sunny and dry. It is mostly all bolted and good fun. I will try and get the mini guide up soon – but here is a cut and paste (I am too lazy for THE CRAG).

    #157204 Reply


    New crags near Perth are hard to come by. This one is not too bad. In fact, it is kind of fun. The routes are moderate, well bolted, sport climbs with hardly any smearing. A handful of quick draws is all you need for a great day out. A couple of routes need some natural gear and a stiff brush might also be handy for some of the routes near Big Man’s Rump, especially if they haven’t been climbed in a while.

    The cliff faces west and is very pleasant in spring and autumn. After rain, in the cooler months, the cliff is best avoided because it is not quick drying. Echidnas, wallabies and Alcoa blasting teams can be seen by the soft footed.

    The crag has over 20 routes, mostly fully bolted. They are all reasonably good, long and sustained for Perth slab routes. Don’t let the word slab put you off. There is not much smearing, and maybe the routes are better described as off vertical face climbing on small holds. The rock is very featured with crimps, pegmatite crystals and grippy granite nubbins. It is great rock to climb on.

    The crag was originally found by Derek Shaw and Chris Swain in the late 1990’s. An attempt on the Full Monty version of Big Man’s Rump (crack) was made. Since then it has lain dormant until the spring of 2014…..

    Access is easy enough. Drive down Albany highway from Perth, then a 30min hike “Over the Hill” takes you to the top of the slabs. A careful scramble down the north (right) side takes you to the picnic rock, which is a great spot to leave your pack. The way is marked with cairns and pink flagging tape. GPS coordinates are provided and might help first time visitors.

    Thanks to all involved in the development and exploration.

    Location (from Perth):
    Drive approximately 46 km along Albany Highway from the traffic light intersection in Armadale. The Cooke Pine Plantation is on the left (eastern side) of Albany Highway. Turn left into a gravel track (at the ‘Water’ sign) about 50 metres beyond the southern end of the Cooke Pine Plantation. There is an area to park behind a stand of Marri trees 50-100m down the track. Here your car will not be visible from the road. If you get to the power lines crossing Albany Highway you have gone too far.

    Walk in:
    30mins walk from the car to the crag / picnic rock.

    From where you have parked the car, walk back up the track and cross Albany highway. Follow another gravel track (blocked by logs) through to an old gravel pit. Follow the track through the old gravel pit which is populated by many young banksia trees. At the end of the gravel pit go through 100m of bush and cross an old road, then head through the bush again aiming for a rocky slope. Cross the creek and zig-zag up the rocky slope (hill). Go through the bush to the top. Follow cairns and pink marker tap. From the top descend through patches of open scrub and granite until the top of the slabs are reached.

    Descend the gentle slabs, aiming for their north end where you should find a large flat rock wedged against some trees. This is the picnic rock and a great spot to leave your pack and watch other climbers. The crag is divided into three climbing areas:
    1) Big Man’s Rump
    2) Yaganing Slab
    3) Sensible Sock Slab

    Big Man’s Rump is on your right (looking down) and not obvious. Yaganing Slab is to your left (looking down). And Sensible Sock Slab is further left past Yaganing slab.

    Uploading or entering the waypoints below into a GPS, or into a suitably equipped phone will be helpful if there are any concerns around navigation.

    Access coordinates list:
    (Datum: WGS84/GDA94 equivalent, UTM Zone 50 H)

    Points Easting (mE) Northing (mN) Latitude Longitude
    Turn off from Albany Highway 435857 6409569 32.44918 116.31758
    Over the Hill Crag – picnic rock 434560 6409340 32.4512 116.3038

    Big Man’s Rump
    From the picnic rock go right over some rubble between two boulders. You should immediately come out on top of some steep boulder slabs. The anchor above Bed’s Are Burning should be visible a few metres to your right. Rap down from this anchor (12m). Alternatively go left around a boulder from the picnic rock and immediately back right. You should see a small cleft – the rabbit hole. Easy scrambling down takes you to the bottom. Routes described left to right.

    Community Service Slab (16) 17m
    The furthest route left at the crag. Start a few metres left of QwaC. Boulder past the first bolt and then more easily up and right past 3 more bolts to a lower off above QwaC. Pleasant climbing on mossy scoops and slab-jugs.
    Kate Swain, Chris Swain, Neil Gledhill, October 2015

    Quiditch with a Chuditch (19) 15m
    Magic broomsticks were out in force during the first ascent. Starts at the thin crack behind a bottle brush. Squeeze up through the branches with technical footwork and disappointing finger locks to a sloper jug. Thin gear. A delicate move takes you to an easy angled, gear gobbling crack that leads to a DBB lower off.
    Neil Gledhill, Swain Sweeping Team, October 2015

    Desperate Housewives (21) 15m ***
    A refresher course in slab technique for those who have let their domestic duties slip. Could be soft for the grade as we haven’t climbed anything “proper” slabby in a while. Start just left of Big Man’s Rump. Delicate crystals to start with take you too some consumer crimps. Then the reality of desperate housewives kicks in hard. Techy slabbing takes you higher past 5 bolts in total to a DBB up high on a boulder above the final slab shared with Big Man’s Rump.
    Kate Swain, Neil Gledhill, May 2015

    Big Man’s Rump (19) 15m *
    An attractive line. Start up the appealing wide crack. Just prior to the shrubs, escape left onto the steep slab and pad your way up past 3 bolts. Using the edge of the wide crack is permitted if you must. Number 3 and number 4 camalot handy for the wide crack. DBB up high on a boulder above the final slab top out.
    Kate Swain, Chris Swain, Neil Gledhill, May 2015

    Beds are Burning (22) 15m ***
    A very attractive slab. Right of BMR. A fine example of technical slab climbing. A few tricky bits, so ensure you are topped up with finesse. Follow the line of bolts, staying out of the gulley at the start. A series of very classy sequences made for climbing. DBB lower off at the top.
    Neil Gledhill, Kate Swain, October 2015

    Rabbit Hole (1) 10m
    Not really a climb, but a handy access route from the picnic rock to the base of the boulders

    Yaganing Slabs
    The obvious steep black slabs, south of the picnic rock. Easily wander down from the picnic rock or scamper with care to one of the rap anchors and abseil in. Routes described left to right.

    Liquorish Slab (21) 20m *
    The first route when descending from Picnic Rock to the base of Yaganing Slabs. Climbs the black slab via small sharp crimpers covered in black dry algae. More appealing than it sounds and a good route. 7 bolts to DBB. First 2 bolts are very close and could do with rationalising.
    Kate Swain, Neil Gledhill, May 2015

    Lash Me Gently (18) 20m
    4m right of Liquorish Slab. Boulder up then step slightly right at the first bolt. Up past 4 more bolts right of a very shallow water runnel. DBB/lower off above right edge of mossy ledge.
    Conrad Slee, Peter Thomas, Neil Gledhill, May 2015

    150 Lashes (22) 20m *
    The third route from the picnic rock. Dishes out the spankings. Pleasantly cruxy climbing just right of Lash Me Gently. 4 bolts with an easy runout near the top to the same belay as Lash Me Gently. Easier if you are under 30 and wear sensible socks.
    Peter Thomas, Conrad Slee, Neil Gledhill, May 2015

    The next five lines share a DBB/lower off up high. Typically the routes have 10-12m of climbing then 10m plus of easy slabbing to the anchor. They start 5m to the right of 150 Lashes.

    Schizophrenic (19 or 16) 24m *
    It could be 19 left of the bolts or 16 right of the bolts or something else entirely. Climb it how it pleases you. 4 bolts, left of a very thin white streak.
    Chris Swain, Kate Swain, Neil Gledhill, November 2014

    Narrogin Line (17) 24m **
    Not too much suffering thanks to 36Volts of Bosch goodness. Nice face climbing, joining Schizophrenic near the top.
    Kate Swain, Chris Swain, Neil Gledhill, May 2015

    Project Mac (20) 24m
    3 bolts between NL and HP. Then join either route for the finish. Technical and somewhat height dependant. Cruxy.
    Neil Gledhill, October 2015

    Hakea Penance (18) 24m *
    Not named after the 18th century Baron Hake. Named after the spikey bushes at the base. Sustained and satisfying, leading to atonement at the top.
    Kate Swain, Chris Swain, Neil Gledhill, May 2015

    Clemency (19) 24m
    Somewhat of a relief. Early development sketches had it pencilled in as a crag test piece, but it yielded to the combined power of the Swains at a more moderate grade.
    Kate Swain, Chris Swain, Neil Gledhill, May 2015

    Pegmatitic (13) 18m ***
    Climbs the obvious shallow, scooped corner. A fine outing up the slab loaded with dazzling pegmatite jugs. Climbs past 3 bolts to common DBB/lower off with NM. A crag classic.
    Chris Swain, Kate Swain, Neil Gledhill, November 2014

    Narry Mica (15) 18m
    Just right of Pegmatitic. Climb on large white crystals past the mica “fin” sticking out between the 1st and 2nd bolts (looks like wood!), then directly up the crux bulge at top. 4FH to DBB.
    Ross Weiter, Ruth Murdie Oct 2015.

    Bril-liant Slab (16) 20m *
    Starts left of the tree growing out of the rock just off ground level. Grade 16 according to Mac Mcarthur and Francois Le Bril. There is no “right” way to get to the first bolt… or the second. But you will find the crux near the third bolt. DBB lower off. Enjoyable.
    Neil Gledhill, Kate Swain, May 2015

    Yaganing (13) 20m *
    Starts right of the tree. Reachy boulder problem start (for a grade 13!) takes you to pleasant slabbing. 4bolts to DBB lower off shared with Bril-liant Slab.
    Neil Gledhill, Kate Swain, May 2015

    Sensible Sock Slab
    Wander down past the picnic rock and under Yaganing Slabs. Sensible Sock Slab starts under the hanging left facing corner with a steep wall below. If for some reason you descend from the top, down the south edge of the slabs, this is where you will end up rather than the picnic rock. Routes described left to right.

    Cracked Up Corner (13) 30m
    Climb up Yaganing and clip the first bolt. Then traverse right past loose flakes , shrubs and whatever natural gear you feel is appropriate until you reach the fine but short and easy corner. Climb this easily and then head right to a DBB above Book of Torah.
    Chris Swain, Mac McArthur May 2015

    Book of Torah (19) 16m *
    Starts just right of the hanging corner climbed by CUC at the small undercut corner. Boulder up past the first bolt – definite crux. Clip the second bolt and either head left and up the good looking arête or…. Do the crack finish. Four bolts to DBB up high and slightly right of arête finish. Scramble off right and down.
    Neil Gledhill, Kate Swain, May 2015

    Book of Torah Crack Finish (19) 16m **
    As for Book of Torah, but at the second bolt head straight up to the stereotypical LASER finger crack. It’s too short and a not steep enough but it’s still rather memorable. 2 bolts and some finger sized gear and smaller. Use the same DBB as Book of Torah. Scramble off right and down.
    Neil Gledhill, Kate Swain, May 2015

    Missing Sock (20) 16m
    Just right of Book of Torah. High first bolt – stick clip it !! One more bolt and some finger sized gear and smaller. Amusing boulder problem start to easy slab. Use DBB up high as for Book of Torah. Scramble down off right.
    Kate Swain, Neil Gledhill, May 2015

    Sensible Socks (18) 16m
    Just right of Missing Sock. Oh look, another high first bolt – stick clip it too !! Then amble up past blobs and onto slab. Shoot left and clip the 2nd bolt, shared with Missing Sock and up as per that route.
    Kate Swain, Neil Gledhill, May 2015

    It’s Quite Good, Ashley (10), 15m
    Start 7m right of Sensible Sock in a right facing corner, behind flake at very right hand end of wall. Up corner to crack, then 4m up diagonally left, then up flaring crack for 7m. Trad belay at flakes. Gear to #1 camalot.
    Ross Weiter, Linda Antoncich May 2015

    #157209 Reply

    Marc Papain

    Awesome work Neil! Can’t wait to check it out!

    #157234 Reply

    #157240 Reply

    Remi Vignals

    Thanks Neil, your mini guide is now available in PDF here: http://www.climberswa.asn.au/climb/mini-guides/

    #157264 Reply

    Peter Zhang

    Awesome work guys!
    We went to check it out yesterday and man .. “Beds Are Burning” is three stars to the max!

    #157268 Reply


    Thanks 🙂
    Yeah Beds Are Burning is tip top that is for sure !

    It must have been a bit wet on the main slabs yesterday.

    #157281 Reply


    Remi – thanks for getting the mini guide up 🙂

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