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Devil's Kitchen, Scarsdale
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Climbs *** ** * Hardest Longest Rock Access
16 0 1 0 17 25m Basalt 5 Mins

Entrance WallAbout 15 minutes drive out of Ballarat, this small, often loose series of cliffs is uninspiring upon first viewing, looking for all the world like a disused quarry complete with piles of gravel and scree. You'd be well advised to wear a helmet for fear of shrapnel. However on closer inspection one finds some limited, solid rock hiding amongst the choss with routes as tall as 25 metres. One quality route "Shafted" 16m grade 15 (pictured below) is definitely fun, with wild finishing moves. The rock itself looks like petrified bubble wrap in places, with lots of tiny holes. The area resides among grassland, and features the nearby "Woady Yallock" creek, which forms a swimming hole of sorts. Never-the-less, there are far better crags nearby, such as Mt Beckworth, so don't bother day tripping to this one, unless you're a Ballarat local.

Above Right: Entrance Wall as viewed from the gravel piles.

To gain access, find Scarsdale west of Ballarat on the Glenelg Hwy. Turn left at the sign to the Devil's Kitchen following it for 6.2km, then right down "Linton - Piggoreet" road for a further 2.8kms and finally left again, before parking just where the tarmac ends. 

Shafted, 16m grade 15.Swimming Hole, all but dry in the drought.Columns on Weed Wall
Above: "Shafted", 16m grade 15 can be found on the far left of Entrance Wall. Above Middle: The swimming hole, all but dry during our summer drought. Weed Wall begins above it and continues right. Above Right: Vertical columns on Weed Wall.

Entrance Wall (pictured top of page) is close by on your left as you enter the car park. You'll find "Shafted" (pictured above left) beginning in a small crack line left of a protruding block. Head up to a wicked mantle (or use the jug on the left to avoid it), then tuck in under the mini-roof, before firing up the juggy but exposed crack (bomber fist jam) just right. The finishing moves require cutting loose with both feet while double handing a protruding shoe box sized spike of rock - awesome, scary though protect-able moves! I found this lead hard for the grade but very rewarding. As with every route here, beware loose / brittle rock.

River WallRiver Wall
Above: River Wall has the tallest routes it's vertical columns are clearly visible across the stream on the right of the car park. 

To get to Weed Wall and the swimming hole, you'll need to head left down the 4 wheel drive track beside Entrance Wall and ford the creek. Beware loose rock, that has already caused accidents. River Wall is on the right of the car park, and Kitchen Gorge is about 100m upstream on the right. Nobody has climbed on the wall downstream of the swimming hole. River Wall is probably the most visually inspiring rock when you first arrive, with the tallest cliff and array of vertical columns. However the rock above the columns is often loose, and columns themselves don't offer an easy path up.

Climbs At The Devil's Kitchen   Push For The Summit

Entrance Wall Height Grade Stars
Flipping Eck 8 6   
Gor Blimey 9 13   
Shafted 16 15 2
Fat Morgan 14 12  
Scared Stiff 20 12  

Weed Wall Height Grade Stars
Black And Blue 15 16   
Autumn Gold 15 14   
Pick And Shovel 15 11  
Mullock 15 11  
River Wall Height Grade Stars
The Route That Wasn't There 10 17   
Aleph Null 25 13   
Working Man's Folly 11 16  
Brlfsp 20 9  

Kitchen Gorge Height Grade Stars
Slopeless 7 13   
Kids In The Kitchen 7 9   
Once Bitten 7 14  


Further Reading:
Southwest Victoria, A Rockclimbers Guide - Edited by Chris Watson, Bill Andrews and Hugh Hardwick. Also available from local climbing shops, or the VCC. 

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