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The Watchtower, Grampians
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Crag Summary (PDF) Quick Stats
Climbs *** ** * Hardest Longest Rock Access
42 0 0 10 27 40m Sandstone 3 mins

Jacqui attempting My Friend Flipper (26).Heralded as the best climbing within walking distance of Halls Gap, the Watchtower offers some great single pitch mixed sport and trad routes all very easily accessible on a 40m high outcrop. The area is shady and the grey rock provides some slabby to near vertical terrain with all the routes being close together, making it a fun place to come to tick a succession of short lines. If the weather looks too iffy for remote multi-pitch adventures or you've only got a few hours spare, this is the crag to choose.

Right: Jacqui attempting My Friend Flipper (26). See the images page for the full sequence.

The location can be found barely 1km down the "Mt Zero" road, which appears on your left, just before a bridge, as you depart Halls Gap heading back towards Stawell. (See: Approach Map). Park at the little car bay, then take the walking track up hill for about 300m. The first route you encounter is "Flying Buttress" 35m grade 14, that heads up the slightly detached pillar. To it's left you'll see the six staples identifying "My Friend Flipper" 30m grade 26. To it's right three bolts mark the start of "KY Valley" 30m grade 22. Continue walking left or right around the crag to access more quality routes.
Neil leading My Friend Flipper (26).Purple Haze, 23m grade 24Couldn't Stand The Weather, 15m grade 22.
Above Left: Neil leading "My Friend Flipper" the 30m grade 26 with 6 bolts. It appears immediately on your left as you reach the crag. Above Middle: Purple Haze, 23m grade 24 appears a couple of routes left again and has two bolts near the start. Above Right: Moving left again you'll see "Couldn't Stand The Weather", 15m grade 22 which takes the arÍte past two bolts.
Neil on Sliver Top (22)Emily climbing Empty Pockets (18).
Above Right: Em leading Empty Pockets, 15m grade 18 with two bolts can be found high and left of the approach by walking clockwise around the crag. Just to it's right is a nice grade 15 corner crack. Above Left: Walking higher and clockwise again, you'll come across a secondary outcrop with two quality routes: "Silver Top" 20m grade 22 takes the rightmost line (Neil leading) past four bolts and "Jugular Pulse" the 20m grade 21 on it's left, heads up also past four bolts to a set of chains above.

There's a wealth of enjoyable single pitch routes at the Watchtower. With access a breeze and the trees for shade you'll be tempted to hang out here all day rather than fight your way into some of the taller and more remote Grampians cliffs. The only thing I'd add about this area is that some routes look like they need small wires or micro cams for protection. Consult the Mentz & Tempest guide book for a detailed drawing of the crag. Have fun and climb safe!

Climbs At The Watchtower:   Push For The Summit

Name Height Grade Stars
Couldn't Stand The Weather 15 22 1
Happy Jack 27 20 1
Mr Ed 22 22  
Mr Ed Direct Start 22 24  
Beelzebub 18 15 1
Nerd's Day Out 18 16  
Negative Gearing 15 17  
Singing Cowboy Songs 15 18  
Empty Pockets 15 18  
Hickory's Handle 31 8  
Soul To Soul 20 17  
Jugular Pulse 20 21 1
Silvertop 20 22 1
The Sky Is Crying 10 23  
In Step 10 16  
Domestic Outlook 10 14  
Purple Haze 23 24 1
Slam Dunk 30 27 1
My Friend Flipper 30 26 1
After Midnight 30 18  
Power Broker 30 16  
Power Broker Variant Start 30 16  
Name Height Grade Stars
Flying Buttress 35 14   
The Colour of Greed 12 16   
Saxxed 12 14   
Diagonal Crack 10 14   
Thumper 10 14   
Orfin Annie 40 19   
Mr Splat 30 21   
KY Valley 30 22 1
Texas Flood 20 19   
Heart Beat 13 20   
Fruit Salad 15 16   
Pride And Joy 17 19   
All Along The Watchtower 30 21 1
Voodoo Chile 30 18   
Pump Up the Volume 30 18   
Welcome to the Machine 32 19   
Crosby 10 17   
Stills 6 14   
Nash 10 21   
Young 10 18   


Further Reading:   Push For The Summit
Grampians Selected Climbs - Guide book authored by Simon Mentz and Glenn Tempest and available from local climbing shops or the VCC.


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