Versions Compared


  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.
Comment: Guide edited
  <header id="1" name="Mersey Cliffs" acknowledgement="By Mark Polinski" walk="5-10 min" sun="Mid morning to late afternoon" rock="Quartzite" intro="The Mersey cliffs are situated along the south rim of the Mersey river gorge as it passes through the Gog range just northeast of the town of Mole Creek. Although quartzite abounds in Northwest Tasmania, these cliffs are of a particular high quality that is nearly identical to the smooth polished stone of Arapiles.  The area is small, but boasts a dozen or so classic routes of the highest calibre which, coupled with the easy access and beautiful location, can make for a truly excellent climbing experience. " access="***VERY IMPORTANT ! *** This guide describes climbing on a few quartzite cliff bands well up and back from the river and is in no way associated with the ochre (alum) cliffs considered to be of aboriginal significance further up stream.  Nevertheless, these cliffs are still located in the Alum Cliffs State Reserve and therefore the up-most respect and discretion should be used when climbing here. Try to KEEP YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT TO AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM and be courteous to other hikers on their way to and from the lookout. It is also advisable to be fairly tight-lipped about your climbing exploits in this potentially sensitive area. Any possible misunderstandings or unfounded assumptions propagated in the non-climbing public would be the most likely reason for the area’s closure to climbing.  Not to belabour the point, but for god sake DO NOT TRY AND CLIMB, abseil, or even be present anywhere near THE ACTUAL ALUM CLIFFS (red, undercut, choosy rock clearly visible from the lookout a few kilometres up stream on river-right). The lookout is popular, you will be seen, and all climbing will most certainly be closed. As a climbing community we pride ourselves on being respectful stewards of our natural environment, please employ that philosophy here to its utmost. Also, USE THE APPROPRIATE ACCESS TRACK described below to discourage unintended tourist traffic and the problems associated with such an occurrence. The break-off point for the climbers track may change in the future, so check back on this site for potential updates if it&apos;s been some time since your last visit (current as of Jan, 2019).   &lt;br/&gt;&lt;br/&gt;DIRECTIONS: The drive takes approximately 30 minutes from Deloraine and about 1 hour from Launceston or Devenport. Exit the Bass Highway at the northern of the two Deloraine exits and head west on Mole Creek Road (B12). Drive through Chudleigh and just before entering the town of Mole Creek make a right up Mersey Hill Rd. follow the signs for the Alum Cliffs Lookout and park at the trail head (about 3 km up the road).  Hike the 800m ‘Best short Walks’ trail toward the lookout. About 2m meters before you get to the look out steps, follow the cairned trail to the right downhill for another 150 meters or so via a couple of switch-backs then rightwards along the top of the cliff band, until it heads down a final gully.  The trial will deposit you directly underneath the orange and white overhanging face of the Tomahawk Buttress.  The short Lookout Wall is to your left (as described facing the Tomahawk Buttress) and the Shady Grove Wall is about 50m up the hill to the right. About half way long the trail between the Tomahawk and Shady Grove walls, a few cairns lead down through some bushes to a small overlook and abseil point to the Lower Tier. " history="Although first discovered (or at least climbed on) in 2004, the cliff remained in relative anonymity until 2012 when it was re-discovered by Mark Polinski who immediately recognized its quality and began cleaning and developing" camping="Although there is some potential to bandit-camp in the outlook car park it is not advisable. Best to find other accommodations. If camping is desired, one can drive west through the town of Mole creek and make a right on Union Bridge Rd. Cross the Mersey and a few kilometers up the hill on the right is a dirt forestry road (Lower Beulah Rd). Drive into state forest and find somewhere on any of the forestry side tracks that suit. About 15-20 min drive from the cliff parking lot. There is no facilities at the car park.&lt;br/&gt;&lt;br/&gt;Camping is available at the Chudleigh Showground, approx 3.5km east of the Alum Cliff turn off. There are toilet facilities and a barbecue by a playground. Cost is $5 per tent per night paid at the Chudleigh General Store." autonumber="false"/>
  <image id="2" src="Mersey photo collage.jpg" width="600" height="426"/>
  <text id="3">Clockwise from Top: Gary Phillips on Unrequited (26); View from anchors at Shady Grove; Mark Polinski on Get What You Need (30/31); Alec Wilson on Kansas City Shuffle (21).</text>
  <text id="5" class="heading2">Outlook Wall</text>
  <text id="6" class="text">A compact wall that extends east from the entrance trail. Good clean sections of white rock are segregated by vertical mossy crack features. Although short, the routes can still pack a punch. Below they are described right to left as you approach them from the decent trail.</text>
  <climb id="9" number="1" name="Money for Nothin" length="10m" grade="25" extra="3 Þ to single loweroff" fa="Polinski 2012">Located on the blunt arête on the very right hand end of the cliff band. A fairly abrupt and not so straight-forward crux may either easily present glory for a 'soft' victory or could leave you baffled and cursing that it's 'hard as nails'.</climb>
  <climb id="10" stars="*" number="2" name="Assotin" length="12m" grade="26" extra="4 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Polinski 2012">About five or six meters left of the previous route. Climb past two small bulges through bouldery moves to a thin vertical seem and a brief respite at a side-pull jug before a final few strenuous moves back left to gain the anchors. It may be possible to climb straight up from the jug via a dirty crack and then traverse the lip to get to the anchor. Do realize that this was not the original intent, and you should knock off a grade (and likely the star) if this variation is chosen.</climb>
  <climb id="7" stars="*" number="3" name="Ladies Man" length="12m" grade="28" extra="3 Þ to single loweroff" fa="Polinski 2012">Start up easy terrain to gain a high first bolt. Continue up with increasing difficulty to a final crux at the finish.</climb>
  <text id="11" class="heading2">Tomahawk Buttress</text>
  <text id="12">The large, gently overhanging, orange and white face directly at the bottom of the approach gully.</text>
  <image id="14" src="Tomahawk Butress.jpg" width="500" height="675"/>
  <climb id="38" stars="*" extra="8Þ" number="" name="The Greatest View" length="17m" grade="20" fa="Isaac Lethborg, May 31st 2014">Up the arete lined with bolts before the tomahawk buttress. Fun steep layback at the start and then great climbing on the top section.</climb>
  <climb id="15" stars="***" number="1." name="Unrequited (AKA Orange Crush)" length="18m" grade="26" extra="7 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Williams 2004">A beautiful line that starts on the left end of the buttress follows the orange streak all the way to the top. Optional #2 Camalot before the anchors.</climb>
  <climb id="16" stars="**" number="1b." name="Brother to Brother" length="18m" grade="26" extra="6 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Thorp 2012">Link-up. Climb the start (first three bolts) of Unrequited and angle rightwards to finish out the top of Tomahawk.</climb>
  <climb id="17" stars="**" number="2." name="Tomahawk" length="18m" grade="28" extra="6 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Polinski 2012">Pull a hard bouldery start and continued up nice climbing over the bulge to easier terrain toward the top.</climb>
  <climb id="18" stars="*" number="2b." name="Orange Tomahawk" length="18m" grade="28" extra="7 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Polinski 2012">Link-up. Climb the hard boulder start of Tomahawk and head left at the third bolt to finish up Unrequited.</climb>
  <climb id="19" stars="***" number="3." name="Get What You Need" length="18m" grade="30/31" extra="7 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Polinski 2012">An absolute stunner. Powerful moves punctuated by good rests through a long crux sequence at the final bulge.</climb>
  <climb id="20" stars="**" number="4." name="Art of Deception" length="18m" grade="28" extra="7 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Polinski 2012">Start with a few hard moves at a low first bolt and continue up relatively easy ground to a definitive crux just below the final roof. Easy climbing above trends left to the anchors of Get What You Need. Could be one for the boulderers.</climb>
  <climb id="37" stars="**" number="4b." name="Caught in the Act" length="18m" grade="25" extra="7 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Polinski 2012">Climb Art of Deception to its 4th bolt and avoid the crux by traversing out right (about a meter) to a vertical crack, then up to rejoin the previous route. Basically just a work around for doing Art of Deception without the crux, but it's still fun if 25 is more in your target grade range.</climb>
  <climb id="39" stars="**" extra="7 Bolts to loweroffs" number="5" name="Captain Barnacles" length="18m" grade="23" fa="J. Trainer Oct 2015">Start 3m right of Art of Deception, climb the orange face before trending left to join Art of Deception's headwall. Recommended to use long draws (30cm sling) on 3rd, 4th and 5th bolts to alleviate drag.</climb>
  <text id="21" class="heading2">Shady Grove</text>
  <text id="22">Continue past the Tomahawk Buttress up the hill past some broken and indistinct cliff faces to the striking verticle orange Face. Climbs are listed left to right.</text>
  <image id="24" src="Shady Grove Buttress .jpg" width="500" height="370"/>
  <climb id="48" stars="" extra="trad + DBÞ" number="" name="Plebs Prow" length="16m" grade="13" fa="M.Crowden Jan 22">Climbs the easy arete on the buttress to the left and downhill of Million Dollar Baby. Take a handful of nuts and a few small cams for protection. Double bolt belay at the top.</climb>
  <climb id="25" stars="**" number="1." name="Million Dollar Baby" length="17m" grade="24" extra="5 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Polinski 2012">Start up the face left of the easy right-facing corner past a bolt to gain the ledge. Continue on past some nice sustained climbing to gain a ledge and some easier moves to the top</climb>
  <climb id="26" stars="***" number="2." name="Kansas City Shuffle" length="17m" grade="21" extra="5 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Polinski 2012">A really beautiful route which has already become somewhat of a classic. Do a few moves up the easy right-facing corner and quickly move out right onto the face at the first bolt and continue on up fairly sustained climbing to the anchors on the large hanging block.</climb>
  <climb id="27" stars="**" number="3." name="Mumble Bee" length="15m" grade="22" extra="5 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Polinski 2012">A few meters right of Kansas City. Start climbing up nice edges to a well defined crux gaining the ledge at half height. Some easier moves lead to a final tricky bit at the DBB below and right of the big block.</climb>
  <climb id="28" stars="**" number="4." name="Hue Bris" length="15m" grade="20" extra="4 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Polinski 2012">Start just right of the water polished streak and move up relatively easy ground to a small roof then a bit of a fight at the final bolts gives way to some good holds to gain the anchors.</climb>
  <climb id="47" stars="**" extra="6 bolts + lower off" number="5" name="Mr Plumpy" length="17m" grade="20" fa="M. Crowden Dec 21">Starts up the easy corner 3m right of Hue Bris, commit to the wall and make your way up past the 2 orange streaks pulling through the bulge onto easier ground. Continue up the face avoiding the ramp and then onto the upper headwall and anchors.</climb>
  <text id="43" class="heading2">Point du Vue Buttress</text>
  <text id="44" class="text">Continue past Shady Buttress for another 30m to the obvious orange and grey corner. Going any further than this looks improbable</text>
  <climb id="46" stars="*" extra="7FH to DBÞ" number="1" name="Migdafinga" length="15m" grade="20" fa="Cowden, Tasker, Fox">Start up the grey face 1m right of the corner. Best to stick clip the first bolt or climb the easy corner and lean across and clip the bolt to start. Can be done with a variant start at grade 18, which climbs the corner for the first 4m (clip the other bolt) and joins the action at the second bolt. Named after Mitch's effort at trying to MIG weld his finger delayed the first ascent for several months.</climb>
  <climb id="45" stars="**" extra="8FH to DBÞ" number="" name="Room with a View" length="15m" grade="14" fa="Fox, Irwin, Knox and Jefferies">Start on the furtherest right edge of the the buttress. Climb steeply at the start and stay on the left face of the arete upto the corner and then face above.</climb>
  <text id="29" class="heading2">The Lower Tier</text>
  <text id="30">Head down the hill between Shady Grove and the Tomahawk Buttress past a few Cairns to a small overlook. Abseil from the anchors in the corner down over the face to the large vegetated ledge below (25m). BE ADVISED that if you pull your rope and can't get yourself up a 23 at least bolt to bolt or climb a fairly committing 21 trad then your prospects of getting up off the ledge would be fairly grim. There are some potential alternatives, but they have epic written all over them.</text>
  <image id="33" src="Mersey Lower Tier.jpg" width="500" height="666"/>
  <climb id="34" number="1." name="Pride Aside" length="25m" grade="21/22" extra="Tradition (rated PG)" fa="Polinski 2012" stars="">Start in the obvious corner just left of the Abseil. Climb up the vertical crack feature and just before the top head bravely out right to the ledge and anchors of the abseil. An alternative finish could be done by continuing straight up the final bit of vertical crack, but is as yet undone (and uncleaned).</climb>
  <climb id="35" stars="**" number="2." name="Ferry Cross the Mersey" length="25m" grade="23" extra="11 Þ to loweroffs" fa="Narkowicz 2012">Climb up the face directly below the abseil route trending slightly right toward the top and then move back left to gain the ledge and the abseil anchors. Fairly sustained technical climbing makes for an engaging route in a great position.</climb>
  <climb id="36" number="3." name="Hurrikeynesian" length="25m" grade="23" extra="Traditional (rated R)" fa="Polinski 2012" stars="">Climb up the corner of the nice open book dihedral. Place your last piece at a horizontal break, take a deep breath, and head up the face (crux just above the last piece) putting more and more air underneath your feet to gain the lip, continuing on to anchors a few meters up the slope. A very committing adventure and well worth an abseil to give it a clean and reconnaissance before embarking. The first ascentionist hung a line down from the anchor to clip and make the dirty top-out a little more palatable. He also tried 'slinging a horn' on the face to give the eyes something see besides a lot of uninterrupted rope...whatever works.</climb>