Spring buttress is the big, intimidating looking dark wall which dominates Woody Ravine on the Apostles. Its heyday was in the early 80's, and saw many impressive lines put up, but for whatever reason (perhaps the walk in) it hasn't seen much traffic, letting lichen and nature regain her. If you are interested in opening new- and probably hard- multipitch routes this may be a good place to look.
Aspect: Being North facing it scores morning shade until about 9:30, then staying in the sun for the rest of the day. There are no meaningful differences between summer and winter (if there are, please correct this statement, but we haven't found any). The crag does drip at places, however the drips that sometime fall off the roof above Fear of flying is no indicator of the condition of the wall, as the wall is so large and steep that light rain has no bearing on it.
Being in the ravine it can be susceptible to a strong crosswind from a South Easter.
Approach and layout: From the Pipe Track take Woody Ravine up through the forest, when the path backs off and the forest changes to windswept "grass" look right for a long wide ledge marked with a small cairn at its start,That is the base of Amphitheatre Sector. One can collect water from one of several drips on that ledge.
The climbing on the extensive buttress is only really on the left half of the buttress, a area broadly broken in two: Left Sector, and Amphitheatre Sector, with the latter being much larger, steeper and harder.
Yo Yo The Third Eye The Plunge
Because of the enormous roof at at its center most lines in this sector join Fear of Flying in traversing left to easier ground.
Men at Arms
Fear of Flying *** 22 or 21 A0
FA: E February, K. Appolis 1978 FFA W. Gans, S Cunnane 27 April 2014
A good route with an exciting traverse- don't fly.
Notes: We disagree with several points in "Peninsula Select's" description of this route: 1. The grades in the guide (21A0, 18, 17, 17) don't seem consistent or accurate,and have been corrected below. 2. Pitch 2 is changed below for better climbing. 3. There is no way the last pitch takes that line at that grade,and have offered a partial solution below.
Start: An overhang juts out left of a prominent drip, on this is a piton in the middle of a small face, about 4m off the ground. At the base is an A3 sized flat rock, and about 2m above and right the wall seeps slightly on the overhang.
Pitch 1. 25m (22 or 21 A0) Climb past the piton to a narrow ledge, climb diagonally right beneath the overhang to take an open book up for 3m, step right beneath the next overhang then diagonal left into another open book fault taken up past a semi-detached block to a large ledge. Stance comfortably on the right.
Originally opened by aiding on the peg. The free grade of 22 is suggested, but may be harder.
Pitch 2. 18m (17) start 1m past the right end of the roof above the stance, climbing diagonal left around the arete, then traverse over the open book and beneath the gaping crack until the face on the left. Take this to a small stance a pitch directly beneath an improbable roof.
One can link Pitches 2 & 3, however rope drag could be problematic if done poorly.
Pitch 3. 25m (17) Step back down then follow a good handrail left above tine to none-existent feet on the lip of a roof, around a small corner to a good ledge. Walk left to a grassy stance, (crossing beneath Railrunner's last pitch). Excellent pitch.
Pitch 4. 25m (23) Step up to a grassy ledge left, around the corner then left beneath a roof. Up the right tending break to a ledge. Traverse left around the corner, then diagonally right to a grassy ledge. Step up, then follow a lay-back crack in a recess to another ledge, then easy ground to the top.
We suspect this pitch starts well left of the line described above, and instead we highly recommend the last pitch of Railrunner.