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 bushy 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.
This wall left of the big roofs looks relatively uniform but for overhangs towards the top. At the base on the right is an obvious undercut open book facing left, this is The Plunge. About 3m left of this is Third Eye, and about 4m left again is the start of Yo Yo.
Yo Yo *** 19
G. Lacey, E. February 1982
Start: About 200m from the top of the ravine the path runs close to the face on the right. At a level slightly higher than this a steep juggy face leads to an obvious crack.
Pitch 1. 40m (15) Climb the face moving diagonally right then back left to gain the base of the crack. Ascend the crack to a stance blow a small overhang.
Pitch 2. 25m (19) Pull left through the roof over jammed blocks. Continue up to the next set of roofs, Move left, crank through the double roofs to gain a rail. Traverse left and move up to a stance.
Pitch 3. 15m (15) Climb diagonally right up to the top.
The Third Eye *** 22
G. Lacey, E. February 1982
Start: Down and tight of Yo Yo is a beautiful layback crack in a slim left facing corner.
Pitch 1. 20m (19) Climb the crack and bulge to below the roof.
Pitch 2. 25m (22) Move slightly left and break through the overhang above. Continue up on weathered rock to a ledge beneath some roofs.
Pitch 3. 30m (19) Climb into a small bottomless dihedral, exit left and move up the wall to beneath a series of overlaps. Crank through the overlaps then traverse right to a shallow open book. Climb this to the top.
The Plunge *** 19
FA: G. Lacey, E. February. 1982 FFA: A de Klerk, G. Lacey, E. February
Start: In the obvious left facing open-book, right of 3rd Eye.
Pitch 1. 15m (17) Move into the crack from the left, then climb up to stance on the right.
Pitch 2. 30m (15) Climb up left to gain the corner. Move right and climb the corner to the face above the right side of the overhangs.
Pitch 3. 25m (19) Climb the recess then traverse left below the roofs and pull through into the shallow undercut open-book.
Pitch 4. 20m (15) Climb through the crack in the roof above, then move diagonally left to clear the rood and continue to the top.
At stated above, routes in this sector is generally start from a large bushy ledge running right along the amphitheatre. The starts of most routes are beaconed.
Because of the enormous roof at at its center most lines in this sector join Fear of Flying in traversing left to easier ground.
The Gates *** 23
FA: G. Lacey, E February 1982.
FFA: A.de Klerk, E February 1983
Start: The route starts on the left end of the ledge and is marked by a beacon. The route follows a line of obvious overhanging open-books on the prow separating the two sectors.
Pitch 1. 15m (19) Climb the wall to a ledge and move left to a stance below the overhanging open book.
Pitch 2. 12m (23) Climb the open book to the roof, then rail left to the prow on the lip
Pitch 3. 20m (19) Climb the series of open books, tending right to reach the left side of a ledge.
Pitch 4. 20m (13) Climb the crack and walls to the top.
Stairway to heaven G2
Men at Arms
Rolling Stones in Concert G1
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.