Perpendicular Rock

40 minutes

Crag faces south-west



This crag is one large outcrop of dioritic rock, but weathering and erosion have produced several buttresses and gullies with a large number of cracks and corners. The central buttress is the tallest being about 120 metres. The crag is approximately 200 metres wide. In its unclimbed state there are some loose rocks and vegetation. Please note the orchids are fully protected. The rock is usually sound with good holds. When dry the rock provides good friction, but when wet the lichen is suspect. Warning: as of August 2013, a rockfall has occurred at the top of the Jungle Trail corner, and buried Square Gully in landslide debris. Scrambling up to the base of climbs in Square Gully (including Hercules) is hazardous! In addition, the top pitches of the climbs on Odyssey buttress (Jungle Trail, Acreterion, Odyssey, Command Performance) probably no longer exist in their original state, and are loose and dangerous.


The crag was first visited and climbed on by C. Ivin, P. Griffith, T.Batty and B.Montgomery in 1961. Their conclusion, as reported in Bryden Allen's "Guide to Rockclimbs in NSW", was "lousy climbs... over scungy rock". In 1967 the crag was visited by John Pickard and Harry Luxford, their opinion of the previous climbs (Jungle Route and Orchid Route) was the as the predecessors, but they found that they had chosen two of the most herbaceous routes on the crag. After several months with only one climb, Close Call completed and several others half done, it was decided to invite John Ewbank to join them in order to lead a magnificent line that was too hard for them. The result - Hercules - an outstanding line. The same month John and Alex Campbell did Samson. The crag again settled into oblivion, to be resurrected in April, 1970, to provide the venue for an intervarsity climbing meet. This produced five more routes, Orchgasm, Odyssey, Doopiatsa, Striptease and Cot. Once again the crag was ignored with only Centrepoint and Hydra being done in 1973 and Burlesque in 1974. Harry Luxford writes.... "During a visit to Great Britain in 1981, I realised that tucked away at Goodman's Ford was a crag far superior to many of the famous crags I was being taken to in both Wales and the Lakes District." Over Christmas 1981, Harry Luxford convinced Ron Miller and Bruce Cameron to join him in visits to the crag. Within four weeks the number of completed climbs had doubled, including the quality climbs of Hullaballoo, Command Performance and Wanderlust. From the upper pitches a large pile of "rubble" could be seen across the river. The rubble looked broken and low angled, consquently is was ignored until early 1982. This rubble turned out to be Lanagan's Falls. Old Harry reckons there is still much to do!


Perpendicular Rock is on the eastern side of the river and is prominent as you descend into the valley. Park the car (limited space) immediately below the crag. The point is just past a Floodway sign which is next to a gate. Walk up the left (northern) spur - which is now quite bushy - till the scree is reached. The northern slope of the spur might be drier and more open. Follow the scree up to a track leading right to the base of the crag. The climb from the car to crag takes about 40 minutes. If you want to avoid the spiky and stinging bush on the spur completely, for a more alpine approach you can link the talus fields to the south via the creek and some open bushland, as shown in the satellite photo below. Trekking poles recommended. The crag is on private property. Harry writes in 1998: "Permission to climb on this crag was granted several years ago, and up to now they have accepted that climbers have simply done there and climbed - please repect that trust."

Butterflies 12 80m
Start: Corner crack immediately L of clump of trees. 1, 2, 3. Follow obvious crack/corner system - cannot remember much more about it.
H.Luxford, R.Miller (alt leads) Feb 82
Surprise Gully 14 100m
Two top pitches compensate for the first. Start: In gully hidden behind large clump of trees. 1. 28m. Up left crack to tree, then left. 2. 38m. Corner crack immediately above gully. 3. 34m. Corner crack then as will to top.
R.Miller, H.Luxford (alt leads) Jan 82
Orchgasm 15? 100m
Follow grade rather than line. Start: Base of Orchid Gully - unmarked. 1. 35m. Up corner 10 metres, traverse right then up. Pass two pitons on right to ledge. 2. 25m. Up wall 7 metres, traverse right to arete and crack, up. Across to ledge. 3. 20m. Up to steep crack, onto slab left of nose. 4. 20m. Up corner, traverse to end of nose. Around corner and up.
D.Feacham, M.Swain, N.Webb, Apr 70
Orchid Route 14 100m
Details of route unknown except for diagram in B.Allens guidebook. It is probably that Orchgasm and Orchid Route are the same climb.
T.Batty, B.Montgomery 1961
* * Paper Tiger 19 70m
Two interesting pitches -- top traverse induces concentration. Start: Diagonal crack left of Central Buttress. 1. 35m. Right up diagonal crack - belay tricky. 2. 35m. Left up diagonal crack into corner, up to small roof left across wall, around nose and up. RP's and hammer useful on wall.
H.Luxford, R.Harris (alt leads) May 97
Variation Start to Centrepoint 16 25m
Better than climbing the tree. Start: Obvious corner immediately left of fig tree. 1. 25m. Up corner to roof, right then up crack then right to arete.
H.Luxford, R.Harris, Mar 97
* * * Centrepoint 17 125m
Good climbing in a great situation. Start: In fig tree at base of Central Butress 1. 30m. Up to top of tree. 2. 15m. Up crack to bulge, left 3 metres, then diagonally right to crack and ledge. 3. 25m (crux). Up as you will. 4. 15m. Up short wall then right to small ledge. 5 and 6. 40m Up to top.
M.Swain, R.Vining (alt leads) D.Feacham, May 73
Samson 18 95m
Good looking crack, overgrown at present. Start: About 10m left of, and 7m down gully from Hercules. 1. 30m. Steep wall and thin cracks to small ledge. 2. 30m. Up to where cracks become choked. Up on blocks and flakes on wall to ledge. 3. 30m (crux). Crack behind to top of pinnacle. Crack above is strenuous.
J.Ewbank, A.Campbell, J.Worral, Mar 67
* * * Hercules 20 70m
A magnificent line. The only climb J.E. recommended in his keynote talk at Escalade. Start: THE corner in Square Gully. 1. 40m. Up to roof, left to ledge. 2. 30m. Up to overhang, over bulge then flaky rock and chimney to final roofs and corner to top.
J.Ewbank, J.Worral Mar 67
Hydra 20 50m
Start: Crack about 10 metres to right of Hercules. Obvious crack/chimney for which I have no description as Keith cannot remember much about it. However, if you cannot find your way up this line you should not be here.
K.Bell, B.Allen (alt leads) 1973
Close Call 15M3 70m
Too dangerous-----not recommended. Start: Middle of rear wall in Square Gully. 1. 16m. Aid up to flake. 2. 8m. Mixed climbing to large block/flake. N.B. This block moves! 3. 36m. Up flake to slab and wall to ledge. 4. 8m. Right to belay point.
J.Pickard, H.Luxford (alt leads) 1967
Jungle Trail 12 140m
The first climb on the cliff. Start: On right side of Square Gully. 1. 20m. Dirty gully behind tree, then crack. 2. 30m. Steep ramp. 3. 60m. Chimney to right of steep crack. 4. 15m. Dirty crack. 5. 25m (crux). Up easy gully to overhang.
C.Ivin, P.Griffiths 1961
* Acreterion 15 50m
Enjoyable wall and slab climbing up front of buttress. Start: Left end of Odyssey Buttress. 1. 25m (crux). Straight up to ledge, around to large tree. 2. 8m. Back down and into crack to large blocks. 3, 17m. Up crack, right onto wall, then up as will.
H. Luxford, B.Cameron (alt leads) Jan 82
* Odyssey 14 110m
Easiest way up second biggest buttress. Two good pitches. Start: Middle of wall on Odyssey Buttress. 1. 30m (crux). Up wall heading left to tree. 2. 15m. Layback up. 3. 18m. Left of belay, up blocks. 4. 18m. Up corner to ledge. 5. 18m. Up overhang to op.
A.Langworthy, T.Quinn, C.Thompson, Apr 70
* Hullabaloo 16 50m
Two reasonably good pitches --- recommended. Start: Corner crack on right side of Odyssey Buttress. 1. 20m (crux). Up crack into corner. 2. 30m. Up corner to large ledge. Climb as will OR abseil down gully to left.
B.Cameron, H.Luxford (alt leads) Jan 82
* * Command Performance 17/18 100m
Highly recommended. Start: On right side of Odyssey Buttress. 1. 25m (crux). Up steep thin corner. 2. 25m. Up twin hand cracks. 3. 25m. Up right side of pillar. 4. 25m. Up corner.
H.Luxford, B.Cameron (alt leads) Feb 82
Hidden Corner 15 80m
First pitch O.K. Start: Corner hidden behind left side of third buttress. 1. 25m (crux). Straight up corner crack. 2. 25m. Up and right to largish tree. 3. 30m. Up behind tree OR abseil off.
H.Luxford, R.Harris (alt leads) Nov 96
Easy Terms 14 90m
First pitch is quite good. Start: Left side of third buttress. 1. 25m. Up wall and crack. 2. 25m. Past loose rock, then wall and slab. 3 and 4. 40m. As for Wanderlust OR abseil off.
W.Moon, B.Cameron Apr 82
Face Value 17 35m
Short but interesting. Start: Second crack on third buttress. 1. 15m. Up groove, then right, up wall to small stance. 2. 20m. Up twin crack then as you will.
B.Cameron, H.Luxford (alt leads) Jan 82
No Cents 19 30m
Some interest. Start: As for Face Value but move right. 1. 30m. Follow steep crack to ledge, then as for Face Value.
T.Williams, F.Moon, Feb 82
Doopiasta 15 80m
First climb on third buttress. 1. 30m. Up 7m then right to thin crack then right to another crack then right to ledge. 2. 12m. Onto pinnacle then wall left of detached pinnacle. 3. 15m. Short wall. 4. 25m. Tree and wall left of corner, up corner till right move onto wall, up to large block. Slab on left to finish.
D.Bennet, T.Wood Apr 70
High Interest 13 25m
Short but pleasant. Start: Crack on right side of third buttress. 1. 25m. Up to roof, then right, up flake then to tree on left.
B.Cameron, R.Miller, H.Luxford, Jan 82
Wanderlust 14 80m
One of the better ways up the third buttress. Start: Corner-crack right of third buttress. 1. 23m. Up corner-crack. 2. 15m. Left into corner-crack, up to tree. 3. 23m (crux). Obvious corner. 4. 19m. Rightish to crack, up to top.
H.Luxford, B.Cameron (alt leads) Jan 82
* Striptease 13 30m
A short but pleasant climb. Start: Left side of fourth buttress. 1. ?. Left of two cracks to chimney and tree, then to ledge. 2. ? (crux). Straight up.
H.Luxford, T.Tierney Apr 70
* Burlesque 13 78m
A pleasant companion route to Striptease. Start: Corner-crack at very top of Striptease Gully. 1. 30m (crux). Up small overhang and crack. Right to chimney. Up to tree. 2. 24m. Scramble up to small corner, up, then left along crack to ledge. 3. 24m. Up wall keeping to obvious crack.
H.Luxford, C.Peisker Mar 74
Goliath 12 12m
Ho-hum. Start: Short crack on left wall of terrace.
H.Luxford, K.Westren, R.Miller, B.Cameron Jan 82
Whisper 10 15m
Another ho-hum. Start: Curving crack at rear of terrace. 1. 15m. Up crack then left easily to tree.
B.Cameron, R.Miller, Jan 82
Notadod 15 20m
Harder than it looks. Start: Right side of Striptease Gully on Isolated Buttress. 1. 20m. Up blocks to below tree, left then up crack to top.
B.Cameron, H.Luxford, Jan 82
Umb 15 30m
Exactly. Start: Offwidth crack on left side of Isolated Buttress. 1. 30m. Straight up.
W.Moon, B.Cameron, Apr 82
Hotchpotch 11 42m
Better than it looks. Start: Front of Isolated Buttress. 1. 42m. Rightish up corner to blocks, up to tree right, then crack to tree to top.
H.Luxford, R.Miller, Dec 81
Hotchpotch Direct Start 18 10m
A bouldery start. Start: 6m right of Hotchpotch. 1. 10m. Up crack and corner.
B.Cameron, H.Luxford, Jan 82
Cot 15M1 35m
Should be freed. Start: Thin crack on right front of buttress. 1. 35m. Up crack.
H.Luxford, D.Darmanin 1970
Footloose 14 40m
A fair corner and crack. Start: Right side of Isolated Buttress. 1. 21m (crux). Up to tree. 2. 19m. Crack behind tree.
H.Luxford, R.Taylor (alt leads) Dec 81
Fancy Free 11 30m
The finish is tree-ific. Start: Right side of Isolated Buttress. 1. 30m. Up corner, then rightish to tree belay.
B.Cameron, H.Luxford, Feb 82
Single Sided 10 15m
Another ho-hum. Start: Right side of Isolated Buttress. 1. 15m. Up crack then through tree.
B.Cameron, R.Miller, Jan 82
Serendipity 8 20m
Always in the shade. Start: Right corner in gully east of Isolated Buttress. 1. 20m. Up corner and right ledge, then up to top veering left.
R.Miller, B.Cameron, Jan 82


From the top of the crag, one possible descent is to the north (to the left when looking up at the crag from the base). Walk straight down the slope behind the crag until you reach a fence after a hundred meters or so. Turn left, and follow the fence for another couple of hundred meters. Hopefully you will see a small pile of scree up on a small ridge back to your left. It looks like a good lookout point. Climb this, and you will see you are past the northernmost buttress of the crag. Start descending down very steep scree, gullies, and slippery grass. If at some point you see a huge sprawling fig tree, head towards it and go around it to the right. Approach shoes or Volleys would be very nice to have (although we did it in climbing shoes), and take extreme care if it's wet!