Kissing Point Climbing Guide

By Lee Skidmore, October 1999

Last updated 24 March, 2000

This cliff is five minutes drive from central Townsville, is close to parking, shops, and the beach. The crag is located to the left of the 'rock pool' on the Strand. Its peak is a whopping 34m above sea level. On Townsville's 1:100000 map #8259 it is closest to the co-ordinates 79,72. Most routes are very easy (almost walks), with a smattering of moderate climbs. Many climbs have been soloed. Something to note is that essentially all of the routes at Kissing Point are easy for the grade. It's not a bad place to go in the afternoon when you don't want to drive far. The best thing about it is that it's slabby aspect makes it a good place to teach beginners. Be aware that the rock is less than perfect, especially when placing natural protection. Some falls here have been very serious.

Description of all routes is from left to right when facing the cliff.

Spectator Wall

Don't belay or rap off the top of the fence which runs along the top of this wall. Use the provided fixed protection and the base of the fence poles to belay, and rap off chains above Hugs And Kisses (or do the epic 30 second walk down).

Kiss And Make Up 8m 11
A mini-route, but not too bad. Starts 7m L of prominent arÍte, below the obvious overhanging overlap. Easily up to below the overlap. Small cams here, then through overhang. Grab the unfortunate jug on wall above, and up.
Lee Skidmore, Philippa Newton, Erik & Took Smits 12/7/98.

Pouge Mah Thon (Kiss My Ass) 10m 8
Puke! The worst route here. Shallow corner-crack 4m L of prominent arÍte.
Dave Ahmelman, Andrew Rule 4/96 

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Above: Lee onsighting the first ascent of Kiss And Make Up

* Simply Irrekissable 10m 17
Contrived, but still good. Smooth face 3.5m L of arÍte to horizontal crack at 2/3 height. Your last gear goes in here. Now straight up the middle of the face to the top. Don't stray. Belay off chains. Good rock throughout. Repeat ascentionists have placed gear in KC to protect the top, but you won't.
Lee Skidmore 30/7/96 

* Kissing Cousins 11m 8
The set of twin cracks 2.5m L of arÍte to small corner in upper section. Great rock. Chains at top.
Andrew Rule, Dave Ahmelman, Mark Gommers 4/96
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Above: Pip Newton redpointing Kissing Cousins

** Hugs And Kisses 12m 6
Popular for beginners. Very easy, and a good first lead on natural protection. It is the widest crackline which is located 1.5m L of the arÍte. Chains at top.
Mark Gommers, Dave Ahmelman, Andrew Rule 4/96 

* Kissing Kermit 12m 10
Quite good, especially the start. Corner crack 0.5m L of the arÍte to face crack. Chains at top.
Zachary von Kemp, Mark Gommers 4/96 

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Above: Lee Skidmore put to the test on Hugs And Kisses

*** Swinging In A Sunday Sea Breeze 10m 21
Awesome! Hardest on the cliff, and also the best. One of the only climbs here that isn't a poxy slab! The line of five FH's starting 0.5m R of the arÍte. A left arm killer! Scott says "If you use the sloping wall on the R you are not climbing the proper route". Chains at top.
Scott Bewley 4/97

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A long shot of Jason Shaw on top rope Philippa Newton on the crux on top rope Lee Skidmore nailing it on top rope Lee redpointing it Took Smits attempting a lead


Kiss It All Goodbye 15m 14
Starts 0.5m R of SIASSB in the corner. Climb R-leaning slab-corner with good pro throughout. Continue straight up the loose and dirty horrorshow to finish at obvious spiky tree. A variant finish escapes L up ramp before the chossy top.
Lee Skidmore, Philippa Newton 13/10/98. 

 

The Butter Knife 9m 7?
Starts 4m R of the KIAG on the knife-blade-pillar-arÍte. Up this cracked pillar with reasonable pro in the first half.
Scott Bewley, Rodney Norfield mid '97. 

 

From here you can walk directly back toward the water and slightly L to come across a small, overhanging bouldering wall. Took started developing some good power problems here one afternoon in July 1998.

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Above: Lee bouldering while Took spots

Kiss Of Death 15m 14
Seriously delicate. Broken slab 7m L of KOTSW keeping L of mini-corner to undercling slot (protection). Over this to chossy slab and top.
Lee Skidmore 16/8/96 

* Kiss Of The Spider Woman 15m 17
Popular. A nice slab climb. Bottomless, left-facing corner 30m R of arÍte to a loose exit. Three FH's, wires at top. DBB. A good workout for your legs.
Mark Gommers, Ellen Kemp 4/96 
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Above: Erik Smits onsighting Kiss Of The Spider Woman

** French Kiss 17m 18
A deceptively good climb with some nice moves. Start 3m R of KOTSW. Up ramp to clip first FH. Up and trend L to pro in the big groove. Now up (crux) onto slab and clip second FH then cake to the top and a 45 degree FH belay.
Andrew Rule, John Louis Beaulieu, Mark Witham, Mark Gommers 7/97 

The Long Kiss Goodnight 16m 14
Start 2m R of FK. Up ramp into the L-facing corner. Natural pro up this will lead you to the top and a 90 degree FH belay.
Mark Gommers, Andrew Rule(?) 7/97 

 

* Pash 'n' Fruit 16m 18
A fun excursion. Start 3m R of TLKG below the obvious double rooflets with two black FH's. Up ramp to below 1st overhang, clip FH above, crimp and pop around overhang. Slightly L beneath 2nd overhang, and then directly through this past FH (no stepping around L!). Now a naturally protected 10m ramble.
Lee Skidmore, Philippa Newton 23/7/98 

Kiss The Sky 16m 15
This route deserves more attention than it gets. Has been made easier (damn it) after Keith VDB involuntarily pulled off a block on the start. The start used to give the grade. 4m R of P'n'F past small V-groove (pro) then slab to ledge. Easily to below R side of overhang. Punch through this fun rooflet (contrived) on jugs and then middle of slab (RP's) to top. If you step R to avoid the overhang, take off a grade or two. If it hasn't been climbed in a while, it may be a bit vegetated.
Lee Skidmore 29/8/96
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Above: Lee onsighting the first ascent

Middle Wall Leftside

The next three climbs are L of the "corridor". The corridor is the narrow causeway that runs about 20m deep between the walls (very recognisable landmark). The sea washes into the corridor at high tide. 

Hall Of Worlds 25m 15
Top overhang is the grade, all else is simply the means of getting to the nice overhang : ). Starts 6m L of detached block 15m L of "the corridor". Through blackened rock and tiny overhang to big ledge below larger overhang. Now through middle of this overhang (a bit contrived).
Lee Skidmore 11/10/96 

The Gauntlet 10m 10
Starts about 4m R of HOW. Steep wall 3m L of detached block to ledge, then directly up past deep slots to ledge and scramble off.
Lee Skidmore 19/10/96 

Red Carpet Treatment 23m 8
Really easy, but nice and long. Middle of face 1m L of large detached block 2-3m R of TG. Tend R up the slabby rock following pockets and then past nice cracks/slots near top. Continue up short flaky pillar to belay seat.
Lee Skidmore 11/10/96 

The Corridor

At last, some steep routes! The next three climbs are found inside the Corridor. You can walk into it at low tide, otherwise scramble or rap in if necessary. On all routes, avoid bridging between the walls, and avoid hitting the R wall if you should fall. To belay, there is natural protection and a single FH up high, well back from the edge. It is crucial that you back up this bolt with natural pro as it's not in very good rock. You have been warned.

* Walls Closing In 10m 15
Starts in the middle of the corridor on the L wall (facing in). Up easily to mantle ledge (cam). #0.5 cam in flake crack and up R to clip FH on face. Avoid temptation to stray off L of the flake (~13) - instead head directly up 1.5m to a wire placement. Now easily up to natural pro and SBB.
Lee Skidmore, Philippa Newton 4/5/98

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Above: Lee Skidmore bolting Walls Closing In

 

Tonsil Hockey 10m 14
Located between WCI and A. Up to L side of depression then up through two bulges. Lots of wires and RP's except at the top (crux). Anyone's welcome to chuck a bolt in the top to make it more accessible to those leading the grade.
Doug Hockly, Steve Baskerville 18/8/99 

* Abyssal 10m 15
Surprisingly good. Starts about 6m R of WCI right up the back of the corridor. Start below the bolt and avoid bridging as you cruise up the steep face on good holds past two FH's and an optional small, dodgy SLCD to natural pro and SBB.
Lee Skidmore, Philippa Newton, Took & Erik Smits 9/7/98.

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Above: Pip seconding the first ascent of Walls Closing In as the waves pulse through beneath

Above: Sequence of Lee flashing the first ascent of Abyssal

Middle Wall Rightside

These next two climbs are to the R of The Corridor. 

Romeo 30m 12
Smooth wall (tricky crux) past a slot to small ledge. Step L, then up small corner to ledge. Up face behind.
Mark Gommers, Andrew Kinbacher 6/96 

Juliet 30m 4
A walk. Start at detached wall 5m R of Romeo. ArÍte to ledge, then shallow groove to face.
Andrew Kinbacher, Mark Gommers 6/96 

Romance Corner

To get to these next climbs, walk along top of cliffs until you reach a carpark, then descend the steep gully. Alternately, keep walking R (when facing the rock) from the Corridor (only at low tide). You can also drive here directly and park in the carpark. When driving, take the left turn before reaching the main Kissing Point carpark and continue driving straight for 100m, through the gates, up into the Military Museum. Keep driving uphill until you reach the carpark, then walk down gully. There is a single FH at the top of the main wall (back it up with natural gear). 

Unrequited Love 13m 13
This route tackles the smoothest section of slab on the main, seaward-facing wall. Start near wide crack at base of vague, blocky corner. Ramble up just R of the blocky corner to below smooth slab. Now climb the nice slab protected by a #2 RP.
Lee Skidmore, Philippa Newton 27/9/98

One Dozen Roses 13m 12
Starts in the middle of the wall (3m R of UL and 5m L of S). Very easily up blocky ledges and cracks for first 8m to weakness in bulge (big gear). Step out onto headwall trending slightly L to top.
Lee Skidmore, Philippa Newton 27/9/98 

** Sampson 15m 10
A really nice climb for beginners. Crack 5m L of arÍte. A bit run out in the upper half.
Mark Gommers, Dave Ahmelman, Andrew Rule 4/96
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Above: Lee Skidmore onsighting Sampson

 

Delilah 15m 10
A slightly concerning lead. Don't fall off this one - pro is sparse! Face between S and arÍte past horizontal break. A #0.5 SLCD is very useful.
Mark Gommers 4/96 

* Stone Goddess 10m 14
About 4m of actual climbing, but this route gets a star because that 4m of climbing is really quite nice. Climb the arÍte past a FH to a disgustingly loose top-out.
Mark Gommers 4/96

Consenting Adults 10m 8
Horrible. Diagonal crack-corner in gully R of arÍte which may be somewhat vegetated.
Andrew Rule, Dave Ahmelman, Mark Gommers 4/96 

Romantic Interlude 6m 12
Originally graded 15. Has one nice move. Hand crack in buttress at top of descent gully about 25m up and R from SG. Some have had more trouble getting to it than climbing it.
Mark Gommers 4/96

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Above and below: Philippa Newton cruising the redpoint of Stone Goddess

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