The Crown (Urbenville) Climbing Guide

By Alistair Byrom & Ken Cox
Updated 1997 by Neil Monteith

Last updated Feb 2009

For those of you who are yet to visit the thriving metropolis of Urbenville, you will find it about 14km from Woodenbong and Woodenbong is the first cockroach-haven south of the border on the Mt Lindesay Highway (which turns into the Summerland Way).

Directions
To get to the Toolum Falls campground, head through Urbenville on the main street (Urben Street). Continue on this road out of town for two to three kilometres. Turn L at sign for Toolum Falls (dirt road). Continue to end of road. There are pit toilets, but no tap water. Click here for a view of the waterfall at the campground. 

Access Update (2009)
It is requested (by the farmer whose land you cross to access the cliff) that you phone him prior to your arrival and seek permission to access The Crown. His name is Mr Jones and his number is (02) 6634 1225. Think of this as a courtesy call which will serve to keep climbers in the good graces of land managers. Please do it. If you should have any problems with this arrangement, post up on qurank.com.

When on the main street of Urbenville (Urben Street), take Stephen Street out of town and over small bridge. Turn L into Sewerage Treatment Works. Once the car has been safely parked, head up the grass slope to the two 'apple trees'. Once at the tree line follow the ridge up - if you're lucky you may even find a track. Once you're quite high on the ridge, contour to the R until you arrive at the base of the cliff. The walk takes 20-25 minutes. 

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Above: The Crown

If you managed to follow the correct track you will have hit the cliff just before the first climb listed. The climbs are mainly on slabs, with the majority of protection being bolts (usually too many). Most require hangers and most are non-stainless steel so are rusty - take care. Almost all routes are soft touches at the grade. 

Rebolting Update (2008)
Thanks to a coalition of the willing representing QUT Cliffhangers and Safer Cliffs Queensland, there has been significant rebolting of the popular slab routes.

Guide to symbols
Sport route
BR Bolt runner
CB Chain belay
DBB Double bolt belay
FH Fixed hanger
SLCD Spring-loaded camming device (friend) 

The climbs are listed from L to R when facing the cliff. 

The James Scott Memorial Diet 40m 21
Apparently pretty damn hard. Climb arÍte L of large tree, which is in turn L of a large fallen tree and stump hole. Follow the system of corners up and step L on to slab, passing BR's to CB.
(BR's, SLCD's, wires)
Mark Plenderlieth & Alistair Byrom 90s

Sceptre 95m 19
Very good indeed. From large stump hole move up slab about 5m to dish and a single BR belay (use a sling to clip into bolt as leader will need all the rope to get to first CB).
1) 50m (19) From dish head towards orange overhang and a step to the R on to slab heading for short, prominent corner past two BR's to CB.
2) 45m (18) Head up corner following BR's to top CB.
(BR's, mixed gear)
Alistair Byrom, Ken Cox 90s 

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Above: Neil Monteith and Marty Blumen up at the belay on The James Scott Memorial Diet

Foreign Accent Syndrome 25m 17
Several metres L of a broken corner with a large stump and a fallen tree, about 20m R of stump hole. Head up L side of hanging block to flake up L side of block to bolt belay.
(FH's & SLCD's)
Mark Plenderlieth, Ian Harrison 90s 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 70m 19
1) 25m (19) Directly up from broken stump, up R side of overhang to tree root and then up past three FH's to lower-off shared with FAS. A fall on the crux could serve you up on the slab - take care.  
(BR's and wires)
2) 45m (19) Continue up through two headwalls passing 15 hangers along the way. Remember your long draws and/or use two ropes.
Ian Harrison, Mark Plenderlieth 90s (p1) Ross Ernst, Colin Carstens 18/10/2008 (p2)

Slip 23m 19
A popular thin slab. About 4m R of broken corner, blast up slab and clip six FH's to lower-off.
Ken Cox 90s

Fantastic 75m 19
Starts at CB of Slip to create a four pitch voyage.
1) 35m (16) Traverse R two metres then up and R past FH to ledge. Veer L a little up slab to spacious ledge with CB.

2) 25m (crux) Up shallow corner to obvious steep corner (many FH's). Overcome this and the tricky arÍte crux move onto slab to reach CB at small tree. 

2) 15m (17) Clip FH from ledge and climb the slab above past numerous FH's to tree belay. 
Inspiration: Pete Schmidt 1996
Perspiration: Darrin Carter, Sean Smith 1996

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Above: Erik Smits leading Slip

Slope 23m 18
Another romp up slab past the L side of a small nose to lower-off at the top of Slip.
Ken Cox 90s 

Sonoluminescence 20m 17
Up R side of small nose past a SLCD placement and numerous FH's to lower-off. Has an interesting bulge at half height.
(FH's & SLCD)
Mark Plenderlieth 90s 

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Above: Darrin Carter and an unknown enjoying this wall 

If you're not bored with this little slab yet, here's another blast off. 

Slapp 20m 15
Off block and follow seam to first FH at five metres. Up slab blipping colts to lower off shared with Sono.
Ken Cox 90s

Gearbox Gastro 25m 18
Quite testing. 3m R of Slapp. Up slab passing two FH's to large SLCD placement and FH. Up steep section passing a FH (crux) to overlap, and on to lower-off. SCQ note: Original anchor still to be removed.
(FH's & SLCD's)
Andrew Horchner 90s 

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Above: Ana Greer leading Slapp 

Slither 25m 17
Solid at the grade, but excellent. Up slab clipping FH's to obvious triangular tooth. Once up steepness and at the overlap, head L to lower-off at top of Gearbox Gastro.
(FH's & SLCD's)
Alistair Byrom, Ken Cox, R. Byrom 90s 

Weetbix Warrior 25m 18
More good value. About five metres R of Slither. Up slab to a tricky step R and FH. Sweet pockets will see you through the crux steepness. Continue up corner to lower-off. SCQ note: Original anchor still to be removed.
Ken Cox, Alistair Byrom 90s 

Urban Villain 16m 21
This climb starts R about three metres. Head up crack/corner to vegetated ledge. From here step 2m R onto steeper territory. Follow FH's to a lower-off. A direct start heads directly up the slab (three FH's) below the crux, rather than ascending the crack/corner.
Alistair Byrom, Ken Cox 90s. DS Dave Reeve 07/08/09.

Easement 30m 15
Good, but a sandbag at its original grade of 13 if climbed directly. Start about 12m R of Urban Villain, in a shallow V. Climb up the V and step L onto a large ledge, the first BR is clipped from the ledge. From the ledge head up to orange overhang and lower-off.
(FH's & SLCD's)
Alistair Byrom, Ken Cox 90s

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Above: Philippa Newton seconding Easement

Unknown 60m 22
1) 40m (22) Start up Easement but move R before chains following FH's up and then L to steep wall. Crank L and up weakness in this steep headwall wall past numerous FH's to slab then to CB.
2) 20m (19) Up slab above past big flake and numerous FH's to tree belay.
Probably established by Pete Schmidt 1996
Unknown 1996? 

Unknown 50m 17?
1) 30m (13) As for Easement.
2) 20m? (17?) Move R from the belay and instead of trending back L toward the steep wall as per the 22, follow the line of FH's R into the corner, then out R and on R-wards.
Probably established by Pete Schmidt 1996
Unknown 1996? 

Treddle 30m 17
Quite varied. This climb starts 3m L of the top of the small ridge about 20m R of Easement. Climb up slab heading L to a vegetated corner and FH. Up slab through branches of squiggly gum to blunt arÍte. Up arÍte to ledge. Off ledge and up to CB past small wire placements.
(BR's, FH, SLCD's & wires)
Ken Cox, Mark Plenderlieth 90s 

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights 65m 15
1) 35m (15) At top of ridge head up gentle slab to obvious corner. Up corner to where it eases and trends L. Ignore this (and the FH out L). Instead, step R into smaller corner and up to rap anchor at good stance.
2) 30m (15) From chains head about four metres R and up water mark passing several BR's to steeper rock (FH's). Surmount this then up corner (ignoring unnecessary retrobolts) to lower-off just above she-oak.
Ken Cox, Alistair Byrom 90s 

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights LHV 20m 16
2b) Directly up from the belay following the line of FH's up the smooth slab, trending slightly L to CB.
Peter Schmidt, James Fisher 18/3/96

Down this ridge (toward the road) about thirty metres is a small buttress with three routes on it. 

Scream of the Hoggart 12m 21
A goey little thing. This climb goes up the L of the two cracks with a hard start and fiddly placements, ending at Noddy's  CB.
(natural gear)
Mark Plenderlieth, Ian Harrison 90s 

Fuck Off Noddy 12m 22
Classic and quite sequency. The clean line located in the middle of the buttress, below the R slanting flake ending at a lower-off.
(2 FH's, FH)
Mark Plenderlieth & Ian Harrison 90s

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Above: Neil Monteith leading Fuck Off Noddy 

 

Waste Snot Want Snot 12m 21
No easier than Noddy. Starts at R side of buttress below prominent flake. Boldly up to first FH then trend R to second FH. Up to top passing last FH, unsuccessfully trying to avoid stepping L. CB.
Mark Plenderlieth, Ian Harrison 90s

Back to the main cliff line. The next cluster of climbs are found by heading down the cliff from the previously mentioned ridge to a compact wall with numerous bolts. 

Unknown 20m 17
First route up dirty wall past a few BR's.
Unknown 1996 

Nightmare 22m 25/26
Looks heinous!! Two FH's lead up and to the L to a rest before the crux at the third FH. Up past one BR to finish. CB.
Matt Hutton, Greg Hambling 3/95 

The Liverpool Kiss 20m 23
Up to scoop and BR. Onwards past another three BR's to CB.
Mark Plenderlieth 1994 

You Eeediot 20m 22
Weakness just L of Penial Warts. Four BR's and CB. Really just a variant start to Penile Warts as it joins it at the second BR.
Mark Plenderlieth 1994 

Penile Warts 22m 22
Start at warty tree. Up corner to small tree stump. Clip BR on L then up to second BR and traverse to the L. Up past another two BR's and a small wire over the lip if you feel it is required, then up to CB.
(BR's and small wire)
Alistair Byrom, Ken Cox 90s 

Tenuous Tendons 22m 21
Didn't manage to find this one. Supposedly about three metres R of Penile Warts. Up past three BR's on difficult moves if you're the height of the first ascensionists. At top corner above third BR, step L and up to CB.
Alistair Byrom, Ken Cox 90s 

Romancing the Slabs 22m 23
Five metres R of the warty tree. Up to first BR at the patch of white lichen. Traverse R and up to second BR. Up to FH and crux. Clip fourth BR and you're there. CB.
Alistair Byrom, Ken Cox 90s 

Follow the cliff line down another 50m past overhung wall to the base of a slab with a large black boy at its toe. 

Imaginary Invalid 45m 20
Start at the left arÍte of the above mentioned slab. Head up to the large flake past two BR's. The third BR is out on the L on top of the flake, a medium SLCD is required out to the R. Follow the line of least resistance past seven BR's to CB.
Alistair Byrom, Ken Cox, M. Byrom 90s 

Between these routes is a grade 23 link-up.


Flatulence 35m 18
Up slab past SLCD slot and across to the R (long BR). Make your way back L under roof past nose (big SLCD) and up to the big hole (BR). From here zig-zag through break in wall past two BR's. Once on slab, follow breaks to CB.
(BR's, #2.5 & ~#4 SLCD & medium wires)
M. & R. Byrom 90s 

 

The next three on the slab are quite bizarre. It's hard to tell them apart.


Image is All 35m 15
Start as for the previous two climbs. Head to the same bolt at the hole. Step down onto tooth and up R to ledge. From ledge follow BR's to CB.
Alistair Byrom, M. Moran 90s 

I'll Be Bach 35m 19
A direct start for Image is All. Start up slab about eight metres R of original start. Head up past two BR's then trend L to undercling and up to ledge.
Ingo the Dingo 90s 

Unknown 35m 20
Another direct start just R of I'll be Bach. This time up slab past three BR's to hole and BR.
Unknown 90s 

 

Unknown 45m 21

Reputedly good and hard. Great pinches through the overhang. Up the slab heading for the big white stripe on the steep wall up high passing 4 BR's to get there. Climb the steep stain past another BR, then keep going following the bolts.

Andrew Horchner 90s


The next two climbs start about 25m R (past the section with the steep headwall) under a pine tree about 5m L of a break in the cliff. 

Wasp 45m 18
Up almost horizontal flake to natural gear in corner. Up slab to BR. Traverse L to corner crack, an #11 hex can be fiddled into hole. Thence to the R and up crack to CB.
(BR & natural gear)
Ken Cox, R. & Alistair Byrom 90s 

Flakes Away 45m 22
Start as for Wasp. Up to ledge at five metres, then up to BR. Continue up past small SLCD placement and another four BR's. From fifth BR trend L to CB.
(BR's & natural gear)
Alistair Byrom, Ken Cox 90s 

 

Streak 15m 16?

10m R. Apparently the streak up the vague L-facing corner has been done without bolts. Meander up to TB.

 

These next climbs are found on the inclined slab, down, and about 30m R of the previous climbs. 

 

Ugly Duckling 20m 13

Well I think it looks fun. The black, L-trending wide crack up the slab ending at a TB.


The next two climbs were the first to be done on this cliff, obviously in the reverse order, in February 1991. 


Jetsom 15m 14
Up the short arÍte clipping BR's to CB.
Alistair Byrom, Ken Cox 2/91 

Flotsam 16m 15
Start about four metres R of Jetsom. Head straight up slab clipping BR's to CB.
Ken Cox, Alistair Byrom 2/91