Mount Buffalo

You either love Mount Buffalo, or you hate it. And love usually does not come at first sight.
Mt Buffalo is a granite plateau in northwestern Victoria. Rising 1500 metres above the surrounding plains the plateau has an alpine feel. There are two main climbing areas on the plateau: the 300metre-deep Buffalo gorge that cuts into the eastern side of the escarpment and the slabs found on top of the plateau. The two areas have two very distinct styles of climbing - steep, long cracs in the gorge and thin, bolt-protected slabs on the top.
If you only like sport climbing Mt Buffalo may not be for you. For the first couple of visits, finding the routes can be as challenging as climbing them.

ROCK: Granite
LOCATION: Mt Buffalo is about 41/2 hours drive from Melbourne. Take the Hume Hwy, north, for about 222km and turn right at the Oxley turn off. From Sydney it's about a 9-hour drive. Again take the Hume Hwy south to Albury-Wodonga and turn left towards the Mt Beauty snow fields.
You'll need a map!
CAMPING: The best camping is at Lake Catani campground on the top of the plateau. The campground is open from the start of November until the end of April. A maximum of 6 people are allowed per site and sites must be booked by the week ($98 a week in the peak periods). You will need to book. Phone the Bright DCE Office on (03) 5756 2328. There are numerous campgrounds and hotels at the base of the mountain around Bright about 26kms away.

Day three on the North Wall for Stefan Eberhard and Vera Wong (belaying from "portaledge" below). The route is Magic and Loss (M4, 18, 195 meters), Mount Buffalo.
WHEN TO GO: The best seasons are the warm ones. Remember, the climbs will be under a thick coating of snow in winter.

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Area: The Gorge (Bents Lookout)

Hard Rain (22) 118m - May well be the best 22 in the country!

Status Quo (21) 117m -  May well be the hardest 21in the country.

The Establishment (23) 110m - Crack, then corner then Dyke finish.

Area: The Gorge (North Wall)

Defender of the Faith (23) 185m - One of the best long, free cracks

Mein Kampf (25) 140m - Probably the hardest 25 in Australia.

Ozymandias Direct Finish (22 M4) 270m - Australia's most popular aid route.

Lord Gumtree (22 M6) 316m - A harder version of Ozy

Area: The Cathedral (on top of the plateau)

Sultan (20) 65m - Fantastic line of flacks.

Maharajah (17) 42m - Corner, crack and flack

The Dreaming (23) 90m - Unbelievable slab up a blunt arete

Substance Abuse (24) 95m - Slab up another arete

Edge of Pleasure (21) 90m - Narrow, blunt arete

RECOMMENDED READING: Mt Buffalo, A Rockclimber's Guide by Jeremy Boreham and David Brereton. Published by: The Victorian Climbing Club, GPO Box 1725P, Melbourne Vic 3001