Grampians: Best Bouldering in the World or Overrated?

Many consider the Grampians in Australia, home of the iconic Wheel of Life (V15), to be a world-class bouldering destination. Niccolò Ceria says, “The area is totally overrated, in my opinion.”

By Rock and Ice | June 26th, 2015

Niccolò Ceria on the FA of Il Mancino di Bristol (V14), Grampians, Australia. [Photo: Ross Taylor/Vertical Life mag]Many consider the Grampians in Australia, home of the iconic Wheel of Life (V15), to be a world-class bouldering destination. Niccolò Ceria says, “The area is totally overrated, in my opinion.”

Despite a “good trip overall” for his first time there, the Italian boulderer—who has climbed all over the world—doesn’t feel that the Grampians lives up to its reputation.

“The rock quality is amazing to see, but it doesn’t climb as good as it looks,” Ceria told Rock and Ice.

“Few lines require technique. Most of them need simple strength and nothing else.”

Ceria says, however, that there are some good problems, such as On the Beach (V13), The Outsider (V11), Owning the Weather (V14), and Cherry Picking (V13), that are “for sure some of the world’s best.”

But, “Many other problems are nothing special. There are many drop-offs [i.e. no top-out] and, under the V11 frontier, the quality is really low to mediocre.”

For Ceria, this trip to the Grampians was about reconnaissance. He wanted to check out the area, repeat the classics and look for boulders to possibly develop in the future. He spent his time climbing established problems but managed to sneak in a V14 first ascent, which he named Il Mancino di Bristol.

Ceria on Rule Number 1 (V13), Grampians, Australia. [Photo: Ross Taylor/Vertical Life mag]During the trip, Ceria claimed the first repeats of Owning the Weather (V14) and Sultan of Swing (V13). He snagged the third ascents of Rootarted (V12/13) and Point break (V12). And he flashed Kate Upton (V12), Dead Heat (V11) and Butcher Choice (V10).

“Yes, the area is totally overrated,” says Ceria.

“This is my honest opinion about Grampians. I did the same in reference to Bishop [READ: Is Bishop World Class? Niccolò Ceria Says Don’t Believe The Hype] and a big chaos came out on the web.

“I hope this time to not make the same controversies.”

While Ceria believes that the Grampians are “totally overrated,” he plans to return.

“I think there is still a good amount of rock to discover. This makes me excited to come back one day.”

Niccolò Ceria’s Grampians Tick List

First Half of Trip:

Occam’s Razors (V13/14) ★★★

Cherry picking (V13) ★★★★★

On the Beach (V13)★★★★

Ammagamma (V12/13) ★★★

Last Resort (V12/13) ★★★

Zeus (V12/13)

Kate Upton (V12) ★★★, flash

Red Mist (V12) ★★

Lost for Life (V11/12) ★

The Outsider (V11) ★★★★

A Puzzle About Belief (V11) ★★★★

Love Boulder (V11)★★★★

Butcher Choice (V10) ★, flash

Mad Max (V10), flash

Second Half of Trip:

Il Mancino di Bristol (V14) ★★, first ascent

Owning the Weather (V14), ★★★★, second ascent

Pigeon Superstition (V13), ★★

Sultan of Swing (V13) ★★★, second ascent

Rule Number 1 (V13), ★★★

Rootarted (V12/13), ★★★★, third ascent

Point break (V12) ★★, third ascent

Diagonal Highway (V11/12) ★★★

The Roobiks’ Cube (V11) ★

Simplicity (V11) ★★★

Dead Heat (V11) ★★★★, flash


Read more about Niccolò Ceria’s Grampians trip on his blog: Niccolò Ceria Climbing Adventures


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