Turkey Hill Climbing Guide

By Lee Skidmore with help from the Baskerville brothers, November 1999

Last updated 5 May, 2004

Access Crisis:
May 2004: "Apparently Turkey Hill up near Mareeba has lost all access (not just climbers, also walkers). It is privately owned, and the owner is worried about litigation. No great loss to the climbing community, but still a pity. No sign of any future relaxing of the closure."

To get to this granite boulder area, from Mareeba, drive out Chewco Rd past the Tennis Centre on the R. From here, drive 6km more exactly, and park on left side of road in the gravel car park. Walk across road to old sign (walk track) and barbed wire fence with white PVC pipe testicle protectors. 

This guide was compiled with assistance from the Baskerville brothers.

Start walking uphill following the track for about 5 mins to first decent-sized boulder on L of track with crack splitting it. This is the first route. 

What Finger Nails? 7m 22
2m L of the dominant crack in the centre of the north face. Tweakers all the way with the crux near the top. 
Simon Thompson 10/99

Unknown Name 7m 17
The crack. Nice. Layback up it  past crux where it thins near the top.

Heartburn 8m 19
That's what comes from too much cheese. Starts 2m L of Crackerbarrel and 8m R of the above route. Climbs the slabby face L of the flake. No pro.
FTRA: Steve & Tristan Baskerville, Ramses Lich 26/9/98 

Crackerbarrel 7m 17
8m R. Climbs L side of scary flake with small wires. Mantle flake, then slab to top.
Steve Baskerville 25/7/98

Cheese Slice 6m 15
3m R. Climbs R side of scary flake with medium wires. The crux is mantling the flake.
Tristan Baskerville 25/7/98 

Walk another 5 min or so uphill to yellow streaked boulder on the R of the track. 

Mellow Yellow 5m 18
More like a boulder problem. The short, yellow corner-crack up the small boulder.
Steve Baskerville 7/98

Now to top of hill (2 mins). Down the other side and slightly L to the largest boulder so far, with obvious 5m high, wide flake-crack running up it (which is a climb in itself). This next route starts about 4m L of this crack. 

Unknown Name 8m 12
Up crack to below small roof, then traverse R on flake, then to top.

Entranced 8m 22/23
This route starts as for the above route. Up the above route to below overhang and then straight through largest section of overhang onto slab on tiny crimpers.
Steve Baskerville, Jason Shaw (some pre-placed gear) 3/10/98

Unknown Name 8m 16
Starts 2m R of Entranced. Climb the sickle-shaped flake crack, traversing R and then L to top.

Unknown Name 12m 16
Yeah, this is quite cool. Be sure to take some big gear. Starts 8m R of above route, around the corner from the obvious wide flake crack. Up 2m to below tiny roof where the crack spears directly R. Place gear before committing to the traverse, then finger/hand traverse R (crux) to jug at base of wide flake-crack. Layback up this well-worn but semi-spooky mega flake.

Direct Start 10m 23 

Don't traverse in from the L, instead, climb directly up the seam in the face to meet the wide flake-crack.

Simon Thompson 1999


Also on this boulder (to R of above route) is a nice V-groove crack (practice for Frog?) and then just R again is an awesome looking (hard!) 6-7m high flake-crack bisecting a smooth wall just wide enough to accept fingers. Probably traverses R to finish. On top rope, it is about 18 until 2 feet below horizontal crack. 

The next route starts 50m diagonally R down the hill on the obvious collection of large boulders, and takes the most obvious crack line up the middle of the biggest boulder. 

Unknown Name 16m 15
Climb the crack as it thins passing 2 small ledges and a tree. Tree belay at top. 

From the above route, continue 100m further down diagonally R. The next route climbs the obvious flake 2m L of the chimney. 

No Cheese Please, We're British 6m 11
Climbs the flake 2m L of the chimney on good pro.
Steve & Tris Baskerville 2/99 

Comfort and Joy is located another 100m down and slightly L. 

Comfort And Joy 11m 7
Great beginner lead with good pro up a network of cracks and flakes on a small slab located on the far side of Turkey Hill (opposite side to the road).
Steve & Cathy Baskerville 11/98 

th_17.jpg (33761 bytes)

Above: Lee Skidmore onsighting the 17 crack

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Above: Jason Shaw cranking above the flake on Crackerbarrel

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Above: Ramses Lich seconding Crackerbarrel

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Above: Lee onsighting Mellow Yellow

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Above: Tristan Baskerville resting beneath the roof on the 12

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Above: Steve firing the first ascent of Entranced

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Above: Tris leading up the sickle next to Entranced

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Above: Lee traversing during the onsight of the 16

Note that these directions are from the Unnamed 15 above. Walk slightly down and a lot L for about 1 minute to top of living room-sized flat-topped boulder (yellow in colour). This is the top of the next cool boulder which is one of the biggest on the hill. Set a top rope off a couple of trees on the R down the well-worn slab which is for the next two routes. 

The fingery route 3m L of Cheese Gobbler has been top roped by Jari Ekstrom at about 20/21. 

Cheese Gobbler 14m 20
Unlike the well established Cheese Grater, this is a direct line up the slab. It is also independent of CG. Starts about 5m R of descent gully and 2m L of Cheese Grater below crescent-shaped narrow ledge/rib thing (which is the only obvious feature on this section of wall). Delicately up very spaced flakes to crescent. Up this, then directly up and slightly L to top.
FTRA: Lee Skidmore 19/7/98

Cheese Grater 17m 18
Wandery, but quite excellent. Starts about 2m R of Cheese Gobbler. Up some initially incut flakes trending R. Keep on going up and R following the line of least resistance until the end where you head back diagonally L to finish. No pro.
FTRA: Vonner Keller 

The overhang R of Cheese Grater has also been climbed by Vonner. 

th_gobbler.jpg (44292 bytes)

Above: Steve flashing Cheese Gobbler on top rope

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Above: Tris top roping up the very good Cheese Grater

The boulder 10m L of the Cheese's boulder is longer, but less vertically-endowed. On this boulder (visible from the Cheese's) there is an obvious, steep, flake-crack up the orange ar�te which is certainly an established route (L of the descent gully). The other side of this flake (3m L) is a well established crack route. 

Unknown name 10m 16/17
Up crack to mantle onto 50cm ledge (crux). Now more cracky goodness to top of boulder. 
Walk L along the base for about 20m to the next obvious crack. 

Unknown name 10m 16-18?
This sickle-crack runs diagonally R and then up. Easy start and then with more difficulty as the crack thins.

Unknown name 10m 14-18?
2m L of the above route and climbs the wide, flaky crack. 

The next route starts on the boulder 20m below the Cheese Grater boulder, and climbs the R side of the massive block sitting on the slab. 

Rearviewmirror 7m 17
Climb the slab for a few meters and then pull into the layback, (crux) and then continue to the top.
Jason Shaw, Steve Baskerville, Tristan Baskerville, Ramses Lich 1/10/98