Mt. Barney - Short Leaning Ridge

Mt Barney National Park

The ridge from Barney waterfall leading to Leaning Peak. One of the hardest bushwalk in the area. A rope is mandatory to abseil of the peak. A rewarding climb.

Scrambling or Climbing
Navigation Required
Maximum Elevation
Total Climb

Getting there

from Lower Portals carpark follow the track to lower portals and bypass them by taking the steep track on the right up to the saddle and back down the creek. Rock hop upstream until you reach barney waterfall (trickle) on your left. Scramble up to the top on the left of the waterfall, cross the waterfall on the right side. The ridge starts here.


Route/Trail notes

1. follow the bushy ridge until some open slabby sections are reached. 

2. Scramble up for about 100m or so finding LLR until a new bushy section is reached. 

3. From here either follow easy grade 4 rock leading right and up or jump left on a juggy wall (cleaner climbing but harder) to a ledgy area below an exposed blank wall. 

4. From here the route traverses left on a bushy ledge until you find a low angle easy juggy ramp leading up and right, or alternatively climb straight up on grade 10 rock but runout. 

5. Keep climbing up until a bushy gully on the left leads up to a bouldery move to exit on a shaded ledgy area

6. Carefully scramble over blocks and thin exposed ridge for 50m until top of a notch. Downclimb into the saddle over a chockstone with big exposure either sides and back to the ridge.

7. (crux) From a belay tree (optional), climb up trending left to a black boy and ledge on grade 4:

a) keep climbing up (grade 5/6) with a couple of trees as protection or solo until easy ground, or

b) traverse left, sling solid tree and climb up easy grade but exposed over big drop.

8. Walk to the summit.


DESCENT: from Leaning Peak summit walk to the opposite side towards North Peak and scramble down until you find rapping chains. Rap for 25m to a saddle. From here walk towards North Peak until you descent via North Ridge faint track (few tricky steep sections to downclimb where the rope could help). Cross Rocky creek and join Logan's ridge track to Yellowpinch carpark (two cars at either ends saves you a long hike back to the car).

NOTE: this is just one descent option. Other options include returning back via Short Leaning Ridge or Eagles Ridge.

TIME: allow 10-11 hrs or more car to car and carry enough water (last water can be found at moonlight slabs above Barney waterfall).




Other References


First ever abseil experience.
a beautiful peak and an epic next level adventure.

Chesspeople on 11 Sep, 2022

Turned around just prior to the top of Leaning Peak. Found the initial navigation to get onto the ridge difficult, but once on the ridge had no problems. Found the correct route via the waterfall on descent.

mattyc on Sep, 2017

Lovely but long scramble to the top of Leaning. There are several ways of doing reaching what is called 'the crux,' which is the 15-20 m wall leading to the top. We opted to follow the route that goes to the left of the ridge, very juggy and clean scramble/climb. The crux has also three ways of doing it, we chose the left one which isn't too difficult if you have some rock climbing experience; otherwise the hole hike can turn into a nightmare due to the continuous exposure of this hike. The descent, following the compulsory abseil, was done via the top part of Eagles down to Isolated Peak shoulder and from there down to a long gully that runs parallel to North Peak. It's the quickest and cleanest route. No need to take extra slings for Leaning's rappel because it's all bolted now with two fixed rings. Thanks to the party who bothered installing this much-needed abseiling anchor because previously there was none, the climbing parties had to rely on slings hooked onto bush roots.

gbagua on 24 Jul, 2017

A steep bushwalk of strong alpine character. Some rockclimbing skills are needed together with a 50m rope and knowing how to use it to abseil off the peak. The ridge has few sections where a fall would be fatal so a head for exposure is necessary. Carry plenty of water and an early start is mandatory to allow time for a safe long descent before dark. Rewarding.

Anonymous on 16 Oct, 2016


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