Mt French is approximately one to one and a half hour’s drive south west from Brisbane, just outside the country town of Boonah. It is an interesting mountain and perhaps one of the most popular and well-known rock climbing locations in South East Queensland, known locally as “Frog Buttress” or just “Frog”. The mountain offers many climbing routes from easy beginner routes to challenging routes in the high 20’s/low 30’s (5.14’s). Bitumen road leads to the north summit (and Frog Buttress). The mountain is covered in dry bush-land and offers fantastic views of the countryside from the tops of many of the fissured cliff’s/routes. Much of the climbing is crack-climbing, quite strenuous, and very different from other types of climbing such as sport, face, and indoor. Many of the climbs feel much harder than the grades they are given in guide books and so it is recommended that climbers new to the crag climb at 3 to 4 grades lower than they would normally. The rock itself is pretty much bomb-proof, allowing for nice solid gear placements, but parts of the rock can break off from time to time.
There is a lookout from the north summit and also a rough track leading down a scree slope to the bottom of the cliffs. From here you can skirt around the bottom of the cliff faces to choose your climbs – and there are no shortages for choice!!!!
Frog Buttress is close enough to Brisbane that climbers can plan day trips, alternatively there is a camping ground there allowing weekend outings. It is a great spot offering many interesting and challenging climbs and I highly recommend it for local and visiting climbers.
As mentioned above, Mt French is about 1 – 1.5 hour’s drive south west of Brisbane, and is quite a pleasant drive. There is no public transport out there so climbers will need to arrange their own transport to the crag. From Brisbane, follow the Cunningham Highway towards Warwick, and follow the signs to Boonah (exits left off the highway heading west). Drive though the small township of Boonah and take the turn off at the Dugandan Hotel which is half a kilometer south of Boonah. This road will lead to the carpark near the north summit and Frog. – Be sure to stop at the hotel for a quick beer on the way home after a big day at the crag, it’s heaven!!!
Boonah has two super markets (and a great bakery for the 5am breakfast on the way out there) for all your climbing nutritional needs, such as veggies, cheese and bacon rolls, and jelly lollies (candy). The supermarkets will be normal hours which for Queensland is normally 8:30am to 5pm on weekdays and Saturday, and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.
There is no red tape, just turn up and start climbing. If you want to camp there, there is a fee of $4 per person per night.
When To Climb
Climbing at Frog is best during the cooler months of April to September as it can get quite hot on the cliffs during summer! For those mad-keen climbers amongst us, you can still climb in summer but normally only up until about 11-12am when the sun hits the cliffs. So a nice early start is recommended to get the most hours on the rock. On cooler overcast summer days it is possible to climb longer (albeit with the chance of rain).
Gear to Take:
All your bright, shiny climbing toys. You’ll need a full trad rack for Frog: hexes, nuts/stoppers, cams etc. On some climbs you may need a big-bro.
A climbing guide for the area can be found at link to qurank climbing information
under Frog Buttress.
There is a camp site located 150m from the car park, past the toilet block. Camping attracts a fee of $4 per person per night and camp fires are prohibited outside the camping area. The usual National Parks and Wildlife rules apply, you can check these out at: link to national parks and wildlife information
Flushing toilets and running water are located near the camp site.
Refer to "When to Climb" above
Ethics & Other Info
"Frog is seen as the last bastion of hardman ethics in SE Qld" (Andy's Cheap and Nasty Guide to Frog Buttress - available at www.qurank.com). This area is not a sport climbing area and bolting of routes is not only frowned upon but also prohibited by the National Parks and Wildlife.
Please feel free to place a vote on this page and offer some comments. I read the comments made on my page and appreciate all constructive feedback on improvements. Thanks and safe climbing.