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Brown Corduroy Trousers 5.12d is Australian Trad Testpiece

Watch sends of the hard route, plus the history of Frog Buttress

Kyle Addy and Alex Mougenot project and send Brown Corduroy Trousers 5.12d at Frog Buttress, famous for being the hardest traditional climb in Queensland. Many routes at Frog are so incredibly hard and bold that they are rarely repeated.

With razor-sharp edges, thin cracks and technical sequences – both climbers had to pull out their best climbing on this joint project. The route demands bridging off the tiniest crimps on a slightly overhung wall.

Asked why he trad climbs, Addy says, “Someone once said that climbing is a cross between gymnastics and chess. I thrive on pushing my mental and physical boundaries, but this does not capture the importance of climbing. I seek challenges so I can pit my resources against the mountains in fine, clean wholesome adventure.”

Brown Corduroy Trousers

Frog Buttress History

Frog Buttress is on the northwest side of Mount French in the Moogerah Peaks National Park near the town of Boonah in Queensland, Australia. The area was first developed by Rick White and Chris Meadows in 1968. The first climb done at the cliff was Corner of Eden 5.11a.

Since then, 400 routes have been established by climbers including Henry Barber, Kim Carrigan and Tobin Sorenson.

Local climbers including White, Meadows, Ted Cais, Robert Staszewski, Ian Thomas, Ron Collett and Ian Cameron ascended many routes over the next few years, often with the use of aid. Odin 5.10+ was the testpiece, and Black Light 5.11b was a great achievement.

The buttress is small by world climbing standards: 400 metres wide and 20 to 50 metres high. It’s formed of rhyolite columns, with racks, corners and aretes between them. Most of the cracks are smooth sided and parallel.

When Yosemite legend Henry Barber visited Australia in 1975, he arrived in Brisbane and missed his flight to Sydney. He spent his time making free ascents of many routes, and put up the crag classics Conquistador 5.11a and Child in Time 5.11b.

Other Yosemite legends John Allen and Tobin Sorenson visited in 1979, and climbed a number of bold new routes, like Barbed-wire Canoe 5.12b, Green Plastic Comb 5.12b and Tantrum 5.12bR.

Climbers from Victoria put up many harder routes in the 1980s, such as Bombs Over Irish Airways 5.12aR by Paul Hoskins.

Brown Corduroy Trowsers remains the outstanding hard trad route. It was first climbed by Kim Carrigan in 1982. He was one of Australia’s leading climbers during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

He put up several hundred new routes on crags around the country, in particular at Mount Arapiles, including: the first 5.12c with Procul Harum, first 5.12d with Denim, first 5.13a with Yesterday, first 5.13c with India and first 5.13d with Masada; all at Arapiles.

Today, Frog Buttress is a busy place with dozens of easy and hard trad lines.