Bakers Creek Rock climbing44 routes in crag
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A strange mix of old-school trad routes on the walls around the falls and modern bouldering in the creek bed. Fine grained granite, large boulders
Deep gorge not far from Armidale, off Waterfall Way. Old neglected trad climbs with bouldering at their base. Perhaps 20 boulder problems established so far, with scope for more, and potential for bolted and naturally protected climbs as well. Access is steep and difficult, straight off the lookout.
From Armidale head east on the waterfall way for 20kms, then right at the sign post, onto dirt for a couple kms.
From the lookout, jump the fence on the right and follow a faint track down to the right. Caution must be taken walking in as the decent is very steep. As you approach there is a promising looking boulder that you soon realize is the size of a house. Most established boulder problems are downstream of this (problem 'High times and down beats' is upstream of the giant block and 'One too many' sits against it), but future problems exist right through the gorge from the waterfall downstream.
Bob Harden and Doug McLean formed a climbing group called the Delta Club, a breakaway group from the University Of New England Mountaineering Club (UNEMC). Starts of climbs were marked with a Delta instead of the usual square. Some of these markings were still visible at Bakers Creek in the early seventies but have since been worn away. Two climbs were put up in 1964 by Harden and McLean. They are Bakercide (6) and Nitrocide(8).1967 produced only two new ones, Hardicide (14) by Thomas and the tricky Speleocide (12) by B.Douglas. Mills pioneered two new ones in 1969, the best being Klettercide (12). 1971 produced five, the best being Pissed Psychedelic Peanut (15) by A.Suters and Cornelius Corners (15) by Rob Dixon. In 1980, Austin Legler with Greg (Dulux) Pritchard did Basilisk (16). 1981 saw Al Stephens climb White Man’s Burden (20) with Clark and in 1985, Stephens made another brief visit to establish Cheesy Gland (20), a variant finish to Cornelius Corners. In 1986 Stephens with Larry Dixon eliminated all aid on ADP, now 21.
This history was documented in 'Waterfalls-A Rock climbers guide to the waterfalls of New England' by Al Stephens (1996).
After years of neglect, the area received a second wind after Artie Schultz heard from Rick Curtis that a few trad lines had been done there but no record of them existed (oh yes they did and now they are in this guide...). The new generation was after quality bouldering and it seems they found some.
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