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Summary

A lost world. Protected from the wind and sunny. Good for mid winter. Can be hot as hell in the summer!

Description

Some of the bolts are working themselves loose so take care. If you want to do the easy climbs above the 'Dust Bowl' you will need to climb either 'Hillbilly' or 'He-Man'

Access issues inherited from Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains are a World Heritage listed area. The Grose Valley, the cliffs around Katoomba and much of the Narrow Neck peninsula are part of the Blue Mountains National Park which is managed by the NPWS. The Western Escarpment - where most of the climbing is - is Crown Land managed by the BMCC. While the NPWS Plan of Management nominates several locations in the National Park where rock climbing is deemed appropriate, the majority of the climbing remains unacknowledged. To maintain access our best approach is to 'Respect Native Habitat, Tread Softly and Leave No Trace'. Do not cut flora and keep any tracks and infrastructure as minimal as possible.

Practically all crags are either in National Park or in council reserve: dog owners are reminded that dogs are not allowed in National Parks at any time and fines have been issued, while for crags on council reserve the BMCC leash law requires that dogs be on-leash.

Approach

Drive - From Blackheath drive east down Hat Hill Rd for 3.5km (past the new housing estate) and turn left at the next road - Godson Ave. Drive 350m and park in dirt pullout on the right at the road bend at GPS -33.6137, 150.3158.

Walk - north down overgrown firetrail (as of June 2018 there is small orange fence and asbestos sign blocking the start of the trail - just jump over it). 100m down this firetrail from the carpark, look for for small rock cairn on left marking the start of the climber trail. Follow this 500m along flat ground then down open ridge and eventually down below first small cliff then right around the small cliff to pick up track again. Fixed ropes down second small cliff, then right under cliff and above Hat Hill Creek. Continue past first 3 routes for 15m to steel rungs. All up its no more than a 15 minute walk from carpark to first route.

Ethic inherited from Blue Mountains

Although sport climbing is well entrenched as the most popular form of Blueys climbing, mixed-climbing on gear and bolts has generally been the rule over the long term. Please try to use available natural gear where possible, and do not bolt cracks or potential trad climbs.

Because of the softness of Blue Mountains sandstone, bolting should only be done by those with a solid knowledge of glue-in equipping. A recent fatality serves as a reminder that this is not an area to experiment with bolting.

If you do need to top rope, please do it through your own gear as the wear on the anchors is both difficult and expensive to maintain.

It would be appreciated if brushing of holds becomes part of your climbing routine - do it with a soft bristled brush and never a steel brush!

The removal of vegetation - both from the cliff bases and the climbs - is not seen as beneficial to aesthetics of the environment nor to our access to it. However, the fast growing scrub can conceal walking tracks in mere months, so bringing a pair of secaturs and pruning as you walk is a good way of helping out with the constant task of track maintenance. Some appropriately discreet pruning is a far better alternative then track braiding (which causes far more damage). It's also a good warmup for your forearms! However, do so only on Council land and not in the National Park.

Tags

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)

Routes

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Grade Route

The first few routes are on a grey slab that you pass on the approach track - just before the access rungs leading up to the main cave itself. You can actually climb any of these routes and belay at the top and bring up your second rather than doing the rungs.

FA: M.Pircher, 1998

FA: M.Pircher, 1998

FA: M.Pircher, 1998

Up the rungs, then traverse right along fixed rope on sketchy ledge (clip in!) to larger ledge.

Start: Righthand route on the ledge.

FA: M.Pircher, 1998

FA: S.Steward, 1997

FA: M.Pircher, 1998

Start: Lefthand route on the ledge proper.

FA: M.Pircher, 1998

1st route on the ledge. Above and right of fixed rope.

FA: J.Grant, 1998

FA: M.Pircher, 1998

FA: M.Pircher, 1998

FA: M.Pircher, 1998

FA: S.Steward, 1998

FA: L.Wishart, 1999

FA: M.Pircher, 1999

FA: M.Pircher, 1999

FA: M.Pircher, 1999

Traverse.

Start: Traverse from 'Hillbilly' anchors right. 'Access' for the next 3 routes.

FA: M.Pircher & S.Grkovic, 1999

Start: As for L but straight up.

FA: Derek Toulalan

Start: Above small boulder to the left of the access point. Traverses left.

FA: M.Pircher, 1998

Extension is open for takers.

FA: L.Wishart, 1999

Start: Batman. A few metres to the right 'She Male'. Near the right side of the cave.

FA: S.Grkovic, 2001

Steepness Plus.

Start: As for He Man but straight out through the roof.

FA: S.Grkovic, 1999

Steepness.

Start: In the cave. Traverse to arete and up.

FA: M.Pircher, 1998

Start: The 1st route on the ledge.

FA: M.Pircher & G.Trutnovsky, 1997

FA: M.Pircher & J.Smoothy, 1997

FA: M.Pircher & G.Trutnovsky, 1997

needs new bolts.

FA: J.Smoothy & G.Bradbury, 1997

FA: M.Pircher, 1997

FA: M.Pircher, 1997

Start: The far lefthand route on the ledge. Watch out for the bees!

FA: M.Pircher, 1998

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