Bardens Lookout 171 routes in crag
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A better alternative to Wall's Ledge (Shipley Upper) for those looking for easier grades. Easy access, a great lookout, no hassles from walkers. The lookout was named after one of the council's grader drivers who cleared the area at the lookout.
Apart from the Northern end (to your right after going down the gully access), this crag caters for those climbing in the high teens to mid 20's. Great 'sport routes', a few good lines on 'natural' gear . A great combination of styles. Take a few bolt plates and a rack if you are planning to do some of the cracks - 'Haystack Madness', 'Kooks' - for example. The 'Anchor Renewal Fund' is putting a fair bit of effort into the crag at present so dont be alarmed if things aren't as the guide books tell you. Have a great time and take care of the place, particularly with regard to the natural vegetation and the car park.
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'.
4.1km after turning off the Great Western 'Highway', an obvious parking area and lookout is on the left side of the road. This is 200m past the northern exit to the 'Historic Wells'. Take the track right of the lookout down Barden's 'Gully'. The track splits near the bottom, take the track to the left for Jean Jenie/Electric Blue areas. Right takes you to Collit's Crevasse and Lawson's 'Gully' areas.
Ethic inherited from Blue Mountains
Mixed-climbing on gear and bolts has generally been the rule in the Blueies. 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. Generally it's best to leave all this sort of stuff to the local climbers.
Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)
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