Bellbird Wall area Rock climbing9 routes in crag
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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'. 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.
A good wall for hot afternoons (take a jumper, it by very cold if the wind picks up) and cold mornings (we've climbed in t-shirts while it's snowing there). There are also some older routes described in the Warwick Williams Grose Guide on the wall below the lookout and on the actual 'Pulpit' Rock below the lookout, and a modern mixed route on the lower cliff directly below Bellbird wall area.
Access: Park at 'Pulpit' Rock (Hat Hill Rd, Blackheath) carpark and walk down towards the 'Pulpit' Rock lookouts. Turn off left at the 12th drain (wide wooden drains cross this track) about 200m down the track. Follow the evident track that trends right leading you to the cliff top. The left most rap station is over 'Stone Poem'. The rap station over the Next Doctor (also used for Bellbird) is to the right and further down hill. A single bolt can be seen and clipped as a safety to help reach around to the two RB anchors. There is a third anchor at the top of Bellbird but this is not recommended for rapping unless you were to leave extended slings
'Under the Influence' is accessed from the base of the 'Bellbird Wall' double raps, then by walking around sandy alcove (climbers left) to short rap off bolts down gully, and another rap from the routes belay bolts to base of lower cliff. See topo for this route.
GPS co-ordinates for the top cliff rap point are S33 37.244 E150 19.739© (bundybear)
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!
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