Not the best crag in the area, but in certain conditions it is! On those (very common) winter's days when it's sunny but cold and windy as hell, mornings up at 'Big Top' can be glorious. It's protected from the prevailing westerleys and gets morning sun, making for a lovely little warm microclimate when everywhere else is getting slammed.

© (secretary)

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.

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.


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


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Grade Route

First routes when heading left from approach trail.

Leave the tree alone and head up and right through some rather sandy stuff.

FA: L.Wishart, 1997

Shares a start with NifotC. Head left around the aret and up.

FA: L.Wishart, 2002

FA: L.Wishart, 1997

Shared start with Vertical Smile then left to the arete then up the gorgeous orange wall trending right to shared anchor. 3rd bolt is a hard clip.

FA: L.Wishart, 1997

FA: M.Pircher, 1999

FA: M.Pircher, 1999

FA: M.Pircher, 2000

Great climb. Probably the best here.

FA: M.Pircher, 2000

Start: As for JinX, then left.

FA: M.Pircher, 2004

FA: L.Wishart, 1998

FA: M.Pircher, 2001

Batman start!

FA: M.Pircher, 2002

Start: Shares a start with HV.

FA: M.Pircher, 2001

Start: Off boulder about 10m right of L.

FA: M.Pircher, 2001

Great fun!

FA: M.Pircher, 2001

The orange vertical wall just R of where the access track meets the cliff.

Start: Left side of the arete following flakes. This is where the track from the road comes out.

FA: L.Wishart, 1997

extra ring added 2004

FA: L. Wishart, 1997

FA: Nathan Bolton, 2008

FA: S.Grkovic, 1999

FA: Nathan Bolton

Mixed extension to “Once you bolt crack”

A bolted crack!

FA: M.Pircher, 1999

This wall has been given the name 'The Chocolate 'Crackle' Wall'. Take care.

FA: S.Grkovic, 1999

Technical, sustained slabbing the whole way. Tie a knot in your 70m rope.

FA: L.Wishart, 1998

FA: S.Grkovic, 1998

Start up the block just left of a bushy chimney thing for a few bolts. Then step R across the chimney and traverse 4-5m further R to bypass the band of vegetation. Then up the great arete to a really airy steep finish over the final roof.

Start: Start about 20m down right from where the track leaves the base of the big red wall.

FA: L.Wishart, 2002

The route is all too obvious - a bottomless chimney hanging over your head like gaping dinosaur jaws. A unique experience, not soon forgotten.

FA: S.Grkovic, 1999

Huge bolted boulder to the right of approach. Routes listed R-L, starting at the bottom.

Lower arete on the boulder. Bouldery start!

FA: B.Cossey, 2003

The line of bolts up the line of crazy non-holds, in the middle of the downhill face of the boulder. Bolted by Lee Cossey.

Start: Between TCC and ML.

The higher arete on the boulder

FA: L.Cossey, 2003

Route to the right of the crack. Keep out of the crack!

FA: L.Wishart, 2005

The crack on the upper side of the boulder

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  2. -m (-)

FFA: G Delacy & B Stevens, 1987

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