Bald Head Mostly Sport climbing35 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.
Travelling west along the Great Western 'Highway' through Blackheath, turn right onto Hat Hill Rd. Follow this as it becomes Perrys Lookdown rd, and continue until just before the bitumen ends at the hat hill walking track (signposted on left). Park in the turning circle on the right and cross the road to find a small sign pointing to Hat Hill along a fairly well-marked trail on the left.
Follow the well-defined Hat Hill walking trail past Hat Hill, and onwards for 35min until the track seems to come to an end at a rocky outcropping. Continue down the steep saddle in front (there is a vague trail, and a number of cairns).
If climbing "Serendipitous Cracks", "Beche de Merl" or "Figgit", break trail here and head right (East) down into the obvious steep descent gully (refer to access details for Bald Head Long Routes for more info about this approach). It takes 45min walk at a reasonable pace to reach this point.
Continue back up the other side of the Saddle until you reach Bald Head. (Refer to access details for Bald Head Sector 1/Sector 2 for more info about the approach to the specific areas). It takes 50min walk at a reasonable pace to reach this point.© (PThomson)
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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