Bald & Fossil Head Rock climbing21 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'.
Travelling west along the Great Western 'Highway' through Blackheath, turn right onto Hat Hill Rd. Follow this to Hat Hill (signposted, on the left) and continue another 400m to a small clearing on the left, with parking on the right. Park here, and walk west along the foottrail up on to the obvious ridge. 30-40min walking brings you to a small saddle on the ridge before 'Bald Head', to your immediate right will be an obvious descent into a gully (If you accidently walk past this point, you will head up onto 'Bald Head' an the end of the obvious trail).
Break trail here (hide your packs and extra gear) and head right into the eastern gully, eventually reaching a (mostly) dry creek bed. Follow the creek, making one 25m abseil en route. Make your way around the base of the cliff when the scree makes doing so possible, and continue along until you come across the first obvious crack seen when the entire wall is in view.© (PThomson)
Ethic inherited from Blue Mountains
Although sport climbing is well intrenched as the most popular form of Bluies 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). Its also a good warmup for your forearms!
Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)
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