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The main wall boasting the 210m 'Serendipitous Cracks' climb.

© (PThomson)

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 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!


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
22 * Another Kojak Moment Sport 45m
23 ** Rocket Girl Sport 50m
25 ** Weaponhead Sport 48m
26 ** Just Don't Smoke Unknown 42m
26 *** Chemotherapy Sport 45m
24 ** Lunge Cancer Sport 45m
project Open Project Unknown
19 ** Baldilicious Sport 25m
project Project (Pat) Unknown
24 ** Thinning on Top Unknown 35m
21 ** Comb Over Sport 35m
20 *** Advanced Air Studio Sport 35m

Vertical slab climbing over 150m of open air. Mostly protected by carrot bolts (take bolt plates) except for a few Cam placements to prevent run-outs. Rock is a bit brittle, currently graded 20, but will probably get harder as holds continue to break.

Start: On the ledge at the top of Pitch 4 of 'Serendipitous Cracks', go straight up the main wall following a line of carrot bolts, instead of traversing right and heading up the Chimney for pitch 5 of 'Serendipitous Cracks'.

18 R * Serendipitous Cracks Trad 210m 5

Start: A blatantly obvious wide crack with 2 roofs on the first pitch. This is the first crack you will come to as you exit from dry creek bed approach. A small tree is directly in front of the start of the crack, and a rusty carabiner and old shoe mark the start of the climb.

  1. 35m (18) Pleasant climbing up the wide crack, sling the occasional chockstone. Pull through roof on huge holds hand size crack to next roof, step left and up to comfy belay in sentry box.

  2. 45m (18) Steeply out of sentry box on to wall, continue up wall via crack/flake to stance (steep for the grade). Short crack then corner to large sloping ledge, belay at large gum tree.

  3. 40m (18) Rightward arching crack for a few metres to join leftward arching corner with large groove in the left wall. Up the corner then step left and continue up the groove to loose ledge. Traverse 5m left over big block to small stance directly under flake of pitch 4. Belay #3 and #3.5 friend in wall above ledge.

  4. 35m (18) Pull on to wall using big ironstones. Vertical wall climbing using flake for gear for a few metres then the angle eases, ramble up to final headwall. If doing direct finish, belay from carrot bolts at base of wall, or if doing the original finish traverse right across wall to ledge and belay 10m before chimney.

  5. 50m (16) Traverse into chimney/gully. Climb up until gully steepens then escape right along ledge to arete (belay). A few moves to top.

FA: Mark Wilson & Craig Hale, 2000

19 ** Beche de Merl Unknown 200m
18 Figgetit Unknown 50m


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