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Summary

It is possible that time stopped here in a crusty Chimney-de-Ville in 1968, and was thereafter only viewed from above through the hazy sheen of mirrored Aviators by moustachioed hang glider pilots.

Description

Old school crustiness, vegetation, chimneys and "variable rock"... who knows?

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.

Approach

Drive from Blackheath via Shipley Rd to the end of Mt Blackheath Rd. Historic access was reported as "a path turning right just before the lookout to a crevasse and gully then left along slippery terraces."

Aerial map observations suggest walking east past the northern hang glider launch to a giant gully circa -33.642053, 150.247291 might be more fruitful.

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!

Tags

Routes

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Grade Route

Descent gully here.

Start: Corner just right of access gully.

  1. 25m corner to trees

  2. 25m wide corner

FA: H. Luxford, 1985

Start: 2m left of 'Moment of Truth'.

Seam and corner.

Start: Small right leaning corner 150m right of access gully.

Corner and layback.

FA: B. Crouch, 1970

Start: 3m right of 'Moment of Truth'.

Start: Small right leaning corner 40m right of 'Moment of Truth'.

  1. 10m To block.

  2. 17m Right to groove, left to gully.

  3. 43m Gully to tree.

FA: 1968

Start: Same as 'Calm'.

Start: Same as 'Calm'.

To tree on right wall, wall via bolts, right to arete then lookout.

FA: H. Luxford, 1985

Start: 66m right of 'Calm'.

  1. 17m (11) yellow corner, traverse left to chimney, right to crack.

  2. 13m Chimney and crack

FA: 1968

Start: At break in overhang 10m right of 'Knees Also'.

  1. 17m To tree then easy slab to block.

  2. 13m To right.

FA: G. Owens, 1968

Start: At break 3m right of 'Troika'.

  1. 14m Crack, traverse left and up to tree.

  2. 16m right leading chimney.

FA: G. Owens, 1968

North-west point of lookout, about here: -33.641532, 150.244893

Start: 3m right of 'Quadrill' at break in overhang.

  1. 16m Through break, right and back left to piton belay.

  2. 14m Right up bulge

FA: G. Owens, 1968

Start: Chimney 33m right of 'Us'.

  1. 20m chimney, squeeze right to ledge of piton.

  2. 6m Up and out of chimney.

FA: G. Owens, 1968

Start: Base of chimney at head of gully 33m right of 'Bottle Chimney'.

  1. 20m Chimney to chock.

  2. 10m up to roof, traverse right, big chockstone to tree.

FA: G. Owens., 1968

Start: At base of chimney 13 right of 'Tanglefoot'.

  1. 13m chimney to tree.

  2. 17m gully then left and up easy mossy corner.

  3. 13m Easy chimney.

FA: G. Owens, 1968

Start: Small bluff 6m right of 'Clam'

  1. 20m crack, traverse left and up bulge

  2. 13m 'Clam' P2.

FA: B. Crouch, 1970

Start: 40m right of 'Knees As Well'

  1. Arete.

FA: J. Worrall, 1969

"Start at crack"

Chimney

Crack in corner.

Start: Yellow corner crack.

  1. 15m To big boulder.

  2. 30m corner to small ledge, traverse left to gully.

  3. 10m Chimney

FA: H. Luxford & K. Westren., 1985

Start: 300m right of 'Solo Climb' at huge right angled corner with chimney in right wall.

  1. 23m Chimney to tree.

  2. 20m Chimney to tree.

[No you are not not reading double - Ed.]

FA: 1968

Start: Middle of giant recess in small corner 100m right of 'Knees'

  1. 13m Corner and piton.

  2. 6m Corner and traverse left to tree.

  3. 20m left to arete and tree.

  4. 17m Right and up overhang.

FA: 1968

This is some way south of the lookout, about here -33.645662, 150.244035

[Surely this old Ewbank aid route deserves to be freed? - Ed.]

Start: Sweeping recessed overhang 100m right of 'Windy'

  1. 33m Corner and tree over bulge, crack to roof, along wall to ledge.

  2. 10m "Up"

FA: J. Ewbank.

Activity

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