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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.

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 * Ruddy Norry Sport 14m, 4

On carrots, take brackets. They're mostly glue-ins, though. It's a good warm up.

Start: Start as for 'Ratcat'.

FA: J.Smoothy & F.Lumsden, 1988

24 R ** Ratcat Sport 14m

A good route through thin ground straight up the wall.

Start: Start 4m right of the arete, at the obvious undercut mantle on the mushroomy thing.

FA: S.Johns, 1992

23 ** Chase the Lady Sport 14m, 5

A classic Blue Mountains sandbag slab. Heinous.

Start: Start 2m R of the EiA arete.

FA: M.Radtke & J.Smoothy, 1988


This route links the start of Ernest in Africa into the top of chase the lady. High first bolt, can be accessed along the ledge from Madge.

25 * Ernest in Africa Sport 12m

Believe it or not they used to dyno from the jug to the top! These days we use our feet and a little thought. Not taking away anything from the first ascentionist, of course. Rebolted 2004

Start: Start at the square arete on the R side of the main wall.

FA: S.Butler, 1988

23 * Nev Herrod Sport 12m, 5

Easily to ledge, and the just-out-of-reach first bolt (most people stick clip it from the ledge). Then up and out the goodly roof.

Start: Start 3m L of the right arete of the main wall.

FA: S.Butler & M.Law, 1988

29 ** Mostly Harmless Sport 12m

Unless you're short!

FA: M.Withers, 1999

24 * Iona Sport 12m

A decent bit of climbing.

Start: Finally, a distinguishable feature to help you locate the routes. The right side of the main wall has a roof, and the left end of the roof is a fat hanging flake. Start under this flake.

FA: J.Smoothy & G.Bradbury, 1988


The biggest route on the wall!

You may think rope drag is a prob... but not at all. The moves are wild as well; drop downs, cross-unders, cross-overs the whole way along. Get a seconder too :)GETTING INTO APRAXIA IS QUITE DANGEROUS I THINK:)

FA: ben cossey & tom bomba dill, 2006

25 *** Madge McDonald Sport 12m, 7

Absolute classic 25 and for many, their first. Centennial Glen climbing at it's best.

FA: M. Baker & S. Wythe, 1992

26 *** Trix Roughly Sport 12m, 5

Good. One of the most popular routes at its grade in the mountains. Start just left of Madge. Stick clip.

FA: G. Bradbury & J. Smoothy, 1990

27 ** Essentially Trix Sport 12m

Start up Bare Essentials then trend R through the bulge into Trix.

FA: Z.Vertrees, 2005

26 ** Bare Essentials Sport 12m

A bit of monkeying around.

FA: J.Clark, 1998


Links 'Bare Essentials' into August 1914.

29 ** August 1914 Sport 12m

Once was an aid route called '1914' 25M0. Start was aided to the jug, then traverse right and up through the layback as for 'Bare Essentials' - thus avoiding the actual climbing of both routes, to finish as it does today.

Start: Start just R of the two wooden posts.

FA: M.Baker, 1994

26 * 1914 Sport 12m

The original version, batman or pull draws to start at the big hole at 4th RB.

32 *** Better than Life Sport 12m

Super thin and powerful climbing. Has some hard-to-clip (and ridiculously oversized) bolts.

FA: S.Johns, 1992


This was chipped. Has been filled in and no longer exists. Included for nostalgia.


This was chipped. Has been filled in and no longer exists. Included for nostalgia.


This was chipped. Has been filled in and no longer exists. Included for nostalgia.


Start: Start as for 'Apraxia'.

FA: J.Clark, 1998

28 * Bernie Loves Tofu Sport 18m, 4

As for 'Apraxia', almost to it's 4th bolt (don't go right at the 3rd bolt, that's Bernie Loves Sausages). Don't clip Apraxia's 4th bolt, instead swing 2-3m R into a cool boulder problem.

Start: Start as for 'Apraxia'.

FA: I.Geatches, 2001

25 ** Apraxia Sport 14m, 5

Pull onto traverse line and go 5m easily right along low ledge. From here go straight up and a bit left, continuing past the top break and up the little headwall. It's a bit runout getting to the bolt on the lip of the top roof.

Start: Start just R of Padington.

FA: G.Bradbury, 1988

25 Ben McAlpine Sport 12m

This was chipped. Has been filled in and no longer exists. Included for nostalgia.

25 ** Padington Sport 12m

Use your feet or pull some very thin moves.

Start: Start just right of the corner (right of the big fallen block).

FA: J. Smoothy, 1988

25 Horrace Herod Sport 12m

The short right-facing corner.

Start: Start just R of the boulder.

FA: J.Smoothy, 1988

23 Hairy Horrace Sport 12m

Stick-clip, then jump off the boulder to gain first hold. The hard moves above the first bolt need an alert belayer to keep you off the boulder. Then a few crimps to easier ground. Clip'n'go anchor.

Start: This is the righthand route which starts off the boulder at the left end of the wall.

FA: J.Smoothy, 1988

23 Acceptably Hairy Sport 12m

Rather worthless.

FA: S.Cody, 1998

22 My Crusty Strap-on Sport 8m

Take the gut busting out of 'Acceptably Hairy' and 'Acceptably Cosmic', - quite a lovly warm-up - NOT. Start AH and into the top of AC.

cute. A 'potentially' very dangerous route if you are only climbing 22! RUBBISH!!

FA: benjin paolo cossey, 2002

23 Acceptably Cosmic Sport 10m

The first climb on the cliff. Rebolted 2004.

Start: This is the lefthand route starting off the boulder, above the 'historical' graffiti! The direct start has been done!

FA: M. Stacy, J. Smoothy & M. Law

FA: M.Stacey, J.Smoothy & M.Law, 1988


A short and not particularly nice route. Beware the name.

Start: Start to the left of the big fallen boulder, slightly around the corner.

FA: K.Klein, 1992

27 * Unplugged Sport 8m

Bolts begining to loosen. Fun and quite intense.

FA: M.Baker, 1994

27 ** Touch and Go Sport 10m

Bolts begining to loosen.

FA: K.Klein, 1998

34 Anal Palm Sport 10m

An old open project sent by Chris Webb.

FA: Chris Webb, 2011

project Project (Saxon) Unknown
23 R ** Hello, Leafy Green Sport 7m

A cute little diddly according to Ben. Considered an environmental blight by others.

FA: Ben Cossey, 2004

33 *** Bowl of Milk Sport 6m

The left hand line in this fiesty little cave. 'Campus' the start and and thrutch up to the single U-bolt ancor.Good times.

FA: B.Cossey, 2000

FA: Ben Cossey, 2006


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