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Description

Shade until 2pm with a fairly cruisy 40 minute walk if you can follow the tape markers!

© (nmonteith)

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'.

Approach

Park at large pull out 2.2km west from Mt Wilson turn-off on Bells Line of Road. Cross road to south side and locate well worn foot path. Follow this for 15 minutes (it turns into an old road) until it disappears. Follow yellow coloured tape markers through bush and down ridge to small col. Drop down right side (keep folowing the tape markers!) and follow cliff edge into gully and back up the other side. Continue along semi-open ground following tape markers for another 15 minutes to arrive at cliff top and large bollard with sling. Navigation is quite hard as you don't have any points to aim for. It is highly recommended to take a GPS (Carpark -33.5353, 150.3195 Halfway -33.5436, 150.3140 Crag Top -33.5484, 150.309).

© (nmonteith)

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

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)

Routes

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Grade Route

End Of Days Sector

The first two routes are 150m north-west of the Lost Pillar. The top of the routes are at GPS-33.548084, 150.308802. Both routes share the same start, and require rapping down to make it to the starting ledge. You MAY be able to scramble up to this ledge if you walk over from the base of the Lost Pillar, but this has never been done previously. This section of wall is in the shade until 2pm.

1
27 * I Scream and Grapple Sky Sport 130m 4

Four varied pitches - and one stopper move on pitch three which has yet to be climbed free.

Start: Rap in from sling around bollard above 'End of Days'. Best to fix 100m of rope to ring bolt anchors at end of pitch 1 of I Scream ect, then 30m rap to start belay ledge from there. Alternatively use double ropes and rap down 35m, 15m, 40m, 30m.

  1. 35m (23) Long and sustained face climbing. Easy sandy corner crack to roof, undercling left and across face which thins alarmingly near the end.

  2. 45m (23) Long and exposed fused flake just right of arete to top of pillar. Up and left across short orange face to shale break. Past this on jugs to belay in slabby corner stance at triple bolt belay. Sustained!

  3. 32m (23M1 or 27) Yet to be led clean. Pull on crux bolt to knock this pitch down from grade 27 to grade 23. Left onto arete then left again to short juggy face. Thin moves to horizontal, left along this to reachy move over rooflet (glued-up hold). Up very exposed left facing corner to juggy finish and comfy bivi ledge under huge roof.

  4. 13m (20) Short, steep and exposed. Up and left on ironstone jugs to hit roof at mossy crack. Jugs to top. Double ring belay.

FA: Neil Monteith, Jesse Lomas (P1, P2 & P3), 2008

FA: Neil Monteith & Jesse Lomas (P4), 2008

2
25 ** End of Days Trad 120m 5

Not the usual Bluies jug haul. Bring a cut-down trad rack - double cams to handcrack size and no wires. Named in memory of Nick Kaz, who was killed on the same day as this route was established.

Start: Rap descent as for I Scream.

  1. 30m (22) Start as for I Scream pitch 1 at wide sandy corner crack. At 2nd bolt step right (trad) and up steep flake crack, mostly on finger/small hand sized cams. One bolt when the flake gets wafer thin. Finish up wall on bomber micro cams. Belay on comfy ledge right of orange wall.

  2. 20m (23) Stellar! Left across orange face to breach roof on left side. Up exposed techy arete to belay ledge. A sport pitch.

  3. 20m (25) Stretch those calves and chalk those palms! Traverse left to stunning fused bridging corner that's lovingly cleaned to perfection. Four bolts then final finger crack on cams.

  4. 15m (15) Easy juggy ironstone slab trending left. Belay on big vegetated ledge.

  5. 35m (21) Surprisingly sustained face which looks like an ironstone jug haul from below. Bring three bolt hangers for the occasional random carrot.

FFA: Neil Monteith & Lee Cujes (Alt Leads), 2008

Lost Pillar Wall Sector

The next two routes are on the main wall directly opposite the Lost Pillar itself.

3
27 Jocation Sport 100m 2

A big arete.

Start: Locate the top of the Lost Pillar. Scramble down and abseil off 3BB below cairn 10m west of Lost Pillar. Take about 16 bolt plates and 2 ropes, rap down 50m and pull ropes, rap bottom pitch on single fixed to vegetated ledge about 15m from the ground.

  1. 50m (27) Rounded arete past bolts to ledge, 2nd bolt needs a sling to ease clip-fear.

  2. 50m (18) Loose arete past bolts. Mike thought this was going to be grade 8 when he bolted it.

FA: FA: Mikl Law, Fronkie Huster & Ness Peterson, 2000

FFA: Mikl & Ness, 2002

4
19 M1 * Welsh Dragon Sport 88m 4

WARNING - bolts on this route may be dangerous, some fell out with remarkable ease on the top belay. Face climbing up large black wall opposite the Lost Pillar. Bolted with spaced glue-in carrots - you will need at least 11 bolt plates. Total shade until very late in the day.

  1. 20m (M1) Ring-bolt aid ladder from notch between Lost Pillar and main wall and up to ledge. Scramble right along ledge to double bolt belay.

  2. 15m (16) Delicate moves to slopey holds whilst traversing right past four BRs to triple bolt belay. Good warm up for next pitch.

  3. 25m (18) Great pitch through some scary bits. Don't fall between 1st and 2nd bolt or you will...? 6 BRs in total and a #3 camalot would be helpful to calm the nerves at halfway point. Finish by picking your way through 1 foot shale ledge to bushes and DBB.

  4. 28m (19) Great exposure and positions up the vertical wall on many good and not-so good holds. Hang a draw over the top when you rap in to reduce fear factor. 11 BRs.

FA: Tony Williams, Nora Adam & Josh Dodson (P2-4), 2003

FA: Tony Williams (P1), 2006

Arete Sector

The next two routes climb prominant south-west facing aretes about 50m east of the Lost Pillar. You can easily walk over to the base from the pillar - or rap in from above down either route. To get to the top of these routes walk down gully to GPS -33.549075, 150.310654.

5
23 * The Opposition Sport 95m 3

Gripping arete which offers a good escape when finished with the Lost Pillar. 14 draws and 8 brackets.

Start: First major arete 50m to right (north) of the Lost Pillar and 5m left of Crankenstien. To get to the start either rap down 'Welsh Dragon' and trash through the thick bush or rap direct down the route. The top of the climb is at the bottom of a major gully 50m right of the double bolts above 'Welsh Dragon'. There is a set of double BRs on a ledge at the top, rig a couple of slings and rap into the unknown.

  1. 15m (22) Leftwards to high first ubolt then left again to arete. Ponder the lack of holds, find a solution and scuttle up to belay below steep orange arete.

  2. 40m (23) Steeply up right side of arete with a few long moves. Cross a minor choss band then continue up the ladder of jugs. Finish with a few techy crimp moves on the left then right side of arete.

  3. 40m (18) Jugs to big break, over this then up techy black arete on little ironstone edges. Ramble up ledgy stuff to finish. Botl plates needed for this pitch. Belay off double BRs.

FFA: Neil Monteith (all leads) & Ben Van Balen, 2009

6
25 * Crankenstein Sport 110m 3

Classic big sport cranker. This route is bolted with old-school bash-in carrots. Take care and bring plenty of bolt plates.

Start: Down to gully and out left. Locate lunch cave and scramble down to the R (facing out) to ledge and DBB (this is the 3rd belay).

  1. 35m (25) Up leaning L side of arete until obvious move around to R side. Up to small footledge and semi-hanging DBB. About 11 BRs.

  2. 40m (24) Follow the amazing steep line of scoops for miles until it blanks out on a black wall. Thin moves then up to Balderstone Point and DBB. Scramble up to the other DBB on Balderstone Point.

  3. 35m (24) Out L then crank onto arete (desperate). Up arete which looks easy to top.

FA: Mike Stacey & Steve Moon, 1999

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