Diamond Falls Mostly Sport climbing93 routes in crag
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- Introduction -
- 'Diamond Falls' is located on the western side of 'Narrow Neck' Plateau near Katoomba. A mixture of climbing styles are catered for, though the area's popularity is definitely due to the hard sport climbing available. At present 3 sectors have been developed:
Sector 1 - 'Left Side' 'Access' Ledge: There are numerous low-mid 20s sport routes around 'Uncooth Youth' and 'Diamond Jack' which make this area a very worthwhile destination in its own right. It is also good for a quick warm up on the way to 'Mr Wall'. In addition, there are a number of relatively easy multi-pitch climbs requiring trad gear on the walls above the walking track; these trad climbs are unpopular, route descriptions are vague and any fixed gear should be regarded as questionable.
- Sector 2 - Mr Wall:
- This wall is one of the jewels in the crown of Blue Mountains sport climbing and contains one of the highest concentrations of hard sport routes in 'Australia'. There is a fantastic selection of steep climbs ranging in grade from 26 through to 35 on immaculate rock.
- Sector 3 - Frog Buttress:
- This is a small buttress 200m past 'Mr Wall' that contains a couple of sport climbs.
- Conditions -
- The sun hits the Access Ledge walls after about 11AM, but doesn't hit Mr Wall until after 2PM (later for the steeper routes). Frog Buttress is in the sun nearly all day.
The crag also catches the wind and can get very cold so take some warm clothes.© (Ashy)
From Katoomba head down Katoomba St towards Echo Point and turn right into Cliff Dr and follow the 'Scenic Drive 5' signs. Just past the Landslide Lookout, turn left onto the dirt road Glenraphael Dr which heads out along the Narrow Neck Plateau. Follow this for a couple of Kms until the road is blocked by a locked gate, park here. If you're driving from Blackheath there is an alternative approach via Narrow Neck Rd.
From the car park, there are two possible approaches to the crags. The first simply follows a steep track through the scrub to the start of the access ledge. All crags can be approached this way. The second involves following a track to the top of 'Mr Wall' and then rapping in.
- Approach 1:
- From the gate walk back along the road for 50m to a sandy track on the western side. Initially there are a few tracks that crisscross one another but after about a minute you should be on an obvious track heading out and down onto a peninsula. The track then veers R (N) and continues steeply down the gully and after 10-15 minutes reaches the base of the upper cliff line. Turn left and follow the access ledge track for another 5-10 minutes to reach 'Mr Wall'. 'Frog Buttress' is another 5-10 minutes walk further on past 'Mr Wall'.
- Approach 2:
- From the gate follow a vague track heading west and down through the scrub. After a bit of scrambling you should arrive at the rap point above 'Mr Wall'. Rap in (30m).
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! However, do so only on Council land and not in the National Park.
Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)
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