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'Diamond Falls' is located on the western side of 'Narrow Neck' Plateau near Katoomba. A mixture of climbing styles are catered for though the areas popularity is definitely due to the hard sports climbing available. At present 3 sectors have been developed:
Sector 1 - 'Left Side' 'Access' Ledge: There are a number of relatively easy multi-pitch climbs requiring mixed gear on the walls above the walking track. These climbs are rarely repeated, route descriptions are vague and any fixed gear should be regarded as questionable. There are also a few moderately graded sports routes around 'Uncooth Youth' and 'Diamond Jack' and given the development of late these areas are becoming a worth while destination in there own right, no longer just a quick warm up on the way to 'Mr Wall'.
Sector 2 - Mr Wall: This wall is one of the jewels in the crown of Blue Mountains sports climbing and contains possibly the highest concentration of hard sports 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 sports climbs.
The sun hits the crag around 2PM.
The crag also catches the wind and can get very cold so take some warm clothes.
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'.
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. If your driving from Blackheath there is an alternate approach via 'Narrow Neck' Rd. (see map below).
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 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'.
Ethic inherited from Blue Mountains
Mixed-climbing on gear and bolts has generally been the rule in the Blueies. 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. Generally it's best to leave all this sort of stuff to the local climbers.
Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)
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