Glenbrook Gorge 101 routes in crag
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Old school adventurous mostly-trad climbing on rock of varying quality. A few classics (Annelid Crack/Kippax Crack in particular) combined with a quiet, majestic location and located 45min closer to Sydney than the main Blueys crags make this worth a look.
Useful Info: The lower section of the cliffline to the left and right of the first pitch of 'Annelid Crack' is the lower cliffline. Immediately right of the crack is I'd Rather be Cable Skiiing (16), 'New Sensations' (16) and 'Powder Finger' (21), continuing past many climbs to Tungston Tips (22) at the end of this wall. Immediately left of the Annelid crack is 'Airstrike' (21), 'Flying Pickets' (21) and Tas (21).
Follow the lower cliffline downstream (east) past several more climbs and you will find 'Lady Killer' (21) marked in a small cave, with 'Three Cans Later' (16) and 'Mephisto' (22) above it on a small ledge. Continuing east you'll find a gully which leads up to the middle-section of the 'Main Wall'. Heading straight up the gully brings you to a cave cut from orange rock, with Kevin's Wall (12), Kevin's Corner (14/16), and 'Good Old Days' (21) immediately to the left of it.
Heading upstream (west) through the cave brings you to 'Fleet Street' (19), the clearly marked 'Dispute Chimney' (14), and the overhung 'Into the Void' (22). Continuing west through the next cave brings you to the end of this ledge, with the second pitch of 'Annelid Crack' (11) to your left, and the mixed crack climbing of 'Purple Maze' (15) just after the end of the ledge. At this point now you are also almost directly beneath Tunnel View 'Lookout'.
Heading back downstream to where you came up the 'Gully' and beyond, you will pass by 'Puddin Puller' (18) in an obvious square-corner, with 'Paradise' (17), 'Jerks in Heaven' (19) and 'East of Eden' (19) next to it. At this point the elevated section ends, and you can follow another path back down to the creek.
Continuing east along the edge of the creek you arive at the imposing South-Eastern wall, with the roof-crack Wokkers Roof (24) about 50 metres above. The climbing wall ends another hundred metres downstream, almost directly opposite where the train emerges from the tunnel on the clifftops opposite you.
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'.
Heading west from Sydney along the Great Western 'Highway', turn left onto Ross Street in Glenbrook. Follow it around through the main street of Glenbrook, then turn right onto Euroka Rd, and then left onto Bruce Rd. Follow Bruce Rd until you arrive at the entrance to Glenbrook National Park.
Park up near the old Information Center (you don't need to pay for park entry if you park here), and follow the trail from the South-Eastern corner of the carpark, marked as leading to 'Glenbrook Gorge'.
Follow the track downwards for about 5 minutes until you reach the creek. Follow the creek east for a few minutes (the North-Western climbing area is up the hill to your left, here) until you find a safe place to cross to the southern side. After crossing continue east along the river for another five minutes and you should see 'Annelid Crack' (sometimes called Kippax crack) on the wall to your right.
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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