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Route descriptions here taken from 'Rockclimbs in the Lower Blue Mountains' (1994) by Harry Luxford and Bruce Cameron, and reproduced with permission by Peter Monks for Sydney Rockies. Other information from recent ascents and older guides.

© (PThomson)

Access issues inherited from Lower Blue Mountains

Be sensible.

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.


View historical timeline

Some very early routes climbed here include Orion (1952), "Jack Murphy's Climb" (1956) and Higgins Effort (1962).

© (PThomson)


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

Downstream (east) end of 'South-Eastern Wall'.

FA: T Williams, 1985

A variation to Orion done in the 60s: "A slanting crack, L to R in upper part forms a good variation ... Dougle and party." [JME 1967] also shown in topo [BA 1963].

  1. As for Orion to tree belay.

  2. Right of orange corner to cracks, up, then traverse right at break to twin cracks on headwall ending below Bendy Bloodwood.

FA: Dougle, 1963

One of the original 1952 routes at the cliff, about which early documenters were not kind "Up through chunder" [BA] and "Wander aimlessly upward, picking your nose and eating apples until you get fed up and come wandering back down." [JME].

Less unkindly, and worth rediscovery "Variations possible all over the place. Grade, pitches etc. may be varied at will." [JME]

Start: Below broken corner system on top of upper rock platform (-33.78069,150.63075)

  1. 20m Wall, ledges and short corners to solid Bloodwood (tree) belay on ledge.

  2. 25m Corner-cracks to BBB (Bendy Bloodwood Belay) at cave. Easiest to rap off here.

  3. 5m+ Short awkward corner then scrambling.

FA: E Truupold, 1952

80s hardcore: jamb through roof then off-width over lip. Dangling sling visible from first (and only?) ascent.

FA: W Baird, 1984

FA: W Moon, B Cameron & P Chalkley, 1984

FA: T Williams, F Moon & P Matysek, 1984

Master Blaster wall - black wall just left of 'Jack Murphy's Climb.'

"long leadouts with minimum protection"

FA: W Moon & F Moon, 1980

FA: W. Moon, R. McMahon & N. Smith, 1982

"no protection, exposed"

FA: W Moon & B Moon, 1982

Broken system with corner, chimneys and crack, a proper 1956 adventure. "Probably the best climb in the gorge" quoth Bryden Allen in his 1963 guide, but Things Have Moved On, particularly the notion of what constitutes grade 12.

Start: At a pinch between boulders with the small brass Jack Murphy plaque -33.78141,150.63045.

Route, pitches and amount of lichen, loose grit and looser blocks notional:

  1. 30m Up the broken corners and ledges via bushes to tree on ledge.

  2. 25m (crux) Extract body from short V chimney topped by chockstone into either burly layback corner or 80-150mm wall crack.

  3. 25m More burly laybacking up chimney/corner with rounded edges.

  4. 25m Either straight up more of same, right up grey slab or walk off left.

FA: R Kippax, D Roots & T McIntee, 1956

FA: B Cameron & F Moon, 1993

FA: B Cameron & T Williams, 1981

Start at prominent thin crack at right side of black wall, approximately 8m above the Gorge floor (can be accessed by an easy stemming corner).

  1. 40m - Up black seam to blocks on ledge and BR. Turn blocky roof on righthand side, then continue left to Bolt Belay.

  2. 20m - Up nose to left, traverse left BR to ledge.

  3. 30m - Up seam and wall (crux), belay on ledge to right. WARNING: There is no anchor on this ledge.

  4. 15m - Up wall to cave, swing out via roof.

FA: B Cameron, W Moon & F Moon, 1986

FA: B Cameron & T Williams, 1980

FFA: T. Williams, 1983

"The rock .. is appalling and the climb unpleasant in the extreme." [BA]

Start: Just left of the scrubby line of recesses in the centre of the wall between "Jack Murphy's Climb" and Southern Cross.

  1. 40' Up short wall

  2. 50' Traverse left through scrub to beneath first overhang.

  3. 200' "Up a set of appalling rock recesses such as you see before you"

FA: R Higgins & Members of UNSWBC, 1962

FA: W Moon, R McMahon & N Smith, 2000


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