Hartley 242 routes in crag
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A small crag on the very edge of the back side of the Blue Mountains. By far the best thing about this crag is the 5 metre walk in. If your ethics preclude reinforcement and/or enhancement then perhaps you shouldn't visit here. [Or, abandoning evasive euphemisms in favour of plain speaking, if you don't like bolted-on gym holds, blank sections with glued on rocks surrounded by ugly glue smears, blatantly chipped holds, and bolted splitter cracks, then you won't like what's been done to this crag]. If you do visit, enjoy it just for the climbing.
Sunny until 12-1pm, i.e. good before midday in the winter and on summer afternoons – although it can get a little muggy at times.
There is a motley collection of old carrots further to the right of 'Gas Leak Slab'. Take care as this gear has not been assessed and probably never will be.
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 the traffic lights in Mt Vic, drive north along the Darling Causeway, and after 6.1km turn left onto 'Hartley' Vale Rd. If coming via Bell, head south along the Darling Causeway then after 3.9km turn right onto 'Hartley' Vale Rd. Drive cautiously down here, the road is very narrow and there's a few blind corners where you wouldn't want to meet someone coming the other way. The crag is 1.1km down the hill on the left, immediately above the road. It is possible to park 2 cars in the small alcove at the base of the crag. However if you have a bigger party there is a small parking area about 100m before the crag, and more parking 100m downhill and beyond. Watch out for bicycles when opening your car doors!
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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