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Description

A reasonably remote-feeling big cliff which catches afternoon sun when it's cold. Mainly sport routes plus a few classic cracklines.

© (rogerb)

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'. Do not cut flora and keep any tracks and infrastructure as minimal as possible.

Practically all crags are either in National Park or in council reserve: dog owners are reminded that dogs are not allowed in National Parks at any time and fines have been issued, while for crags on council reserve the BMCC leash law requires that dogs be on-leash.

Approach

Approach as for Celebrity Crag, but continue along the main trail down into the gully. When you pass across the water stream (with handrail on right) take the immediate right after the hand rail. Continue down to second creek crossing (sometimes dry). After crossing the creek you pass under a fallen tree, and 30m later there is a dirty rock slope on the right (immediately after some steep mossy stairs). Take this right turn up to the cliff line. Follow the cliff line left for some while until you reach a chicken wire fence. Step over this, pass through between a boulder and the wall and the cliff will become visible above.

© (rogerb)

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.

Tags

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)

Routes

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Grade Route

A good 4-pitch gear route around the south side of Heathcliff. Bring a double set of wires and cams (a #4 cam is useful for the roof traverse on p2, but not required as there is smaller gear nearby). Beware of some loose rock on all pitches, particularly the large death block midway up p1 on the left.

Access as for Heathcliff. After the final creek crossing the trail traverses below the cliffline. Unearthed is the first major crack system (initially a thin open-book corner) you will encounter.

  1. 20m (18) Up corner crack, belay at second shale band beneath roof crack.

  2. 20m (19) Rightward traverse under roof with feeling. Pull the corner, up to ledge.

  3. 40m (19-20) Steep crack to easy gully. Belay below yellow/orange corner.

  4. 20m (19) There are several finishes, but direct up the corner is good, despite the poor looking rock. Belay off carrots on top. Walk off.

FA: R McLoughlin, D Murphy & M Wilson, 1998

P4) Up crack and left at top. Good rock (!), pro and climbing. Best pitch of the route.

FA: C Kritzinger & D Smith, 2004

Start in the same corner as 'Unearthed'

FA: M Wilson & R McLoughlin, 2000

Undercut corner 8m left of 'Unearthed'.

  1. 20m (20M1)

  2. 40m (22)

  3. 15m (18)

FA: M Wilson & R McLoughlin

Undercut corner 20m left of 'Unearthed'

FA: M Wilson & R McLoughlin, 2000

The following routes are on the main wall and listed from left to right

First two pitches are sport on rings, gear is needed for the third pitch.

  1. 20m (22)

  2. 18m (20)

  3. 22m (25)

Start: At left end of the crag.

FA: M Scholes, I Valenta & B Helmrich, 2007

Up the middle of the wall about 10m right of a big corner.

FA: R Bourne, 2007

This is an access pitch to the next three routes. Start below a big pillar on the wall about 10m up.

FA: I Valenta, 2008

The next three pitches start at the anchor for 'Pete Rhodes'.

The left line of the three.

FA: I Valenta & R Dun, 2008

The middle line and pick of the three.

FA: I Valenta, 2008

The right line of the three.

FA: M Scholes & I Valenta, 2008

Crack to chains.

  1. 25m (20)

  2. 20m

  3. 15m

FA: I Valenta & R Dunn, 2004

  1. 18m (18) Start as per 'The Rift', a few moves on the slab then left up the ramp, on to wall.

  2. 20m (19) Up the wall on pockets and breaks. Trend right near the top. (can be linked with pitch 1)

  3. 22m Up vague corner, then left to arete. All the way to the top on carrots or finsih up pitch 3 of the Rift if you dont have any bolt plates.

FA: Ivan Valenta, 2008

Start: 10m left of the large block that leans on the main face.

  1. 20m (18) Up slab.

  2. 20m (19) Up wall to ledge.

  3. 15m (19) Up arete

If you climb with double 50's you can abseil straight off the rings. A 50m rope reaches the ground.

FA: I Valenta & R Dunn, 2004

Start: Just left of the block.

  1. 25m (20)

  2. 30m (17)

FA: R Dunn & I Valenta, 2004

Start: Off the top of the block. Stepping right onto slab

FA: I Valenta & R Dunn, 2004

Traverse left then up wall past carrots.

Start: At the top of Chip Off The Old Block.

FA: I Valenta & R Dunn, 2004

Step off centre of block up shallow dihedral to shared anchors with 'Chip Off the Old Block'.

Up crack with natural protection then past 6 carrots to ledge and anchor as for 'Chip Off the Old Block'

Start: At obvious left facing crack 10m right of block.

FA: R Dun & I Valenta, 2004

Start: As for 'Plumbers Crack' .

  1. 30m (17)

  2. 25m (18)

  3. 25m (19)

FA: I Valenta & V Valenta

  1. Hard start on incuts

  2. Up on good rock. Take 1 bolt plate, the rest are rings.

FA: I & V Valenta, 2007

As for "Pumpkin Puree" then right line of rings to ledge and DRBB

FA: I Valenta & V Valenta

5m left of Thing 2. Thin, fingery wall to vague flakeline, then left and up through interesting holds and feature.

FA: Simon Alsop, 2016

Good!

  1. 17m (22) Up 'Flake' right and up to belay.

  2. 48m (20) Follow carrots and rings to top

FA: John Smoothy & G Williams, 2000

Up flake and then right and up. All rings

FA: John Smoothy, 2000

FA: John Smoothy & G Williams, 2000

Diagonal Crack. Join pitch 1 of this with pitch 2 of next route for classy two pitch 20.

  1. 28m (20) Crack past 6 carrots and #1 & #3 friends to rings.

  2. 32m (21) Up right to slab and rings

FA: John Smoothy & G Williams, 2000

FA: John Smoothy & G Williams

Start: Start at slab 5m left of 'Bad Blood'

  1. 23m (22) Thin Moves up slab past 9 rings to anchor

  2. 25m (23) 'Steep' climbing through a small roof to a 2 ring belay

  3. 15m (15) Easy to top but runout!

FA: I Valenta & R Dun, 2004

Start: At far right end of cliff under a patch of orange rock. Bad blood is the left line of bolts. Some loose rock.

  1. 25m (19) Hard move off the ground then up groove and juggy wall

  2. 20m (22) Straight up steep Wall

FA: I Valenta & R Dun, 2004

FA: 2004

Start: as for BB then right line of bolts

FA: Damien Heath & Tony Williams, 2003

  1. 30m (18)

  2. 40m (10)

FA: G.Short & W Williams, 2007

Start: at 2nd pitch belay of Boadicea.

Take lots of plates.

FA: G Short, 2007

Activity

Check out what is happening in Heathcliff.