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Table of contents

1. Heathcliff 37 routes in Crag

Sport and Trad

Long/Lat: 150.268980, -33.627315

Description:© (rogerb)

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

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'. 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:© (rogerb)

Approach as for Celebrity Crag, but the trail then drops down into the gully and contours around and up to the cliff. The track is not very good and not very defined - be prepared.

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!

RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 ** Unearthed

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.

  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

20 Trad 110m 4
2 ** Unearthed DF

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

FA: C Kritzinger, D Smith, 2004

18 Trad 25m
3 Blind Leading the Blind

Start in the same corner as 'Unearthed'

FA: M Wilson,R McLoughlin, 2000

22 Trad 30m
4 * Worrying Heights

Undercut corner 8m left of 'Unearthed'.

  1. 20m (20M1)

  2. 40m (22)

  3. 15m (18)

FA: M Wilson,R McLoughlin

22 M1 Trad 110m 3
5 Unnamed

Undercut corner 20m left of 'Unearthed'

FA: M Wilson,R McLoughlin, 2000

20 Trad 20m

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

6 Savage Bliss

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

25 Trad 60m 3
7 *** Spurs of Barren Jangling

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

FA: R Bourne, 2007

23 Sport 35m
8 Pete Rhodes

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

19 Sport 25m, 9

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

9 ** Hawk's Nest

The left line of the three.

FA: I Valenta,R Dun, 2008

23 Sport 22m, 9
10 *** Ricardo Lagos

The middle line and pick of the three.

FA: I Valenta, 2008

22 Sport 20m, 9
11 Dan Rampe

The right line of the three.

FA: M Scholes,I Valenta, 2008

22 Sport 20m, 9
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
12 ** Spook

Crack to chains.

  1. 25m (20)

  2. 20m

  3. 15m

FA: I Valenta, R Dunn, 2004

20 Trad 25m 3
13 A Bit like the Grose
  1. 18m Start as per 'The Rift', a few moves on the slab then left up the ramp, on to wall.

  2. 20m 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

20 Sport 60m 3, 10
14 *** The Rift

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

19 Sport 55m 3
15 ** The Rift (Pitch 1) 18 Sport 25m
16 *** The Rift Pitch 2 19 Sport
17 * The Rift Pitch 3 18 Sport 20m
18 ** Wise Crack

Start: Just left of the block.

  1. 25m (20)

  2. 30m (17)

FA: R Dunn, I Valenta, 2004

20 Trad 25m 2
19 ** Chip Off the Old Block

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

FA: I Valenta, R Dunn, 2004

19 Sport 25m, 10
20 * 14 Carrot Gold

Traverse left then up wall past carrots.

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

FA: I Valenta, R Dunn, 2004

17 Trad 35m
21 ** Centre of block

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

21 Sport 15m
22 * Plumbers Crack

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

19 Trad 26m
23 * A bit of Everything

Start: As for 'Plumbers Crack' .

  1. 30m (17)

  2. 25m (18)

  3. 25m (19)

FA: I Valenta,V Valenta

17 Trad 3
24 ** Pumpkin Puree
  1. Hard start on incuts

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

FA: I & V Valenta, 2007

22 Sport 50m 2, 10
25 ** Skuzeeney Jaludek

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

FA: I Valenta,V Valenta

22 Sport 20m, 8
26 *** Thing 2


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

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

FA: J Smoothy G Williams, 2000

22 Sport 65m 2
27 *** Thing 2 - Pitch 1

Up flake and then right and up. All rings

FA: John Smoothy, 2000

22 Sport 20m
28 ** Thing 2 (pitch 2)

FA: J.Smoothy/ G.Williams, 2000

20 Sport 48m
29 * Thing 1

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: J Smoothy G Williams, 2000

21 Trad 60m 2
30 ** Thing 1 (pitch 1)

FA: Smoothy/ Williams

20 Trad 28m
31 ** Leighsageezer

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

23 Sport 60m 3
32 ** Leighsageezer Pitch 1 22 Sport 25m
33 ** Bad Blood

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. 15m (22) Straight up steep Wall

FA: I Valenta,R Dun, 2004

22 Sport 40m 2, 17
34 * Bad Blood P1

FA: 2004

19 Sport 25m
35 ** Fake Blood

Start: as for BB then right line of bolts

FA: Damien Heath, Tony Williams, 2003

18 Sport 20m, 10
36 * Boadicea
  1. 30m (18)

  2. 40m (10)

FA: G.Short,W Williams, 2007

18 Sport 75m 2
37 * Milarepa

Start: at 2nd pitch belay of Boadicea.

Take lots of plates.

FA: G Short, 2007

13 Trad 30m

2. Index by grade

Grade Stars Name Style
13 * Milarepa Trad 30m
17 * 14 Carrot Gold Trad 35m
* A bit of Everything Trad 3
18 * Boadicea Sport 75m 2
** Fake Blood Sport 20m, 10
** The Rift (Pitch 1) Sport 25m
* The Rift Pitch 3 Sport 20m
** Unearthed DF Trad 25m
19 * Bad Blood P1 Sport 25m
** Chip Off the Old Block Sport 25m, 10
Pete Rhodes Sport 25m, 9
* Plumbers Crack Trad 26m
*** The Rift Sport 55m 3
*** The Rift Pitch 2 Sport
20 A Bit like the Grose Sport 60m 3, 10
** Spook Trad 25m 3
** Thing 1 (pitch 1) Trad 28m
** Thing 2 (pitch 2) Sport 48m
** Unearthed Trad 110m 4
Unnamed Trad 20m
** Wise Crack Trad 25m 2
21 ** Centre of block Sport 15m
* Thing 1 Trad 60m 2
22 ** Bad Blood Sport 40m 2, 17
Blind Leading the Blind Trad 30m
Dan Rampe Sport 20m, 9
** Leighsageezer Pitch 1 Sport 25m
** Pumpkin Puree Sport 50m 2, 10
*** Ricardo Lagos Sport 20m, 9
** Skuzeeney Jaludek Sport 20m, 8
*** Thing 2 Sport 65m 2
*** Thing 2 - Pitch 1 Sport 20m
22 M1 * Worrying Heights Trad 110m 3
23 ** Hawk's Nest Sport 22m, 9
** Leighsageezer Sport 60m 3
*** Spurs of Barren Jangling Sport 35m
25 Savage Bliss Trad 60m 3