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Table of contents

1. Ikara Head 28 routes in Crag

Trad, Sport and other styles

Long/Lat: 150.281815, -33.547531

Description:© (mjw)

Take the 'Victoria Falls' road, to the right just after passing 'Browntown' Oval (Soldier's Pinch) between 'Mt Boyce' and Mt 'Victoria' - This is a dirt road and can be a little rough on an old car - for exactly 4km until a minor vehical track is reached on the left (Signposted with a 'Management Track - Walkers Only' sign. This track is about 400m before the 'Asgard Swamp' trail. Leave your car here and walk. Follow the trail for about 3.3km until a small cliff overlooking a creek is reached. Find your way around the small cliff (cairns) and down through some swampy ground, across the creek and up the hill to the cliff line. The gully as you get to the cliff line is one of only 2 ways to the top of the cliffs, other than climbing that is! Head right beneath the overhangs until the climbing area is reached.

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.

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 ** The Mooing

Corner to belay under roof. 2). Left under roof, up thin crack, right to corner and up.

Start: Big orange corner opposite the detached block.

FA: S.Moon,M.Law, 1992

24 Sport 50m
2 ** The Squealing
  1. 24m (20) Corner to bolt, left to arete.

  2. 35m (24) Arete to chain.

  3. 28m (24) Left edge of cave to roof, right, then the arete to DBB. To rap from here take 'hero' loops. Rap to chain then to ground 50m!!

Start: 30m right of TM. 'Arete'.

FA: M.Law,M.Stacey, 1992

24 Sport 87m 3
3 ** Splattergram
  1. Up to ledge.

  2. Flakes to roof, up, right on loose block and up to chain.

  3. Ramp to arete, to big ledge, up wall, left around roofs then right across wall to rap point. Double Ropes?

Start: 15m right of TS. Cairn & flake.

FA: M.Law,V.Kondos, 1993

21 Sport 85m
4 Tuxedo Mask

Start: Right of S. Up the prow.

FA: S.Moon, 1999

26 Trad 50m
5 * Power Vacuum

"A surprisingly long climb despite appearances from below. Two fairly good pitches...spoiled somewhat by a scrappy finish."

Start: Clean wide crack leading to a V groove with a bush in it.

FA: M.Colyvan,A.Penney, 1982

17 Trad 120m
6 ** Sponsored by the state
  1. 30m (17) Start up PV to the ledge, then up the arete to to the R passing 2 BR.

  2. 40m (16) Continue up PV to ledge (ignoring bolt on wall to L, which is a gr 20 variant), then L to crack. Follow crack through roof, and continue until it is blocked by vegetation. Head up and L across slab past bolt to large ledge (1 bolt + cam belay).

  3. 25m (19) Up face past 2 bolts, then 15 m left along ledge to 2 bolt belay. Good nut to avoid big swing for second.

  4. 20m (15) Carefully up face passing bolt and a couple of cam breaks to 2 bolt belay at top.

FA: Duanne White, Scott Young, Dale Tweedie, 2005

18 Mixed 110m 4, 6
7 * Club Mac

Start 2 m R of PV, up pockets past bolt to ledge. up to next ledge past bolt, then R to shallow R facing corner/flake. L up this past BR to PV pitch 1 ledge & 2 rings.

FA: Dale Tweedie, Duanne White, 2005

20 Mixed 27m, 3
8 Unknown

Up corner to slings.

Start: Big orange corner 30m right again.

20 Trad 35m
9 ** Jezebel

Probably the first climb here. The aid at the start of the second pitch was freed by Joe Friend.

Start: 33m right at obvious yellow crack/corner system.

FA: B.Allen in the's, freed in the 70's., 1960

22 Trad 100m
10 ** Aladinsane

Sustained and varied climbing up a truly superb finger crack.

Start: 7m right again at short crack in block.

FA: R.Young,A.Prehn,M.Burton, 1980

22 Trad 40m
11 Fantasia

...they must have been fighting for it!

Start: 7m right.

FA: G.James,A.McAuley,M.Moore,D.Lawler,R.McKillop,G.Benett, 1995

22 Trad 40m
12 Reincarnation

Crack to ledge. Traverse left to 'Jezabel' belay bolts.

Start: Halfway up the ramp.

FA: E.Garbett,M.Wilson, 1992

18 Trad 35m
13 My girlfriend's a bumbly, but she's alright

FA: Duanne White, Liz Drummond, 2005

20 Unknown 15m
14 *** Blast Off

An amazing line and excellent climbing.

Start: Left facing corner 25m right of A.

FA: K.Bell and his brother., 1979

22 Trad 100m
15 Snakes & Ladders

Crack to ledge 2). 'Diagonal' finger crack to fixed wires.

Start: From the top of the block, 10m right of BO.

FA: M.Wilson, 1994

20 M2 Aid 75m
16 *** Telstar


Start: 43m right of BO. Crack/groove system below a terrifying roof.

FA: Keith Bell (pitches 1&3) Ian Thomas (pitch 2)

19 Trad 85m
17 *** Caladan / Kaladan

"The climb that Ikara is famous for and the only one that most people have heard of!" - A.Penney 1982

Start: Crack 33m right of T.

FA: Keith Bell & Ian Thomas

20 Trad 35m
18 Confidence Trick

Up to L&W, across this right and up wall and flakes.

Start: On right side of arete right of K.

FA: M.Wilson,B.Harrington, 1992

23 Trad 35m
19 Lace & Whisky

Crack and flake, then left joining K.

Start: 2.5m right of previous route.

FA: A.Mason,C.Bennett,R.Lebreton, 1985

16 Trad 15m
20 ** Serene Machine

Start: 'Arete' right of CT. Carrots.

FA: G.James,W.Stevens, 1996

24 Trad 34m
21 * Waltzing Matilda

"An excellent excursion for a hot day. Some tube runners are useful on the 2nd pitch."

Start: Right facing corner about 30m past K. Scramble to base of corner.

FA: C.Dale,A.Penney, 1983

17 Trad 80m
22 * The Gift

Crack to offwidth and belay where crack becomes slabby. 2). Up and right around arete, wall and arete, left at last bolt and up to belay. Rap here or continue up crack as for WM.

Start: Right again. Crack and peapod.

FA: S.Wilson,K.Luck, 2001

24 Trad 28m
23 Water Closet

Around roof and up crack - possible to belay where wall becomes a slab - 'Small' corner, traverse right along obvious break 10m, diagonally right across to corner and up. Take Care!

Start: 90m right of K.

FA: W.Baird,G.Bradbury, 1979

18 Trad 40m
24 Pin Ups

A Varied climb with a bit of everything.

Start: 65m right of of WC. Shale band with roof crack above.

FA: P.Young,A.Prehn, 1982

22 Trad 50m
25 Lunatic Soup

To block, corner, crack, left to ledge and rap.

Start: 150m right again. Track below steep crack right os small black chimney.

FA: N.Deka,B.Cameron, 1988

20 Trad 20m
26 Freerider

Wide crack, blocks, thin crack (aid) to ledge. 2). Zig zag crack then right to belay. 3). Up.

Start: 20m right again.

FA: B.Cameron,N.Deka, 1988

19 M0 Aid 55m
27 Carpa Intoxicata 20 Unknown 50m
28 * Bumblies ahoy

Probably done before, but it's a decent line and worth recording.

Crack, ~ 2m to the right of the R facing corner almost directly below 'Blast Off'. Up the clean hand/off width crack to ledge.

Start: Back on the ground below the block

FA: FRA Duanne White, 2006

20 Trad 20m

2. Index by grade

Grade Stars Name Style
16 Lace & Whisky Trad 15m
17 * Power Vacuum Trad 120m
* Waltzing Matilda Trad 80m
18 Reincarnation Trad 35m
** Sponsored by the state Mixed 110m 4, 6
Water Closet Trad 40m
19 *** Telstar Trad 85m
19 M0 Freerider Aid 55m
20 * Bumblies ahoy Trad 20m
*** Caladan Trad 35m
Carpa Intoxicata Unknown 50m
* Club Mac Mixed 27m, 3
Lunatic Soup Trad 20m
My girlfriend's a bumbly, but she's alright Unknown 15m
Unknown Trad 35m
20 M2 Snakes & Ladders Aid 75m
21 ** Splattergram Sport 85m
22 ** Aladinsane Trad 40m
*** Blast Off Trad 100m
Fantasia Trad 40m
** Jezebel Trad 100m
Pin Ups Trad 50m
23 Confidence Trick Trad 35m
24 ** Serene Machine Trad 34m
* The Gift Trad 28m
** The Mooing Sport 50m
** The Squealing Sport 87m 3
26 Tuxedo Mask Trad 50m