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Keeping up the apparent Blue Mountains traditions of carrots, mixed climbing and tree belays!
Useful Info: A Special Plea:- This is not parkland and is surrounded by private property, so it would be beneficial to all if we treat the area with care and consideration.
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'.
Turn left off Darling Causeway approximately 1.3kms after 'Hartley' Vale Rd (heading toward Bell). Follow track for 200m then left up hill to large clearing and dumped rubbish. At clump of 7 eucalypts turn right (several tracks lead out of the clearing) and follow track to obvious parking bay, for 2 or 3 cars.
Walk down track and straight ahead to rock ledges and top of 'Ivory Tower' Buttress. The cairn on the left before the bottom of the track heading to the 'Ivory Tower' takes you to the abseil point above the Black Slab. You will require two ropes to abseil!
There is also an abseil point above Aerial Manouveres from which it is possible to reach the ground on a single rope via a second abseil from a tree.
To walk down, follow the cliff edge around to the right (facing out) approaching the waterfall. Turn left at small cairn – there is an awkward section involving a 3m down climb. There is a track of sorts around the base of the cliff.
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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