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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

Find your way to Leura Golf Course and park at the far end of row 3. Walk east past the tennis courts and skirt the right edge of the fairway for 50m then veer rightwards between large gum trees for 100m till you reach the “14th tee”. Behind the tee is the start of a NPWS signposted track, follow this track for another few hundred, turn right towards “Inspiration Point” (signposted). After 10 minutes turn right at a side track which leads to “Gladstone Lookout” (signposted). From the left side facing out of Gladstone Lookout an extremely vague and rough climbers track leads steeply down hill through dense vegetation, over two small rock steps, and onwards trending left towards a small clear area at the top of the route. This is 25m lower and 80m south of Gladstone. When you reach the "cleared area", locate the rap-carrots to your right (looking out) on a rock-pedestal at head height.

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.

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Routes

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A striking line that climbs the top half of a large wall, excellent views and exposure. 60m of quality crack climbing surrounded (and interspersed) with varying degrees of choss. The climb faces south, and gets the shade all day.

Rap access: Locate 2 carrot bolts at head height in rock outcrop to your right (facing out) of small clear area. 33m rap to ledge with another 2 carrot bolts. 50m rap to shale ledge and 2 belay bolts near old chain.

Bring cams 1 x #0.4, #0.5, #0.75; 2 x #1; 3 x #2, #3, #4, Mixed wires and Hexes also useful. A minimum of 13 bolt plates.

P1 15m (17) - Climb up hideous shale on bolts to reach next shale ledge. Traverse delicately left past more shale to Carrot + #4 cam belay. 6 bolts.

P2 25m (20) - Up juggy, sandy rock to rooflet on bolts. Traverse sharp right (#3 cam) delicately to gain overhanging crack. Up this with glee to #1 + #2 belay. 3 bolts.

P3 25m (18) - Up tricky old-school thrutchy crack with fiddly gear (wires useful!) to 2-carrot belay.

P4 25m (17) - Up, truck right underneath large roof (#4 cam), then up easy crack on extremely spaced big gear on dubious rock. Belay on small ledge below mega-choss roof on gear (small-medium cams).

P5 25m (14) - Traverse hard left past 1 carrot, around "arete" and up ironstone edges past 2 more carrots and gear.

FA: Brendan Helmrich & Mark Wilson, 2011

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