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Table of contents

1. Helen Boulder 13 routes in Cliff

Mostly Trad

Long/Lat: 150.252492, -33.606456

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:© (mjw)

Huge boulder 30m down hill from Descent Gull Area.

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 Spastic Octopus

Start: Nth facing wall 30m down from 'Last Chance'.

FA: G.Robbins, 1980

18 Sport 10m
2 Helen

Start: crack 3m right of SO.

FA: C.Monteath, 1971

15 Trad 12m
3 Intermission

Start: Traverse line 1m right of H.

FA: G.Weigand, 1981

19 Trad 15m
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
4 Bolt Upright

Start: Blunt arete 8m to the right. Solo!

FA: M.Law, 1978

15 R Trad 22m
5 The Loch Ness Whippet

Start: 5m right of BU. One of the bolts is hidden inside the large half-height break.

FA: A.Farquar, 1992

23 Sport 22m
6 * Salem Super Direct

Start: Blunt arete 2m right of TLNW. Nice enough climbing but sketchy old fixed gear and negligible trad.

FA: A.Penney,J.Smoothy, 1978

19 R Mixed 23m, 2
7 ** Zany

Start: Thin orange diagonal crack 4m R of SSD. Re-bolted December 2015. Take bolt plates, wires & small-med cams. Lower off.

FA: A.Penney,M.Law, 1978

19 Mixed 23m, 3
8 * Pandemonium

Start: 1m right of Z.

FA: A.Penney,M.Law, 1978

20 Trad 23m
9 ** Mandelbrot Set

Start up arete under fixed hanger between Pandemonium and Hot Water, finishing up HW.

FA: W Stevens, 2002

22 Mixed 15m, 1
10 Hot Water

Start: Chimney 1m right of P.

FA: J.Smoothy,A.Dunn,P.Martland, 1978

17 Trad 15m
11 Guinevere

Start: As for HW. Chimney and corner.

FA: M.Law,L.Hall, 1974

11 Trad 20m
12 Doughboy

Start: Left arete directly below G.

FA: W.Moon, 1980

15 Trad 15m
13 Crocodile Tears

Up grooove 3m right of Doughboy

FA: W Moon, 1980

15 Trad 15m

2. Index by grade

Grade Stars Name Style
11 Guinevere Trad 20m
15 Crocodile Tears Trad 15m
Doughboy Trad 15m
Helen Trad 12m
15 R Bolt Upright Trad 22m
17 Hot Water Trad 15m
18 Spastic Octopus Sport 10m
19 Intermission Trad 15m
** Zany Mixed 23m, 3
19 R * Salem Super Direct Mixed 23m, 2
20 * Pandemonium Trad 23m
22 ** Mandelbrot Set Mixed 15m, 1
23 The Loch Ness Whippet Sport 22m