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Description

Generally, this area gets morning shade and arvo sun. More specifically: the Eyrie Wall gets sun from about 11am; Afghan Wall stays shady until about 1pm and the Girl in the Mirror Wall is shady until noon.

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'.

Approach

Drive N along Station St from Blackheath for about 2km until you get to the signposted "Parking Area No. 2". Park here (having a bit of clearance helps to get into the carpark). Walk downhill on an obvious track for 5 minutes. The sport crag found on your R is Vambrace Wall. Walk another 50m down from here and you're at the top of Abseil Gully.

Descent Notes

This is a rap-in and climb-out crag. Best idea is to bring a dedicated abseil rope to fix in place all day. A short rope (25m) is enough for the Abseil Gully abseil, but if you leave a rope here you need to get used to the idea that it will almost certainly get used by everyone else at the crag. If you plan to climb mostly on Afghan Wall or Mean Streak Wall then it's most convenient to fix a 50m abseil rope down your chosen wall. That way you don't have a long barefoot scramble and don't have to carry walking shoes up every climb.

Ethic inherited from Blue Mountains

Although sport climbing is well intrenched as the most popular form of Bluies 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). Its also a good warmup for your forearms!

Tags

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)

Routes

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Grade Route
1
17 Scruffocide Trad 18m

35m left of 'Abseil Slab'.

Start: Slab.

FA: C.Martin & R.Chick, 1984

2
17 Aceldama Trad 15m

Start: 20 left of AS.

FA: C.Martin & R.Chick, 1984

3
7 Abseil Slab Trad 34m

Start: Ledge to the right of the descent ladder remnants.

FA: G.Owens, M.Clarbourgh & B.Shirley, 1967

4
19 Frank and Joe Trad 17m

Start: 3m right of AS.

FA: A.Penney & P.Martland, 1984

5
8 Abseil Arete Mixed 30m, 6

Start: Aret right of F&J.

FA: G.Owens, M.Clarbourgh & B.Shirley, 1967

6
11 Abseil Corner Trad 34m

Originally done in 3 pitches.

FA: G.Owens, B.Smith & J.Millar, 1967

7
15 R Eagle Wall Trad 40m

Start: Wall right of AC.

FA: B.Postill & G.Wurth, 1969

8
12 *** The Eyrie Mixed 50m 2, 5

Start: Left extremity of the black slab ,right of 'Abseil Gully'.

  1. 30m (12) Slab to cave. Chain belay.

  2. 12m (10) Cave to top.

FA: J Worral & H Ward

9
14 * Loitering With Intent Trad 130m 4

Traverse.

Start: As for the Eyrie. Belay after 25m.

  1. 25m (-)

  2. 35m (14) Down, then right past carrot to belay on SI.

  3. 40m (14) Around nose, across TC and AfW to belay in CC.

  4. 25m (9) Finish up CC.

FA: C.Martin & R.Chick, 1985

10

Start: 1m right of E.

FA: A.Penney & P.Martland, 1984

11
14 ** Set, Piece, Battle Trad 50m

Start: 2m right of AMJ.

FA: A.Penney, P.Martland & J.Smoothy, 1985

12
13 Bonnie Scotland Trad 53m

Start: Centre of the 'Black Wall'.

FA: M.Clarbourgh, B.Shirley & G.Owens, 1967

13

Possibly never repeated.

Start: 'Arete' and black slab right of giant roof.

FA: R.Young & M.Portman, 1994

14
12 Old England Trad 55m 2

The first climb at Mt.Boyce.

Start: 6m right of BS.

  1. 27m (12) Corner to lip, left and up to secnd lip.

  2. 27m (12) Slightly left through bulge to top.

FA: M.Clarbourgh & G.Owens, 1967

15
10 * Sweet Irish Trad 49m 2

Start: Wall to the right of OE.

  1. 9m (-) Wall to ledge.

  2. 40m (10) Left up wall, slight recess and nose to top.

FA: L.Smith & B.Postill, 1967

16
8 * Tongan Corner Trad 60m 2

Start: 3m right of SI.

  1. 24m (8) Corner, face to ledge under overhang.

  2. 35m (8) Corner, right, back to corner and up.

FA: G.Owens, J.Wilson & L.Muzzatti, 1967

17
13 Atlantis Trad 60m 2

Start: 'Arete' 2m right.

  1. 24m (-) 'Arete' to belay 3m left on block.

  2. 36m (13) Onto arete, then up right side on steep wall. Back to arete, through overhang to top.

FA: B.Postill & B.Crouch, 1969

18
20 * Navel Excavator Sport 15m

15m (20 trad + carrots). Pull through the steep stuff and struggle onto the wall. A couple of good wires here or just run it out 5m to the next carrot then pumpilly up. Take big bolt plates as the carrot heads haven't been filed.

Start: Starts on the ledge above the big overhang on the north side of 'Abseil Gully'. Rap in (use a second rope) from the large expanse of bare rock off three carrots, clipping in to carrots on the way down. Put on clean undies. Belay on double rings.

FA: Smoothy & Bourne, 2005