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Table of contents

1. Abseil Gully 45 routes in Cliff

Trad, Sport and other styles

Long/Lat: 150.264973, -33.610740


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'.


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

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.

RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 Scruffocide

35m left of 'Abseil Slab'.

Start: Slab.

FA: C.Martin,R.Chick, 1984

17Trad 18m
2 Aceldama

Start: 20 left of AS.

FA: C.Martin,R.Chick, 1984

17Trad 15m
3 Abseil Slab

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

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

7Trad 34m
4 Frank and Joe

Start: 3m right of AS.

FA: A.Penney,P.Martland, 1984

19Trad 17m
5 Abseil Arete

Start: Aret right of F&J.

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

8Mixed 30m, 6
6 Abseil Corner

Originally done in 3 pitches.

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

11Trad 34m
7 Eagle Wall

Start: Wall right of AC.

FA: B.Postill,G.Wurth, 1969

15 RTrad 40m
8 *** The Eyrie

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

12Mixed 50m, 5
9 * Loitering With Intent


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

14Trad 130m
10 ** Another Man's Juliet

Start: 1m right of E.

FA: A.Penney,P.Martland, 1984

16Trad 48m
11 ** Set, Piece, Battle

Start: 2m right of AMJ.

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

14Trad 50m
12 Bonnie Scotland

Start: Centre of the 'Black Wall'.

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

13Trad 53m
13 This Ain't Gardening

Possibly never repeated.

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

FA: R.Young,M.Portman, 1994

22Trad 45m
14 Old England

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

12Trad 55m
15 Sweet Irish

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

10Trad 49m
16 * Tongan Corner

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

8Trad 60m
17 Atlantis

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

13Trad 60m
18 ** Sweet Seduction in a Magazine / Unknown route left of Afghan Wall on a million brackets

The line of FHs up the L side of the Afghan Wall face. Unfortunately for the last 15m it is a retrobolt of Atlantis.

FA: unknown

16Sport 50m, 99
19 * Endless Pleasure in a Limousine

The line of ringbolts at the initials "AW". Almost this entire route is a retrobolt of Afghan Wall. WARNING: the ringbolts are not recessed.

FA: G Oliver, J Corkins

16Sport 47m, 99
20 Afghan Wall

Start: Start 9m right of A at initials "AW".

  1. 23m (14) Up wall to belay 6m below ledge on orange wall. This has now been retrobolted with about 1000 shitty rings.

  2. 40m (14) Left, up to second ledge. Right 9m, then up on black wall.

FA: P.Jenkins,R.Lassman, 1967

14 RMixed 63m, 4
21 * Weapons of Mass Deception

4m right of Afghan Wall. Gear, BR's and FH's.Thru roof at top.

FA: Glenn Short/Pam Mort

20Mixed 45m, 8
22 ** Compassion Overboard

3m right of WOMD nearly at KO start. gear and BR's and FH's

FA: Glenn Short/Pam Mort

20Mixed 45m, 8
23 Kabul Offensive

Start: 5m right again.

FA: A.Penney,J.Smoothy, 1984

18Trad 50m
24 Khyber Pass

Start: 3 - 5m left of the corner.

FA: A.Penney,D.Magro, 1985

17Trad 48m
25 Canadian Corner

Start: The corner. 2 pitches.

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

9Trad 58m
26 Aussie Apricot


Start: To CC belay. Traverse right to finish up Shisenhousen.

FA: P.Webber,M.Moore, 1979

14 RTrad 110m
27 Russian Roulette

Start: As for AA to top of pedestal then to top.

FA: McMahon,Stallery, 1977

15 RTrad 40m
28 Caconofix

Up crack to ledge, pull up onto wall, over edge to juggy slab. Struggle boltplates onto oversized bolts and veer left to TBB.

FA: G Short, W Williams

19Sport 50m
29 * Querilous Journey

2m left of FITG. Batman start to jugs and FH's and BR's to Girl in The Mirror end.

FA: Glenn Short/Pam Mort

21Trad 50m
30 Flaws in the Glass

Start: 3m right of CC. Bouldery start.

FA: J.Smoothy, 1984

22Trad 50m
31 *** The Girl in the Mirror

Pitch 1 (**22) is sport, 4 carrots to DBB. Stick clip the first bolt! Pitch 2 is trad 15, with one carrot at the top. Most people skip pitch 2 and step R to do Mean Streak pitch 2 instead.

FA: J.Smoothy,A.Penney, 1984

22Mixed 45m, 5
32 *** Girl in the Mirror - Mean Streak Linkup

Pitch 1 of The Girl in the Mirror, then Pitch 2 of Mean Streak. It can easily be linked into a single pitch but this is not wise as the second will hit the ground if they fall off the crux. Mostly bolts but a few medium cams and wires come in handy.

22Mixed 45m, 11
33 * The End of the Affair

The upper half of this route takes the prime central streak of orange rock and the hanging prow above, so it's gotta be good! Take heaps of cams.

Start: As for FH.

FA: G.Child,A.Prehn,J.Smoothy, 1989

23Trad 50m
34 ** Mean Streak

Great second pitch. When combined with 1st pitch of GitM you have a 3 star classic.

Start: Start 10m right of GitM.

  1. 25m (20) Lots of rambling, rolling and mantling. Not classic but is apparently worth doing. Trad and carrots.

  2. 25m (21) Up black streak. Mostly bolts but there's an optional small cam down low, plus a medium cam and wire up high to avoid an 8m runout to the final carrot.

FA: J.Smoothy, 1984

21Mixed 50m, 10
35 ** Fille de Joie

Start: As for FH, then left to black streak and up.

FA: J.Smoothy,G.Child, 1989

24Trad 56m
36 Free Hungary

Start: A few metres right of GitM. On ledge at big block.

  1. 27m (-) Up right to ledge on left of pedestal below arete.

  2. 14m (19) Up right 3m and up below semi-circular overhang. Left to cave then up to belay.

  3. 18m (-) Left then up and out.

FA: J.Worrall,R.Lassman, 1967

19Trad 60m
37 Schisenhousen

Start: 9m right of FH.

  1. 9m (10) face to ledge.

  2. 24m (10) Wall & corner, right to ledge. Up tending right to stance.

  3. 35m (10) Up right to top.

FA: G.Owens,M.Clarbourgh, 1967

10Trad 68m
38 Exit The Dragon

Start: Corner & chimney 30m right.

  1. 40m (13) Take the line. 6m left at top. Then slab to tree belay?

  2. 15m (13) Left and up.

FA: J.Croker, 1974

13 RTrad 55m
39 The Grasper

Start: V groove with chockstone.

FA: J.Ewbank,J.Fantini, 2000

16Trad 43m
40 The Groper

Start: Corner 12m right of TG.

  1. 37m (14 M1) Corner to loose block.Aid roof.

  2. 6m (14 M3) Aid crack then free to ledge.

  3. 18m (14) Crack.

FA: W.Williams,R.Vining, 2000

14 M4Aid 70m
41 The Grunter

Start: 9m right again.

FA: B.Postill,P.Edwards, 1972

M5Aid 58m
42 Femalis 14Unknown 70m
43 Irk-Err-Drab 13 M0Aid 60m
44 Afghan Wall (Variant) 13Unknown 65m
45 * Navel Excavator

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

20Sport 15m

2. Index by grade

Grade Stars Name Style
7 Abseil Slab Trad 34m
8 Abseil Arete Mixed 30m, 6
* Tongan Corner Trad 60m
9 Canadian Corner Trad 58m
10 Schisenhousen Trad 68m
Sweet Irish Trad 49m
11 Abseil Corner Trad 34m
12 Old England Trad 55m
*** The Eyrie Mixed 50m, 5
13 Afghan Wall (Variant) Unknown 65m
Atlantis Trad 60m
Bonnie Scotland Trad 53m
Exit The Dragon Trad 55m
13 M0 Irk-Err-Drab Aid 60m
14 Afghan Wall Mixed 63m, 4
Aussie Apricot Trad 110m
Femalis Unknown 70m
* Loitering With Intent Trad 130m
** Set, Piece, Battle Trad 50m
14 M4 The Groper Aid 70m
15 Eagle Wall Trad 40m
Russian Roulette Trad 40m
16 ** Another Man's Juliet Trad 48m
* Endless Pleasure in a Limousine Sport 47m, 99
** Sweet Seduction in a Magazine Sport 50m, 99
The Grasper Trad 43m
17 Aceldama Trad 15m
Khyber Pass Trad 48m
Scruffocide Trad 18m
18 Kabul Offensive Trad 50m
19 Caconofix Sport 50m
Frank and Joe Trad 17m
Free Hungary Trad 60m
20 ** Compassion Overboard Mixed 45m, 8
* Navel Excavator Sport 15m
* Weapons of Mass Deception Mixed 45m, 8
21 ** Mean Streak Mixed 50m, 10
* Querilous Journey Trad 50m
22 Flaws in the Glass Trad 50m
*** Girl in the Mirror - Mean Streak Linkup Mixed 45m, 11
*** The Girl in the Mirror Mixed 45m, 5
This Ain't Gardening Trad 45m
23 * The End of the Affair Trad 50m
24 ** Fille de Joie Trad 56m
M5 The Grunter Aid 58m