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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'.

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!


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


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Grade Route

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


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

14 R Afghan Wall Mixed 63m 2, 4

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

13 Afghan Wall (Variant) Unknown 65m

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

FA: Glenn Short/Pam Mort

20 ** Compassion Overboard Mixed 45m, 8

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

FA: Glenn Short/Pam Mort

18 Kabul Offensive Trad 50m

Start: 5m right again.

FA: A.Penney & J.Smoothy, 1984

17 Khyber Pass Trad 48m

Start: 3 - 5m left of the corner.

FA: A.Penney & D.Magro, 1985

9 Canadian Corner Trad 58m

Start: The corner. 2 pitches.

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

14 R Aussie Apricot Trad 110m


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

FA: P.Webber & M.Moore, 1979

15 R Russian Roulette Trad 40m

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

FA: McMahon & Stallery, 1977

19 Caconofix Sport 50m

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

21 * Querilous Journey Trad 50m

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

22 Flaws in the Glass Trad 50m

Start: 3m right of CC. Bouldery start.

FA: J.Smoothy, 1984

22 *** The Girl in the Mirror Mixed 45m 2, 5

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


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.


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

21 ** Mean Streak Mixed 50m 2, 10

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

24 ** Fille de Joie Trad 56m

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

FA: J.Smoothy & G.Child, 1989

19 Free Hungary Trad 60m 3

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

10 Schisenhousen Trad 68m 3

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

13 R Exit The Dragon Trad 55m 2

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

16 The Grasper Trad 43m

Start: V groove with chockstone.

FA: J.Ewbank & J.Fantini, 2000

14 M4 The Groper Aid 70m 3

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

M5 The Grunter Aid 58m

Start: 9m right again.

FA: B.Postill & P.Edwards, 1972


Check out what is happening in Afghan/Girl in the Mirror wall.