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Table of contents

1. One of the Best Area 10 routes in Cliff

Sport and Trad

Long/Lat: 150.264700, -33.612337

Description:© (secretary)

A stunning area with some very high quality routes and rock. Blue Mountains climbing at its best.

The Topo is referenced to the Pircher/Carter Blue Mountains climbing guide. Descriptions and Topo from Roger Bourne.

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.

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 *** The Master's Eggs

Gritstone climbing on perfect rock. The beautiful orange arete 50m left of One Of The Best.

Start: Start off tree at right end of slab.

  1. 25m (23) Thin traverse left to the arete then ecstatically up. The rounded arete leads to some beautifully polished scoops. Pull past these and make some thin moves to gain the flake above. Go straight up (bolt added Jan 07). Rap off double rings.

  2. 28m (23) Traverse the holdless footledge then try to find the holds on the slab above. Up the arete and up the bulge past the eggs.

  3. 15m (20) Through the bulge to anchors at the top of the cliff. You can also rap in this way.

FA: R Bourne, C Frost

23 Sport 25m 3
2 Femalis

This and the next 2 routes are from the good old days.

Start: Chimney left of Haggis (probably between Master's Eggs and One of the Best).

  1. 27m (9) Scrub to chimney.

  2. 30m (9) Ramps to back of chimney, traverse left, chockstone, then up through hole in roof.

  3. 12m (9) 'Small' slab.

FA: G.Owens,L.Muzzatti,F.Bell, 1967

9 Trad 69m 3
3 ** One of the Best

An absolutely awesome line. Do it in one monster 45m pitch or double rings semi-hanging belay half way up. No cams necessary any more. Rap twice or tow a second rope, though its hard enough doing the thin top crux with the full weight of one rope. A 65m rope permits lowering and retying at the first belay. An 80m rope gets you down without having to rap nor re-thread. Rebolted by Martin Pircher (top) and Roger Bourne (bottom) (2002-2004) with permission from GB/JS.

Start: Start in the middle of the impressive wall 200m left of Spoilt Brats.

  1. 26m (26) Up easy stuff and left under roof, up flake and through bulge to belay.

  2. 30m (25) Right to thin crack, up it, then right to arete and up.

FA: Giles Bradbury and John Smoothy., 1990

26 Sport 56m 2
4 ** Plastic Sturgeon

Orthopaedic more likely by all accounts. Megan Turnbull had to build a cairn on a ledge by rope-hauling stones up one by one. Rap twice or take two ropes. An 80m rope gets you down without having to rap nor re-thread

Start: Start to the right of One Of The Best.

  1. 25m (24) Follow the dots... to a double bolt belay.

  2. 25m (24) Towards the top of the second pitch think about the name of the climb and grope around for a "hold" in a place you wouldnt expect to find one.

FA: A Duckwoth, M Pircher, 2002

24 Sport 50m 2
5 Irk-Err-Drab

Crack to piton (god knows what condition it is in)! then crack.

Start: Approx. 30m right of F. This makes it the vegetated corner between Plastic Sturgeon and Cats in the Cradle.

FA: G.Wurth,B.Postill, 1969

13 R Trad 60m
6 ** Cat's in the Cradle

This three pitch bolted route ascends the dark grey slab between Plastic Sturgeon and 'Jugantor'.

Start: Starts at the bottom left of the slab, just right of a vegetated diagonal crack/ramp.

  1. 20m (17) Awkward start from horizontal tree trunk just above the track. Up trending right for 10m to gain break with hands, then traverse right for 10m to DRB in large horizontal break. 9 RB to hanging belay.

  2. 25m (19) Toughish face moves for a few metres, then the angle eases to a thin slab, with a very balancy crux 3/4 way up. 'Trust' your feet! 10 RB to DRB belay on good stance.

  3. 8m (16) Up trending right to bulge with large ironstone flakes, over bulge then easily up. 5 RB to DRB on good ledge.

FA: Niall Doherty, Peter Chaly

FA: Niall Doherty, Peter Chaly, 2006

19 Sport 53m 3
7 *** Jugantor

"An excellent route" (Kyle D.)

Start: Start to the right of the corner with the grey slab.

  1. 20m (23) Pull up onto into the groove and traverse bizzarely left 10m then up wall. Falling seconds may be lost in space so consider bringing prussics.

  2. 15m (23) Head on up the perfect grey rock.

  3. 30m (24) A Wee bit tricky getting up the slab and then down across it. Don't wear slippers !. 'Steep' jugging follows. Belay on rings on a ledge about 2m below the top.

FA: R. Bourne, 2003

24 Sport 65m 3
8 ** Licking Holes Creek

Another classic in this area.

Start: Start just left of the corner with the slab - opposite the huge fallen boulder. The is an old "H" on the rock - probably the start of Haggis which goes up the slab to the right.

  1. 15m (23) All sorts of technical balancing required to get to and past first bolt.

  2. 20m (24) Awkward move up and onto flake, then start traversing left and across the beautiful orangeness. Easily left. Use left one two rings on steep grey wall above.

  3. 25m (20) Climb the beautiful corner, and or the arete. Go right at the roof.

FA: R Bourne, A Duckworth

FA: R. Bourne, 2003

24 Sport 60m 3
9 ** Lap Lap Land

An alternative finish to 'Licking Holes Creek'. Lots of good holds all facing the wrong direction.

Start: Start as for first two pitches of LHC.

FA: R Bourne, G Bradbury, 2003

22 Sport 35m
10 Haggis

Not too bad but pro is sparse.

Start: ? At the "H" at the bottom of 'Licking Holes Creek'.

FA: P.Jenkins,R.Lassman, 1967

9 Trad 49m

2. Index by grade

Grade Stars Name Style
9 Femalis Trad 69m 3
Haggis Trad 49m
13 R Irk-Err-Drab Trad 60m
19 ** Cat's in the Cradle Sport 53m 3
22 ** Lap Lap Land Sport 35m
23 *** The Master's Eggs Sport 25m 3
24 *** Jugantor Sport 65m 3
** Licking Holes Creek Sport 60m 3
** Plastic Sturgeon Sport 50m 2
26 ** One of the Best Sport 56m 2