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Description

One of the best pieces of (climbable) rock around. An all day suntrap in winter, shady until 11:30 AM in summer.

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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'. 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

The glorious wall at the bottom of solo gully, but best approached from Walkdown Gully.

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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!

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
21 ** Shades of Grey Sport 30m

The leftmost bolted route on 'Spoilt Brats Wall'. Stick clip the first bolt, the first hold is creaky. Trend left on overhung territory past 3 bolts then tech your way up the vertical face.

FA: J.Smoothy, 2002

2
24 *** Ritalin Sport 30m

An absolute gem. As for SoG to it's 4th bolt (backclean or extend it), step right, then straight up technical face into a steeper finish, all on great rock. DRB lower-off.

FA: S.Bell, 2003

3
24 * Cirrus Maximus Sport 30m

Start as for SoG past it's first bolt then trend R through the low bulge to a notoriously tough mantel. The remainder is said to be (and looks) fantastic.

FA: F.Yule, 2001

4
project Project (Frey) Unknown
5
23 M1 ** Sisters of Mercy Trad 30m

Gain the ledge a few metres left of Spoilt Brats' 1st belay, either from Spoilt Brats, or by unprotected bridging for 8m up between the blank wall and tree. Follow the old carrots (& cams?) up the face a few metres left of Spoilt Brats, then step R on the ledge to Spoilt Brats' 2nd belay (DRB, 30m rap). Sadly you need to aid on the 2nd carrot to pass a blank section, and the 30yo bolts are uninspiring, but otherwise this route looks great.

FA: G.Bradbury, 1987

6

One of the best routes at this grade in the whole Blue Mountains. Tackles the disconnected flake system up the centre of this awesome wall. It's ok to lead from the ground to the top of pitch 2 and lower off, if you're careful about extending gear and have a 60m+ rope.

  1. 12m 15. Just access. Bridge small tree to ledge, then short corner (small cams, wires). Traverse 4-5m L to double ring belay 8m off the ground.

  2. 25m 21. Follow the stellar flakes. One or 2 med cams up the initial flake, otherwise all ringbolts. Step left on the ledge to a DRB anchor (evidently positioned as a multipitch belay, but a bit awkward to lower off). Most people lower/rap off from here without continuing.

  3. 10m 18?. Rarely done. The steep little headwall, might still have 1 rusty old carrot somewhere if it hasn't fallen out. Top out, walk off.

FFA: john smoothy mike law, 1984

FA: C.Martin & A.Penney, 1984

7
22 M0 * Sleepwalk for the Last Time Mixed 72m 3, 5

This original version is mainly characterised by being a half-height traverse of the wall from Spoilt Brats left to the arête.

  1. 12m 15. As for Spoilt Brats.

  2. 45m 22M0. Follow Spoilt Brats pitch 2 up the initial flake, left across the face, and a couple of metres up the second flake (to where there used to be a piton). From here the 1996 description says "traverse L (#1.5Fr) & up (BR) to big #Fr break. L past #2Fr slot and up (big #Frs). Further L to arête and step down to stance and small/med #Fr". Presumably the BR is on Sisters of Mercy, and you can probably clip ringbolts as you cross the more recent sport routes. Sounds like the belay stance is around halfway up Shades of Grey or a bit left. The M0 indicates the leader sat on gear somewhere too.

  3. 15m. Jugs up arete to the Smallpox ledge. Walk off L, or rap 30m now that there are anchors. The 1990s guide says the FA was by Martin & Peisker in 1984, but the 2000s Carter guides describe a lower easier version done by Martin & Smoothy 1990s (separately recorded here as "Sleepwalk for the Low Time").

FA: C Martin & C Peisker, 1984

8

Listed as "Sleepwalk for the Last Time" in the 2000s Carter guides, but that route was done 10 years earlier, is 5 grades harder, and it's traverse is 10-15m higher. Now listed separately as they sound like very different routes.

  1. 12m 15. As for Spoilt Brats.

  2. 20m 17. Traverse left along ledges, past ringbolts & cams, to the base of the arête/slab. Trad belay.

  3. 15m Up the slab (trad). Walk off L, or rap off (30m).

FFA: C Martin & J Smoothy, 1995

9
23 ** Infant Terror Sport 45m

The next 2 routes share a start with SBaGA. After leaving Spoiled Brats a hard traverse on good but spaced holds lead right to the first belay, continue up and back left to another tricky move right at the top of the wall.

FA: A.Duckworth & P.Quach, 2002

10
20 * Minor Threat Sport 20m

According to Roger Bourne's website, but not mentioned in the guidebooks, this is accessed by abseil. Which is consistent with it being 20m long. And also would explain why those approaching from the ground via Infant Terror find it hard for 20.

FA: S.Bell & H.Hooper, 2002

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