Shock Wall/Fire Bug Mall

  • Grades: AU
  • Approach time: 25min
  • Photos: 18
  • Ascents: 662

Access issues inherited from Mt Boyce

Jan 2017:

Access to Mt Boyce from Station St Blackheath: Vehicle access IS permitted by climbers to the Mt Boyce car parks 1 & 2

Access to Mt Boyce from Fairy Bower Reserve, Mt Victoria: Vehicle or walking access IS NOT permitted. Do not walk or drive on the maintenance track between Fairy Bower Reserve and the Mt Boyce climbing areas. Climbers approaching Mt Boyce from this direction are asked to walk on the footpath at the right hand side of the track which takes them down to the climbing areas.

This is an existing agreement made in 2003 after discussions with the council, SRC and other interested groups. We are reminded that this agreement may change due to risks to members of the public on the maintenance track alongside the increasing number of works projects planned for the tracks. This message comes as the first of a number of upcoming works projects between 18 Jan and 9 Feb 2018, commences. Sydney Trains ask all climbers to adhere to the original agreement for access to the maintenance track.


From the car park make your way down the access trail which starts at the State Rail sign. 20mins into the easy walk you'll see a small picnic area to your left with a T-Junction in the trail just past it. Take the left hand turn which will lead you to Shock Wall/Fire Bug Mall.

Descent notes

There is all sorts of bolts at the top of this cliff - by the looks of it mostly placed as highline anchors - including 8 (!!) closely spaced carrots above Shock and Awe. The rap rings for Baby Carrots are located out of sight. Find the two sets of U bolt anchors top side then head left to find two glue in carrots set back from the edge. Over the edge from these carrots you'll find the rap rings.

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! However, do so only on Council land and not in the National Park.


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

Start: On a flat rock at the large eucalypt at the bottom of 'Solo Gully'.

  1. 40m (15) Up 3m to carrot then traverse R 10m (small cams). Up to another carrot then R 10m to double rings on far side of ledge.

  2. 20m (15) Awkward move up the corner and onto the left face. Up (wires in corner crack) and right onto the face. Follow carrots R across wall and up to cave. Double ring belay in back of cave or double carrots at the edge of the cave.

  3. 20m (14) Scarey move out of the cave to pull up onto the wall. Follow carrots straight up. Mid sized cams can supplement the carrots. Belay off big tree 10 back or double rings 5m over to the right.

FA: Roger

Start: On grassy ledge 10m right of the gully.

FA: B.Postill, K.Royce & S.Royce, 1972

Start: QUICK ACCESS TO P2: Climb spikes 20m left of Superbug/Firebug and then traverse left 15m to get to the start of P2.


Traverse in around ledge at the bottom of 'Solo Gully'. This is easy but a bit scarey. Can be protected with a couple of medium cams. Belay on double rings

  1. 25m (22) Descend and climb out to arete. Ring just around the corner. Now traverse right and slightly downward on pumpy jugs to double ring semi-hanging belay.

  2. 25m (25) Crank and heelhook madly up to the horizontal break for a lie down rest in the slot. Thin and reachy power cranking gets you up the next blank section, then more easily up to the steep headwall. Straight up to double rings in the cave roof, or (the original line), traverse right and up to the Angels belay.

  3. 25m (23) Move to double rings at the left end of the cave. Pull up through the roof crack and then onto the hanging orange wall. Up the wall diagonally right and then pull through the roof above to the left of the rings. Double rings belay over to the left.

FA: R Bourne, 2003

Utterly absorbing climbing all the way with two tricky cruxes

Start: EASY APPROACH: Off the ledge at the bottom of Firebug. Stick clip first ring and batman up to spike. Up 6m to ledge and traverse left 10m.

FA: R Bourne, 2003

Grey face with two bolts 6m left of Fire Bug. Double ropes or long runners useful to optimize the trad gear.

FA: A.Duckworth & W.Monks, 1998

Blue Mountains trad multi-pitch classic (with zero bolts!). This is the major corner system just left of the steep orange buttress. Gets sun by 10am.

  1. 30m (17) Hard start over rooflet then up narrow chimney.

  2. 15m (17) Corner to belay beneath block.

  3. 24m (17) Negotiate blocks, steep corner, sloping shelf. Left crack and cave.

  4. 6m (-) Left and out. Watch out for abseilers!

FA: John Ewbank & John Fantini

Arete 1m right of Firebug.

Start: Up Firebug then swing right onto the face below the nose.

FA: S.Bell, 2002

An even more airy finish to 'Superbug'.

Start: 'Superbug'. Continue 10m past the top of 'Superbug' to chains.

  1. 30m (24)

  2. -m (-)

FA: R. Bourne, 2004

Rap in to large ledge with chain. Climb up veering left to above Firebug. Follow rings to 2 alternative finishes.

FA: Roger Bourne

Rap in from top above Bronze Orange Bug/Bug Free, using the large stainless steel hook to redirect the ropes to maintain the arete to a semi-hanging double ring belay well off the deck. Committing crux off the belay leads to many glue in carrots to top.

FA: Roger Bourne

Unbelievably good fun with fantastic climbing all the way.

Start: Start as for 'Bug Free' at the ugly undercut arete.

FA: R Bourne, 2004

An old aid route at 12m6 now freed grade at 25. A great mountains pumper, crux near the ground then great long climb on feature bright orange rock.

FFA: A. Duckworth, 2003

30m left of the 'Gully', on ledge. One of the best single pitch trad routes at Mt Boyce. Traverse from the ledge to the line and up to the stella diagonal hand jamb crack up to a chain above Thruxton.

FA: P.Jenkins, K.Joyce & B.Postill, 1972

FFA: john smoothy, 1983

Rap-in climb out route. Rap anchor located in the cave about 10m right (facing out) of the top of Goldstar. Abseil 35m tending slightly left (facing cliff) clipping in to carrots on the way down. Double ring belay on a grey nose about 20m above ground. Take care not to abseil past the belay as ascent may be highly problematic and your rope probably won't reach the ground. Take medium wires, slings, large hexes, and a few medium cams. (Or just bolt plates and run it out).

FA: Susan Hoernlein & Paul Turner, 2004

3m right of VHRD. A great sustained layback corner, most people just climb the first pitch to the chain.

  1. 27m (19) Corner to ledge.

  2. 30m (-) Thin crack, gully and out.

FA: B.Allen & W.Williams, 1972

Right of air 2 spare on carrots

FA: 2007

Start as for VHRD.

  1. 6m (-) Up to ledge.

  2. 34m (14) Crack and ramp to ledge.

  3. 24m (14) 2nd crack from the right to gully and out.

FA: B.Postill & P.Edwards, 1972

Start: First pitch as for Manx.

  1. 6m (-) Up to ledge.

  2. 34m (14) Crack and groove (keeping away from Manx). Left to high ledge.

  3. 24m (14) Crack to top.

FA: G.Wurth & B.Postill, 1972

Start as for Manx/Bonnieville then follow the carrots up the wall and over the boulder/roof at the top. Take small cams, a medium wire, and a #3 Camalot or similar for the start

FA: Farty Paul & R Bourne

FA: Paul Turner & R Bourne, 2004

  1. 30m (16) Crack to ledge.

  2. 28m (18) 'Steep' crack to top.

FA: B.Allen & R.Lassman, 1972

FA: Bryden Allen & Ray Lassman

Rings and bolts right of Goldstar

FA: Tony Williams/Nick T, 2008

Right hand side of the gully coming down.

Start: Streno crack, overhung corner and roof to top.

FA: M.Law & A.Penney, 1977

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