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Table of contents
JFMAMJJASONDRock climbing, Sport climbing and Trad climbing
Long/Lat: 150.327786, -33.621077
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'. Do not cut flora and keep any tracks and infrastructure as minimal as possible.
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.
Turn onto Hat Hill Road, Blackheath. Continue along the dirt/bitchumen road and turn right onto Pulpit Rock Road. Drive until you reach the sigh for Pulpit Rock and park your car here.
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.
The crack behind
FA: C Ivan & T Battey
Arete of atonement
FA: H Brotchie & R Vining
Sport climbing and Trad climbing
Long/Lat: 150.329275, -33.620573
Steep North East facing wall, 100m high, and a 50m high lower cliff.
A good wall for hot afternoons (take a jumper, it can be very cold if the wind picks up) and cold mornings (we've climbed in t-shirts while it's snowing there). There are also some older routes described in the Warwick Williams Grose Guide on the wall below the lookout and on the actual 'Pulpit' Rock below the lookout, and a modern mixed route on the lower cliff directly below Bellbird wall area.
Access: Park at 'Pulpit' Rock (Hat Hill Rd, Blackheath) carpark and walk down towards the 'Pulpit' Rock lookouts. Turn off left at the 12th drain (wide wooden drains cross this track) about 200m down the track. Follow the evident track that trends right leading you to the cliff top. The left most rap station is over 'Stone Poem'. The rap station over the Next Doctor (also used for Bellbird) is to the right and further down hill. A single bolt can be seen and clipped as a safety to help reach around to the two RB anchors. There is a third anchor at the top of Bellbird but this is not recommended for rapping unless you were to leave extended slings
'Under the Influence' is accessed from the base of the 'Bellbird Wall' double raps, then by walking around sandy alcove (climbers left) to short rap off bolts down gully, and another rap from the routes belay bolts to base of lower cliff. See topo for this route.
GPS co-ordinates for the top cliff rap point are S33 37.244 E150 19.739
|1||★★ The Next Doctor Pitch 1||22||35m|
★★ The Next Doctor
Grand arete, shade by 1pm in Summer. 2 x 50m raps to tree on ledge. Start: Marked in Blue on topo
FA: Niall Doherty, Vanessa Peterson & Mike Law, 25 Jan 2009
★★★ YAKs in Space
Out there variant 3rd pitch to The Next Doctor. Up and launch out to the right with 100m+ of air below you to arete, then up to anchors. Either lower off back to the belay, or top out and bring a 2nd up to clean.
FA: Bundy & Doddy, 16 May 2009
Rap in as per Bellbird Wall, using the belay on the right at the main ledge and you will be rapping down the line. Climb back up it on gear and belay on big gear if you want, or just use the rings. Might be able to continue to the top on trad to?? We'll see . . .
★★ Bellbird Wall
Park at 'Pulpit' Rock carpark and walk down towards 'Pulpit' Rock (take care if using Google maps, there are two or three pulpit rock lookouts/carparks. Use the link provided to get the correct one). Turn off left at the 12th drain (wide wooden drains cross this track) after about 200m. Follow the evident trail trending right for about 60m leading to the ridge line. At this point turn L and look for a single RB. Hook in here with your safety line and set up your ropes off the 2RB's around the corner. Rap down 46m passing FH's and RB's to the ledge.There's a belay on the left and on the right, use the ones on the left. Set up your ropes off draws (as there is a lot of friction, hard to pull ropes otherwise) on these RB's and rap 46m to the base. Best to belay to the tree and belay the next climber on the exposed 'walk' to the right. Facing the cliff walk 20m right taking care and up to the tree in the corner where the route starts (single ring belay, and good tree on right). Take 16 draws, and a couple for the anchors.
FA: Niall Doherty, Jason Lammers, Vanessa Peterson, Veronica Trainor, Althea Arguelles-Ling, Chris Ling & Mike Law, 7 Mar 2009
|18||100m, 3, 16|
★★★ Stone Poem
2 Beautiful arêtes separated by a short punchy haiku. The wall faces north east and is well protected on winter mornings, and gets afternoon shade in summer. Take 15 draws.
Rap 30m to a stance 10m below the ledge, then either 20m to belay #3 (hanging) or 30 to belay #2 (good ledge but leave slings to pull ropes). Rap 40m and left slightly to hanging stance at a small ledge on lip of choss. On all raps you must bounce to be able to reach anchors. Take prussics. If you're not cruising 27 arêtes, you might leave a rope or 2 fixed.
FA: Adrian Laing & Mike Law
★★ Under the Influence
A fantastic mixed route on the lower cliff. Perfect finger crack with great (natural) pro, then bolt protected face and exposed arête climbing. One long pitch (take 15 draws plus gear) or use midway double-bolt belay to split pitches.
From the base of the Bellbird Wall double rap, walk left (facing in) around the alcove on loose, dusty ground, hugging the cliff (caution - slack belay off the big tree near rap-touchdown recommended. From the end of the alcove the cliff-top heads out perpendicular to the main Bellbird wall. Traverse around the slope while dropping slightly, to where the cliff-top swings back parallel to the main upper cliff. At the top of an obvious blocky gully (only 50m or less from the alcove) downclimb or rap (25-30m?) from double U-bolts, down gully past a few bolts (used as runners for the exit scramble) to a flat block on the cliff edge proper. Rap again (double U-bolts) to climber’s right of small tree (2 ropes, or single fixed is better - about 35m?) to start of route on the short flat-topped pinnacle next to a tree fern.
Pitch 1 (20): (single 0.3-0.75 Camalots; 5 bolts to semi hanging DBB). Finger crack with small cams, then bolts on rising traverse up and left to blunt arête (double bolt belay). Semi-hanging belay or continue.
Pitch 2 (21): (9 bolts to DBB). Thin and delicate climbing on, and just left of, the arête. Stay left of small tree on final short block).
After bringing up your second you can scramble/climb back up the blocky rap gully. There are 4 optional bolt runners to the rap anchors, if staying roped up, but take care – they will only help you so much on this low-angled terrain. Then up to alcove on half-way ledge and around to base of Bellbird wall and top-out routes.
FA: Tom & Hannah Hepner, Jul 2010
|21||45m, 2, 18|
|8||Arete of atonement||42m||1. Pulpit Rock|
|Soap Box||23m||1. Pulpit Rock|
|9||Rostrum||16m||1. Pulpit Rock|
|The crack behind||63m||1. Pulpit Rock|
|10||Easy Route||1. Pulpit Rock|
|11||Cleft Palate||90m||1. Pulpit Rock|
|13||Lectern||17m||1. Pulpit Rock|
|18||★★||Bellbird Wall||100m, 3, 16||1.1. Bellbird Wall area|
|21||★★||Under the Influence||45m, 2, 18||1.1. Bellbird Wall area|
|★★★||YAKs in Space||16m||1.1. Bellbird Wall area|
|22||★★||The Next Doctor Pitch 1||35m||1.1. Bellbird Wall area|
|23||★★||The Next Doctor||100m, 3||1.1. Bellbird Wall area|
|27||★★★||Stone Poem||100m, 4||1.1. Bellbird Wall area|
|?||Beggars Belief||1.1. Bellbird Wall area|