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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

Mixed-climbing on gear and bolts has generally been the rule in the Blueies. 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. Generally it's best to leave all this sort of stuff to the local climbers.

Tags

Routes

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Grade Route
1
15 Burgundy Buttress Unknown 83m
2
11 Dry Sherry Pinnacle Unknown 40m
3
16 Terrier 1 Unknown 100m
4
13 Barassa Pearl Unknown 51m
5
13 Lager & Lime Unknown 170m
6
13 Night Cap Unknown 50m
7
16 IOU Unknown 35m
8
10 Rhum Cognac Unknown 60m
9
6 Gin and Tonic Unknown 40m
10
13 Baby Sham Unknown 60m
11
10 Cocktail Buttress Unknown 63m
12
16 Whisky Gully Unknown 49m
13
14 Peacock Gully Unknown 83m
14
15 M1 Triffid Aid 120m
15
14 * Shandy Sport 99m, 6

Pitch 1: Easy face climbing straight up with some beautiful views. Stay on route or risk hitting some chossy rock.

Pitch 2: Traverse into corner.

Pitch 3: Walk along a ledge. Rope up to be safe.

Pitch 4: easy face climbing up the line of ring bolts just left (facing the cliff) of the first boars head abseil.

16
19 ** Dirty Rotten Pig Sport 95m

Multi-pitch sport climb. ~100m. Grades 19,19,17,14. All protection is ring or U bolts, no carrots.

Access path is 60m SOUTH of Cahill's Lookout on Cliff Drive, Katoomba. (access path: http://goo.gl/maps/1TsvL)

Take at least 14 draws. Be prepared for hanging belay, take lots of locking ‘biners. Twin or double ropes recommended for long abseils and sharp ironstone.

Orientation: the crag runs more-or-less NORTH-SOUTH. The access path is the EAST side of the cliff, the Megalong Valley below is on the WEST side of the cliff.

  1. Follow access path until you reach 2 chains. This is where you will start and finish.

  2. Rappel ~20m down from chains to the floor of the gully below. (On your way down, scan on your left (if facing rock) for U-bolts which will be protection for the climb out.)

  3. Walk SOUTH, following the rock face on the WEST. Do not take the much steeper, narrow northern path. (On the walk down, try to spot the single U-bolt placed high up on the western face, about half way down the gully hill. You will use it for rappelling out.)

  4. Follow the track around to the right until you have almost done a complete circle. You will pass a U-bolt on the right at about head-height. You will find a very windy chimney/rock split.

  5. You need to pass through the chimney to access 3 rappel chains hidden from view. You can solo this part or setup belay from previous U-bolt. 2 U-bolts in chimney, 1 outside chimney.

  6. Rappel down from 3 chains. You should head WEST when you lower. Try to spot the 2 rappel chains below you and aim for them. You may rappel ~15m to lower 2 rappel chains, or skip those chains and continue ~25m (~40m total) to a single ring-bolt chest-height on SOUTH face of wall.

  7. Rappel ~10m to 2 rappel chains on edge of cliff. (this step can be skipped, but be wary of running out 50m rope)

  8. Rappel ~40m from 2 chains to solid ground.

  9. Following the cliff on your right, head WEST then NORTH along path until you reach U-bolts. This is the start of the ascent. If you reach a nose, or tree with slings around it you have gone too far. BE CAREFUL, YOU WILL BE ON A CLIFF FACE. 200m FALL BELOW.

  10. 1st Pitch:19:~40m. Start is difficult and belay is next to ledge so make sure belayer is on safety. Gets run-out. Finish at 3 U-bolts. Setup hanging belay.

  11. 2nd Pitch:19:~25m. Watch for funnel web spiders; they are deadly. Gets run-out. Finish at 3 U-bolts. Setup hanging belay.

  12. 3rd Pitch:17:~35m. Really easy but be careful of sharp ironstone, it can sever rope. Twin or double rope recommended. Gets run-out. Finish at multiple U-bolts. Setup top belay.

  13. Walk EAST on the top of the cliff and walk to the left (north) of the first pinnacle, over the sketchy looking ledge. Follow path to the right (south) of the second pinnacle, which is the "Boars Head" rock feature.

  14. Follow the cliff around the southern side of Boars Head and you will find the gully from the first rappel. A U-bolt is mounted hip-height to allow rappel.

  15. Rappel or solo down into the gully.

  16. Climb a ~25m grade 14 climb back to 2 rappel chains at the start. Climb is located immediately to the NORTH of the rappel in Step 2. Climb is runout and first bolt can be hard to find, you may need to solo about 2m to find first bolt. Setup top belay.

Note: this guide does not distinguish between ring bolts and U-bolts. If U-bolt is listed, ring bolt might be present.

Guide by Paul Hauner and Joel Griggs. February 2014.

FA: Ness, Mikl, Jody Powell

17
18
19
12 Whisky Chaser Unknown
20
10 West End Unknown 43m
21
15 Humbaba Unknown 30m
23
8 Temperance Arete Unknown 130m
24
8 Intemperance Arete Unknown 83m
25
12 M4 Bloody Mary LHS Aid 33m
26
15 M6 Bloody Mary RHS Aid 47m
27
15 M5 Tia Maria Aid 41m
28

Start as for Catastrophe Corner, to roof then traverse left under roof and follow line to top . . . 'Cull The Sac' variant. Climb to ledge at half-height ~23. Sling-horn to lower, then flick it off to retrieve.

FA: Ewbank 18 M4

FFA: Zac Vertrees, Macciza, 2012

29
22 ** Catastrophe Corner Mixed 30m, 2

Start at corner capped by triangular roof left of main waterfall. diagonally right to bolt and up to ledge, then corner system up to right side of roof. Follow corner/crack up to end then left on sloping shelf past bolt (old belay) and up groove to ledge past old threads and traverse off left.

FA: Ewbank,18 M2, 1969

FFA: Macciza, Zac Vertrees, 2006

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