Shipley Lower Mostly trad climbing40 routes in crag
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Has a great trad classic and several sport routes which, since recent rebolting, are among the best of their grade in the entire mountains! This is also one of the best winter crags in the upper mountains: apart from a paucity of rain protection it rivals Bowens Ck as one of the best winter choices. When its 8C and blowing 50km/h at Shipley Upper, the base here can still be quite ok! In fact you should avoid this crag if temps go over about 14C because it gets too hot!© (secretary)
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.
Walk in as for Sail Away Wall to the bottom of the chopped steps and hand rails, then head left (SW) along the base of the cliff for a few hundred metres. For the Clockwork Orange area and beyond, it might be a little quicker to abseil in from below Upper Shipley, but unless you only want to do one route the abseil is arguably not worth the admin now that the track from Sail Away is becoming more well trodden.© (secretary)
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!
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