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Table of contents
JFMAMJJASONDseasonalityUnknown and Trad
Long/Lat: 150.347729, -33.643496
- Unique Features And Strengths:
Brillinat remote crag with a great walk in (1 hour). Gets a lot of wind and sun. The classics are Tom Thumb and The Wind Cries Mary.
- 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.
- 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!
Expeditionary undertaking. Classic Ewbank no doubt. Obvious crack in yellow and black wall capped by large roofs on SW facing cliff below Fortress Ridge. Visible from Evans Lookout.
Leave car on Mount Hay Rd and walk along 4wd track on to Fortress Ridge. At end of track head WSW along prominent subsidiary ridge. Upon reaching cliffs, head S around small upper cliffline and down bushy ramp. 3 long abseils on double ropes to reach a big ledge. Scramble L along ledge and down bushy gully to short abseil at bottom.
Start: Walk NW 300m to base of route.
Set by Ewbank
FA: Lucas Trihey,John Ewbank
While it's probably best noted as a good escape route from the bottom of the cliff, it's actually not a bad little number in its own right. Some of the climbing might feel a few grades harder than grade 11, but by and large it's possible to find a line that conforms to the grade.
A standard rack of wires and cams (to #3 camalot size) is sufficient, although a #5 camalot is also recommended. Helmets are an absolute must and 60m double ropes are highly recommended as well. Definitely not for the inexperienced.
To get off, walk directly away from the cliff for about 250m and you'll hit the Fortress Ridge walking track. Turn right and follow the track back to the Mt Hay Road, taking the left fork at each junction. It's about 45 minutes of flat walking back to the road.
FA: Hayden Brotchie
Approach: abseil the route, a rope protector is comforting - sharp ironstone at the top.
Some bolts have been recently added (2015?). The bolts aren't always easy to spot, camouflaged by lichen.
FA: Angie Bishop, Hayden Brotchie, 2005
FA: Hayden Brotchie, Angie Bishop, 2005
Grand Central Route
FA: B Allen, I Logan
The Great Rum Beer Chimney
The filthy vegetated gully/chimney system to the climber's right of Tom Thumb.
FA: T Batty, B Allen
The Wind Cries Mary
Mixed carrots and trad route up the grand wall right of Tom Thumb. Refer to Sydney Rockies site for most up to date route info. Be aware that this is a new route and there are some loose holds still. Steep face climbing, good rock and reasonable pro.
Start: rap as for 'Tom Thumb'
Walk left to hit track.
FA: mikl law, Brian Simonds, 2011
|19 to 20||6, 25180m|
|12||Landing Gear Down||16||5140m|
FA: Hayden Brotchie and Jenny Bradford
FA: Hayden Brotchie and Angie Bishop
|15||Black Snake Moan||22||5200m|
|8||The Great Rum Beer Chimney||200m|
|12||Grand Central Route||210m|
|Trouser Snake||2, 1185m|
|16||Landing Gear Down||5140m|
|19 to 20||The Wind Cries Mary||6, 25180m|
|22||Black Snake Moan||5200m|