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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.

  1. 20m (4) Up the easy ledges then halfway up the right tending gully. Belay off a small tree.

  2. 35m (11) Move left along the obvious traverse line then up as you will to the large, steeply sloping ledge. The initial moves up are harder than they look and it's much easier to traverse back onto the wall from further left.

  3. 80m (4) Walk up the ledge, trending left initially, then solo up a short 8m wall (might be an idea to belay up this). At the top of this move up and slightly right to the small stand of saplings below the obvious squeeze chimney corner crack (#5 camalot for this belay).

  4. 45m (11) Grunt up the squeeze chimney for a move or two then fondly bid it farewell and venture out onto the right wall. Engaging climbing (suss dinnerplates) to the top of a lovely little exposed pinnacle perched in the middle of outer space. Step back to the main wall and up to a spectacular belay ledge.

  5. 55m (11) Move right and up the obvious chimney (which is often wet at the back). At the top, head left and up a steep dirty gully for about 15m, passing the two dodgy looking banksia trees. Belay off a small gum further up, with the trusty #5 camalot in a block just to the left.

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.

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!


Route History:

  • First Ascent: Hayden Brotchie


Located in The Fortress approx:
Long/Lat: 150.347729,-33.643496

Route Grade Citations

10 Community registered grade
10 Hayden Brotchie

Route quality

Route quality

Lead Styles

Lead styles pie chart

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