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Description

An spectacular 80m high tower that sits about 7m out from the south face of 'Dalpura Head'. The Blue Mountain's answer to Yosemite's 'Lost Arrow' Spire. Surprisingly this appears to have been unclimbed until 2003, when Tony "Mad Taffy" Williams dragged himself away from the bar to bolt several routes. 'Surely' some old mountaineer managed to get up this in the dim dark past?

© (nmonteith)

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'.

Approach

Park at large pull out 2.2km west from Mt Wilson turn-off on Bells Line of Road. Cross road to south side and locate well worn foot path. Follow this for 15 minutes (it turns into an old road) until it disappears. Follow yellow coloured tape markers through bush and down ridge to small col. Drop down right side (keep folowing the tape markers!) and follow cliff edge into gully and back up the other side. Continue along semi-open ground following tape markers for another 15 minutes. Navigation is quite hard as you don't have any points to aim for. It is highly recommended to take a GPS (Carpark -33.5353, 150.3195 Halfway -33.5436, 150.3140 Lost Pillar -33.5489, 150.3099). Locate carrot bolts on top of cliff above the Lost Pillar (peer over edge to locate this!), fix either a 100m rope, or two 50m ropes and rap straight down into notch between the pillar and the main wall. Scramble down the gully between this notch in an eastern direction to get to the bottom. Once you've had your fun on the pillar you will need to climb something on the main wall to get back to the top - the easiest is 'Welsh Dragon' (19 A1) which climbs the wall opposite the pillar. For descriptions of these routes go one level up and click on 'Dalpura Wall'.

© (nmonteith)

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

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)

Routes

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Grade Route
1
13 * Bendy Banana Chimney Unknown 20m

First pitch of first(?) ascent route of 'The Lost Pillar'. Start at DBB next to big block in high point of notch on Pillar side. Follows chimney (good pro) between precariously balanced banana shape block and Pillar to block perched on top, DBB on block or good natural gear belay on ledge below upper wall. Rap to notch off DBB.

FA: Tony Williams/Nora Adam/ Josh Dodson, 2003

2
12 Original Way Up Unknown 20m

2nd pitch of original route up Pillar. From top of Bendy Banana Chimney head up diagonally left up cracks and blocks to double ring anchors and top of Pillar.

FA: Josh Dodson/ Tony Williams/ Nora Adam, 2003

3
15 ** Sherpa's Revolt Unknown 20m

Starts on spacious ledge above 'Bendy Banana Chimney' on West Face upper tier. Follows 3 bolts and some small/ medium cams right to arete of Lost Pillar and up to 'diving board' block. Great exposure and views. Belay bolts are the rap station rings at top of pillar. Sign the Log Book, Rap down Josh's pitch.

FA: Tony Williams/ Nora Adam, 2004

4
16 * Gundu Unknown 20m

Starts on spacious ledge above 'Bendy Banana Chimney' on West Face upper tier. Follows 3 bolts and some small/ medium cams on left side of upper tier and up to 'diving board' block. Belay station is the rap station (double rings) at top of Lost Pillar. 20m rap to 'Bendy Banana block' or 50m to notch (hard rope pull).

FA: Tony Williams/ Nora Adam, 2004

5
23 ** Wafer Thin Fin Sport 71m

One of the most novel routes in the country up an extraordinary natural feature that redefines the term knife blade arete. No amount of hyperbole will prepare you for the first sight of this exposed prow on a remote tower. Imagine 'Flake Crack' but without the main wall and 70m high. You can even hang your arm through holes in the arete in several places! Rock quality is generally pretty poor but it's all about position position and position! Protection is very good, generally on solid ring bolts and occasionally on bomber fixed slings tied through holes in the arete. Although technically this is a sport route be prepared for high amounts of rope admin - bring jumars, lots of biners and helmets. Have an escape plan if it all goes wrong and the tower falls down.

Start: 'Access' - The route is located on the south east arete of the Lost Pillar on 'Dalpura Head' (north western end of the Grose Valley). Approach by a 40 minute slightly downhill walk from Bells Line Road through fairly open bush. Navigation is quite hard as you don't have any points to aim for. It is highly recommended to take a GPS (Carpark -33.5353, 150.3195 Halfway -33.5436, 150.3140 Lost PIllar -33.5489, 150.3099). Locate carrot bolts on top of cliff above the Lost PIllar (peer over edge to locate this!), fix either a 100m rope, or two 50m ropes and rap straight down into notch between the pillar and the main wall. Scramble down the gully between this notch in an eastern direction to find start of route.

  1. 35m (21) The Floating Fin Pitch. Start on right wall of fin, about 5m up the gully. Traverse hard left across the horizontal break (super chossy) past lots of stainless to gain better rock on left side of arete. Up. No, seriously keep going up. Belay on ledge at triple bolt belay. Rope drag is a minor issue on this pitch.

  2. 18m (22) Sea Cliff Pitch. Go against all logic and traverse out right above the sucking void to gain the knife blade arete again. Up. Yes, the slings are bomber. No, you can't come down. Take care with the top-out onto the belay ledge, there is quite a bit of small loose shale. Double ring belay.

  3. 18m (23) Sandy Boulder Pitch. Surprisingly punchy in the bottom half. First bolt is a dangerously high clip, so pull on belay bolts to reach it. Belay on double rings and FH. To descend scramble to true summit 5m away and locate double rings on west facing block. Rap 30m down into notch. Jumar back up fixed rope for 100m (!!) or climb something on the main face.

FA: Neil Monteith & Jesse Lomas, 2008

6
23 Lost Crack Trad 110m

Start: Three bonus pitches straight up from where Joshs Big Trad Line bails left. Done ground up in purest style.

  1. 20m (23) Up thin crack and either step right to belay or continue straight up second pitch

  2. 25m (18) step back into thin corner and up, past blocks and roof to base of clean chimney

  3. 25m (19) Up clean line and thru roof to belay

  4. 40m (16) Up chimney to ledge and finish up right arete (Gundu)

7
18 M1 Josh's Big Trad Line Unknown 60m

Attempt at major line on the south face. First ascent involved some minor aid, which was subsequently freed 5 years later by Ado and Mike. Finish as for 'Bendy Banana Chimney' then 'Original Way Up' finish.

  1. 20m (18 M1) Up line 6m left of chossy chimney on south face

  2. 40m (-) 2) 40m Up corner system and left to notch

FA: Josh Dodson & Tany, 2004

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