- Height: 71m
- Pitches: 3
- Breakdown: 21 35m, 22 18m, 23 18m
- Ascents: 25
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.
The route is located on the south east arete of the Lost Pillar on Dalpura Head. Locate 2 x Ringbolts on top of cliff above the Lost Pillar (peer over edge to locate this!). It's 120m abseil straight down the wall (joining ropes is an option), or you can do 2 x 50m abseils by swinging left (looking in) and re-belaying at an interim set of rap anchors (at almost the same height as the summit of the Pillar). Rap straight down the notch between the pillar and the Main Wall and scramble down the gully in an easterly direction to find the start of the route.
Stick clip the first bolt (or belay off the rap rope) to avoid a potentially bad fall off the ledge on the opening moves.
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.
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.
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 to a 2 x carrot belay (with an in-situ girth-hitched prussic to facilitate the next abseil (!) ), and rap another 30m back to the gully.
From the gully, either jumar back up the fixed ropes, or climb Welsh Dragon (shady) or The Opposition (harder and sun after 1pm). It's also possible to tyrolean off the top of the pillar (avoiding the first 80m of jumaring) by towing the end of the fixed abseil rope behind you up the climb.
- 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! However, do so only on Council land and not in the National Park.
First Ascent: Neil Monteith & Jesse Lomas, 2008
Located in The Lost Pillar approx:
Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)
Route Grade Citations
|23||Community registered grade|
|21, 22, 23||Neil Monteith|
|23 **||ACA Route Register|
Overall quality score: 99%
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