Uncle Tom's Mostly Rock climbing50 routes in crag
- Grades: AU
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Apparently quality rock with potential, but probably on private land. The map location is approximate. May be The Colliery?
Last written up in the '99 guide Rockclimbs in the upper Blue Mountains
Probably private land
Take the Bells Line of Road towards Lithgow.
At the end of this bend, turn left into an obvious cleared dirt area, marked by a sign saying: "Zig-Zag Tunnels 9/10 Site Office Access". Continue along dirt road (ignoring first locked-gate turn off to the left), and at approx 700m turn left onto dirt-road.
This road gets progressively worse, with 4WD capability needed to reach the very end. Park wherever you become concerned for your cars clearance, and continue on foot. Else park at the trig at 1800m.
Walk 100 m south-west along the right fork to broken tree, slightly right for 50m to faint road. Pass anthill and walk 300m to cairn.
Turn right off track and go down ridgetop towards cliff. On the right of a big gully and directly above colliery is a prominent outcrop with a cairn. Go left below the outcrop and down slightly left ro a lower outcrop. Briefly right into a dirt gully and down left to VAP.
Don't go down the large gully
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.
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