Zap Crag Mostly sport climbing38 routes in crag
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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.
From the traffic lights in the middle of Mt 'Victoria', follow the Great Western 'Highway' 1km northwest towards Lithgow, then turn right at the petrol station into Mt. York Rd. From here it's 2.1km to the parking, which is easily identified because it's directly beneath the huge high voltage power lines, on the left (west) side of the road.
Park in the cleared area just off the road, near the Sub-station. DONT BLOCK THE ACCESS ROAD (the road heading west beneath the power lines), and don't drive down it to save walking (it's only ~100m!). Also don't block access to the sub-station itself. From the cars walk west along the access road under the powerlines.
For Upper and Lower Zap, when you get to a small clearing on the left (about 120m from the carpark), turn left (south) and follow the cairns around and down to the crag. The first area is Upper Zap. There are fixed ropes leading down to the Lower area.
For the Fuse Box, don't turn left at the clearing, instead keep walking along the access road for another 30m, until it ends about 30m back from the clifftops. Here, find some cairns which lead right (north) and down into a gully.© (mjw)
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!
Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)
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