City Rocks All Trad climbing17 routes in crag
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Excellent compact sandstone sea cliffing a long way from civilization. All day shade.
This is a compact sandstone crag that is English gritstone like in appearance and climbing style. The climbs follow strong natural lines, using mostly trad gear. The look and feel to the cliff is a compact and darker version of Point Perp, but with generally better rock quality. Expect to see seals and dolphins playing off the rocks and fish swarming in the kelp. Crabs scuttle at your belayers feet whilst anemones cling to the rock pools along the base of the crag. There is great snorkelling straight off the rocks if the swell is low. There is evidence of huge waves, with hunks of wood wedged into cracks 10m off the ground. You will always have the place to yourself.
Every route is good and is worth doing. I refuse to give anything three stars, thus there are routes with no stars in this guide. Zero star routes are still recommend, but will usually not be as sustained as the higher starred routes. Generally the rock quality is superb, a fine grained sandstone which forms fluted cracks and pockets. Most routes have had one ascent, so make sure you check fragile looking holds before committing to deliberate run-outs. Because the cliff faces south it gets very little direct sun and needs a dry windy day to recover from heavy rain or big swells. We found that a wet cliff can dry out in a few hours if the wind is blowing just right. High humidity and a still day can also make the rock horribly greasy. This is not a sport climbing area. Every route in this guide requires trad gear, and most require a full rack, including micro cams. Climbers need to be proficient in placing fiddly gear to really enjoy this area. Offset wires are very useful for the flared cracks. Bolts have been used sparingly and only when no good trad gear is nearby. All bolts are stainless steel glueins. This is a seacliff with high levels of sea spray. Expansion bolts and cad plated crap are not to be used. Glue-in carrot bolts are located along the cliff top, usually well back from the edge. Most routes top-out for a belay off these bolts. This is to minimise the amount of bolts to maintain a low impact. Please respect this ethic and do not add lower-off bolts. Please always anchor or rap off a minimum of two of these bolts at all times. Some routes can be supplemented by trad anchors or tie off the bushes about 15m back from the edge with a long rope. There is still much unclimbed rock in the area. Most of it is choss. Please avoid establishing routes left of Storm Front Crack. The rock quality is much worse then the main wall, and it is much more visible to tourists and rangers. Lets keep this ‘choss sanctuary’ pristine.
It's a National Park. Keep a low profile.
How do you get there? Locate Eden in far south coast of NSW. Get map to Ben Boyd National Park. Drive 550km aprox from Melbourne to City Rock day use car park. Follow marked tourist track to water. Look left – that’s the cliffs. The left side is sandy rubbish, the middle is where all the action is. Scramble up to top of cliff on left side. Follow tunnel through thick coastal vegetation and cut across to top of cliff as soon as possible. Walk along cliff edge (with care!) for a few hundred metres to locate large rock cairn on large open rock platform. Salty The Seal is directly below this rock cairn. Look for hidden belay BRs about 4m back from cliff edge. Storm Front Crack is located about 50m back westwards from the rock cairn (the way you just came from). All routes require fixing a rope and rapping in. Bring a spare rope and a rope protector for this purpose.
Where to stay
Great camping in the National Park!
Mixed climbing. Bolts only where there is no trad.
Developed by Neil Monteith, Jono Schmidt and Adam Demmert over two trips in 2007.
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