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Description

The Cluan Tiers are a range of hills near the town of Westbury in Northern 'Tasmania'. On the western side facing the Liffey Valley, is a substantial dolerite escarpment about 2km long and up to 90m high, but only two of the faces have been deemed worthy of climbing. The cliff is unusual for dolerite as it is generally void of cracks, and forms overhanging blocky faces with big roofs. Consequently the crag has been developed as a sport climbing area. The nature of the rock lends itself to steep, difficult climbing, and the main wall in particular, is quite intimidating. The cliff faces south-west and does not see sunlight until well into the afternoon, making it an ideal summer crag. Climbers should come prepared for cold weather as it is an alpine area subject to the full force of westerly weather. The views to the western tiers are glorious, making it a spectacular location for climbing.

© (GerryN)

Approach

Access is remarkably easy, being just 45 minutes drive from Launceston and a 10 minute walk on a track to the top of the cliff. From Launceston travel to Westbury and continue another 9km on the old highway to Exton. Turn left at Exton onto C502, signposted Quamby Brook and Golden Valley. Continue straight ahead at the crossroads after 4km. About 3km later is a gravel road on the left signposted to the 'Cluan Tier'. From here it is 16km on logging roads to the cliff. Follow the main 'Cluan Tier' Road and after about 12km is a crossroads. Take the road on the right which goes steeply up a hill. At the top of the hill, keep following the main road and take left hand turns at the two intersections you come across. The road passes underneath a powerline and curves around to meet the powerline again about 1km further. Park here at the powerline easement marked by a cairn on the left. Follow the powerline easement up the hill for 10 minutes to the top of the cliff. After some easy bashing through a grove of ferns for about 100m, there is a good gravel track up the easement. At the powerpole closest to the cliff edge, turn left and follow a rough path for 50m to the descent gully marked by a cairn. A short descent gully leads to the first cliff while the main cliff is about 100m further around to the right.

© (GerryN)

History

Climbers have probably been aware of these cliffs for years, being obvious from the road to Liffey Falls. Gerry Narkowicz scrub bashed up the hill from the western side in May 2006 and realised the potential of the cliff. He made the first climbing trip to the area with Nick Hancock on 10/6/06 and two routes were climbed and another three projects were bolted over three days.

© (GerryN)

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Routes

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Grade Route
1
26 * Clu Crux Clan Sport 30m

Nice grade 23 climbing up to the roof, then a desperate boulder problem over the lip of the overhang.

Start: The first route on the far LHS of the amphitheatre at the bottom of the descent gully.

FA: Nick Hancock, 2006

2

Start: Climbs the big corner below the roof in the centre of the cliff, then joins 'Cryptic Clue' for 2 bolts before heading diagonally, and spectacularly L out to the arête of the buttress. Best done in 2 pitches. Take 13 draws.

  1. 25m (21) Climb easily up the face to the start of the very steep corner below the overhang. A terrific bit of climbing using chimney and bridging techniques up the corner. Step R at the roof to a double bolt belay on a small ledge.

  2. 20m (23) Up the corner on the RHS of the main roof to a stance below another overhang. Head L and overcome the blank hanging slab by a huge reach to a jug (crux). Continue up the L-trending overlap towards the arête, and when the holds run out, turn the small roof of the overlap with a long reach from underclings to a jug over the roof. Finish up the arête. Belay to single FH and glue-in bolt about 3m to L. Descend by abseil from the glue-in anchors to the L and rig slings over the edge. Double ropes necessary

FA: Gerry Narkowicz and Nick Hancock, 2006

3
22 ** Cryptic Clue Sport 40m

Starts in a shallow groove about 5m R of the previous route. Some thought provoking and very nice climbing up the groove and face leads to a cruxy section going through the overlaps about a third of the way up, to gain a small ledge. There is a double bolt belay here for The Ruin Of The Cluan, but unnecessary for this route.

FA: Gerry Narkowicz, 2006

4
21 * Blues Clues Sport 40m

The next line R, taking the line of bolts up the centre of the easy angled face. Some nice grade 17 face climbing to half height after which the route steepens, with a tricky move through a small roof. The crux is moving up from a pedestal and overcoming a blank section to gain the top corner. The top corner groove has a couple of cruxy moves and keeps you gripped all the way to the anchors. Lower-off, but double ropes necessary.16 bolts. The first route established at the Cluan Tiers.

FA: Gerry Narkowicz, 2006

5
26 *** Clued Up Sport 25m

An outrageous looking line taking a rising leftwards traverse underneath the roofs on very small holds before turning the roof out near the arête, then up the final groove to the top. An amazing and spectacular route.

FA: Nick Hancock, 2007

6
23 *** Cluedo Sport 40m

Follows a beautiful natural line of features up the centre of the face with some superb, sustained face climbing. An intense, crimpy start for the first 4 bolts, then some nice moves on big holds leads to the crux between the 7th and 8th bolt. A powerful move to gain the stance below the hanging flake, then some funky layaways and heelhooking on the flake leads to a good rest. The next clipping stance is a bit precarious and nerve wracking – sorry about that. Easy up the face until a sting in the tail just below the anchors on some rounded laybacks with little for the feet. A classic. 13 bolts.

Start: About 50m further R of the descent gully amphitheatre is a bolted line up a neat face beside a large eucalypt.

FA: Gerry Narkowicz, 2006

7
19 ** A Clue Or Two Sport 16m

On the far LH side of the wall is a line of 6 bolts up a slightly overhanging wall. Positive handholds all the way with an exciting finish.

FA: Gerry Narkowicz, 2000

8
23 ** Blue Suede Clues Sport 18m

Up the centre of the face starting 5m R of the previous route. Climb steeply on some big features to a juggy, runout conclusion. A superb route. 6 bolts.

FA: 2007

9
23 *** Inspector Clueso Sport 25m

Step off the block high on the left onto the overhanging wall, then pull round right onto the face. Technical face climbing up to the big roof with a cruxy move moving right to gain the base of the roof. The wedged block in the roof sounds loose, but was beaten with a hammer and remained intact and is a vital hold at this point. Spectacular bridging at the roof in an amazing position, before traversing left to the arete to a good foothold and rest. Move up and left to gain big underclings and set up for the move over the next roof. 'Layback' off the block on the lip, feet high and a crucial kneebar solve this problem. Continue up the corner with bridging moves before stepping left onto easier ground and up to the anchors. A fantastic climb. 11 bolts.

Start: Climbs the left hand edge of the main wall and tackles some unlikely territory for the grade. Superb climbing. Start on the block up left and bridge across to clip the first bolt, or else stick clip.

FA: Gerry Narkowicz, 2007

10
11
21 *** Cluecified (P1 Only) Sport 26m, 11

The first pitch of Cluecified is a remarkable journey, featuring a long but well protected traverse in an intimidating position.

FA: G Narkowicz, 2007

12
23 *** Cluecified Sport 85m

A 3 pitch, 85m climb, the only route which goes all the way to the top of the main wall. The first pitch is an exciting and unlikely traverse through the big roof, followed by a brilliant pitch of face climbing above the roof. The third pitch has two cruxy sections through a couple of small roofs with great moves. Take 17 draws.

  1. 26m (21) Up the easy groove in the centre of the main wall for 10m, before the long traverse left above the big roof to gain the left slanting ramp. The crux is moving left past an overhang with nothing for the feet and big overhangs underneath, in an intimidating position. This pitch would be an excellent 21 to try as a one pitch route. Rap anchors at belay. 11 bolts.

  2. 17m (23) A superb face climb. 'Layback' up the steep flake off the belay, then traverse right to gain the weakness up the middle of the face. A sustained series of moves up the face with the crux just below the anchors. Belay on small ledge. 8 bolts.

  3. 42m (23) Not a 3 star pitch like the first 2 pitches, but with some terrific and challenging moves nonetheless. Up the easy face just right of the belay (18)to the base of the small overhang. Surmount the roof strenuously to gain the hanging corner (crux) and continue up the line to the second roof. Bridge steeply to a position level with the second bolt in the roof, before traversing right onto the face (crux). Then straight up the wall to jugs, then back left to finish up the easy groove. Double bolt belay on the summit. 14 bolts.

FA: Gerry Narkowicz, 2007

13
25 * Clueless Sport 30m

The bolted route near the centre of the cliff. Tackles some steep territory with the crux going through the bulge after the second bolt. There is another tricky move going through the gap in the roof just below the anchors. 9 bolts. FA: Nick Hancock.

FA: Nick Hancock., 2006

14
24 Havn't Got A Clue Unknown
15

One tricky move (grade 20) between the 2nd and 3rd bolt, then straightforward climbing to the 7th bolt where the route steepens dramatically. Moving R and up the short blank corner is cruxy, then continue strenuously up the overhanging corner/groove to gain a small ledge. Traverse L under the roof in a spectacular position, then turn the roof on the L (cruxy) and continue with some difficulty to the anchors.

An excellent route with some endurance required. 18 bolts.

Start: On the far RH side of the cliff is a line of bolts up a corner/groove with black and white streaks.

FA: Gerry Narkowicz, 2007

16
27 *** One Final Clue Sport 26m

The hardest route so far at the crag, following a fantastic line up the face and through the big roof at the left hand side of the main wall.

Start: The second line in from the Left hand side of the main wall, starting at a thin layback seam up the wall.

FA: Nick Hancock, 2007

Open trips

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