Star Factory Mostly sport climbing58 routes in crag
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Immaculate water polished orange granite, generally slightly overhanging, 30m high and 500m long wall, mostly sport routes and some trad.
(This guide is sourced from thesarvo.com, we thank Jake Bresenhan and Nick Hancock for Compiling it!)
The Star Factory is unique in Australian climbing in that it has a large number of very high quality climbs from 21 to 32 on good granite that is highly featured with holds of all shapes and sizes, in addition to the more usual cracks. The Star Factory is now the best (hard) sport crag in Tassie and arguably one of the best in Australia. All the bolted sport climbs have double bolt belays at the top, from which it is advised to lower off as there is loose gravel above the top of the cliff. Winter days are the best, climbing in the sun with a nice southerly wind. You can climb in the summer but is best after about 2pm. The projects are all closed, but feel free to put in the blood, sweat and tears to put your own up. Be careful on the slabs at the base of the routes. If you stuff up, you probably won't wake up again. In the wet they are even worse!
Access is by following The Skyline Traverse from Sleepy Bay for 35 minutes until a distinct col is reached below the slabs leading up to Wombat Crags. From here head left and down, below a steep wall, then head south to above the cliff. There is a steep scramble at the far right hand side and abseil anchors above some of the right hand climbs. Access along the foot of the crag is straightforward except for a 30 meter section left from Ferret on a Leash, where it is necessary to rope up as the slabs below the wall shelve steeply to the sea over 70 meters below.
The cliff now known as the Star Factory was first climbed on by the Jackson Brothers in 1994, when they wandered up a modest corner towards the left end of the wall. They returned in early 2002 to finish off their previous climb to create The Adjuster (21), and added another, Glass Tier (22). These were the only routes on the cliff until Nick Hancock re-discovered it in early 2003. He tried to keep it a secret and even managed to pick off a few of the best lines with Doug McConnell until the motor-mouth Jake Bresnehan got hold of the rumour and passed it on to Garry Phillips, who then marched up there and tore the place apart. Garry has put up about half the routes to date and is responsible for most of the hardest routes.
The obvious corner R of The Reason. In fact this striking line, when viewed from a kayak below, was the inspiration for the development of the Star Factory, perhaps the true reason. From a distance it looked like a grade 21 corner! Climb easy crack for 8m to good natural belay at base of corner. Layback and stem the steep thin corner to ledge then onto DBB. Better than it looks from the ground, as the crack is perfect water polished granite, rather than the crystals it appears to be. Gear from 00-0.75 BD + a few bigger pieces for the belay.
FFA: Alex Lewis, 2010
Climb a grade 15 crack for 8 meters to gain the big ledge. A wicked striking corner. Classic. Maybe the best 26 at the factory.
FFA: Doug McConnell, 2003
Start up the initial corner of The Reason, step right on ledge, then steep and pumpy shallow corner to a rooflet then series of tricky side pulls to an anchor at half height. The extension above is a project.
FFA: Ben Ikin, 2013
Layback the pillar. Up the arête. Not that good.
FFA: Nick Hancock, 2003