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Summary

Like climbing inside a giant mixing bowl.

Description

Warning: - Don’t climb at Dangars Falls if the rock is wet or if it looks like rain. The rock is very slippery when wet.

  • S.L.C.D.’s don’t work very well on this rock type - they slip with alarming ease. Hexes and wires are needed here.
  • Helmets are recommended. This is a tourist area and tourists throw stones.

Some climbs may not be able to be attempted depending on how much water is coming over the falls. Be sensible.

Approach

Follow the signposts from various points around Armidale to Kennedy St. and out onto Dangarsleigh Rd. Continue along this road till you come to the War Memorial. Either turn left here, or continue along Dangarsleigh Rd. to a turn-off further along. Park in the car-park. The access walking track is located down the gully near the car park. This track zig-zags to the bottom of the gorge. Near the bottom the track gets very steep.

Routes

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Grade Route

The climbs will be described from the “orange pillar” on the right hand side of the water course, around left to the smaller climbs opposite the waterfall. The first climb is The Orange Pillar. Apparently this was climbed by John (Action) Lindsay and Hugh Spencer in 1960. No details or grades are available. As far as I know no-one has ever attempted a second ascent.

1
11 Dreadnought Trad 150m

Start: In the corner to the left of the orange pillar. This climb was put up by three climbers who became lost while attempting to do Action. The corner has a lot of loose rock. Not recommended. As for Action from pitch 2 onwards.

  1. 46m. Straight up the corner for approx. 41m then traverse left for 5m. to a large ledge.

2-5. 104m Traverse left along obvious ledge, then up up and away...as for Action (see next route).

FA: N.Hughes, N.Beynon, J.Street, 1970

2
14 ** Action Trad 150m

Start: The classic of the cliff. Many variants are possible. Start near the corner of Drednought at an old piton.

  1. 30m. Straight up the steps. Belay on the most convenient ledge.
  2. 50m. Continue straight up. You will eventually come to a slightly overhanging short crack corner. Up this, onto ledge then continue up to large ledge at the base of a layback crack corner. Belay.
  3. 50m. Layback/bridge up the corner, then move across to the slightly vegetated wall above, and continue up the wall. Belay wherever convenient.
  4. 35m. Continue straight up till you can move in right , behind a large block. Belay.
  5. 30m.+ (crux) Up the steep wall beside the water course, picking the easiest line to the top. The exit is awkward and exposed.

FA: D.McLean, D.Mills, 1968

3
16 ** Goldfinger Trad 200m

Start: Can only be done when the falls stop flowing. Left of Action is a rib, then a channel the main water course. Goldfinger goes up this channel, then swings right to join Action at approx. 2/3rds height. The grade may be much harder as no-one has yet done a second ascent. The original description, like this one, is very vague. Good luck.

  1. 40m. Up the channel left of the rib.
  2. 30m. Slightly steeper now. Sparse protection. Continue straight up choosing the line of least resistance.
  3. 20m. Continue upwards till you are able to move right to join the last three pitches of Action. 4.5.6. 110m. As for Action.

FA: J.Davis, D.McLean, 1965

4
13 Slippery When Wet Trad 170m

Start: Moving left from Goldfinger the next obvious feature is a major corner. This is the start for Slippery When Wet (goes diagonally right) and Toecap. Dangars Falls dries completely usually once a year. This climb, like Goldfinger, can only be climbed when completely dry.

  1. 33m. Up rib (15m) then traverse right (6m.) and up to ledge below steep wall (rusty piton).
  2. 18m. Diagonally up and right, then traverse right and up corner with thin crack to very large ledge (another rusty piton).
  3. 22m. Diagonally up and right, then straight up to belay in small corner (yet another rusty piton).
  4. 28m. Diagonally up and right, then straight up corner, then right onto nose, then right into second corner, up corner then traverse right to belay on ledge 6m. left of Action.
  5. 30m. Diagonally up left across slabs then to base of wall, traverse left and down slightly, then up fine, left diagonal crack to belay in sentry box.
  6. 23m. Up diagonally right crack line, then diagonally right again to corner, left around projections.
  7. 18m.The line of least resistance to top.

FA: -A.Stephens, G.Francis, (alt leads), 1980

5
13 Toecap Trad 200m

Start: As for S.W.W. The rib. Avoid any yellow rock ! Its rotten...Variant starts are possible to the left.

  1. 45m. Up left of rib, then onto rib, up slabs to wall, traverse 5m. to left, then up corner to large ledge, then scramble easily up to ledge below steep wall.
  2. 40m. Diagonally left onto slabs, up slabs to obvious corner.
  3. 45m. Up corner, traverse left along ledge to belay stance.
  4. 40m. Rising traverse to right (poor protection), then to ledge.
  5. 30m. Up wall and scramble to top.

FA: R.Harden, D.McLean, 1965

6
9 Toecap Variant Trad 52m

Further round to the left of 'Toecap' is a smaller wall where the lines finish on a dirty ledge. The left-hand climbs are easiest. The climbs are described here from Left to Right, ie from downstream to upstream. The line furthest to the left is 'Kneecap'. From the top of these climbs you can either walk out up the long dirty gully or, more difficult, go left and down to the large pool, cross the river, then traverse at water level, left around to the original walk-down track.

7
10 Kneecap Trad 80m

Start: At the base of a ramp below first pool opposite the main falls

  1. 34m. Up towards vertical cracks, step right and continue up to right, to a spiky ledge. Belay.
  2. 32m. Traverse right to bottom of v-shaped gully. Up wall on right, traverse right under small overhang. Belay
  3. 14m.Up corner or wall to top.

FA: M.Thomas, V.Galer, 1966

8
12 Nightcap Trad 75m

Start: 15m. right of Kneecap.

  1. 30m. Traverse along and up ramp, moving up to base of wall on right.
  2. 15m. Up to right, across wall.
  3. 30m. Up to top of small gully.

FA: M.Thomas, J.Street, 1968

9
12 Copperhead Trad 20m

Start: This is a direct start to Nightcap. No details available.

FA: P.Prior, J.Kelman, 1974

10
18 Foolscap Trad 230m

Start; The next major line right of Nightcap. A crack through a roof. A real adrenalin booster.

  1. 25m. (crux) Slab up to left of roof, swing right and up to base of roof, surmount roof then up crack and then step right to belay ledge.
  2. 40m. Up incipient crack directly above ledge to tree belay (trend slightly to left).
  3. 40m. Right, and up vegetated gully to obvious wide crack, continue up to suitable tree belay.
  4. 25m. Take the easiest line to tree belay (trending right).
  5. 50m. Straight up wall, then scrambling, climbing to tree belay.
  6. 50m. Take easiest line, scrambling and climbing to top.

FA: B.Birchall, G.Croft, 1981

11
20 Total Control Trad 65m

Start: The line right of Foolscap. A crack through a small roof with a thin crack corner above. Paul put a Friend in a vertical, near parallel groove-gave it a tug to test it...the Friend slid straight out, much to his horror. He later returned with Hexes.

  1. 25m. (crux) Up slab to base of roof, around roof and delicately up corner, moving slightly right in thinnest section, to belay ledge.
  2. 40m. As for pitch 2 of Foolscap.
  3. Either walk off leftwards or continue as for Foolscap.

FA: P.Bayne, M.Colyvan,(alt leads) G.Croft, Mar., 1981

12
17 ** Caprice Trad 140m

Start: The next main line right of Total Control.

  1. 22m. Slightly leftward up slabs to wall, traverse right around nose and up ramp to small ledge at base of large corner (protection poor).
  2. 16m. Up corner and through short off-width to small ledge (crux).
  3. 25m. Up corner 8m. then traverse right into smaller corner and delicately up over bulges (loose rock) to base of wall.
  4. 40m. Up onto ledge, then up corner and onto wall on right,diagonally leftwards and up more easily to belay tree.
  5. 37m Scramble up slabs to trees.

FA: B.Birchall, G.Francis, (alt leads), 1981

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