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Table of contents

1. Dangars Gorge 23 routes in Crag

Summary:
JFMAMJJASOND
seasonality
Mostly Trad

Long/Lat: 151.726576, -30.675762

1.1. Dangars Falls 12 routes in Crag

Summary:
All Trad
Unique Features And Strengths:

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.

RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents

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 Dreadnought

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

11Trad 150m
2 ** Action

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

14Trad 150m
3 ** Goldfinger

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

16Trad 200m
4 Slippery When Wet

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

13Trad 170m
5 Toecap

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

13Trad 200m
6 Toecap Variant 9Trad 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 Kneecap

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

10Trad 80m
8 Nightcap

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

12Trad 75m
9 Copperhead

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

FA: P.Prior, J.Kelman, 1974

12Trad 20m
10 Foolscap

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

18Trad 230m
11 Total Control

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

20Trad 65m
12 ** Caprice

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

17Trad 140m

1.2. Dynomight Buttress 2 routes in Area

Summary:
All Trad
Description:

Along the northern rim of the gorge are several granite crags. These can be seen from the various lookouts. The first one you will approach as you proceed along the gorge is Dynomight Buttress. No one has been able to find it since then so if you do let me know.

Approach:

Eastward, along the north rim of the gorge to the first granite outcrop approx. 200m. past a large gully, descend a minor gully (marked with two pieces of tape on fence) about 20m. then traverse east below upper tier. There are three obvious lines. Two have been completed.

RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 Incremental Creep

Start; A superb layback crack, starts on a ledge 5m. up.

FA: Paul Bayne & Brian Birchall, 1982

20Trad 15m
2 Dynomight

Start: The finger crack through steps.

12m. Up crack through the overhanging steps and join the line to the right at half height.

FA: Paul Bayne & Brian Birchall, 1982

20Trad 12m

1.3. Flaky Buttress 5 routes in Area

Summary:
Trad and Aid
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 Mystery Achievement 20Trad 10m
2 Fairy Choss 8Trad 60m
3 Plain Sailing 14Trad 45m
4 ** Bombora 20 M1Aid 45m
5 Nicotinus 18Trad 65m

1.4. Pritchard Cliff 1 route in Area

Summary:
All Trad
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 Pariah 5Trad 15m

1.5. Richard Cliff 3 routes in Area

Summary:
All Trad
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 Eaves Dropper 19Trad 30m
2 Aires and Graces 19Trad 60m
3 Lackluster Backbuster 23Trad 60m

2. Index by grade

Grade Stars Name Style Area
5 Pariah Trad 15m 1.4. Pritchard Cliff
8 Fairy Choss Trad 60m 1.3. Flaky Buttress
9 Toecap Variant Trad 52m 1.1. Dangars Falls
10 Kneecap Trad 80m 1.1. Dangars Falls
11 Dreadnought Trad 150m 1.1. Dangars Falls
12 Copperhead Trad 20m 1.1. Dangars Falls
Nightcap Trad 75m 1.1. Dangars Falls
13 Slippery When Wet Trad 170m 1.1. Dangars Falls
Toecap Trad 200m 1.1. Dangars Falls
14 ** Action Trad 150m 1.1. Dangars Falls
Plain Sailing Trad 45m 1.3. Flaky Buttress
16 ** Goldfinger Trad 200m 1.1. Dangars Falls
17 ** Caprice Trad 140m 1.1. Dangars Falls
18 Foolscap Trad 230m 1.1. Dangars Falls
Nicotinus Trad 65m 1.3. Flaky Buttress
19 Aires and Graces Trad 60m 1.5. Richard Cliff
Eaves Dropper Trad 30m 1.5. Richard Cliff
20 Total Control Trad 65m 1.1. Dangars Falls
Dynomight Trad 12m 1.2. Dynomight Buttress
Incremental Creep Trad 15m 1.2. Dynomight Buttress
Mystery Achievement Trad 10m 1.3. Flaky Buttress
20 M1 ** Bombora Aid 45m 1.3. Flaky Buttress
23 Lackluster Backbuster Trad 60m 1.5. Richard Cliff