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Description

Above the Thick as Thieves wall is a large boulder. This is the Schoolgirl Boulder. There are also a few nice squeezes through and under the boulder. Routes described from left to right.

Access issues inherited from Upper Gara Gorge

Gara Gorge is located 16km south-east of Armidale’s CBD. To get there, take the Grafton road east out of Armidale then turn right onto Castle Doyle road (just after the 100km speed limit signs) This road goes onto Blue Hole road, turning to dirt straight after the cattle grid, takes you to the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Once at the river follow the road right until it comes to a turning circle/parking area at the beginning of the walking track. This is the focus of most of the bouldering in the area. Access to the second car park referred to in the rest of the guide has been blocked to vehicles. To get there walk up onto the ridge and follow the old car track along until it stops. This is the old ‘Car Park’. From the old car park there are several ways of getting into the gorge. Either follow the well defined track which leads east along the ridge to drop down to the Roadblock area and the Mad Woman’s Breakfast boulder, or veer left (north) from this track at its start and walk straight down towards the Hope Buttress region. To get to the Thick As Thieves / Private Sector area, scramble up past the upstream end of Hope Buttress, then head straight across, past a small gully, then on to the main gully, the main water course. Another way to access the Thick as Thieves and Schoolgirl area is to follow the walking track from the first car park until you are above them, and then drop in via the riverbed (about 500m).

Ethic inherited from Upper Gara Gorge

Basically, the climbers of Armidale are a pretty laid back, free thinking group and as long as you don’t go out of your way to put people’s noses out of joint you’ll be amazed at how helpful they can be. The quickest way to piss people off is by ripping off projects. There are a few devoted locals making an effort and putting up quality new climbs. A lot of time, hard work and even money goes into their endeavours (cracks can be projects too) and there is too much unclimbed rock around to justify destroying someone else’s motivation. Any routes marked as such or not in the guide should be left alone. The simple courtesy of asking first may save you from being stripped naked and being staked out for the crows to pick your eyes out. If putting up new routes is your thing then please feel free. The only request is that you avoid placing hangers or conspicuous bolts around the Gara Boulders as we are already viewed as an environmental menace by the NPWS - bolting in National Parks is actually illegal.

Routes

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Grade Route
1
23 * Shane's Wall Sport 8m

Originally a project but unknowingly stolen by an unknown, nefarious Brisbanite. Start: The left wall of the dihedral Directly up the wall past three bolts.

FA: Some Bloke

2
19 Toby's Corner Trad 10m

The corner crack 2m right of SW. Stem and Jamb up the corner. Belay on top of block in cracks.

FA: Toby Waters, Jeff Gracie

3
21 Funky Homo Aretus Sport 10m

The arete right of S.W. Delicately up the left side of the arête past two bolts and a #2 Friend. Friend Belay.

FA: T. Hill, S. Clelland

4
16 Svea Trad 10m

Pleasant and technical for the grade. Start: Right of F.H.A. Up the wall past two bolts and some pro. to belay in breaks at top.

FA: J. Gracie, G. Low

5

The wall on the boulder. Up the wall and hand crack to top.

FA: M. Peck, P. Colyvan

6
17 I'll Go Slops Trad 12m

3m right of Good Morning Little School Girl. Supposedly better than it looks. Up staircase to ledge, hand-traverse left to hand-crack to top.

FA: P. Colyvan, M. Peck

7

No details known. Hardish looking arete with one high rusty hanger. Probably needs another bolt. Probably some ancient project.

8
V8 ** School girl roof Boulder 4m

Walk east, around the contour for 20m there is a small bouldering cave with one project.

Start on juggy block to the right of the crack, move into aggressive hand / finger jam through roof to a tricky lip encounter and high top out. No earthworks needed, do not be tempted.

FFA: Alan Ezzy, 2013