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Description

Follow the old dual track all the way east or cut though via the Main Ridge boulders.

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

Add route(s) Add topo Resequence Bulk edit
Grade Route
1
V4 *** Catacomb Roof Boulder 3m

Sit start under overhang on left side on well chalked undercling/sidepull. Go straight up on crimps to mantel top-out.

2
V6 *** The horseshoe Boulder 2m

Stylishly links the two Catacombe climbs. Start matching on the sloper/lump and chuck feet on where you can. Strong moves down through the 'Catacomb Roof Right' route in reverse (try saying that quickly), before traversing low and transitioning into the Catacombs route. Beware of the dreaded dab during transition.

FFA: Nathan Henderson, 2012

3
V3 * Catacomb Roof Right Boulder 3m

Sit start on large jug under overhanging face on huge jug. Up to more jugs then slopers and mantel top out.

4
V0 E10 Boulder 3m

Crimps to edge - then traverse the lip to E13 as a warm-up

5
V0 * E12.5 Boulder 3m

Start as for E10, when you get to the lip, traverse right to the corner and around it to E13.

6
V2 E11 Boulder 3m

Thin crimps to top.

7
V3 * E11 sit start Boulder 3m

Same crimpy start as for Ohhhshishkabob

FFA: Nathan Henderson, 2012

8
V3 Ohhhshishkabob Boulder 3m

A sit start variant from the large footy slab and tiny sharp crimp

FFA: Carol Lee, 2012

9
V2 E12 Boulder 3m

Thin crimps to top.

10
V0 E3 Boulder 4m

Trend right over crimps and top out.

11
V0 E4 Boulder 4m

Start on the tooth/flake and straight up.

12
V1 E5 Boulder 4m

Up the face just right of the crack.

13
V1 E6 Boulder

Up the crack.

14
V5 E7 Boulder 3m

Layback and then nothing?

15
V5 * E8 Boulder 4m

Slightly over hang wall to the right of the corner.

16
V0 The Corner Boulder 5m

Climb the crack in the corner.

17
V1 Left of the Corner Boulder 5m

Start on good edge with right hand to the left of the corner and climb face to top.

18
V2 The Arete Boulder 4m

Climb the arete to the left of the corner. Mantel up on huge jug, then up arete.

19
V3 * Back Groove Boulder 4m

Doesn't look it, but it is good value. It is to the left further of the Arete.

Sit start and follow groove to top. Could use another light scrub as of October 2010.

20
V4 The Cube Boulder 3m

The cube like boulder downhill and east of the Catacomb roof has a crimpy problem starting on the right arete, going across face to the left and up. Guessing at the grade, could be harder.

21
V6 ** Tall Arete Boulder 5m

Nice and tall arete just east of catacomb roof. Pic was taken prior to Dan Honneyman scrubbing it. Not sure of the name either. Grade should be close.

Climb the arete.

FA: Dan Honeyman