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Description

White boulders (used to) stand out prominently among the pines on the right as you drive out on Paddy's River Road towards Tidbinbilla. This is a good rallying area and a good bouldering area with a few short climbs. Most of the climbs described here have been engulfed by pine regrowth and are only recorded here to stop some 'passing cockroach's' attempts at glory. 'Mercenary Swine', 'Matricide' and 'Tarred and Feathered' are the only worthwhile climbs, and probably the only ones you will find.

At the time of the second edition of the ACT Granite Guide, the Tidbinbilla pine forest (closer to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve) had been logged and many boulders revealed, but no new routes were reported, just a ton of boulder problems!

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Approach

Drive out on the Cotter Road, across the Cotter River and on towards Tidbinbilla, continuing for about 2.5 km after the river. Take the well used track right at the Pierce's Creek Forest sign, No Through Road (the Sugarloaf, a prominent conical hill, can be seen on the right). A few hundred metres along was a now-vanished corrugated iron hut on the left. Keep on the main track and after about 2km you should see a prominent boulder strewn hillside on the left. Keep on the main track - don't cross the fence into the pines. At the crest turn left onto a track down the ridge, veering left after about 100 metres. Stop after a few hundred metres at the knoll before a right turn. The large, hidden boulder 20 metres down the ridge on the left offers no climbing, but a crack splits the next boulder downhill. On the Canberra side is a (now possibly) unclimbed offwidth, but on the other side is Mercenary Swine.

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Routes

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Grade Route
1
16 Rising Star Trad 10m

Looking back to the main track from the knoll, a group of small boulders could once be seen in a gully. This is the short line.

FA: Colin Coleman, 1980

2

The second crack. The best line at Pierce's Creek, but mean on the hands. The flaky ramp and hand crack splitting the nice wall left and around the corner. It was first climbed with the assistance of a pine tree.

FFA: Peter Fisk, John Carlson, 1980

FA: Rob Topfer, Mike Peck, John Carlson, 1980

3

The track continues gradually rightwards around the broad ridge and the valley on the left closes in. The track soon turns left at a damp gully crossing and descends on the other side of the valley beneath pine forest. A few large boulders once showed in the pines above the road 200 metres along from the damp gully. On the right-hand boulder is this climb. Previously world famous as the name of the ACT's Pritkin Climbing Rag. The hand crack with the wide finish.

FA: Mike Law-Smith (solo), 1981

4

The thin, leaning finger crack on the boulder on the left.

FA: Mike Law-Smith, 1981

5
20 Never Again Trad 12m

The obvious crackline on the large boulder (facing Canberra) 15 metres behind 'Good Things Come in Small Packages'. An off-width crux.

FA: Ken Luck, Adam Blizzard, Andrew Bentley, 1988

6
14 Trivia Trad 10m

On a small boulder nearby to 'Never Again'. Up onto the small slab, right across a small wall and onto the main slab to finish a small climb.

FA: John Carlson, Mike Peck, 1980

7
18 Tensor Trad 7m

Things now get worse... Follow the track downhill to an intersection, turn right and keep rallying back uphill through the pines. You may eventually come back out onto the cleared ridgeline to the main access road. Turn back right onto it and continue until nearly back to the original narrow turnoff to the knoll. There is a small group of boulders in the water catchment area on the opposite side of the road to the knoll.

FA: Peter Fisk, Steve Raiser, 1980

Areas

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Name
Style
Climbs
Ticks
Height
Grades
Kazbah Crag
16
8
11m

Routes

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Grade Route
9
20 Matricide Trad 12m

Continuing from the knoll, the track veers right and plunges downhill for a short distance. When it levels out, at the intersection with the original ridge track, a collection of large boulders can be seen on the uphill side. The largest boulder has two impressive cracks in it, one of which is Matricide. The slightly overhung fist-corner crack with an off-width start, directly facing the track. It was found to be 20 after a flake was dislodged from the start.

FA: Rob Topfer, Lucas Trihey, 1981

Areas

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Name
Style
Climbs
Ticks
Height
Grades
Blackwater Sector
3
0
12m
3

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