The Fortress Rock climbing18 routes in crag
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A small area with excellent access but limited climbing. The routes are very varied in style and it's well worth visiting or stopping off as you trek up to Gibraltar.©
Park 1.6km up Corin Road opposite a gated track (GPS coordinates -35.45857,148.94753). Walk up the track for 600m to where it steepens briefly, then turns left and flattens out (there's a gate in the fence on your right at this point). Follow the track as it circles to the right around the knoll that is The Fortress, until you reach the saddle with the mushroom visible right next to the road. The track continues steeply uphill to 'The Jism' and 'Gibraltar Peak'.©
The ease of access and signs of merriment seems to make people lose their morals here. A 'ridiculous number' of bolt belays and bolt runners sprang up around the time the 1996 guide was published, with old tree belays being cut down in the process. The most ridiculous addition was a set of metal steps left of 'Sentry Duty'. These have been cut off, returning The Fortress to the glory days of down-soloing a chimney to get off most routes. There was also some retrobolting, with bolts sprouting on 'Apprentice's Edge' and 'Scratched Record'. In the last case the climb was originally climbed with a tied-off abseil rope and first written up as having a bolt, although Richard Watts never got around to putting it in. The 'worst case', however, was at the top of the previously unbolted 'Blood on His Lips' where a golden 'carrot' style bolt appeared in the final slab, right next to a wire placement. Many of the new bolts have been pruned.©
A little aid jaunt onto the top of the 'mushroom cap'. BYO hangers (and possibly nuts) for the bolts.
FA: Greg Lane & friends
Starts on the large jammed boulders above the cave and ascends the slab and corner past two bolts - the first of which is quite high. A few nice balancy moves and it is all over.
FA: Richard Watts (solo), 1983
On the biggest boulder. Start just right of 'Night Fall'. Up the slab and short wall on sharp holds past two bolts. Watch out as both the holds and the bolts may have fallen off...
FA: Dave Sargent & Paul Mason, 1987
The slab with a single large home-made hanger in the chimney just south of the main boulder was unworthy of reporting by the first ascentionist, not surprisingly.
The off-width come squeeze chimney 5m left of No Fat Chicks. Sit start V5.
FA: B. Aikman, 2013
The bolted climb left of 'No Fat Chicks', starting in a chimney and reaching the same belay, was never claimed by the first offenders.
A slabby, mossy wall on the southern side of the main group of boulders with three bolts to a triple bolt belay. Other reports say it is harder.
FA: Geoff Filmer & Damian Jovanovic, 1995