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Buildering - climbing man made structures has a proud history in Canberra. The long traverses of the rough hewn bluestone wall on the iconic National Library are a legacy of determined climbers returning time and again after being turfed off by bored security guards. Sanity and library budgetary constraints prevailed and now it is as much a part of the landscape as the joggers on the lake shore below. As a way of developing your climbing strength - outside and close to where we live it is unsurpassed.

That said... There's other places inside Canberra where you could actually get on a rock and go up. Your choice.


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At 2.2m high and from 5 to 50m in length, the bottom tier of rough hewn basalt is generally traversed - but some choose to set hard diagonal rising mini routes with sit starts. It's likely that some people wouldn't appreciate the chalk patina that develops over the drier months and no one is really sure how the activity is viewed amongst Library management so please stay away from the front entrance area. The Lakeside walls are fantastic on a summers afternoon when the easterly breeze arrives.


Directly above Parkes Way as it tunnels under the ANU is the Noel Butlin Archives Centre - just outside this, on the north eastern side is a long cemented basalt retaining wall that offers a sustained traverse or if you are really sure about youself, some highball solo's ... be careful, little bits of render give way quite suddenly. To access it ride or walk there via the east/west lake cycle path. It is just off the path on the very steep pinch as it goes over the Acton Peninsular.


On the lake side of the Le Couteur Building, Research School of Physical Sciences, ANU, is a high retaining wall - one of the first built structures climbed in the ACT. It has largely been forgotten but it is still there with the same hard edgy problems which are much more accessible now that the ivy has been stripped away. Do your part - climb and prune!


A traverse of the sea-wall near the water police quarters on Lake Gininderra in Belconnen.

Update: This wall has been torn down in the 2010-11 renovations of the area.


The side wall of the Torrens shops is a good bet for those on the south side. There was more of the same - an earth retaining wall below the old servo adjacent, but a rain storm collapsed it.


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18 ANU Crack Top rope 10m

The hand and finger crack with an off-width crux. Laybacking for dummies

FA: ANUMC, 1975

21 ANU Finger Crack Top rope 10m

The finger crack in the middle of the wall. Nice pockets to pull on.


The hard finger crack on the left hand side of the ANU wall. Requires a lead when Lauren is not around ;)

FA: Chris Elliott