Bittangabee - Nth Side of Bay Mostly trad climbing31 routes in crag
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The rock is a form of volcanic sandstone with fantastic frictional properties. Some of the rock looks friable but is surprisingly strong. Jointing and quartz intrusions make great natural pro.©
Bittangabee Sea Cliffs North is a compact climbing area located within the Ben Boyd National Park, 300k south-east from Canberra near the NSW and Victorian state border.
The rock is a form of volcanic sandstone with fantastic frictional properties. Some of the rock looks friable but is surprisingly strong. Considerable jointing and quartz intrusions make for great natural pro.
The cliff is approximately 250 metres in length and ranges from 12-15 metres high.
The rock is heavily featured, quite steep with some small roofs and overhanging faces. The area has great potential for development as a challenging, if short trad climbing area. The use of bolts in this area is not considered appropriate as the cliff is located within the Ben Boyd National Park. Any harder routes can be protected on abseil or top roped. This is an ideal area for beginners with a multitude of easier climbs. The area is a beautiful spot and should be preserved as such.
Climbs are described south to north or looking at the cliff with your back to the ocean left to right. Descend at either end of the cliff.©
Take Monaro Highway to Cooma, follow the Snowy Mountains Highway towards Bega via Brown Mountain. Turn right towards Candelo and head for Eden. In Eden turn right to Orbost, travel about 17kms and turn left onto Edrom Road. Turn right onto Green Cape Road after 6km. Turn Right at the T Intersection (8 km). Turn left at 6km on to the Bittangabee Bay road. Total trip time is around 3½ hours from Canberra.
Access the climbing area by walking north from the campsite on the Bittangabee – Saltwater creek walking trail. You have two options to access the trail, either via the beach or ‘Ruins Track’. 30 minutes of easy walking gets you to the top of the crag. The beach track starts on the north side of the camping ground turning loop. The ‘Ruins Track’ starts on the northern side of the day trippers’ barbeque area with both tracks joining on the southern side of Bittangabee Creek.
Walk along Bittangabee Creek in a westerly direction on a rather indistinct track, cross at the well worn rock bar and follow the more defined track through the Bell Bird forest. After cresting the ridge the flora changes to low wind beaten scrub. The track continues through impenetrable Ti tree before reaching a large exposed rock platform up to 100m wide at points.
Access can be gained at either end of the cliff by an easy scramble down onto the rock ledge immediately above the ocean. Profuse jointing at the top allows for solid top anchors to be set. Bring a few long slings or an extra rope and plenty of SLCD’s or hexcentrics. During heavy seas or king tides access to the climbs may well be impossible with the entire area exposed to southerly winds.©
Where to stay
There are plenty of choices for accommodation in the region. You can camp at Bittangabee Bay which has pit toilets, gas barbeques and a freshwater creek. A variety of campsites, van parks or motels are available in the region. Eden is close and has pubs for that quenching ale if you forgot to take water to the crag. This area is hardly a day trip but good for a couple of days. Check with the met office to avoid disappointment. Park entry fees of $7.00 a day per vehicle and camping fees of $5.00 per adult apply. You will need to book ahead by ringing the Merimbula rangers on Ph. 02 6495 5001 or Fax: 02 6495 5055©
It is important to remember this is a National Park and sensitive to human activities. Whilst little vegetation grows on the cliff itself, be sensitive to the local flora and fauna. Bolts are unnecessary and chalk should be used sparingly as the rock has exceptional frictional properties and barely needs any. Do not camp at the crag and take out all you waste, do not dispose of it in the ocean or surrounds.©
Some content has been provided under license from: © Canberra Climbers' Association (CC BY-SA)
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