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Summary

Short, convenient, and mostly easy trad climbing in an amazing location. Spectacular campround, beaches, and forest, with a bit of climbing thrown in. A good spot to set up topropes for beginners.

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Description

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 sandstone with fantastic frictional properties. Some friable bits, but most of the rock is surprisingly strong. Considerable jointing and interesting quartz intrusions provide lots of holds.

The cliff is approximately 250 metres in length and 12-15 metres high.

The rock is heavily featured, quite steep with some small roofs and overhanging faces. The cliff is pretty much saturated with climbs, as any new routes would simply be contrived variants on the existing ones. Bolts are not considered appropriate in this area, as the cliff is located within the Ben Boyd National Park. All 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 (left to right while looking at the cliff with your back to the ocean). Descend at either end of the cliff.

Take a standard rack, with extra small and medium cams (if you have them). The cracks to rig top belays tend to be about 5m back from the edge. For toproping, take 25m climbing ropes and 10m rigging ropes. Don't forget carpet/towels for edge protection.

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Approach

Get yourself to Eden, then head South towards Orbost. Travel about 17kms and turn left onto Edrom Road (tar), following signs to Bittangabee Bay. Turn right onto Green Cape Road after 6km (dirt). Turn Right at the T Intersection (8 km). Turn left at 6km on to the Bittangabee Bay road. Total trip time is around 4½ hours from Canberra.

The cliff is on the North head of Bittangabee Bay. The top of the cliff is the bare rock platform which is easily seen across the bay from the campground. Access the climbing area by walking about 1.5km north from the campsite on the well maintained Bittangabee – Saltwater creek walking trail. The track crosses a bare rock platform which is the top of the cliff. Walking time 20 to 30 minutes.

Access can be gained at either end of the cliff by an easy scramble down onto the rock ledge immediately above the ocean. During heavy seas or king tides access to the climbs may well be impossible.

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Where to stay

The Bittangabee Bay campground (which has pit toilets, gas barbeques and a freshwater creek) is beautiful. BYO water! 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. Expect the campground to be booked out during summer holidays. Eden is 45 minutes away, and has pubs for that quenching ale if you forgot to take water to the crag.

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Ethic

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.

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History

View historical timeline

Information here is based on a guide put together for the CCA by David Cameron and Rick Carey. Rick is responsible for many of the first ascents in this area.

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Some content has been provided under license from: © Canberra Climbers' Association (CC BY-SA)

Routes

Add route(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit
Grade Route

(The 1st and most southerly climb) Up the overhanging corner below a roof on jugs, straight up the easiest line to orange rock bay and top.

FA: Rick Carey & Kylie Chomatek, 2001

Up the most obvious crack line on the far right of wall.

FA: Rick Carey & Kylie Chomatek, 2001

Climb up the two large cracks on jugs, a single crack leads to the top. Good wires for pro.

FA: Rick Carey & Kylie Chomatek, 2001

Crack left of Flight 11

FA: Stuart McElroy & Michael Batchelor

Straight up obvious slopey crack left of MOL (Difficult to protect on lead) follow crack line to block at top, over block to top.

FA: Rick Carey & Kylie Chomatek, 2001

Solo up onto top of large block and white flake onto block at the top, easy quick access to top.

FA: Rick Carey, 2001

Undercut start a few metres left of AQPFR. Crank hard and twist lock to small mantle edge. Desperate moves to crimpy edges on back wall. Arrange cams under rooflet flake, undercling and find the hidden flake up high. Cruise to the top.

FA: Dave Cameron & Richard Morley, 2005

The flake crack 1 meter right of AQPFR. Up the flake then straight to top on monster jugs.

FA: Rick Carey & Glen Fruit, 2001

Start 2m right of OBR at overlapping pocket, up flake into corner on to top.

FA: Rick Carey & Glen Fruit, 2001

FA: Justin Ryan

Up edge of the thin central flake. Use 1½ and 2 cams in quartz intrusion at roof for pro. Traverse left to the arête where a hidden thread allows a good rest. Layback up the arête, gear in slots.

FA: Dave Cameron, 2005

Start as TTL. Crank through roof and up slopes to pocket. A jugular popping mantle leads to a good rest. Run it out to top.

FA: Dave Cameron, 2005

Into and up the obvious damp, dark chimney, can be wet and slippery. Beware of mozzies with chainsaws.

FA: Rick Carey & Kylie Chomatek, 2001

Arete between AGC and NNA. Campus start on jugs then straight up arete.

FA: Stuart McElroy & Michael Batchelor

Climb up the juggy arête and crack just around to the right of AC, pumpy undercut start, up on jugs to large ledge, up the short wall above to the top.

FA: Rick Carey & Glen Fruit, 2001

3 m right of NNA at obvious flakes. A tricky start then straight up flakes, great gear, great fun, very rough treatment for the uninitiated.

FA: Dave Cameron & Richard Morley, 2005

Left of the two cracks on wall, up easily to cam placement, continue up on good holds and more cams, straight up obvious line over block to top.

FA: Rik Carey & Kylie Chomatek, 2001

Start at the bottom of the right hand crack easily to good wire placement, straight up obvious line using cams to top.

FA: Rick Cameron & Kylie Chomatek, 2001

Start on top of triangular shaped ledge, up the corner on good holds, great pro, continue up corner to the top.

FA: Rick Cameron & Kylie Chomatek, 2001

Start easily up the diagonal crack behind the flake, onto ledge then up purple wall straight above (crux) protect with large cam.

FA: Kylie Chomatek & Rick Carey, 2001

Up the line of shallow pods/pockets passing a two finger pocket en route – to the left of Johnny Shoot the Messenger Boy

FA: Stuart McElroy & Michael Batchelor

Step across the water onto the arête, head on up, cams in horizontals. Arrange gear under small roof and pull through to glory. Alternate starts possible.

FA: David Cameron, Richard Morley & Mal MacDonnell, 2005

The wall a couple of metres left of Sedition

FA: Stuart McElroy & Michael Batchelor

Step across the water onto the face and place gear as you see fit (Don’t comment on the government). Trend left (of the political landscape) over the bulging (capitalists pigs) and place cams in the sickle shaped crack. Undermine the status quo by using underhanded techniques in the crack, then head straight up the middle of the road on good crimpers. Easier than it looks, easier said than done.

FA: David Cameron, Mal MacDonnell & Richard Morely, 2005

South around the corner from Beer Battered Rock is an obvious crack 2m from the arête. A short climb with tricky moves at 4m. Has a nice top out and good protection.

FA: Alan Bainbridge & Mal MacDonnell, 2005

Mals description to go here, problem is he had 6 Beers before Midnight and can’t remember anything. Jug Haul/Crimp/Slap Dynamically/Layback/Mantle/Smear/Scum up the easy/tricky/difficult start, follow the obvious/not so obvious line/seam/slab/crack/flake of jugs/crimps/slopers/heucos to the crux. Finish as start.

FA: Mal MacDonnell & Alan Bainbridge, 2005

Start at the white splattered rock a few metres right of '6 beers before midnight' and traverse left for about 17m. Follow the lowest dyke for the first half, under-cling through the small overlap on the corner (crux), and stay on low holds well below the dyke for the second section, finishing at the incut corner.

Start 3m right of the arête, head to right up crack a few metres, trend left slinging lumpy jug. Head left to arête using 1 and 1½ cams for protection. Continue up arête.

FA: Dave Cameron & Richard Morley, 2005

Start as for MND. Head straight up from lumpy jug to hidden heuco. Move up and right along thin break then up small pockets to slopey mantle top out. Serious.

FA: Dave Cameron & Richard Morley, 2005

Very bouldery start – landing is good. Up to thin horizontal slot, place 0.5 cam after you reach the next holds. Thin moves follow on equally thin gear, bloody brilliant.

FA: Dave Cameron, 2005

FA: Rick Carey & Glen Fruit, 2001

Activity

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