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Long/Lat: 149.934651, -36.360813
- Description:© (nmonteith)
Sandstone sea-cliff climbing a long way from anywhere.
Long/Lat: 150.021565, -37.242544
- Description:© (nmonteith)
Pulpit Rock is a 100m wide, 9-10m high sea cliff of Grampians-like sandstone in Ben Boyd National Park, N.S.W. (580km from Melbourne). It is approx 48km by road north of 'Victoria' on the seaward side of Green Cape near Disaster Bay. This is about 35km by road south of Eden, N.S.W. and Twofold Bay. 'Pulpit' Rock is one of many 5-25m sea cliffs on Green Cape Peninsula that are accessible by unsealed roads and scenic trails. Most sea cliffs are vertical with clean well-defined lines, flaring cracks and bizarre weathering patterns typical of coastal exposure. Considerable potential exists for
technical short routes. 'Pulpit' Rock has been climbed before, oxidised carabiners were found in a dead tree at the back of the upper terrace,
apparently for belaying. Knowing this, our intent here is to point out a place worthy of a visit during a trip between 'Melbourne' and Sydney. 'Pulpit'
Rock is frequented by land based game fishermen, who consider climbers as something of a novelty. 'Pulpit' Rock faces east and is well protected from
the westerly winds which, for secret reasons, is when the fisherman turn up to float their live bait seaward on lines attached to balloons. Lines are
driven by the wind for about a half kilometre out to sea, to where large gamefish (Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, etc) surface to feed. This is where the
eastern continental shelf-edge drops dramatically to the bottom of the Tasman Sea. Winds from the Tasman are cold so to escape an onshore wind go
over to City Rock on Disaster Bay (approximately 4km from 'Pulpit' Rock). The cliff there appears very steep to overhanging and is about a one minute walk from the car park. Rick Carey, Mike Law-Smith and Zac Zaharias and others lead all the top roped climbs described in the previous edition of the Green Cape Sea Cliffs guide around 2004 as well as adding many more.
- Approach:© (nmonteith)
From 'Melbourne' take the Princes 'Highway' toward south eastern N.S.W. (550 km). At approx 35km north of Genoa, Vic (18km south of Eden, N.S.W.) turn right into Edrom Road (sealed; signposted), which provides access both to a Pulp Mill on Twofold Bay and to Green Cape in Ben Boyd NP, where 'Pulpit' Rock is located. Petrol and basic provisions are at Kiah, another 5km further along the Princess 'Highway'. After 6km on Edrom
Road, turn right onto Green Cape Road (unsealed) and go 18km to the 'Pulpit' Rock turnoff on the left. On the way, you will pass signposted roads on the left to Saltwater Creek Campground (8km) and Bittangabee Campground (15km) and on the right to City Rock (17km; no camping). At 18km 'Pulpit' Rock Road turns left (signposted). The main road ends 3km further at Green Cape lighthouse. The final 1.5km of the track to 'Pulpit' Rock leads to a car park among Ti trees, just above the climbs. Walk east 100m toward the sound of crashing
waves. The area can be reached from Canberra by heading to Cooma and then down to Eden, Drive south from Eden about 17km and turn left on Edrom Road, follow the signs to Greencape Lighthouse. Just prior to reaching the lighthouse a sign will direct you right 700m to City Rock, or continue towards Greencape a short distance and a
left turn that will take you 1.6km to 'Pulpit' Rock. City Rock involves a short walk to access the climbing areas. 'Pulpit' rock is more easily accessed from the car just walk down a few steps onto a large rock platform and amphitheatre.
If you enjoy fishing bring your tackle, there are heaps of large fish to be had. On the first trip, during a break in the climbing the Rick Carey caught 6 good-sized fish in 20 min using a hand spear and snorkel, much to the disgust of several line fishermen watching on. In addition to the edible wildlife there are some large predators in
the deep water. Whilst fishing we observed a large leopard seal slicing up the large schools of fish, this was a little unnerving. The fishermen spoke of large aggressive bronze whaler and mako sharks being common in the area, so keep a look out especially if you are in the water with injured fish. Equipment - The area lends itself to natural protection, most routes are capable of being well protected using a variety of small wires and RP's. 'Small' to medium cams are particularly useful so don't forget them. Most routes are short 12-15 meters so a big wall rack is not required. Anchors - As yet top roping and rap chains are not in place, so you will need to set your own belays using the trees and cracks at the top. Most are well back from the edge requiring extensions using ropes or long slings. Ensure you
back everything up until such time more permanent anchors are in situ. CLIMBS - A trail to the base of 'Pulpit' Rock leads eastward from the car park to a trail on an 'arête'. The path leads down to a lower terrace with a steep back wall (the main face). An alternate, poorly defined trail descends southeast
through scrub to an upper terrace that's tilted gently seaward. For top-roping here, anchor placement is difficult so, unless bolt anchors are added a second rope is needed to reach scrub at the back of the terrace, The right side of the cliff (facing it) provides a quick descent route from the upper terrace (see sketch) through vegetated
sandy rubble. The 'Pulpit' Rock main face, as it is approached from below, begins on the right with a pocketed, clean, sandstone wall with limited pro and dirty exits. Potential here is for bolt protection and ice-axe exits. The centre section is best with steep walls, shallow corners, and sinuous left-leaning cracks with overhanging roofs. Around
left, large blocky faces alternate with mostly vertical, 90-degree corners. Because the back corners are sheltered, people use it for relief of body-functions. Unless the platform is clean from storm waves, approach this area from upwind with caution.
Long/Lat: 149.655752, -36.456090
Long/Lat: 150.018808, -37.212640
- Unique Features And Strengths:©
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.
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.