Lanagans Falls All Trad climbing53 routes in crag
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Lanagan's Falls is a series of largish buttresses and walls formed of dioritic rock. In parts it is massive, in others it is almost columnar. Flying Buttress is the tallest section, being about 120-130 metres high. The major section of the crag is approximately 300 metres wide, but several more subsiduary sections extend both left and right of this, adding almost as much width again. The rock provides both good holds and friction. However then wet the rock tends to be rather slippery. The black rock is superb, but when climbing on the red/yellowish coloured rock, some care is recommended as this colour usually indicates deep weathering. New routes often require some cleaning, but once this has been completed the rock underneath is usually of top quality.
Lanagans Falls is located on the opposite side of the valley from Perpendicular Rock. Cross Goodmans Ford (now a bridge) and continue up the road for 1400 metres to where the creek crosses. There is lots of space, so parking is easy. The most obvious way to the crag is to simply follow the creek bed. This involves quite a bit of boulder hopping and some minor climbing. There is an old track on the left (southern) valley side which joins the creek at about 2/3 of the way up. Unfortunately, this track can be hard to find and thus can take longer then the creek bed route. The walk from car to crag takes about 50 minutes. There has been a change in the status of the creek area, as a track to allow motorised vehicles has recently been constructed, and a tape barrier across the track. It may be necessary to see the camp manager/owner for permission to walk up the creek bed - I suspect his main concern is to keep out trail-bikes and 4 wheel drives. This crag is on private property.
This crag had been seen from Perpendicular Rock for several years, but at that distance it appears broken and low angled; and the route to the base of the crag somewhat rugged. Consequently, it did not evoke any interest. During the 70's several attempts were made, without success, to reach the crag from the top and from side spurs. In March 1982, Ron Miller and Harry Luxford made the first climbing visit to the crag. Not only did the walk-up turnout to be fairly easy, but the surrounding environs were rather pleasant. The result of the first trip - a healthy dose of "respect". The weeks later Kevin Westren and Harry camped at the Goodmans Ford for five days and commenced the crag's development. The first completed climb was Wonga Crack on Raven Wall. Lanagan's Falls is rather cold in winter, but the enthusiasm was so high that another eight climbs were completed between April and August, by Harry and Kevin. This was during a period of drought, thus they were able to do the actual falls in the dry, now the route Slipstream. The warmth of Spring brought Bruce Cameron out of hibernation and development accelerated. The rest of the year produced six routes in September, five in October, nine in November and three in December. All bar one done by Bruce and Harry. By now the crag was no longer a secret, many climbers began to visit the area. But the number of new routes increased only slowly - though not from a lack of potential. An interim guide was produced in 1984. But the time was not right for the crag to be popular. Many people did not like the walk up, or the drive from Sydney, or the wildness of the place; and at that time there was plenty of new sandstone areas being developed. The area was almost forgotten. Maybe this guidebook will help change this. [Ho ho ho - this was written in 1998!]
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