Pulpit Rock - North Side Rock climbing22 routes in crag
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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.© (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.© (nmonteith)
Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)
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