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Description

A fairly grubby crag upstream (and therefore in no danger from) the sewer works on Stockdill Drive near Macgregor. Access is difficult to describe and very much cross country - essentially park right near the plant and walk to google maps coord -35.258971,148.981025

Septic Sector & Cave Routes have straightforward access following the directions below, but sewer wall has many routes starting with a hairy traverse over the water on untrustworthy bolts. Ideally you would abseil in to get to the cliff, but there are a few issues with this - firstly there are no trustworthy trees up top, nor anywhere to place gear for an abseil, and secondly between half to the entire cliff has water at the bottom depending on recent rain!

As you approach there is a very steep ramp to the left that can be used to access the cliff. Be careful.

As of last view (early 2010) the bolts on Sewer Wall were rusting and may not be trustworthy. This is not a well-attended crag - climb here at your own risk, it's an adventure even finding it. Septic Sector & Cave Routes were bolted 2014

Access issues

Located about 10 minutes drive from Belconnen and either a 15-20min walk or 5min 4WD, climbs vary in height from 8-55m, although the original (and longer, harder) climbs have not yet been revolted and are probably NOT SAFE.

The original wall is in shade most of the day but through Summer Septic Sector & the Cave Routes are in full sun in the afternoon. The water is a great way to cool off; it's upstream from the water treatment plant so you're safe & it's usually a nice temperature throughout the warmer months.

It gets dark very quickly once the sun touches the Brindabellas in the West, and the start of the track back can be difficult to find, so pack a torch, as well as a camera not just for the climbs but for awesome scenery and an abundance of turtles, lizards &, yes, piranha carp.

Approach

Get yourself to Stockdill Dr, Holt, & follow it a way until you can glimpse the water treatment plant in the gaps between trees.

Drive past Shepherd's Lookout to a locked gate on your left & a 'no camping' sign after the last corner. A driveway for Actew Water is opposite.

Jump the gate & follow the dirt track to a dam. Cross the dirt bridge (dam on left, tree in hole on right) & follow a faint trail over the rolling paddock. You'll see a large line of brambles with a several-metre gap between them, walk just to the left of these & continue in a straight line over a rise to the top corner of the paddock closest the river.

Jump the gate in the corner & turn left, following the trail closest to the fence line crossing the first gully & then passing just to the right of 2 large trees on top of the following crest. Continue straight as the path crosses another gully, on your way out of the gully follow one of several tracks contouring the next rise to the right. Follow these until you pass into and out of the young pine forest.

Turn right, going downhill along the edge of the pine trees. Pass through a clearing following a faint trail (straight) & follow faint trails to a very large gum on the edge of the cliff. This is the top of Cave Routes.

Follow the trail downhill & left, staying close to the cliff until, just after stepping over a fallen tree, there's a clearing to your right & a lone tree near the edge of a 15m cliff. About 4m past the tree is the top of Hung Like A Sewer Rat, & you can scramble around Septic Sector from here.

Follow the river downstream to the obvious big wall for Sewer Wall.

Routes

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Grade Route
1
20 Let's Elope to the Sewer Mixed 30m, 3

A few good moves down low deteriorate to the usual dirt and choss. Up the groove right of Sewer Side past 3 bolts (crux at second) then up (wires and friends) and left to join Sewer Side at the top.

FA: John Churchill, Mike Peck, 1991

2
22 Sewer Side Mixed 30m, 5

Steeper than the average slab, bigger than most climbs twice its length, with a fun roof. Start in the right hand of two slabby corners right of the river. Delicately up onto the arete past bolts to the roof. Crank across right to clip the peg (a 3/4 Friend and #4 rock back it up) then heelhook out left and slap blind (die laughing) for the jug above the lip. Follow the bolts to the birdshit and up the final steep headwall past another bolt to the double bolt belay and rap station. A two rope rap avoids the gruesome scramble up loose dirt to the top.

FA: Mike Peck, 1991

3

Another Bosch marvel. Takes the left-hand slabby corner left of Sewer Side. Up the slabby corner and arete past four bolts to the overhang. Reach up and clip a bolt, then a technical pull-through to a short crack (2 1/2 Friend and #3 rock). Up the wall above, right at first then back left, past two more bolts to the alcove in the BIG roof. Small wires protect the final clip, then bridge up and launch out left over the roof to a ledge and rap station. Two ropes to the ground.

FA: Mike Peck, John Stone, 1991

4
23 * The Lure of the Sewer Mixed 15m, 3

Horrendously technical pocket climbing with more bolts than decent holds. Start on the brink, where the surf meets the slabs. Clip the bolt to avoid a watery death. Pull leftwards out over the waves to a sloping foothold, then cruise up past two more bolts. A small detour left, then relentless pocket pulling to the double bolt belay and rap chain.

FA: Mike Peck, John Stone, 1991

5
22 Gristle and Gravy Mixed 15m, 6

More of the same steep pockets. Start as for Lure of the Sewer. Climb past two bolts, then lean left and clip a bolt below the little overlap. Move left keeping your feet below the overlap (crux) to a good pocket, then a jug and a bolt, of cours. Up directly past two more rawldrive surprises then back right to the rap stance on Lure of the Sewer.

FA: Mike Peck, 1991

6
22 *** Gutter Crimes Mixed 40m, 9

A big route threading the major roofs. Quite sustained with brilliant moves through the top overhang. Double ropes, 11 draws and a #2 Friend are the essential items. Start as for Lure of the Sewer and Rising Damp. Left 5m as for Rising Damp, then up into the little V-groove. Follow this up and take the diagonal line to the roof (5 bolts to here). A #2 Friend protects the clip above, then seize the suspect mega-block and pull awkwardly through to good jugs and a bolt on the wall above (good rest on the guano ledge out left). Cross the wall rightwards (crux) to the diagonal crack and another bolt, find the high jug and gut loose left through the final roof onto a sloping ledge. Up and easily right past a final bolt to the rap station at the top of Doppelwandiger. Two ropes to the ground.

FA: John Stone, Mike Peck, 1991

7
22 Blind Pew Mixed 45m, 11

Fine pocket climbing down low and awkward groping past loose blocks in the first overhang. Takes a rightwards line crossing Gutter Crimes at the first roof; double ropes as usual.

  1. 15m As for Rising Damp to the two bolt stance.

  2. 30m Move right from the belay and climb the wall on deep pockets past 3 bolts, sharing the odd move with Sewer Rat. This will land you under the first roof on Gutter Crimes. Clip the bolt in the groove above and traverse right past another bolt and the suspect blocks, then long reaches right (crux) to big jugs, pockets and a bolt. Continue up past another bolt then some leftwards moves through the final roof to the last bolt on Gutter Crimes. Move right to the rap stance at the top of Doppelwandiger. Two ropes to the ground.

FA: John Churchill, Mike Peck (alt.), 1991

8
22 Sewer Rat Mixed 55m, 10

A devious climb which weaves around some big overhangs. Double ropes and some long slings will save major rope drag.

  1. 15m Rising Damp to the two bolt stance.

  2. 30m Up to the first bolt on Mission Brown, then right and up the corner past 3 more bolts to the hanging groove on Gutter Crimes. Up this (#2 Friend below the roof and a long sling to the bolt) and left onto the guano ledge [there's a two finger pocket in the roof left of Gutter Crimes groove for anyone who wants to take the route straight through...]. Clip another bolt (long sling) then out to the arete. Up past a high bolt (crux) to a thin crack (#1 rock) then up and right to the belay on Mission Brown.

  3. 10m Stroll right to the rap stance above Doppelwandiger.

FA: George Fieg, Mike Peck (alt.), 1991

9
24 ** Mission Brown Mixed 50m, 9

Overhangs like the outside of a toilet bowl but twice as slick. A Canberra sea-cliff classic taking the bulging groove in the middle of the wall. Start as for Lure of the Sewer and Rising Damp.

  1. 15m Rising Damp to the two bolt stance.

  2. 25m Fun moves through the roof past a couple of bolts, then into the groove above. Follow it past 3 more bolts to where it dies, then an action packed sequence past another bolt takes you up the right wall to the big roof (2 1/2 Friend). Traverse right to a two bolt stance.

  3. 10m Right to the rap stance at the top of Doppelwandiger. Two ropes to the ground.

FA: John Stone, Mike Peck (alt.), 1991

FFA: Tony Barten, Mike Peck (alt.), 1991

10
21 Rising Damp Mixed 55m, 9

A three pitch excursion out over the tide and the turds, which also provides access to routes on the left-hand side of the cliff. Piranha carp await the hapless leader or second taking a tumble on this one.

  1. 15m Traverse left from the first bolt on Lure of the Sewer. Two more bolts then a #3 rock, then left and up to the two bolt stance.

  2. 15m Downclimb and keep traversing just above the water to a bolt. Left up the slab (small wires) and around the arete to another bolt. Cross the alcove (#1 1/2 Friend) then up left to a high stance (2 bolts).

  3. 25m Up to a bolt then pull left through the roof. Up the slab (lots of wires) to where it steepens, then up the wall above (crux) trending slightly leftwards all the way past another 3 bolts. Double bolt belay on the ledge above. A 3m death scramble leads to the top (stay roped up).

FA: John Stone, John Churchill, mike Peck (alt.), 1991

Areas

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Name
Style
Climbs
Ticks
Height
Grades
13
44
11m
1
7
17
22m
1

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