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This Cathedral, named after the “holy” feature in the centre of the main crag, is a rare find for Sydney suburban climbing. Firstly, it's 25 meters high and the rock is not your average Sydney sandstone which makes for some variety. Secondly, the weird location, the tall trees and the huge mosquitoes give this place a Jurassic Park adventurer like feeling.

People, including Joe Friend, were known to have climbed here way back in the 1970's but in the most part it went underneath the radar. In 1990 two puny teenagers, Kent Heffernan and Graham Fairburn unearthed the place establishing many of the classics. They soon attracted the sharks, Dave Barnes and Mike Law and his band of merry men (and women). Bruce Stevens and his local crew also were working on some hard projects here. There are some wicked cracks to jump on and some technical face and slab routes sprinkled throughout. My favorites are Ozone Action (17) and Hercules (22). There is also a slabby bouldering area on the walk in, described in the SRC guide (below).

There is now a good access route from Menai at the top. P.S. Sorry fella’s, I lost the padlock key to the bracket on Jaded Cravings (23) Doh. However, the padlock does add character to the climb. Have fun. Barnsey

Routes are described right to left as you face the crag.

There is a more up to date guide on:-http://routes.sydneyrockies.org.au/confluence/display/nswrock/The+Cathedral

Access issues inherited from Sutherland

There is easy access to all the sites with an average walking time from car to cliff being under five minutes! To get the Shire drive south towards Wollongong from the Sydney CDB or take the Heathcote Road if coming from the South West. West Sydney climbers can approach aiming for Menai. Alternatively, take the train. Some areas in national parks are off limits and permission may be sought for crags such as the Wok, Heathcote Bridge and Alford's Point.


Park at the end of Shackel Rd, Bangor. Please don't fill up the street and block access for locals. If there are a few cars about then park 50m further up the hill. Locate the track heading down into the bush on the left. It is marked with tape and first heads across the shallow gully, then turns right and heads down through a little rock band. Veer right at the cliff and down and gully then left. The first route is the little corner of Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)


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Grade Route

The Ampitheatre

19 Sorcerer's Apprentice Sport 10m, 2

The first route on the crag. Funky start up corner to ledge then hard arete. Optional finshing pitch above is a nice 12 onto the summit.

FA: Stu Dobster, 2011

16 * Andromedary Sport 15m, 4

Start in centre of slab 5m R of Sorcerer's Apprentice. Clip 1st bolt (use tree) then left and up easily to loweroff on boulder above (or continue up P2 of S.A.)

FA: mikl law, 2013

24 ** Caesarean Section Sport 10m, 3

3 RB's and Lower Off added 2011.

FA: Richard Sonnerdale

24 ** Prevenge Sport 13m, 5

Start in V corner just Right of CS. Bridge up and jump/leap/fly onto hold below first bolt, tall lads can do it direct. Hard moves on big holds to ledge then layback arete up and right to anchor.

FA: mikl, 2013


An interresting Vee-crack followed by a layback. Take a few fist sized cams for the top. There's a single Ubolt to lower off, or a top belay on the pinnacle.

FA: Stu Dobster, 2011

20 * Layback Crack Sport 12m

Up corner (has been laybacked, but good jambs) then right on outside of cave and up tricky arete.

FA: mikl law, 2011

25 ** Bellygood Sport 15m, 5

flared layback seam 10m right of The Layback Corner with humiliating boulder start. Maybe 21V4

FA: mikl law, 2014

23 *** Frijidij Sport 10m, 4

Second corner 12m right of Layback Corner. Up corner and up slapping fridge arete.

FFA: Mikl Law, 2013


Start 2m L of Head Injuries. Up on jugs and left on smaller holds then back right on no holds

FA: Gareth Downey, 2014

13 Head Injuries Sport 6m

Start: Below corner crack.

'Layback' up the corner passing new bolts. 'Access' pitch for the other climbs.

FA: Graham Fairbairn, 1989

21 ** Young Bumblies Sport 10m

Climb HI or TQX and head left to flake and steep wall (Rebolted 2011). Best climbed as 2 pitches. Can lower from top to deck (and the second can too)

FA: Kent Heffernan, 1989

22 ** Surface Paradise Sport 20m

Start up Head Injuries and up wall above, powerful then delicate.

FA: Mike Law, 2011


Up seam right of 'Head Injuries' and up arete to join 'Surface Paradise'. A few weird moves to a sloping ledge above the 3rd Ubolt. The fin on the left side of the ledge is on. Stay on the right side of the arete above to join SP at the break..

FA: Mike Law, 2011

21 ** The Dynamic Duo Sport 18m

About 3m R of Head Injuries, head up the flake and steep wall on left of crack, bridge into crack for a move at 6th bolt.

FA: Kent Heffernan, 1989


Mostly easy bridging up a hand and fist crack (or add thin roof crack start). Take (age/10) each of yellow and blue camalots, 2 hex 10s are handy too. Crack corner between TDD and JC, either step off block or crank thin crack start. Easilyto roof and a move, then up to final juggy chimney.

FA: Michael Law, 2015

24 * Jaded Cravings Sport 16m

RB's to lower off up right arete of wide crack (and into it for a move). Rebolted 2006

FA: Dave Barnes, 1990


LH variant of FiyF

FA: Jason Lammers, 2000


Up JC to 2nd bolt, vere right, tricky moves to gain break. Launch out to the headwall above and take the right line of RBs to top.

FA: Jason Lammers, 2011


FA: mikl, 1990

24 * Anticoagulant Sport 15m

Desperate! Retro bolted 2011

FA: Graham Fairbairn, 1989

27 ** Bordella de Merde Sport 8m, 3

A DF to expectorant or start up anticoagulant, the pinch out right is on (rebolted 2008)

FA: Richard Sonnerdale, 2011

25 ** Expectorant Sport 15m, 4

Start up corner as for 'Anticoagulant' and 'Hercules' then up through caves to tenuous finish on line of bolts a meter left of 'Hercules'.

FA: Mike Law, 2011

22 ** Hercules Sport 15m

Start: Just left of 'The Cathedral' Cave. Clip 1st bolt and then move up and to the left. Continue straight up past some fantasic climbing to lower off. Rebolted 2006, 4 RB and Double RB Lower Off.

FA: Kent Heffernan, 1989


Was always hard for 23 for a move, then easy slabbing to the top. Pre-clipping the anchor with a sling loses 2 grades, and all your self-respect. From the double RB's on 'Hercules', blast up, 2 RB's to double RB lower off (rebolted 2008)

FA: Mike Law, 1990

21 *** Imogen Sport 15m

Start just left of Cathedral Cave. Up blunt arete. Way cool rock climbing. A softie at 21, get on it.

FA: Jason Lammers, 2008

25 *** Imogenation Sport 22m, 11

Thin cranking, DF to Imogen

FA: mikl, 2013

21 ** Fat Crack Trad 22m

Streno thrash, great fun. Essential before a trip to Frog Buttress or Yosemite.The crux section had previously been done as part of The Shute. Medium wires, finger to hand cams and a fist cam above the thread and one for the top chimney.

FA: mikl law, 2013

15 Axe Grinder Sport 8m

A route on its own and the final meters of 'The Shute'. Probally a bit of a pain to get to. Rap in from trees on top of cliff and climb out. " I would not trust the old rusty carrots for the hanging belay, but there are some new RBs you could setup a hanging belay with some slings of different sizes. " 3 RB to Double RB lower off. Nice and airy up there.

FA: Dave Barnes, 1989


The obvious extension to BBB that now has an extra bolt and strangely enough it now seems do-able. CLOSED PROJECT

FA: 2000

Set by Jason Lammers, 2013

20 Bundy's been bolting Sport 15m, 6

Start just left of the Cathedral cave. Only 20, if you dont do the last move. Direct extension is open project.

FA: Lord Bundy, 2007

23 * The Shute Sport 25m

Up BBB, then stem up the crack and right into AG. A committing adventure

FA: Cameron Taylor, 2000

24 ** Bora Sport 25m

Pumpy pumpy pumpy. Up right side of cave and traverse lip then up groove and wall to top.

FA: Mike Law, 2011

19 ** Wacky Tabacci Sport 25m

If you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you'll like. A classic with exposed climbing on good holds with 'sporting' pro, but there are a few chimney moves so long pants recommended. The obvious chimney to the right of The Cathedral cave. Up then use jugs on right arete. Above chokstone/roof thing, step around left arete and up to lower off. Technically easy but pretty out there, better to be overgraded than a sandbag I suppose....

FA: Graham Fairbairn, 1989

20 ** Retro Crack Sport 25m

The bolted crack line 5m R of Wacky Tabacki. Mostly laybacking and climbing the left arete but a jamb or two may be needed. Could be lead on large natural gear if you don't like Ubolts

FA: Mike Law, 2011

20 * Get Out of Town Mixed 25m, 3

Start on face 1m right of V. Hard off the ground to RB (20), and trad up to pea pod. Up a bit then take the left-hand flake past 2 rings to a lower-off.

FA: Kent Heffernan, 1989

18 Vitez Trad 25m

Start in the corner crack 1 m Right of Get out of Town. Follow this up and over a bulge to the pea pod. Move right and clip the chain on IG then right again to join line on new RBs to top off cliff and double RB lower off.

FA: P. Farkas, 1989

18 Stainless Mystery Trad 30m

Start up GOOT or 'Vitez' (trad) and traverse left in break at 10m then finish up Retro Crack (rings).

FA: Hill's Alien visitation crew from TJF, 2000


Up Vitez and continue straight up the wide crack above past 3 stainless carrots

21 Medieval remedies Mixed 25m, 4

Another wall finish to the 2 cracks, one very funky move... Start up Vitez or GOOT to pod, right a move to Inchworm Groove anchor then climb the wall a metre R of wide crack (Vitez DF) past 3 carrots (from VDF) to single U lower off.

FA: Ben Williams, 2015

27 * Inchworm Groove Trad 8m

This one is for the hard nuts,it was once the hardest trad line in shire, and possibly NSW. Start: Below the thin seam, tenuous moves up the groove to lower off chain at half height or easily to top up anything nearby. Take small gear.

FA: Mike Law, 1990

17 R ** Ozone Action Mixed 20m, 3

Sydney Classic at the grade! Rebolted in 2006, but still not a sport route. Start: Below the obvious water groove / flake feature. Follow the flake line / water groove past a couple of RBs, sling the top of the feature and take a well earned rest. Blast up to top past a run out section (gear possible no3 and 1.5 friends) then clip another RB on the way to shared lower off with CF (or top out and rap off the big tree).

FA: Graham Fairbairn, 1989

23 * Creature Feature Sport 20m

As for OA until for the 1st section. Then clip RB on left and move to the left up the thin slab past 3 new RB to lower offs. Rebolted 2006

FA: Graham Fairbairn, 1989

21 ** Gutterfingers Sport 20m

Excellent climbing finishing in strange laybacking up a runnel. Once again, almost a sport climb if you carry a sling for the big jug above the second bolt on OA. As for OA for 10m (past 2 RBs and a sling runner). Then move left (bolt) and straight up the thin slab above, move left to lower off.

FA: Vanessa Peterson, 2011


climb wobbly tree and then finish up one of the routes above Tarmac Traverse.

14 Guerrilla Warfare Unknown 8m
22 Ghostrider Sport 8m

The short hard little problem under NN. Hard start to pocket then crimp your way to the chain under NN.

FA: Jason Lammers, 2006

Tarmac Traverse

13 Aero Arete Trad 8m

Start: Just right of arete, use pro as for OA.

FA: Steve Turcsanyi, 1989


One more accross, 3 BRs.

FA: Graham Fairbairn, 1989

16 Cathedral Quack Sport 8m

The next one along to the left. Another fun climb !

FA: Kent Heffernan, 1989

16 Neuron Nerd Sport 8m, 3

Start just right of the chains, and up past three RBs.

FA: Graham Fairbairn, 1989

16 Cosmic Cruncher Sport 8m

FA: Kent Heffernan, 1989

6 Tarmac Traverse Sport 10m

The access pitch for the next 5 climbs. Start from bunch of small trees. The obvious low angle slab leading left across the middle of the wall to a rap chain.

FA: Captain Cook

14 Shoot That Dog Trad 10m

The tricky looking Chimney

FA: Kent Heffernan, 1989

20 * Mushroom Mantle Sport 12m

Start below flake. Up the flake with a bizarre mantle near the top. 4 Ubolts and lower-off. (Rebolted 2011)

FA: Graham Fairbairn, 1989


Start left of descent chimney. Up slab and bulge (4 Ubolts) to lower off. (Rebolted 2011)

FA: Mike Law