West Cape Howe Mostly trad climbing285 routes in crag
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West Cape Howe has some of the greatest sea cliff climbing in Australia
Probably the most extensive area of climbing in Western Australia. There is a multitude of climbs on offer, with styles ranging from cracks, to aretes, to delicate faces and slabs. There is plenty of potential for new climbs too!
The area is dominated by the Southern Ocean, and its huge waves crashing against the steep walls. When seas are high (swell greater than 2m), many of the climbs will be unreachable. Weather conditions also change extremely quick, with wind and rain seemingly appear from no-where sometimes. Be careful! Help is hard to reach.
The 4WD track can vary greatly in condition. A shovel may be needed to fill in some of those holes!
4WD access along a sandy track, or a 1.5 to 2 hour walk from Shelly Beach.
Most of the climbing is reached by abseiling down to a small belay spot above the crashing waves. Bring a 50-60m static for this purpose, and plenty of gear to build both belay and rap anchors. Leave rap line and carry prussiks to aid escape in case of emergencies.
Where to stay
Either camp at West Cape Howe or at Shelly Beach
There is no established ethic, but the area was once within the 'Adventure Zone' which prohibited bolting. The usual WA ethics towards bolting apply, and all bolts should be placed with careful consideration, and definitely not used to replace natural pro.
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