Coalcliff South Mostly Sport climbing12 routes in crag
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Like mixing the Blue Mountains with Point Perp. Massive jungle-infested sandstone cliffs overlooking the coal mine directly above the town of Coalcliff.
This is a major cliffline, but like a lot of this area, the base is festooned with swamps and thick jungle making an approach from above the only real option. The cliffs are about 40m high, and are generally featured with large roofs, aretes and vegetation. There is good patches of rock if you are keen and don't mind hanging belays or alternatively, just like Point Perp, it is easy to top-rope from above if you are afraid to commit to a lead ascent. Climbers should keep a very low profile when climbing here as access is potentially dubious. Old carrots and fixed hanger should be treated with caution.
Historically this cliffline has had access 'issues' due to the coal mine below the cliff. However in recent years the mine has shut-down and as of late 2014 the land above the cliff has been purchased by BHP as some sort of conservation land. The cliff's themselves are on a narrow strip of public land. There is a tourist walking track running along the top of the whole escarpment so (presumably?) it is ok to be climbing here. But play it safe and keep a low profile. Don't take large groups here (unlikely considering the access!) and maybe don't wear bright clothes. Avoid leaving climbing gear at the top of the lookouts. If you are placing bolts make them hidden from above if placing them near the lookouts. Treat any person with authority (security, police, rangers) with respect! Interesting article http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/2317347/illawarra-coal-coy-on-how-escarpment-land-will-be-used/
The cliffs are best approached from above due to the private coal mine underneath the crag. Park on Old Princes Highway just south of the Boomerang Golf Course and follow fire-roads east and north to reach top of crag at powerlines. These roads are private property (Illawara Coal) but don't seem to be policed apart from rarely on weekends . Access at your own risk and if bailed up by rangers, police or security be respectful and follow directions. You can also walk from below legally if you take the Wodi Wodi Track which hikes up from the road just south of Stanwell Park and joins into the Illawara Escarpment walking track. This takes about 50 minutes. Rap in access from above for all climbs.
There are bolts here already. If you are placing new bolts here please make them 316 grade stainless steel and use glue-ins. The rock is soft and the cliff gets salt from the nearby ocean. Hide all bolts at the top of the cliff at lookouts so authorities can't see them.
The history is a mystery. If you know anything please add it to this guide! Rumor has it that Bruce Stevens (who's that?) did some routes here. Others have visited but no one seems to know much.
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