East Face

  • Grades: AU
  • Approach time: 7-20 Minutes
  • Ascents: 107


The cliff on Keira lost to time and the jungle. Mostly adventurous trad routes with a few good sports routes thrown in. The climbing areas are split in a few clumps along the long East face ranging from fairly simple to access to downright arduous bush bashing. The furthest routes along are quite difficult to access with lots of gear and rappelling South from the main lookout should be considered (e.g. above Desperado). Some old carrot bolts feature but they should be treated with great caution!

Access issues inherited from Mount Keira

The Mount Keira summit park is an easy 15 minute drive from the Wollongong CBD. The park is surrounded by the Illawarra Escarpment State Conversation area and is covered in thick sub-tropical rainforest and eucalypt forest, and is open to the public all year round.

Be aware the vehicle gate to the summit park is closed and locked after hours.

Due to rockfalls in recent years some parts of the area are closed, though the West Face and connecting path (Dave Walsh Track) are declared open by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. See for details.


Start from the East end of the main Keira lookout at the carpark. Over the fence and follow a well worn but steep foot track East down the mountain spur. Soon you will see access around the base of the cliff line on your right which starts the East Face.

Access is not strictly permitted (rockfall classified area) so please use discretion and caution.

Ethic inherited from Wollongong

Retro-bolting of established trad routes is frowned upon. There has been some controversy in recent years about new routes being bolted above tourist tracks. Please don't do this.

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 small roof with an old bolt on the lip. Up to roof and traverse left to ledge then escape.

FA: Ant & Hill, 2000

"you would have to be one to climb this rubbish" Start in the corner marked MD. Lots of scrub and funnel web spider webs. Up the groove.

FA: Nelson Brothers, 2000

A face climb. Start 1m left of Manic Depressive on the wall. Climb the wall following carrots to the ledge. Rap off.

FA: Hill, Prehn & Chudleigh, 2000

A nice climb. Start left of Up Against The Wall. Climb the wall with carrots to the ledge. Rap off tree.

FA: Hill & Chunder, 2000

Start 2m left of MgTO3. Pull hard onto wall and move left towards the arete. Thin moves then easier to the top. Rap off tree.

FA: R. Young & Ant Prehn, 2000

A classic route, full of overhanging jug work and medium small holds. Climb the overhung wall left of the arete. Out the roof and up the overhung arete to the halfway mark. Move left and out the up to the jugs above the last bolt, move right back to arete and finish up at the chains.

FA: Hill & Chunder, 2000

Do not climb Anchor chain rusted through and shattered on recent ascent.

Start 3m left of Canned Horsemeat. Climb the wall/flake/groove to ledge. 3 bolts to chain.

FA: Ant, Hill & Thomas, 2000

Worth doing if you have some skin you don't need! Start across the gully at the steep wall with the fallen boulder. Up onto the boulder then make a move to the pocket on the right, past the bolt. Crank left on crimpers and power to the diagonal flake. Crank up past the horizontals then onto the thin crack to the top.

FA: Ant Prehn, 2000

The rock is pretty poor and the bolts badly need replacing! Leading this climb would get you into a maggot factory! Start 10m left of Warhol the shitty looking wall following the bolts to the lower off chain.

FA: Muir, Thomas & Prehn, 2000

4m to the left of this climb there is an unfinished project that starts just off the small corner. The bolts are pretty sus and it would give 21 a solid nudge

Warning! From here on in its pretty rough going. The next batch of climbs are a squeeze through thick vegetation and loose footings. With the exception of a few quality ring-bolted climbs most are dubious 'adventure climbs'. Watch out for old rusty bolts!

A climb for those addicted to adreneline! Start at the skinny crack. Up past the old creaking bolts.

FA: Hill Prehn, 2000

A good climb to hone your human wedge skills. Climb the flared off-width groove. Start 3m to the left of Hughes Spews.

Nice hard wall climbing. You'll need 5 of your brackets. Start to the left of the center of the wall, opposite Fools Rush In. Pull onto the wall and up the old bolts to the top.

FA: Hill, 2000

We think its probably a 16. Here is the original description: The climb is unique in that you can get a rest (tsk tsk) by climbing up into a big black hole (fuck that!) in the roof before doing the crux. It is also unique in that it is probably the hardest 15 that you will ever climb. Start at the huge chimney at the left of The Crap Stops Here. Up the groove then go right when you get to the roof. Lots of rope drag (doubles are nice here).

FA: Hill, Muir, Prehn & Thomas, 2000

The arete off the left bumcheek of Bills Bumhole. Up the steeply overhung juggy arete to where it eases off and the holds run out (the sphincter?!? LOL). Nice tech moves up to belay double rings

FA: R Young & Ant Prehn, 2000

Strenuous climb. Start 1m left of Ringwraith. Follw the overhung scoop out left along the weakness, passing ringbolts until back to vertical. Up wall to double ring belay.

The unpleasant corner crack. Up the crack using a hammer for aid. Still awaiting a free ascent!

Face climbing on ironstone edges. Up the wall with a tricky move down low. 4 rings to double ring belay.

FA: Woodward, 2000

The next series of climbs are a short walk through the scrub.

Marked with a small faded 'J'. Climb the crack to the ledge. Move left to a double corner then climb to the top.

A nice crack. Starts left of Jay at the initials MD. Up the crack to the ledge, then follow the final moves of Jay.

FA: Nelson Bros, 2000

One for us botanical minded! Start 2m left of Mangy Donkey in the right hand corner. Climb the corner.

FA: B. James, 2000

An old aid climb. Line of rusty carrots.

8m left of Gourmet at the thin crack. Bouldery moves then up the crack to ledge. Right traverse to groove then up to next ledge. Final moves follow the bulgy off-width OR follow the crack at the far right of the ledge.

FA: Chunder, 2000

Start in the lefthand corner 3m left of Gallows Tree. Up the flake and to the ledge. Layback (crux) around the roof then up to ledge above. Your choice of the cracks above.

FA: James, 2000

Start 4m left of Windy, under the overhanging corner. Up the corner to the smallish roof and traverse to the left to those jugs. Up to a belay in the groove. 2 bolts for pro. Up the corner groove to clip 2 bolts then exit out the left. Climb up to the cave. Out cave to the right, then up to the ledge with a belay bolt in the wall. Your choice of cracks to the top.

Might have been a trad route once but it has shiny rings now and it looks like they have been there for a while. Marked with D. You can rap in which makes it super convenient. It would be nice if there was another bolt so you could top out too. Its and interesting route, not a one move wonder! Almost as good as sex haunt. There is a desperate bit a few metres above the ground and the rest is challenging too. Don't forget to enjoy the view before you tackle the overhang!

FA: Prehn, 2000

The big chimney 10m left of Desperado. Climb the chimney until you're level with the traverse line. Traverse out to the right and belay at the smallish ledge with the rusty bolts. Continue right until you hit the groove of Desperado.

FA: Russell, Chudleigh & Bill James

" A typical death lead of Muir's ". Start as for Sacrifice. Up the chimney to the traverse line, then out to the bolt belay under the small corner. Head up the weakness through the overhangs to the ledge. Rap off.

FA: John Muir, Ant Prehn & Dave Thomas, 2000

Staright up the chimney as for 'Death's Head' and keep going.

FA: Bill James, 2000

A thin face crack. Start 3m to the left of Sacrilege. Up to the ledge past the bolt on the right. Up the arete on the left to get to the base of the crack. Climb the crack to the ledge. Climb the wall to the larger ledge and rap off.

FA: Prehn, Hill & Thomas, 2000

WhooHoo a chimney! Start 3m to the left of Grouples. Climb the chimney and off right to the ledge. Climb the crack to larger ledge and rap off.

FA: Chudleight & Hill, 2000

4m to the left of Fashion B under the small roof with the corner crack. Up the corner past the rooves. Right to the ledge, climb the wall and rap of larger ledge.

FA: graeme hill & Jon Muir, 2000

3m left of Bog Spavin. The off-width corner. Climb the corner and rap off ledge.

FA: Chudleigh & Hill, 2000

Start 3m left of Wind Galls at the cracks in the wall. Up the wall to tree, rap off.

FA: Chudleigh & P.Muttlicker (?), 2000

Start as for Chunder Crack. Climb the crack then up the steep wall. Climb arete and onto ledge. Climb the diagonal to the 'slot'. Groove to the right of the slot and swing out left onto a bushy ledge. Move right and up to the top.

FA: Hill & Ant Prehn, 2000

Rings with clip-and-go anchor

Cool layback at top

These last two climbs are by themselves a short walk around in the next cliff area.

Start somewhere over near the lookout on the righthand side. The oversized jamb crack that starts above the smallish overhang. Over roof to the top.

FA: Hill Chunder, 2000

A good first section if a little hard to find. The climb starts 3m left of Satan Sorrow. Climb up the crack in the corner to the ledge, good pro all the way. Up the chimney to top out

FA: Hill & Chudleigh, 2000

Beyond here is underneath the the South lookout and the massive rockfall scree field - beware!

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