Phegans Bay Rock climbing62 routes in crag
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A lovely little crag overlooking Brisbane water, with easy access, a good variety of easy and moderate climbs on decent quality sandstone.
Originally known as "Gnomeland" in the Wondabyne climber's guide to the Lower Hawkesbury River but now commonly referred to as Phegan's Bay, given the crags location. This is a pleasant and now popular eastern facing crag, well suited to the beginner or those wanting a leisurely day. Efforts have been made to use hex head bolts in climbs around the main wall area to ensure minimum visual impact due to the public traffic through this area. This crag has been the centre of much controversy locally over retro-bolting and route stealing. A number of routes have been put up by transient climbers who never conveyed route descriptions so it is hoped the details of unnamed routes will eventually trickle in, as may other comments. As noted several of the climbs in this area have been regrettably retro-bolted without consent of the original ascentionist. It is believed the level of protection now on these climbs is testament to the boldness of their achievement. These routes are now enjoyed safely by the great number of climbers who visit this crag, however should the original ascentionist request removal of this protection it will be done without hesitation and all efforts made to remediate any damage resulting from their removal. Although that can't be said for everyone as tempers flare easily.
Park at the end of Olive Avenue (also called Clem Cl in some street directories), Phegan's Bay and walk south along the track to the right of the road's end. Follow this track along the top of the cliff taking a fork to the left for the cliff edge and the obvious descent gully as the track turns back west away from the cliff. The descent gully is at the eastern most end of the track just a bit past a large flat rock outcrop providing magnificent views of Brisbane Waters. If you starting walking back West, you've gone too far.
The earliest known climbs in this area were the charge of the rather colourful characters of the Wondabyne Climbers around 1978 - 1979. Most of the obvious cracks and easier face climbs were ticked off. The grades of several of the climbs they established are considered a bit light-on by today's standards and for the purpose of this guide have been updated. The area saw a resurgence of activity in the late 90s when Richard Jeffrey armed with a Hilti established a few of the classic sports routes to the main wall and regrettably also retro-bolting two of the existing established lines. This new activity has however seen the crag further developed with several active new routers Gary Hamilton, Kye Riddington and Shane adding a host of new lines.
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