This is a public discussion in Blue Mountains.
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First time to the blue MTS
Hi We have moved here from Lake tahoe and i would like to take my 10 year old son climbing in the blue mts He cannot belay me yet so i need to be able to set up top ropes. I thought the soft parade might be a good place to start ? Also can anyone recommend a good camping spot near by
Camp at Mt York (its obvious)' Lischenbak, snap , crackle and pop, are also a good routes to toprope. Just minutes walk from Mt York carpark/campground.
There is free camping with ‘long drop toilets’ at Mount York which is close to Soft Parade.
Another option for easy climbs is Dam Cliffs which has a grade 10 and several 12s. You can also camp there below the dam though there are no toilets so you need to take a suitable shovel!
Great thanx for the beta
Hi Guys Since this is my first time climbing in Australia i need some beta. We are from Lake tahoe and mostly have climbed on Granite. I am bringing my 10 year old son climbing this weekend and i will be setting up top ropes for him to climb since he cannot belay me yet for me to lead. I have a full rack of trad pro. What will i need to set up top ropes at the soft parade. Like quick draws , Cams , webbing ? thanx in advance
Plenty of trees, so longish slings/rope to get to lip if setting up proper top rope, nothing special needed really. Personally I don't think its a good top rope crag as up top is pretty loose for setting up your classic top rope setup, but good if you lead/solo/climb/abseil up the easy stuff to anchors and set top rope through them. Just remember while working route if using anchors to use quick draws and only thread through them to lower/abseil off when cleaning the route.
You up in the mountain's or traveling from Sydney? If the later I reckon he’d have just as much fun locally top roping routes and save you couple hours in the car.
I'd suggest Dams Cliff rather than Soft Parade. A much prettier spot, safe to access for topropes and has a mix of easy and middle grades. Easy to find someone to "help out" with the kids or give you a lead belay as well (its popular!). Its a really fun place for kids - caves, waterfalls, ferns - easy walk-in. You will want to buy (or borrow) some Aussie removable bolt plates as many of the bolts don't have their own hangers.
I would recommend against going to the Soft Parade. The routes there are so short that to earn their grade they have incredibly difficult moves (in a relative sense). Neil's suggestion of The Dam Cliffs is a much better one as it's probably the best crag for a day of really easy climbing in the mountains. Lots of slings and some bolt plates along with a bunch of quickdraws will be key to setting up topropes there. If it's warm there is also a great swimming hole!!
Thanx for the beta. I have a question about these bolt plates. We dont use anything like this in the US . When you lead theses climbs you just slip these on to clip your quick draw to, but are there anchors at the top to rap off. Also when you say lots of slings ? What will i be setting up my top rope to . Rap anchors, trees , My own cams ? I just want to be prepared . Again thanx for all the beta
Hi Blake. I have taken my 9 YOs as well as newbie teens to the Dam Cliffs several times and agree with Neil and Will. I take small 6m off cuts ropes and long sling for toproping them. That being said the four easiest top roping routes are a little inconvenient for tree belays, as the trees are set back and offset from the routes. Each TR route has two bolts just over the top edge, so perfect with slings. The bolts plates are about $6 each and available at most climbing gyms and stores. If you buy 2 you will have a much easier time with it. You can then do ring bolted routes 16 and above for yourself to avoid more plates, or buy 8 in total and you are set to do anything there.
If you need to borrow bolt plates let me know. I can give you a quick demo when I give them to you. I live in Mt Victoria and am hanging around blackheath not climbing for next few days , its easy for me to duck home and grab some bolt plates.
Hi Evan . Thats very nice of you but i think i will need some if i am to keep climbing in the blue MTS so i will go buy 8 as Tim has suggested. Since you live up there a question. I am coming up to climb with my 10 year old this weekend and he cannot belay me yet so i cannot really lead anything this weekend unless i meet someone at the crag willing to give me a quick belay Thats why i,m thinking top rope. We moved here from Lake tahoe and i have done most of my climbing At Donner summit and Tuolumne medows which is the high country at yosemite so i ,m mostly used to Granite which holds trad gear great. I want to take him some where so his first day climbing out doors in AU is fun. From what i here the Dam cliffs is a perfect place for this. Do you agree. Any advice or input would be great thanx in advance. We are staying at an air BB in Katoomba,
Sure , at this time of year (colder months) I quite like the topropes I have mentioned above in this thread as they face north , the anchors are all bolted and dont require plates and in the case of Lischenbak dont require carpet over edges. You can even scramble to the top of obituary and rig a t.r on that as it has 2xrb ontop also if you like crack climbing. You just have to work around the commercial users and training groups , but its a big enough area. I think modern guidebooks such as Onsight publishing Blue Mountains guide are a handy resource. As are the edelrid ohm device for large weight ratio differences if you ever want to have a go with your boy. (Or a ground anchor) Furthermore if you live in Sydney maybe consider joining up with the Sydney Rockclimbing Club as they are spawning like flies.
Another option is to fork out the big bucks and spend a day with a 'blue mountains climbing school' (highly reccomended) guide and they can really give you a good day out tailored to exactly what you require. From there you can return in your own time.
Im supposedly looking after someone who has returned home after major back surgery so cant go anywhere for long.
I just wanted to say thanx to all of you that provided beta. We had a great trip this weekend. We climbed at the dam cliffs. We found steep wall to be really good. I set up top ropes using my own gear and my son had a great time. There was no one there so i also had fun self belaying so i could do some climbing. Very cool to have the whole place to our selfs. Thanx again for all the great beta cannot wait for our next trip
Dam Cliffs all to yourself! That's a rarity!