Bunny Bucket Buttress and Hotel California Area Rock climbing8 routes in area
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Access issues inherited from Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains are a World Heritage listed area. The Grose Valley, the cliffs around Katoomba and much of the Narrow Neck peninsula are part of the Blue Mountains National Park which is managed by the NPWS. The Western Escarpment - where most of the climbing is - is Crown Land managed by the BMCC. While the NPWS Plan of Management nominates several locations in the National Park where rock climbing is deemed appropriate, the majority of the climbing remains unacknowledged. To maintain access our best approach is to 'Respect Native Habitat, Tread Softly and Leave No Trace'. Do not cut flora and keep any tracks and infrastructure as minimal as possible.
Practically all crags are either in National Park or in council reserve: dog owners are reminded that dogs are not allowed in National Parks at any time and fines have been issued, while for crags on council reserve the BMCC leash law requires that dogs be on-leash.
To Escape! If you don't have torch, go back and hide behind Mirrorball pinnacle.
See topo below There are 2 routes out, down the ridge below Old Skule is easy (1 hour down) but you end up at the Grose river,. Walk upstream (right) for 50m or so and find the tourist track back up (1.5 hard hours slog up = 2.5 hours).
Walking around the 'base' of the cliff is hard navigation and scrub/jungle bashing. 50m past Mirrorball is a watercourse below Critical Mass, drop down about 50m here to get below a small cliffline. Continue through a big jungle below Samarkand and another creek, stay about 20-30m below cliffline. Once you are past Walls Lookdown go up to the base of the cliffs and hope to find a good Basejumper's track (about 1 hour so far). 15 minutes along this till you drop down to the Pierces Pass track and 30 minutes up this. Less slog an much more bashing. About 2 hours but easy to get lost and have epics.
Ethic inherited from Blue Mountains
Although sport climbing is well entrenched as the most popular form of Blueys climbing, mixed-climbing on gear and bolts has generally been the rule over the long term. Please try to use available natural gear where possible, and do not bolt cracks or potential trad climbs.
Because of the softness of Blue Mountains sandstone, bolting should only be done by those with a solid knowledge of glue-in equipping. A recent fatality serves as a reminder that this is not an area to experiment with bolting.
If you do need to top rope, please do it through your own gear as the wear on the anchors is both difficult and expensive to maintain.
It would be appreciated if brushing of holds becomes part of your climbing routine - do it with a soft bristled brush and never a steel brush!
The removal of vegetation - both from the cliff bases and the climbs - is not seen as beneficial to aesthetics of the environment nor to our access to it. However, the fast growing scrub can conceal walking tracks in mere months, so bringing a pair of secaturs and pruning as you walk is a good way of helping out with the constant task of track maintenance. Some appropriately discreet pruning is a far better alternative then track braiding (which causes far more damage). It's also a good warmup for your forearms! However, do so only on Council land and not in the National Park.
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