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Access: Bushfire related crag closures

March 2020 - many climbing crags and campgrounds in the Blue Mountains are officially closed due to extensive damage from bushfires and floods over Xmas period 2019/20.

Refer to this spreadsheet for current crag access status. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RiHEop3gOTQ2J3PZwtx1GlRpw4aklJzzROrFnL3aDpw/edit?fbclid=IwAR2RDLi5u2NZn4nS80JarQSUVI3FT-FWw_bJuZNbPjv5Yi94HMzcg8gfnjE#gid=0

Areas that have been burnt and will not reopen for many months include Pierces Pass, Dam Cliffs, Mt York, Bardens, parts of Narrow Neck including Diamond Falls.

Some public campgrounds are closed - including Mt York & Perrys Lookdown.

See warning details and discuss

Created 4 months ago - Edited 22 days ago
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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.

Approach

Drive down Megalong Rd for 2.8km to parking on the left. Park smart as there is only enough room for a couple of cars. Cross the creek, via log bridge, and follow cairns up the hill. Walk is approximately 10 mins.

© (secretary)

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. If you do the bolts may be removed.

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, making remote and less popular crags slightly more difficult and fun to navigate to. Some appropriately discreet pruning is a far better alternative then track braiding (which causes far more damage).

However, do so only on Council land and definitely not in the National Park. Remember, 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 or risk possible closures.

Tags

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)

Routes

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Grade Route

Gently overhanging L hand arête.

FA: Julian Anderson

Best of the short routes. Follows a series of subtle scoops up the nice orange wall right of the arete. Quite pumpy compared to the rest of the wall.

FA: K.McKenzie, 2004

FA: M.Pircher

Dyno start off glued up sidepull then easily until it's not.

FA: Kristy McKenzie, 2004

Start off block right of Oh! James.

FA: C. Coghill, 2003

Starts as for Plenty O'Toole, up and right. Needs a few bolts.

Extension of Plenty O'Toole.

FA: C.Coghill, 2004

The walking track arrives here.

FA: Kristy McKenzie, 2003

The name is wrong

Furthest right of the bolted routes. Rightward trending line above where the approach track reaches the cliff. Grade 24 in the Carter guide. This is the only way of doing the excellent Octopussy extension.

FA: Chris Coghill, 2003

Mega. The extension to Thunderball up the bolted crackline. 50m rope fine for lower-off.

FA: J.Anderson, 2004

The face right of Octopussy

FA: Mark, 2000

Steep roof crack, starting in cave, finish to 'Thunderball' anchors.

FA: A. Darragh / D. Trambaiolo

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