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Radiata Plateau

Access: Bushfire related crag closures

May 2020 - some climbing crags in the Blue Mountains are officially closed due to extensive damage from bushfires and floods over Xmas period 2019/20. All campgrounds are closed during Covid-19 restrictions and some are also damaged from bushfires and will be closed in the medium term.

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 Mt York, Bardens, Bellbird Wall and most of Narrow Neck including Diamond Falls.

See warning details and discuss

Created 4 months ago - Edited 5 days ago

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Summary

This plateau is home to a lot of the most recent hard sport climbing development in the Blue Mountains.

Description

The installation of the via ferrata style "access rung ladder" has opened up most of these crags to climbers, but this also brings with it an extra level of caution and danger. Treat any ladders or fixed paraphernalia with care and try and rope up at all times. Fixed ropes should be checked and not relied on as perfect. Don't steal biners, rope protectors or any other climbing gear stashed at the crag.

Access issues

Most of this area is no longer private property as it was purchased by the NSW State Government in late 2019. A new Plan of Management is being drawn up (2020) with a focus on the area being a recreational reserve managed by National Parks. The Nest is the only known developed climbing area still on private property.

Approach

Drive to 24 Pulpit Hill Road, Katoomba and park at end of road. Leave room for other cars - it's a popular local dog walking spot and by the afternoon can get quite full. There is no public transport to this area from Katoomba.

Where to stay

No camping in this area please.

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.

If you have benefited from climbing infrastructure in NSW, please consider making a donation towards maintenance costs. The Sydney Rockclimbing Club Rebolting Fund finances the replacement of old bolts on existing climbs and the maintenance of other hardware such as fixed ropes and anchors. The SRC purchases hardware, such as bolts and glue, and distributes them to volunteer rebolters across the state of New South Wales. For more information, including donation details, visit https://sydneyrockies.org.au/rebolting/

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.

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