Southern Crag

  • Grade context: AU
  • Photos: 19
  • Ascents: 964
  • Aka: Left Side (Facing out!)




The area between Dixon's Ladders and Herbaceous Gully. Home to classics like Fuddy Duddy, Cave Climb and On Both Sides of the Glass.

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.


You can access the parking area (-33.732021, 150.284117) via the Narrow Neck Plateau Trail (doesn't require a 4WD). The trailhead starts at a (cairn-33.73255, 150.28408) on the West side of the road. Follow the faint trail as it meanders right (trying to avoid erosion) before descending the upper cliff line and turning back left through a cave; follow the obvious path to the anchors for the 'Cave Climb' abseil (-33.73219, 150.28287). A 60m fixed line will easily reach the base.

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

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.


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


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Grade Route

Start: 4m right of the ladders. thin right facing corner.

  1. 20m (20) Rooflet and corner to ledge.

  2. 19m (20) Corner, right and up to the girder.

FFA: A.Penney & J.Smoothy

FA: (J.Ewbank & R.Reynolds), 1967

Actually the name given to the old road by the locals.

Start: As for TV, then wall trending left past bushes.

FA: A.Jones & S.Babka, 1989

Start: 2m right of TV at thin black crack. Up to roof, arete to ledge (The Delinquent anchor 1). Ledges. Rap of finish as for TD.

FA: A.Penney & J.Smoothy, 1977

Corner to roof,, left to ledge. Left, up and back to the crack and up to ledge. Over the bulge and up.

Start: 2m right of J. 3 pitches.

FA: ewbank/worrall ffa j.smoothy

Start: 14m right of TD. Grass shelf beneath the rooflet.

  1. 8m (22) Follow bolts to rest, left and up to small cave.

  2. 15m (19) Up to piton, traverse. Left and up to ledge. Right along ledge to stance. Up and right.

  3. 10m (12) Up.

FA: A.Penney & M.Law, 1978

Start: As for W&R to first bolt, then right, arete to roof and belay.

FA: M.Law & S.Butler, 1987

To cave, over roof and right to arete. Up to flake then steep wall. Up to anchor as for 'Guico Piton' Rap here or continue up GP.

Start: 6m right of W&R below the roof. 2pitches.

FA: Bradbury, Penney, Dunn & Dowden, 1979

A classic of early Bluey's climbing. Originally soloed!

There are a couple of variations to this climb. An aid DS! about 15m left, and a 15 varient to the 2nd pitch.

Start: 21m right of W&R.

  1. 11m (15) Up corner to break and then ledge.

  2. 14m (10) Left along the ledge, around nose and left to ledge.

  3. 23m (10) Through the overhang, right to the corner and up. There are many variations on this pitch. take care with the rock!

FA: K.Westren, 1961

This is fantastic!

Start: As for GP to pitch 3, as for pitch 3 then into gully and up, down , then right to cave. Down a bit, right across the corner, bum traverse right, then up about 100 or so metres to the big ledge. Up gully.

FA: T.Batty & K.Westren, 1962

Start: As GP anchor 1. Then through roof (fixed wires?), crack to ledge, left around the roof, up corner. 3 pitches.

FFA: K.Carrigan & M.Law

FA: (Davis, Smith & Reynolds), 1966

Start: As for GP. P2).Right onad over roof as for K but traverse right to the nose instead of the crack. Overhang, right to block. 'Gully' yo the right. 4 pitches.

FA: B.Allen, J.Davis & R.Cox, 1962

  1. 11m Start as for GP.

  2. 23m Right along ledge, around nose, down and into cave.

  3. 10m Opposite left block in cave (bolt above lip) wall to ledge.

  4. 15m Overhang and dinner plates.

FA: A.Penney & P.Butcher, 1977

Start: 25m right of GP.

1). Up corner to pro, traverse right to ledge at nose. 2).The roofs.

FA: Reynolds & Osbourne, 1967

Start: 25m right of DR. 1). Up left to small cave, roof to break, right and up to ledge. 2,3). Traverse right into RM and up.

FA: G.Bradbury, 1980

Start: 3m right of TU at overhang. 1). Jump to jug, over bulge, left to ledge and right to hidden belay bolt. 2). 6m left, up to bulge, Up.

FA: B.Osbourne & A.Campbell, 1966

Start 2m right of OU.

  1. 20m Corner to bolt, left and up to belay.

  2. 23m Chimney/corner to ledge.

  3. 15m Corner.

FA: T.Batty, 1962

Start: 3m right of RM.

FA: P.Martland & A.Penney, 1977

Start: Left leading roofs 20m right of Y.

  1. 12m (23) Left up corners & roofs to ledge.

  2. 25m (19) Left up to below roof.

  3. 10m (17) To roof, left and over.

FA: Penney, Smoothy, Sorenson & Law, 1979

Start: 12m of TS at slight groove. To ledge, down right to yellow corner, up. Up to join EJ.

FA: J.Smoothy & A.Penney, 1980

Start: 6m right of LYM.

1). Cheat stone then right into corner (LYM)left to piton, left to ledge. 2). Right to shelf, overhang to belay. 3). Slab and wall trending right, left to belay. 4). Corner to roof, ledge to belay 5). Aid, then free to belay. 6). Left an

FA: J.Ewbank, C.Regan & A.Campbell, 1964

Start: 2m left of EJ.

FA: M.Radke & D.Maddocks, 1987

Start: 4m right of DW. Off rock and up, left under roof to ledge.

Start: 2m right of EJ.

FA: Radke, Stacey & Cooksey, 2000

Start: Right again.

FA: Ward & Carlos, 1988

Start: 7m right of EJ.

1). tree onto wall and up, slight right to piton, through overhang, left to belay. 2). Rising traverse to ledge below overhangs. 3). Left to cave, left through overhang, wall to ledge. Up.

FFA: R.Vining & W.Williams

FA: (J.Ewbank & B.Allen), 1964

Note: many of the carrots on this route wont accept standard bolt plates! Take wires.

  1. 25m As for B to first bolt, long traverse R to bolt, up, R across corner to the nose. Up to belay.

  2. 19m Overhang, up to belay on GT.

  3. 30m Up and right to ledge to belay. Exit into gully.

FA: A.Penney & P.Martland, 1977

This route may not be possible due to dead tree branches!

  1. 14m Up to tree to gain rock, up across to ledge, right to block.

  2. 28m Cave/ledge on right to belay before arete.

  3. 25m Overhang (use bush) then jugs to ledge. Exit stage right into gully.

FA: A.Penney & D.Humphries, 1977

Start: Right of C at bolt ladder leading up right.

Starts below the bolt ladder in the middle of the Psyncave.

Start: 25m right of VH.

  1. 12m (24) Can be aided at M1. Up to roof, ledge above lip. Could be a bit hard for a move, some think 27.

  2. 3m (-) Step right and into cave.

  3. 30m (-) Through overhang, up and right to scrubby ledge.

  4. 12m (-) Right 15m to corner, up this to bushy ledge.

  5. 30m (12) Up, right, off & out!

FA: A Penney & G Herbert, 1977

FFA: Mikl Law, 1986

1).Aid to roof,left then out to lip, onto wall, right to ledge. 2).Left, over bulges, right to blank corner, up, left at top then to scubby ledge. 'Gully' to right.

Start: Ar right end of Psyncave.

FA: A.Penney & G.Prime, 1978

1). Crack, left, up next crack, to ledge. 2).Aid wall on right, traverse to crack, up to ledge. 3).Traverse off or take crack.

Start: 15m right of TC.

FA: J.Pickard & D.Leak, 1968

Lasso bolt, aid left and up, mantle to ledge on nose, free and aid to roof. 2).Traverse right, over roof, corner, up to flake. 3).Corner to ledge. Exit left or 4).Up nose.

Start: 70m right of P. Scramble up from track.

FA: D.Fletcher & J.Brown, 1970

Up to piton, left onto ledge, left to end, up and left, up E to belay under roof. 2).Traverse up left, cross void, ramp and up to ledge. Rap off!

Start: Left leading flake 10m right of 'Exodus'.

FA: M.Law & A.Penney, 1979

Start: Start as for Laws Effort, at the like-new painted initials "LE", about 20m L of the very obvious 'Fuddy Duddy'.

  1. 20m (23) The best pitch, and the hardest. Straight up on excellent rock via sustained great moves.

  2. 20m (22) Generally follows the rightwards arcing corner/roof, but its easiest to stay out on the slab, to the right of the bolts. Good thin slab moves to finish.

  3. 25m (22) Funky moves up short corner, then traverse R 5m along break. Steeply through orange bulges. You can walk off left from here if you want to skip the last pitch.

  4. 20m (22) Fun monkeying out low roof, then easy corner. R through bulge then back L onto final thin face. It's about 10 grades easier if you climb 2m to the right of the last 2 bolts.

FA: Mikl Law

Aid to overhang, over, up to corner then ledge. 2).Up cracks to corner end. Aid, then free to ledge.

Start: 1m right of LE.

FA: W.Williams, 1970

Take care with pro and grade!

Start: As for RotV.

FA: D.Fletcher, 2000

Crack to small ledge,up to ledge. 2).Crack to bolt, traverse to FD anchor 1.

Start: 35m right of RotV at chimney flake.

FA: B.Allen, 1962

From FD anchor 1, head left and slightly up for 12m to 2 carrot belay. Follow old carrots delicately up grey face to very dirty top out (or traverse off right). According to the first ascentionist, this route could be improved with a rebolt and rap station below the top.

FA: A.Jones, 1990

Corner formed by left side of big block.

Start: 8m right of Fuddy Cracks.

FA: J.Ewbank, 1973

1 13 35m
2 15 30m
3 13 30m

An olden day classic - historical!

Start: 20m right of FDds on smaller block down and right of the monster?

  1. 35m (13) Wall to ledge below big block, left, then up to belay on top of block.

  2. 30m (15) Big corner to block, move left and up to ledge or continue up crack.

  3. 30m (13) Bulge, then into chimney and up.

Interesting historical note: the monster block that forms the first pitch used to be closer to the wall and higher up, but sometime in the 1970s it slid a couple of metres during a torrential rain storm. Many guidebook descriptions haven't been updated since the FA, causing confusion for many repeat ascentionists.

FA: R.kippax & D.Roots, 1960

SRC's 'RCitUBM 2nd Ed' notes that the route details are in dispute!?

Start: 18m right of FD. 'Black Wall'.

FA: J.Worrall & D.Hough, 1966

Up corner briefly, left around nose and up to rest, left to piton, up overhang to ledge.

Start: As for 'Riverstone One' to anchor 2.

FA: J.Worrall & D.Hough, 1966

Start 40m right of RO.

  1. 33m Up, left around nose to ledge, traverse left until move past bush and big flake. Move right a long way to ledge above the start of route.

  2. 33m Traverse right, corner right to thread.

  3. 30m (crux) Traverse right along ledge, then up to 2 bolts. Poor pro.

  4. 10m Pull up to block at right end of ledge, up through trees.

  5. 15m Slab to top

Start: 40m right of RO.

FA: K.Westren & D.Pearce, 1960

3m left and up the wall, right up to bush belay on ledge 4). Up to sandy ledge and spike 5). Corner to bolt, left across red slab to ledge. Traverse off left.

Start: At KM anchor 2.

FA: B.Allen & B.Ryan, 1964

  1. Up corner, move left near top onto grey wall, up to KM anchor 1

  2. Corner

  3. Groove then left wall, up, left to corner, around nose on left and up to stance

  4. choss to shale ledge

  5. Traverse right on ledge

  6. Aid through roof, up and right to stance

  7. Up

Start: Scrubby corner 2m right of KM.

FA: J.Ewbank, A.Gordon & B.Allen, 1964

Start a few metres right of Knight's Move (marked KM)

  1. 50m (19). Carrot and rings up arete/corner then trend right following carrots to DRB.

  2. 20m (20). Up flake and chimney (nuts, cams) to thin face moves on carrots. Shares DRB with The Inconvenient Truth.

  3. 8m (21) Left line of rings up overhanging orange rock, past an unclippable bolt, to top. DBB.

FA: J. Dodson, 2007

Start a few metres right of Knight's Move (marked KM)

  1. 50m (19). Start as for P1 of Nuclear Free Zone. Carrot and rings up arete/corner then trend right following carrots to DRB.

  2. Traverse on wide footledge 15m right to DRB on arête to join P3 of The Inconvenient Truth.

  3. 30m (17) Up arete past carrots to DRB.

  4. 10m (18) Follow carrots up featured orange wall. DRB shared with NFZ.

  5. 15m (20) Go right through overhanging orange headwall past four rings. DBB.

FA: R. Smith & K. Muraoka, 2011

Up wall and arete, veer left up wall to arete then left side of arete to KK anchor 1. Rap.

Start: 40m right of SG.

FA: A.Penney & J.Smoothy, 1979

  1. 30m (18) Climb POM and set natural belay at its finish.

  2. 10m (10)Head diagonally left past piton and up to DRB - or run this and the next pitch together.

  3. 30m (17) Up arete past carrots to DRB.

  4. 10m (18) Follow carrots up featured orange wall. DRB shared with NFZ.

  5. 15m (20) Go right through overhanging orange headwall past four rings. DBB.

FA: G. Kovacs & J. Dodson., 2007

Thin corner then left to tree. 2). Slight left and up to KM anchor 2.

Start: 3m right of PoM.

FA: B.Allen & B.Ryan, 1964

Up to bush at base of corner, aid then up and left over choss to ledge, right and up wall to ledge, traverse left to belay. 2). Left, then up and left to ramp, up easy, right on traverse line (bush) corner then step left onto nose. Up to scrubby ledge. 3). Finish as for KM pitch 5.

Start: 33m right of KK. Scramble up to ledge above the track.

FA: A.Penney & G.Herbert, 1978

Warning Fixed Gear: Risk of rope cutting fall for the second on the 2nd pitch!

1 18 35m
2 18 10m
3 13 35m

Start: 18m right of HDYGG.

3 excellent and varied pitches on generally great rock. This is amongst the best longer routes at the grade in the Blueys.

  1. 35m (18) Short slab to arete, stylishly up this (2 BRs + natural gear) to comfortable ledge (RBs).

  2. 10m (18) Up to traverse line (old BR), airy dangle right (RB) to small belay ledge (BBs).

  3. 35m (13) Climb dinnerplates up and left to arete then up lovely exposed grey slab to top (gear, BRs, RB belay).

Walk off right (faint trail), or abseil down corner on right (facing out) with double 60m ropes. Don't attempt to abseil to the first belay ledge as you'll end up hanging in space.

FA: A.Penney & J.Nagler, 1978

Start: At OBSotG anchor 1. Instead of traversing right on OBSofG P2, continue straight up the hanging corner to rejoin OBSofG P3. Good, but not as good as the original.

FA: M.Law, A.Penney & J.Smoothy, 1979

Crack to corner, up to piton, left to bolt, up to piton, left and up then overhung groove to ledge 2). Wall to ledge. 3). Wall.

Start: 55m right, Orange wall below short corner.

Has a DS about 25m left.

FFA: M.Law

FA: (J.Ewbank & J.Worrall), 1967

Wall, faint arete and roof.

Start: Starts 5m right of 'Eve of Destruction'

FA: Equipped Neil Monteith, 2008

A climb for the traverse connoisseur.

Start: Start as for 'Eve of Destruction'.

  1. 20m (21) Up easy start of EOD to ringbolt. Up and rightwards on small holds to rightwards traverse line under big roof. Across this for 10m to comfy ledge belay (double rings)

  2. 20m (22) Pumpy! Up and left across ironstone traverse line which gets increasingly steep until final climatic reach move at lip. Easily up wall to small ledge belay.

  3. 30m (16) Straight up black slopers and short steep arete to juggy finish. Double rings.

FA: Neil Monteith & Kent Paterson, 2008

Up corners and ledges, traverse right to small gully, up to roof. 2).Corner, over roof, onto ledge and up to tree. Finish up 'Pawn Wall'.

Start: 20m right at right curving crack.

FA: K.Bell & H.Bevan, 1969

Corner/chimney to roof, over and up. Finish as for PW.

Start: 13m right of TS.

FA: W.Williams & H.Bevan, 1971

Thin scrubby crack, wall to bulge, to ledge near gully. 2).Traverse to weakness in overhang and up.

Start: 20m right of TH.

FA: P.Martland & G.Herbert, 1977

Start 7m right of FI. Take care as it's poorly protected.

  1. 30m Up to ledge then left to ease in overhang, up, gully to ledge on left.

  2. 22m Right across gully and up.

  3. 22m Slab. Direct finish

FA: T.Batty & F.Kitchener, 1962

Start 8m right of PW. A poor climb on bad rock. Has variant start 5m right, up corner to roof, left under this onto wall, up and left to belay.

  1. 10m Wall to ledge belay

  2. 15m Left a few metres then up, mantle, up.

  3. 12m Choss.

  4. 22m Up.

FA: J.Ewbank & A.Gordon, 1964

Corner to crack then ledge. 2). Left around nose then left to VW anchor 2.

Start: 12m right of VEVS.

FA: J.Ewbank & E.Saxby, 1964

As for BPC. 2).Up and right then horizontally right. Corner to bolt,horizontally left to ledge. 3). Move left around nose and up. Take Care!

Start: From BPC anchor 1.

FA: M.Law, G.Bradbury & A.Penney, 1979

FA: J Dobson

Climb up Sickening Crunch the way it used to be - on gear - continue upwards past bolts and belays and various byo gear to the top belay from cams at top

Start: Rap from cams in break above rings at top of 'The Infiltrator'. Start where the rope ends and finish where the rap started - pretty much straight up.

FA: Macciza, 2000

Two good pitches covering some exposed and interesting territory. All ringbolts. Rap down to base via Cave Climb and start climbing! Starts 4m left of 'Cave Climb' at left facing corner with U-bolts.

  1. 30m (24) Up short corner, traverse left and over bulge to ledge. Cool bouldery moves up face above on tiny sideway facing holds to jugs. Wander up face for a few bolts before tricky end move to ledge.

  2. 25m (23) Two wildly differing parts. Steeply through the shale band to right leading crimpy slab. After this finger torture ends thug up the reachy and very steep face above. Belay on ledge.

FA: Neil Monteith & Karen Allen, 2008

Another old classic.

Start: 8m right of BPC. Has a direct start 8m right up corner past old bolt. First two pitches can easily be linked.

  1. 18m Up grey wall to small corner, right onto slab, traverse right to tree.

  2. 20m Cracks to cave (big pro). DRBB

  3. 30m Through the cave and hole, or corner outside to chains.

Replaced bolts November 2015

FA: Batty, Boyd, Westren & Smith, 1962

Good route, though much of it is a retrobolt of the unlovely "A Sickening Crunch" P1 starts 4 metres right of Cave Climb near a small tree. It heads up and crosses cave climb at the first traverse cam optional in large flake.Then up and traverse left 4 metres then straight up to join a sickening crunch for a few metres till semi hanging belay. Bring some long slings, or double ropes to reduce rope drag around the middle of this pitch.

P2 Has some great exposure with nice moves off the belay. Heads up over bulge then veer right on slab to overhang and rings. Pull through overhang and then jugs up to chain anchor. Its a 50 m rap from here to the deck.

The route can be done with no gear, bring 8 bolt plates

FA: J. Gaibor

Corner & chimney to ledge, traverse left and up to ledge. 2). Up and slight right to manky ledge. 3). Up left of roof.

Start: 58m right of of CC.

FA: D, N.Roots & H.Cotton, 1960

Yellow corner to jugs, left to fixed pro(!), across to break then left to ledge.

Start: 20m right of MF.

FA: A.Penney & M.Johnson, 1980

Start 15m right of NaB, right side of ledge.

  1. 15m (crux) Ledge, overhang, slightly right to piton and bushy ledge, left up corner to thread.

  2. 10m Up to cave.

3 & 4) Left, around nose and up wall to spike, up to top.

FA: K.Westren & E.Field, 1961

Start as for UNC.

  1. 12m (crux) Up to piton, right through scrub to base of corner.

  2. 19m Corner, left and up to tree below chimney.

  3. 5m Up Chimney to belay.

  4. 13m Traverse L along ledge, short corner, L to spike.

  5. 22m Wall.

FA: K.Westren & E.Field, 1961

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