Perry's Lookdown Rock climbing25 routes in crag
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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.
End of Hat Hill Rd. Climbs can be abseiled into, or it's possible (though tricky) to walk in to the base.
From the carpark/campground, head left and find the well-worn track through the scrub. Follow this for 100m to a short descent gully (cairned, be careful not to miss it). From the base of the scramble, head left (west) to the Date with Density abseils, or right (east) to Red Edge/Parched abseils.
For Date with Density abseils, after turning left, parallel below the cliffline for about 50m through some wet scrub, then up a small hill to a fixed rope. At the base of the fixed rope is the first of the Date with Density abseils.
For Red Edge/Parched abseils, after turning right, head straight downhill for 30m. The first anchor you see is for Parched (new rings on a ledge to your left), with the Red Edge anchors somewhat hidden 10m right of the parched anchor (refer to topo photos of this area for more details).
Takes about 1hr 15min - 1hr 30min, is tricky to navigate, and somewhat sketchy (but at least you won't need to carry a 2nd rope up the climb with you!). From the carpark, descend the Blue Gum Forest track until a prominent free-standing pillar becomes visible on the left. From the bottom of the adjacent steel handrail, continue down the stairs for 50m (or literally 100 manufactured steps (wooden or cut-rock)... count 'em as you go!). Turn left off the trail here, and parallel 10m under the cliffline heading somewhat downwards (past Blue Gum Track Crack ) looking for copious cairns or the odd pink marking tape.
When you reach a gully (with dense tree vegetation in front of you), make your way UP to the main cliffline, and continue following directly along the base of it. Stay at generally the same height (following cairns) along sketchy loose ledges (be careful!) for several hundred metres, picking the safest path amongst the maze, scrambling through the odd choss-cave, and carefully negotiating a few scary checkpoints.© (Macciza)
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.
Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)
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