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Sail Away Wall

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 19 days ago

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Description

Soaring orange wall to the left of the stairs at the base of Centennial Pass. Duck under the rail and approach along the elevated ledge 6-8m above the ground. Use the belay bolts and stick clip the first bolt. The popular routes get the sun from about 1 PM in summer, but are in the shade all day in winter.

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.

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.

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Routes

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Grade Route

Starts 2/3 of the way down the stairs before the base of Centennial Pass.

FA: B.Cossey, 2009

An awesome route, with an infamous runout finish. The My Pheramone DRB aren't in.

This is the leftmost route on the ledge, about 20m right of the chopped steps.

FA: G.Bradbury & C.Peisker, 1985

A very impressive line through the biggest part of the huge roof above Wipe Out, 40m above the ground. Back-jump to clean or top out, untie and leave your draws there! Considered 29 if linked from the ground.

FA: Lloyd Wishart

Another excellent long route, with a confounding crux. Originally 24 but confirmed 26 these days and even so its not soft. And once you do link past the crux... keep your wits about you on the technical finish! Start 5m R of WO.

FA: G.Bradbury & M.Colyvan, 1985

If 'Sail Away' is a cruise then do the obvious extension to the top of the cliff!

Start as for SA for 20m then break right through overhang to the top of the cliff. Hands on top! The climb was a long and most likely stressful piece for the first ascentionist. Do it in style!

FA: N.Campbell, 2006

Not the best route on the wall but still pretty good. The shorter line between Sail Away and Black Heathen.

FA: M.Law, 2002

Marked with a big white painted B at the start, towards the R end of the access ledge. Finish at the first set of anchors.

FA: M.Law, 1992

Start 0.5m R of B. Runout bottom half (3 bolts where Black Heathen has 6!), excellent top half.

FA: M.Law, 2002

A fairly impressive line with the potential to be a trade route, but sadly neglected due to the poor hardware and underwhelming trad. Has effectively been half retrobolted by adjacent lines, but still requires trad, and caution. Start 1m R of B, head up and R for about 10m to gain the slightly left-leading fat flake system. The anchor is two poor carrots: BYO brackets & biners if you trust it to rap off, or go another 3m (slightly harder) to the DRB of Returnity.

FA: T.Williams, 1986

Straight up and left from first Anchor of Little empty boat.

Set by stephan meng

Was Vince's project, eventually sent by Tom O'Halloran.

FA: Vince Day

FFA: Tom O'Halloran, 2012

Bolted over 10 years ago by Rowan, it lay asleep for many years waiting for a keen Muppet to come along and wake it up!! If your into journeys to other dimensions then this has got your name written all over it. There's a lot of awesome and absorbing climbing..... A 80 m. rope will just only just get you back down if you jump off the top. or you can walk off the back to the car. The original start to the right will add a few grades and test your reach! Add a No.1 BD cam at the end if you want.

Set by rowan druce

FFA: stephan meng, Apr 2020

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