Help

The 39 Steps

Access: Cosmic County access after the bushfires.

Overall the cliffs have seen very little affect from the bushfires. However, the approach has been heavily burned out and care needs to be taken when walking in.

The track down from the carpark is marked with small cairns and pink tape. At the base of the hill cross the bog/marsh via the log bridge and follow the path up to the road.

Please only descend to the cliffs via the Memory Lane walkdown gully as the first gully is extremely loose and at high risk of erosion.

See warning details and discuss

Created 12 weeks ago - Edited 9 weeks ago

Seasonality

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D

Description

Great vertical and slab climbing just left of the memory lane descent gully. home to a couple of the harder county classics including 'Toyland' and 'Aesthetic Images'.

© (mjw)

Access issues inherited from Cosmic County

Due to changes in land ownership, some unnecessary angst created by climbers and the recent bush fires, the access situation to the Freezer, Cosmic County etc has now completely changed. The road down through the Buddist’s Monk’s Retreat must NOT be used under any circumstances. It is very important that climbers use the NEW access track (it skirts around to the eastern side of the Monks Retreat). Refer to Simon Carter's wesbite for new access details: http://www.onsight.com.au/bluemtns/

Suggestions for slight access change due to recent fires: Access the cliff via the 'Memory Lane' access gully. Avoid the first walk-down gully that would have you walking in to 'Greenhouse Gully' as it is at high risk for serious erosion.

Approach

A set of chains/ropes that can't be missed from the main track.

© (mjw)

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.

Tags

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

Routes

Add route(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit Convert grades
Grade Route

Interesting start. can be done without the tree at grade 19.

Start: Tree at the back of the Lighthouse Rock.

FA: G.Bradbury, 1980

Follow thin rightward leading diagonal to roof, left along lip to short corner, up and off.

Start: 27m right of the steps.

FA: M.Law, 1979

An easier (though less pleasant) start to Incandescence up the corner right of the original line, rejoining Incandescence at its crux.

Start: 9m right of I.

FA: G.Bradbury, I.Kressa & G.Robertson, 1980

Excellent and varied corner crack climbing on nice rock. Definitely one to do if you have ticked off the other classic cracks the County has to offer.

Don't be put off by the vegetation, it is mostly bridged around and is fairly inoffensive.

Start: Open book corner 8m right of LO.

FA: G.Bradbury & M.Johnston, 1980

Reportedly freed by Derek Thatcher and Zac Vertrees. Start up Aesthetic Image to its 2nd bolt, then rising traverse left to gain line of bolts right of Candlepower. About grade 29.

FA: Derek Thatcher & Zac Vertrees

Rebolted 2019. Extremely hard face climbing with a relentless upper half. One of the hardest in the style in the Blueys.

Start: As for Alhelal / Aesthetic Images. Continue up Aesthetic Images to its 4th bolt, then traverse left a few metres and up to gain slab. Hard slab moves to the last ringbolt, then either rising traverse left to gain easy flake system (original finish - 1 bolt) or rising traverse right to gain Aesthetic Images after its crux, and finish up it (2 more bolts). The direct finish is a mighty hard (and bold) open project.

FA: G.Weigand, 1987

OPEN PROJECT - The direct start and finish to the Shimmering, continuing straight up from the 2nd bolt of Aesthetic Images, and also going direct to the independent anchors (not sneaking back onto Aesthetic Images at its 2nd last bolt).

The ultimate face-climbing testpiece up an improbably blank wall. Consider bringing a #0.5 or #0.75 for the runout at mid-height.

The Direct Version (as it is currently climbed) was added by Mike Myers.

FA: G.Weigand & G.Robertson, 1982

Long Life. Freed by Mal Grey. Aided at 22M0, scary.

FA: G.Bradbury & G.Robertson, 1980

Start: In jungle 17m right of A.

FA: G.Weigand & M.Grey, 1982

Not a lot of pro.

FA: W.Baird & J.Smoothy, 1980

Up and left around roof, up - treat the bolts gently! - up easy slab to short corner and up.

Start: 3m right.

FA: A.Penney, J.Smoothy & R.Weigand, 1980

Has been the scene of at least one accident. Take Care!! Watch for loose blocks at top.

Start: Low angled corner right of X.

FA: A.Penney, 1980

Often overlooked, but worth your time if you've already done the other classics on this wall. Sustained, technical climbing, with a very thin finale.

Up K&Qs for 5m (to the small tree) with optional #3 Cam, bridge out-right to clip first bolt. Blast across the bolt and out onto the face, then follow linked features to epic sting-in-the-tail finale.

An easier, sustained alternative is to climb Intaglio to its 2nd last bolt, then traverse right and finish up Original Toyland ( Intaglioland, gr24)

FA: G.Bradbury, 1989

An easier finish to Intaglio via Original Toyland, which avoids the extremely cruxy finish of the standard route.

Start as for Intaglio: Up K&Qs for 5m (to the small tree) with optional #3 Cam, bridge out-right to clip first bolt. Blast across the bolt and out onto the face, then follow linked features to 2nd last bolt. At 2nd last bolt, traverse right and finish up Original Toyland via 3 more bolts (clip 2nd bolt high, traverse low) to Toyland anchors. Easy to clean on loweroff.

Probably never repeated. Traverse in 3 pitches from K&Q to Comfotably Numb. Take care.

FA: G.Weigand & G.Bradbury, 1983

"The climb boasts a complicated history of aid elimination. On the first ascent two rests were used on the section above the horizontal break, one under the roof and one on the flake above. The stoic leader then bolted up the final short headwall in driving rain to the top. Though he did the climb in one pitch he went to the trouble of establishing a hanging belay station below the bolt ladder. This was done for the benefit of future parties who might attempt a free ascent using the belay as a much needed rest. Mike Law made the second ascent and managed to lead the first pitch completely free but left the grade at 23. A month or so later Warwick Baird did a free ascent of the whole climb though he did break the route into 2 pitches. A few weeks later he made an attempt to lead the climb completely free in one pitch but fell 4m from the top when a hold broke. The following weekend he returned again and finally managed the task that had eluded him on previous attempts. "The climb now stands as the hardest and most sustained lead in the Blue Mountains" (May 1981) Mark baker added the direct bit over the flake.

Start: Incipient crack right of K&Q.

FFA: W.Baird

FA: G.Bradbury, 1981

Fantastic route! Start as for Toyland but instead of traversing along the overlapping flake, push straight upwards towards the anchors. Now the preferred version. There is potential for a small wire to be placed in between the second and third bolts to stop a probable ground fall off not inconsequential moves, it seems the placement is tricky to spot though.

Warwick sent it. Giles sent it. Maybe they are qaulified to edit description. A fine route likely to wound egos.

Start: Right of T. Recently rebolted.

FA: M.Law, 1987

Steep, thin and strenuous. The best thin crack in the mountains, maybe? Start: Crack 8m right of T, to a lower-off. Take a single rack up to fist sized, plus plenty of extras in the tips-fingers range. Lower-offs.

FA: M.Law, 1979

Has a direct varient finish (Fixed hangers) by G.Weigand 1987

Start: Seam 5m right of GD, left of the arete.

FA: W.Baird, 1981

"This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper" (T. S. Elliot's The Hollow Men). Fantastic hard climbing. Big moves or big whippers! Stick clip the high first bolt and climb the awesome seam past another 7 or so fixed hangers. Bring a Camelot #3 or #0.4 for between the first two bolts, with possible small wire above. Biner and mallion have been placed on lower-offs September 2017. Top the cliff for full value.

FA: Warick Baird, 1981

After hard boulder start it is much easier than it looks. Rebolted 2015. Bring 5 bolt plates, wires , a sling for thread and a few cams including #4 camalot. Start is now protectable preclipping rb as wire placements have all blown.

Start: Right of the arete.

FA: Andrew Penney

Straight up.

Start: 1m right of IRBS.

FA: G.Robertson, G.Martland & A.Penney, 1980

Onto wall left of bolt, up, slightly left to flake, wall on right, then up past two more bolts to crack and up to chains. Take Wires.

Start: 2m right again.

FA: A.Penney & M.Stacey, 1986

As for CaS to break, right and up past bolts. Finish as for CaS.

Start: As for CaS.

Daunting but nevertheless an excellent climb right up the middle of the wall. Take Friends! Has apparently had lower offs added but you will need a very long rope!

Start: At gum tree 11m right of HPD.

FA: G.Bradbury & G.Robertson, 1980

Lefthand route from 'Clip or Die' start.

Start: As for CoD but left.

FA: A.Penney & C.Sloss, 1987

On the headwall above 'Candy' Man. Carrots.

FA: M.Law, 1991

Start: Left of the vegetated crack. Fixed spike and heaps of carrots.

FA: M.Law, 1981

Great technical climbing. Solid, consistent and crimpy. Nice rest point at about 28 metres. Blue Mountains Climbing 2007 Edition was used as reference.

FA: G James

"Had to be cleaned and will get better with more ascents" it doesnt look like its upkeep has been maintained!

Start: The vegetated crack.

FA: T.Bernutt & J.Smoothy, 1979

Apparently the direct start past the fixed wire is 23! Bring a medium cam.

Start: 1m right of GC - the DS is 1m right again.

FA: M.Stacey, 1986

The first bolt has gone walkabout.

Corner (rings?) to ledge. 2). Up to top following bolts.

Start: 4m right of C.

FA: P.Webber & M.Myers, 1981

Quaint!

Start: Lefthand route on the wall.

FA: G.Weigand & J.Smoothy, 1981

Up to 'Comfortably Numb' flake then left and up. 5 Carrots and 4 Fixed Hangers. Can supplement 1st and 2nd bolts with a cam in the flake. DBB and walk off right.

Start: As for 'Comfortably Numb'.

FA: A.Penney, M.Stacey & J.Smoothy, 1987

Adequately protected but take care!

Start: Just below rightward leading flake. Up flake to thin gear, then up face to top. Belay on DBB and walk off right.

FA: G.Robertson & M.Moore, 1980

Hopefully not...

Start: 6m right again.

FA: G.Weigand, 1983

Looks great from the top of 'The Eighty Minute Hour'. Take Care!!

Start: Marked. 5m right of P.

FA: A.Prehn & R.Young, 1980

Did you know?

Did you know that you can create an account to record, track and share your climbing ascents? Thousands of climbers are already doing this.

Activity

Check out what is happening in The 39 Steps.

Deutsch English Español Français Italiano 한국어 中文