Sweethearts Mostly Trad climbing11 routes in crag
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Access issues inherited from Western Gara Gorge
Mike Coffey (Kenwood Park): 02 6775 3766
Pete and Susanne or Jeff Moore: 02 6775 3727
It is important to let the Coffeys know you’re coming (as access is very close to their house), and ask the Moores for permission to cross their land (providing the most efficient access to Dome Wall or Persian Carpets).
Good relations with these landowners are essential for New England climbers, and all visitors in the future, to access these excellent crags, so please treat them with respect. Leave all gates as you find them, cross fences at the strongest strainer post, etc etc. Access is likely to be refused if tenants are in the Moores’ ‘holiday’ house, so please be patient or better still ask about staying there yourself.
This is a link to a file you can use in Google Earth to see a map to The Dome Wall Parking area:
You must go with a local who knows the correct procedure for crossing the farmers' private property to get to the gorge rim. Failure to do this will result in total closure of the current easy access. Alternatively, walk in from the Blue Hole along the gorge rim. It's a long way!
Please drive slowly across the paddocks and leave each gate as you find it. When crossing fences always cross at the largest strainer post to avoid damage.
Drive to the usual Dome Wall car park. Start walking due East down the gully for approx. two hundred metres then veer to the right hand side of the gully and head for the large blocks on the edge of the escarpment. Sidle around right till you come to the top of the main cliff. It's a bit difficult to describe but you'll get there eventually.
Most routes are in or around the main gully. 'The Great Escape' is further downstream, around the corner from 'Purgative'. Finally remember that these cliffs are part of Oxley-Wild Rivers National Park.
Avoid damage to fauna and flora, and no fires please.
Sweethearts was popular for only a very short time. At that time cracks were very popular..........even off-widths! Apart from the freeing of rests, an occasional alternate start, and the completion of unfinished projects, Sweethearts became a very unpopular crag.
Its fall from grace is thoroughly justified. Apart from 'Purgative' and The Great Escape', all other routes arc overgrown and dirty. However, if you are prepared to clean up the chosen route by abseil, before climbing it, you will find the routes challenging and enjoyable.
John Lattanzio and Brian Birchall were the first climbers at the cliff, naming it after a popular Cold Chisel album. Virtually every climber in Armidale visited the area within the next few months, hungry for new routes. All the cracks, well almost all the cracks, have now been climbed. Walls and arÍtes have, at the time of writing, not yet been climbed, but the potential is there. See you for breakfast at Sweethearts.
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