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Description

Looking down into the gorge from the top of the main cliff an obvious buttress of rock can be seen way down on the right on the side of a gully which leads down to the Gara River. These rocks offer little in the way of climbing potential but at the top of the same gully it is cliffed on both sides. These are the East Gully rocks.

Access issues inherited from Western Gara Gorge

Access to Dome Wall or Persian Carpets involves driving through private property to reach the Gara Gorge. Contact must be made with the landowners prior to heading out there:

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:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24251869/Dome%20Wall%20Etc%20Access.kmz

Approach

Walk over the top of the main buttress to its extreme right end (facing the Gorge). Walk 50m down the ridge to the head of the gully.

History

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In April 1984 Richard Curtis, remembered the area's inaugural climb 'Golden Age' on which he had accompanied Jill Kelman and Bob Beer. Recently returned from living in Melbourne, he had missed the main phase of development of The Three Sisters which followed his initial visit. He hoped to 'pick up some scraps'.

Many climbers walked down past these routes to go for a swim or just to check out the impressive looking (but poor quality) buttress way down near the water.

Richard, on the other hand, saw the potential of the gully and managed to convince several partners to come and experience these ferocious, exciting and high quality little cracks.

To get there walk over the top of the main buttress to the extreme left hand end (facing the cliff) then walk 50m down the ridge to the head of the gully.

The result was the development of East Gully where he found some climbs with an old-fashioned flavour.

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Routes

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Grade Route

As you scramble into the head of the gully, there is a short, easy, wide crack on the large boulder on your left.

  1. 10m Straight up the wide crack.

FA: Simon Gay & Al Stephens, 1984

On the downhill side of the boulder splitting the top of the descent gully. From Industrial Experience keep moving around right until you come to a fine crack that splits the boulder. (approx 5m)

Originally graded 17. Upgraded to 19 in Al's guidebook so I have settled on 18.

  1. 15m. Straight up this fine crack.

Continuing down the gully below Lady Finger's Boudoir Biscuits there are three crack climbs on the right.

Start. The first large open corner.

  1. 25m. Tricky start, then up the corner, some bridging.

Start 1m left of Just an Old-Fashioned Girl. Tricky start then good climbing. Use double ropes.

    1. Up fig-root crack to ledge, then up jamb crack in the arete, then traverse left under small roof into the main crack and straight up this.

Start from a cave up on the ledge, belay off fig roots. (Nice one Simon)

  1. 16m. From the cave, swing right into the base of the crack. Then straight up - varied climbing.

FA: Simon Gay & Al Stephens, 1985

On the ledge left of the cave of Misspent Youth is a nice layback crack.

A serious lead.

  1. 15m. Put your heart in your mouth and up you go! Place your first runner at the top of the layback and be sure to clip it.

Down the gully from High Mass are two roof problems. This climb takes the easier left roof.

  1. 12m. Up wide crack then step up left and around the roof.

Start 2m left of Partly Truth and Partly Fiction. An inverted staircase with a tricky start and a sustained, overhanging finish.

  1. 10m. An awkward start then straight up the steps.

The corner crack left of The Rough Diamond.

  1. 20m. A hard start then up to the roof. Out and around left, then up hand crack to top, wall exit on right. Tree belay.

FA: Al Stephens & Simon Gay, 1984

Coerner crack left of Dirt Track Demon. A fine little number.

  1. 12m. An awkward start then fist jambs and ledge lead to a tree belay.

FA: Simon Gay & Al Stephens, 1984

If you look across to the Western side of the gully as it now opens out, you'll see a beautiful crack. This is the classic Clarence Frogman Henry.

As the gully opens out a nice crack can be seen on its upstream side. This is Clarence Frogman Henry.

"I don't know why I love you like I do..." - A tribute to the great man.

  1. 15m. Up the crack via layaways to the Currajong tree. Rap off.

FA: Richard Curtis & Cal Finlay, 1984

Around the corner to the Right…

Start; Fine climbing up a finger crack and wall. Harder than it looks. Take lots of wires.

15m Delicately up the crack to a ledge, then up the wall/corner to the Currajong Tree

FA: Richard Curtis & Cal Finlay, 1984

Start; 1m right of Digit Dancer. Can be partly covered in vines but is easy to clean. Wall climbing and jamming to top

FA: Cal Finlay & Richard Curtis, 1984

... Between the East Gully and the 3rd Sister, a boulder with a detached horizontal flake, with a curved razor edge flake above...

Between East Gully and the Third Sister is a boulder with a detache flake which has a beautiful razor edge top

If you can find it, it's obvious where it goes.

  1. 16m. Up the flakes.

FA: Richard Curtis & Cal Finlay, 1984

…If you can find “Richard the Obscure” then you are sure to be able to find this next route…

From the top of East Gully, contour left (East) and slightly uphill for about 75m to an isolated boulder with an overhanging finger crack.

  1. 8m. As Al wrote in his guidebook 'Up the crack with difficulty, cover your belayer with dirt and rocks, because you don't want to clean the crack, belay way back on a tree.'

Activity

Check out what is happening in East Gully.