Billy Billy Mostly Trad climbing43 routes in crag
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With sweeping vistas of the Brindabella Ranges and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Billy Billy Rocks offers far more than just your typical day clocking up mileage on granite in the ACT. This is granite crack climbing at its best in the territory, dragging you off the beaten track to a dramatic bush eyrie high above the Tidbinbilla valley.
Facing generally north to north west, climbing is possible here year round. The style is predominantly first-rate splitter cracks on boulders littered across the rocky tor, ranging from finger tips through hands to full body shredding off widths if that takes your fancy. The quality of crack to be found at Billy Billy is so good it had one international visitor exclaiming “this would be a three star route at J-Tree”.
The climbs are steep at Billy Billy, (steep for A.C.T. granite, at least). There are numerous cracks in the 11-23 range, a few airy arêtes in the low-mid 20’s and the potential for more finds awaiting you just around the corner…
Keep in mind this is a wilderness crag – phone reception is limited, the walking track in is rough (taking approx. 1 hour from car to crag) and the weather highly variable with the potential for four seasons in one day – keep an eye on the Mt Ginini forecast on the Bureau’s website. Come prepared with head torches, multiple clothing layers and a first aid kit, as well as a navigational device just in case (and know how to use it!).
The climbs all pack in plenty of value, so rope up and enjoy the unique experience that is everything Billy Billy Rocks, Canberra’s newest climbing destination.©
As of Feb 2017, the path is rather overgrown. Use the waypoints below on google maps to help keep you on the path. Allow 1.5hrs the first time you try find Billy Billy. Once you know the path its 45-60min. Total distance is approx 2.5km.
Drive up Corin Road, passing Gibraltar Falls and eventually crossing Billy Billy Creek (signposted). 200m beyond is an old blocked-off forestry road on the right, immediately before a 45km/h left-hand bend. Park here. [-35.50249, 148.91769]
GAIN THE RIDGE
Walk up the old forestry road for 170m, leave the road (turning left) at a small cairn and grassy area [-35.50309, 148.91661]. Head uphill and pick up the trail marked with orange tape (faint trail at first, becomes clearer after a while). Cairns mark the way through rocky sections. The trail goes up the spur for 700m, where you reach a rocky knoll about 8m high (and pass between a couple large boulders [-35.50649, 148.90724]).
TRAVERSE RIDGE, DESCEND, FIND CREEK
500m further along the ridge you reach a flat rock platform with a view of the crag across the mini-valley. The trail then drops down a bit, heading towards the right-hand end of the crag, and crossing the headwaters of Billy Billy Creek (via a convenient log) [-35.50687, 148.90189]. Note that the bog is ecologically sensitive, don't disturb the mosses.
After the creek crossing, and another uphill section, the trail deposits you at the awesome viewing spot of the Picnic Sector, from where you can look out over Tidbinbilla to Canberra [-35.50563, 148.89756].
GPS Waypoints (all WGS84 / Google Maps)
Where to stay
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is designated a day use area. The nearest camping is at Woods Reserve, back down on the Corin Road.©
This crag has been developed with an old-school trad and mixed ethic, bolts are not used when natural gear is available. Try to muster some common sense when deciding whether or not to bolt routes, nobody will walk up that hill to repeat no-star generic slabs.
Most of the cracks at Billy Billy have required extensive brushing to bring them up to a standard of cleanliness which is palatable to the average climber. Routes which are claimed but inadequately cleaned are likely to have the f.a. details "lost", and naming rights handed over to the person who puts in the hard work. Also, if you stumble upon an unrecorded route which is spotlessly clean (and especially if you see a pile of lichen at the base), there's a fair chance that it's somebody else's unfinished business. Whilst there isn't such a thing as a closed crack project, be aware that "brushing debt" is taken rather seriously and must be repaid in full (I'm looking at you, Nick Brown!)©
Some content has been provided under license from: © Canberra Climbers' Association (CC BY-SA)
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