North Palm Beach

  • Grade context: AU
  • Approach time: 30 min walk
  • Photos: 19
  • Ascents: 99
  • Aka: South-east Barrenjoey




South facing crag with big view and mixed rock.

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More exposed, windy, trad, broken and with fewer belays and further away than the Southwest, so far less popular.

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Access issues

As a result of the 2013 bushfire, there are no usable top tree or bush belays in 2017 and there will not be for several years. Inspect all climbs for natural anchors and rusty carrots. Beware eroding tracks, thick regrowth vegetation, burnt bushes and rock damaged by fire.

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Metered parking $25/day at Governor Phillip Park and north of Palm Beach. Walk to the lighthouse via the main Barrenjoey or Smugglers tracks.

  • For the west end of the cliff, bush bash and scramble down through the old lighthouse garbage dump. It can't get worse.
  • For the center, walk east along the top of the Barrenjoey headland past the grave, and shortly before the monument, turn right (south) and descend line of watercourse toward large blocks to arrive west of Roast Possum. Or rap off the big block directly above Quarto.
  • For the east end, either rap off various stainless carrots or natural anchors, or scramble down the far east end.
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Mixed - trad and mostly rusty carrots.

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View historical timeline

First climbed in the 80s by the Martins et. al., and later described in the 1991 Sydney and the Sea Cliffs guide (from which "quotes" below are taken) there are several unknown, undescribed or renamed climbs of uncertain provenance.

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


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Grade Route

Off-width boulder problem.

Boulder Problem.

Start: Slab, then corner-crack.

Strenuous. Cam anchors.

Start: Overhung corner left of 'Warp Factor Two'.

FA: Ian Strut, R. Chick & I. Strut, 1984

"A very enjoyable excursion indeed." Up orange wall right of "Concise Crack" to stand on two blocks wedged in recess. Crack to overhang and up.

Start: Right of CC.

FA: Craig D. Martin & Craig B. Martin, 1982

"Quite steep". Pass two breaks and walk 5m left to bollard.

Start: Orange wall below large overhanging off-width left of 'Oggindeli'.

FA: Craig B. Martin & R. Chick, 1984

"Veterinary delight." Up short wall past 2.5 cam to bolt belay.

Start: Short wall 4m left of TTP.

FA: Craig D. Martin & Craig B. Martin, 1984

Nice sustained moves. Strenuously up wall past 2 BRs to easier ground and BB.

Start: about 40m left of "Once in a Lifetime"

FA: Craig B. Martin & R. Chick, 1984

The line of ring bolts. Grade is a total guess, will confirm later. There's two rings to rap in from on a slightly lower rock platform, this is above the big arete - look for the water streak.

Well-respected problem with some thin moves near the top. Craig D. Martin took a 10m ground-fall attempting the first ascent (without BRs). Silly man! Up finger crack to small recess (1.5 cam) then up wall past (now horribly rusty) 2 BRs.

Start: On prominent arete near large boulders.

FA: Craig D. Martin, 1983

Overhang problem; second pitch of "Once in a Lifetime".

FA: Craig D. Martin

"Not bad if dry." Corner crack with cam top belay.

Start: Crack in corner with large boulder at base.

FA: Craig B. Martin, Craig D. Martin & A Montgomery, 1982

"Some interesting moves-and falls, eh, Animal? Grabee rap rope burnee widdle paws."

Start: Wall left of "Frog's Anus".

  1. 12m (19) Past small break (cam) and flared crack (small wire) to BB.

FA: Paul Colyvan (Animal), 1985

Fairly pleasant jaunt.

Start: 3m right of "Frog's Anus".

  1. 19m (12) Up wall to cave, over lip to ledge.

  2. 9m (12) Walk 4m right, then up corner and slab.

FA: Craig B. Martin & Craig D. Martin

Sustained corner-crack.

Start: 3m right of "Zany Wall".

FA: Craig D. Martin, Martin Jones & Craig B. Martin, 1983

"A three-star classic: deduct two stars for the walk in." Up corner to fixed piton runner (still usable??) on left, then crank on past 2 BRs. Mantle and fall up headwall.

Start: Corner right of "Return of the Pink Sausage".

FA: Mike Meyers & Craig B. Martin, 1983

Flared corner crack left of Roomba Revisited.

Original description "boulder problem" and "the arete to slabs" makes no sense.

Start: The arete to slabs. Original description "boulder problem" - no pro?

Original description "boulder problem". Now has 3 stainless carrots that don't quite fit standard bolt plates, prepare wires before ascent.

  1. Place low cam before first bolt, then power up on left side of arete and solid ledges on face. Stainless carrot BB on edge of prow, and another further back shared with "Quarto".

  2. Finish up "Quarto".

Start: Bulge 2m left of "Quarto"

"Good, clean fun"?

  1. (5m) Rusty carrot on rather blank headwall above cracks if you dare. Stainless carrot and thread belay on top of block.

  2. Finish up "Quarto".

Start: Cracks left of 'Quarto Direct'.

FA: Craig D. Martin & Craig B. Martin, 1984

Balancy. Delicately up slab then as for 'Quarto'.

Start: 2m left of 'Quarto'

FA: Craig B. Martin & Craig D. Martin, 1982

  1. (5m) Up slab to ledge. Stainless carrot and thread belay on top of block.

  2. (15m, grade 4) Scramble off up shallow corner above.

Start: 40m right of ZW.

FA: Craig B. Martin, 1982

"Excellent. Rock and moves are all good" Carrots are now rusted. Clip BR under lip of large yellow overhang. Out and over past BR to small foot ledge. Diagonally left past 2 more BRs to belay from "DBB, dodgy micro cam / small wire".

Start: 5m right of 'Quarto'.

FA: Craig B. Martin & Craig D. Martin, 1984

"Looks hard, luckily it's just airy."

Up corner to top of block under roof. Traverse right above void and up right wall above roof cracks on good jugs.

Start: Corner 5m right of "Same as it Ever Was"

FA: Craig D. Martin, 1984

Crank up on small rounded holds and the rounded edge of the arete past 2 BRs to DBB.

Start: The very attractive orange arete right of "Eulogy".

FA: Craig B. Martin & G. Bradbury, 1984

"Excellent". 2017 inspection reveals huge block fallen off base so getting started may be harder than it once was.

Pull strenuously onto wall and up to BR. Delicately up to another BR then thin climbing to DBB. Start: Wall 2m right of "Same As It Ever Was".

FA: H. Scott & M. Meyers, 1984

"Extreme, yet worthwhile". Crank strenuously onto wall, clip BR in extremis and stand up. Thin moves left to rest and BR. Technical-cum-desperate moves past BR then just hard climbing past 2 BRs. Cam anchor. Start: 10m right of " Systems of Romance"

FA: M. Meyers & D. Haines, 1984

Brush aside dense ferns in the lower portions of the flared crack to possibly reveal some marginal large cam placement, with more chance of something better when it narrows higher up. Belay nominal to remote. A stunningly obvious natural line to those who love their flares, and veg.

Hard moves off the ground to ironstone rim and past the rounded flake, then more easily up slab above. No pro. Thread and block belay.

Start: on left end of slab 5m right of "Joker Hysterical Face" .

FA: Graham Dowden & Angus M, 3 Jan 2017

Old school slab with old school pro: cams only in 10-25mm break at 4m, thereafter nothing but more easily to top. Thread and block belay.

Start: Slab 10 right of "Joker Hysterical Face" on edge of walkdown gully.

FA: Graham Dowden & Angus M, 3 Jan 2017

Fine slabby arete right of New Moon and Eagle. No pro, top block and thread anchor.

FA: Graham Dowden, 18 Feb 2018

Descent gully here.

Unknown route marked PEE. A short finger-crack corner, horizontal ledge, then over the roof crack to give it the grade. Thread and cam belay.

Start: Corner crack 5m left of "Roast Possum"

Unknown route marked UTB. Looks like a short thin slab then either walk off left, or crank over desperate roof, with no pro to boot. Start: Base of slab 2m right of "PEE"

"The broken crack; a boulder problem" or "Short broken crack on right wall of gully." Looks more like a broken vegetated corner.

3m to the right of Roast Possum

Set by Brendon Flanagan, Nov 2018

FA: Robin Kohler, 10 Dec 2018

"Obscure, yet pleasing" The hard looking flake/crack. Up as you will and rap off or hand traverse left to join "Roast Possum".

Beware the collapsing pile of pure orange honeycomb mid-climb. Start: 7m right of "Roast Possum"

FA: Craig B. Martin, 1983

Ground at base of cliff steepens and drops away east of here. Take care.

"First in a series of overhanging crack starts." Start: Crack and slab 10m right of "Defiant Deflaration"

Marked "LFR" and with blocks fallen off the bottom, no longer 17 as in original description. Pull up or campus to the break then up the easier angled crack and slab. Seems to have been repossessed or relabelled.

FA: M. Meyers & D. Haines, 1983

Start: 3m right of "Ode to an Orange". Harder than it looks. Crack etc.

FA: M. Meyers & D. Haines, 1983

Up wall 2m left of chimney to BR, then with more difficulty to overhanging blocks. 4 BRs in all to DBB.

Follows the obvious stepped flake and thence unknown, although may share ground with 'Same Reality'.

Up 1m left of "Freck's Effort" chimney, past 4 BRs.

"The chimney; a boulder problem" No pro?

"Pleasant and well protected. Up seam and wall past 3 BRs and a break to cam belay", or "Up the prominent fin, passing three manky BRs to blocks (cams) and cam belay."

Start: Right of "Freck's Effort".

FA: D. Haines & Mike Meyers, 1984

A fine climb with some great moves, take small wires. Move up 3m right of "The Holy Hour" to bolt runner under roof. Pull up on jugs into crack. Balancy moves up seam past 2 BRs to rests, then left and up.

FA: M. Meyers & H. Scott, 1984

Two of three corners east of "The Holy Hour" wall is a bottomless arete with a boulder perched on top. Rap to ledge from BB behind boulder.

Up just left of corner. 3 BRs to BB on left.

Traverse left from start of "Benji the Upholstered Rat" to flake system. Up to third BR then right to BB on face, or up easy slab.

Traverse left from start of "Benji the Upholstered Rat" past 2 fixed hangers, then up to third. Up left side of arete past BR to BB.

Fused corner with ironstone edges. Start: Just east of oblong block with Pittwater visible underneath it.

Beware selfie-destructive poseurs balancing on the belay block and beyond, and a deluge of vapid interrogation.

FA: Graham Dowden & Angus M, 30 Jul 2017

Up middle of smooth white wall from sandy break to sandy break on fixed hangers. Balance upwards on disappointing crimps to finish.

Up right side of smooth white wall, ending over curved block.

Corner with off-width section that looks wide but doesn't need big gear. Stem or ironstone edge off both walls.

Start: 2m left of Weenie Wide Boyz. Wend your way up the face by the path of greatest pleasure, via pleasing jugs and solid cam holes. Avoid the death-block near the bottom, and ironstone crispies near the top.

FA: Graham Dowden & Angus M, 30 Jul 2017

Muscle up the gritty off-width with maximal grunt, avoiding the obvious ledges.

FA: Graham Dowden & Angus M, 30 Jul 2017

It is possible to scramble down the far east end of the headland, and walk west back under the cliffline. Beware the steep slope that falls away to the lower cliff line.

From the east point of the headland you can descend to water level via a goat track to the north, or a scramble with a few protectable moves to the south. Beware loose shale.

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