• Grade context: AU
  • Approach time: 30 minutes drive from Civic
  • Ascents: 13




The largest boulders in Pierces Creek offer a number of interesting routes and problems. The sector takes it's name from the original climb; Mercenary Swine. A pleasant place to spend a summer's evening.

Access issues inherited from Eastern Area

The Eastern Area is all state forest. It is the site of a commercial pine plantation managed by ACT Parks and Conservation Services. The area is occasionally closed during logging operations. Dates for logging operations are usually posted on the Parks and Conservation web site.


From ACT Granite, picking up from the turn just before Tumblers: At the crest turn left onto a track down the ridge, veering left after about 100 metres. Stop after a few hundred metres at the knoll before a right turn. The large summit boulder offers no climbing, but a crack splits the next boulder downhill. The hand-crack on the up hill side is Mercenary Swine, the off-width crack on the down hill side is Ronin.

Descent notes

The easiest way off the top of the split boulder is for one member of the party to lower back down and tie one end of the rope to a sturdy tree so that the other member can rappel down the far side. Care should be taken to keep the rope away from the crack.

Ethic inherited from Eastern Area

Trad climbing, top roping and high-ball bouldering.


View historical timeline

First recorded ascents date back to the early 80's before sticky rubber and SLCDs. Blackwater was not affected by the 2018 bush fires.


Some content has been provided under license from: © ANU Moutaineering Club (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike)


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The gently overhanging finger and hand crack on the uphill side of the split boulder.

FA: Robert Topfer, 1980

The gently overhanging off-width on the down hill side of the split boulder.

FA: B Aikman, 2018

Not bad and a good top rope if you're just done Mercenary Swine or Ronin. The dished face 6 metres around to the left of Mercenary Swine. Start off lower left end of huge detached flake and follow edges and flakes up and a bit right to finish straight up steep slab a few metres left of Mercenary Swine.

FA: Dave McGregor & Bjorn Aikman, 26 Apr

The flake crack 50m west of the summit boulder.

FA: B Aikman & Dave McGregor, 2019

Off-width 150m NE of summit boulder

FA: B Aikman, 2020

Looking back to the main track from the knoll, a group of small boulders could once be seen in a gully. This is the short line. (This climb has not been located in recent years).

FA: Colin Coleman, 1980

Might be slightly sandbagged. Up using the rail for left hand and top out. NOTE: Descent off this boulder is by down-climbing or jumping.

FA: David Nott, 31 Mar 2013

Sit start using the undercling, careful not to lever off the flake, and huck to the top.

FA: David Nott, 31 Mar 2013

Not your usual boulder problem. A V0 chimney. Up and over. If you head right to the back it's shorter. If you want to add a bit of spice, top out on the big mushroom on top with a heel hook so you feel really insecure. Just don't fall off from there because you'd probably kill yourself impaled on a tree. Also, I take no responsibility for any stupid decisions you make.

FA: David Nott, 31 Mar 2013

Could go as a boulder problem, assuming someone is willing to down-climb it. Up the wide to start then thinning off-width. Possibly too big for most gear.

The layered boulder ~20m from the parking lot on the right.

Sit start at low jug on the lower right hand side of the boulder. Follow the jugs around left until the tree is in the way the up and over the top.

Sit start the same as the low. Make one move right then dead point to the top of the boulder, then traverse left using the jugs as foot holds until you can top out the same as the low.

FA: James lister, Apr 2020


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