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Blue Lake

Seasonality

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Summary

Quality crack climbing in an alpine setting.

Good winter climbing as well depending on conditions. Ice flows form further right from the Amphitheatre most years, and the rock buttresses also sometime

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Description

Granite cliffs overlooking the west side of Blue Lake.

Winter ice on the slopes north of the lake. Winter mixed on the rock buttresses.

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Access issues inherited from New South Wales and ACT

If you have benefited from climbing infrastructure in NSW, please consider making a donation towards maintenance costs. The Sydney Rockclimbing Club Rebolting Fund finances the replacement of old bolts on existing climbs and the maintenance of other hardware such as fixed ropes and anchors. The SRC purchases hardware, such as bolts and glue, and distributes them to volunteer rebolters across the state of New South Wales. For more information, including donation details, visit https://sydneyrockies.org.au/rebolting/

Approach

From Charlotte's Pass, follow the paved and gravelled Main Range Walk towards Blue Lake. From this point it is preferred by NPWS park management that you either leave the track and head NW, ensuring spreading out and avoiding walking in single file and hence preventing formation of new footpads, this will lead you to the SW climbs initially. Alternatively from the paved upper viewing pad at the saddle overlooking the lake, follow the rock paved Blue Lake Lookout Walk leaving this hardened walk at any stage and spreading out (avoid the now “closed for rehabilitation”, non-hardened foot pad below the lower lookout) down towards the lake and around to the cliffs.

Winter access from CP can be expensive, though it is shorter walk. Usual winter access is from Guthega via the Illawong Track out and across suspension bridge, or just cross the creek for fun, then west towards Bel Lake.

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Where to stay

No camping in the glacial lake catchment (which includes Hedley Tarn). Also avoid camping within 30m of watercourses Nice protected col below the Twynhams.

Numerous winter camping spots available everywhere from staying low round Twynham Creek, or further up in treeline, on higher still on west side of exclusion zone that runs along Crummer Spur, Little Twynham and Twynham. Nice protected col below the Twynhams... Snow cave options are possible.

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Ethic

  • No bolts - trad climbing only.
  • Blue Lake and other glacial lake catchments are of very high conservation value and impacts upon these values need to be controlled
  • The Park is currently closing and rehabilitating several non-hardened footpads within the catchment.
  • Foot pads/ tracks that are not hardened (“official”) should be not be followed and walkers/ climbers should spread out to prevent track formation and subsequent erosion
  • Upon leaving official/ hardened walks visitors should spread out and follow leave no trace principles.
  • Camping is not permitted within 30m of any water body or water course.
  • Additional alpine safety information is available here: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/safety/alpine-safety
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History

History timeline chart

Blue Lake has a unique place in Australian climbing and it is a great shame that for so long it has been lacking a comprehensive guide. Tony Wood and the A.N.U.M.C. put out the first guide in 1971 and Warrick Williams (and the U.N.S.W.M.C.) released revisions and supplements in 1973 and 1977. What you are about to read is the first attempt at a revision/update in twelve years. Consider yourself lucky that you are reading it at all, for this 'guide' has had an uneasy birth. What should have been a relatively painless publication has been plagued by apathy and non-commitment. Lies have been told, letters have been sent and not answered phone calls have been ignored, route descriptions have been lost (or never recorded) and deciphering twenty year old route descriptions has proved worthy of a degree. Anyway here it is complete with gaps and descriptions that may lead you into the never-never but what the hell you probably need some adventure in your life. "Printed in Issue #6 (Spring 1989) of Australian ROCKCLIMBER magazine."

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Some content has been provided under license from: © Canberra Climbers' Association (CC BY-SA)

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