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Mount Keira

  • Grade context: AU
  • Approach time: 15 Minutes
  • Photos: 86
  • Circuits: 2
  • Ascents: 8,401

Seasonality

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Summary

The popular Illawarra climbing destination for beginners and intermediates, featuring a large mix of trad, boulder and recently re-bolted sport routes.

Description

The Mount Keira Summit Park is a popular recreation and climbing destination within 90 minutes drive south of Sydney.

The mountain plateau features a well developed car park, picnic area, lookout with stunning views of the Illawarra coastline and a newly opened pop-up kiosk cafe. The plateau is ringed in by cliffs which are accessed by a mix of established foot tracks and bush scrambling.

Of the four key cliff faces the West Face is the most popular and accessible, featuring many easier and shorter routes. The three other faces (South Face, North Face and East Face) are more exposed and progressively more difficult to reach, though do offer some excellent routes for those who pursue them.

"The Big K" is worthwhile for a day trip from Sydney and a very good local cliff for those that live around the Illawarra - R.Young

.. and if all else fails, remember ... The Law of Gravity is STRICTLY Enforced

Access issues

The Mount Keira summit park is an easy 15 minute drive from the Wollongong CBD. The park is surrounded by the Illawarra Escarpment State Conversation area and is covered in thick sub-tropical rainforest and eucalypt forest, and is open to the public all year round.

Be aware the vehicle gate to the summit park is closed and locked after hours.

Due to rockfalls in recent years some parts of the area are closed, though the West Face and connecting path (Dave Walsh Track) are declared open by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. See http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/illawarra-escarpment-state-conservation-area/local-alerts for details.

Approach

The main climbing areas are accessed from the Mount Keira Summit Park by driving in from either up Mount Keira Road from Wollongong or via Picton Road and Mount Keira Road coming from Sydney.

The West Face and South Face are accessed by a short walk along the Dave Walsh Track. Refer to sub-areas for further area approach details.

Where to stay

Camping is not permitted in the park, there is plenty of accommodation to be found in the Wollongong region.

Ethic inherited from Wollongong

Retro-bolting of established trad routes is frowned upon. There has been some controversy in recent years about new routes being bolted above tourist tracks. Please don't do this.

Please try to use available natural gear where possible, and do not bolt cracks or potential trad climbs. If you do the bolts may be removed.

If you do need to top rope, please do it through your own gear as the wear on the anchors is both difficult and expensive to maintain.

It would be appreciated if brushing of holds becomes part of your climbing routine - do it with a soft bristled brush and never a steel brush!

The removal of vegetation - both from the cliff bases and the climbs - is not seen as beneficial to aesthetics of the environment nor to our access to it.

Consider bolting single lines rather than many link ups and eliminates, where there are established lines also consider the need to add bolts to establish link ups. It can often create an eyesore.

It is a privilege to climb in the Illawarra to maintain access our best approach is to 'Respect Native Habitat, Tread Softly and Leave No Trace'. Do not cut flora and keep any tracks and infrastructure as minimal as possible or risk possible closures.

History

View historical timeline

Bill James in the mid-60's followed by the prolific Graeme Hill mid-70's and his side kick Chunder (Russell Chudleigh). Contributions from Jon Muir (from 1977) , Ian Anger(ferret) , Dave Thomas, Ant Prehn (from 1978) , Rod Young(from 1981) Original descriptions by Ant. Penh/Tucker/ViBeS/Rod Young/TJ

Areas

Add area(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit
Name
Style
Routes
Ticks
Height
Grades
Book Boulder Boulder
15
68
4m
8
West Face Cliff
85
5,932
10m
29
Nitro Wall Boulder
7
86
4m
4
Pox Crag Cliff
26
34
8m
11
17
247
3m
5

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Activity

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