Yesterday's Groove Area




Access issues inherited from Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains are a World Heritage listed area. The Grose Valley, the cliffs around Katoomba and much of the Narrow Neck peninsula are part of the Blue Mountains National Park which is managed by the NPWS. The Western Escarpment - where most of the climbing is - is Crown Land managed by the BMCC. While the NPWS Plan of Management nominates several locations in the National Park where rock climbing is deemed appropriate, the majority of the climbing remains unacknowledged. 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.

Practically all crags are either in National Park or in council reserve: dog owners are reminded that dogs are not allowed in National Parks at any time and fines have been issued, while for crags on council reserve the BMCC leash law requires that dogs be on-leash.


For Yesterday's Groove raps to get to the halfway ledge (for Rutger Hauer, 50 Year Itch etc) find the impressive concentric rock formation on the main clifftop track. From here a track leads down and left to a 5m cliff with a short fixed rope. Below this head down and right around a small rock ledge past some bolts to a long chain rap anchor. Shuffle your joining knot past the ironstone bands to aid the first pull.

Ethic inherited from Blue Mountains

Although sport climbing is well entrenched as the most popular form of Blueys climbing, mixed-climbing on gear and bolts has generally been the rule over the long term. 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.

Because of the softness of Blue Mountains sandstone, bolting should only be done by those with a solid knowledge of glue-in equipping. A recent fatality serves as a reminder that this is not an area to experiment with bolting.

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.

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

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.

However, the fast growing scrub can conceal walking tracks in mere months, making remote and less popular crags slightly more difficult and fun to navigate to. Some appropriately discreet pruning is a far better alternative then track braiding (which causes far more damage).

However, do so only on Council land and definitely not in the National Park. Remember, 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.


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
1 19
2 20
3 23
4 22

Major corner with a waterfall pouring straight over the top! Avoid like the plague after heavy rain or in winter. No trad required, but bring some longer draws to extend runners on pitch 3. This route was bolted and climbed in a day by the drill-masters.

  1. 17m (19) Start up Slackbladder to 5th bolt, then traverse left along scrappy break to belay on small ledge. 6 bolts

  2. 20m (20) Technical corner to small ledge belay.

  3. 40m (23) Continue up sustained orange corner to under roof, then hand traverse wildly right along break past waterfall to join into last 5m arete of pitch 8 of Slackbladder. You might get a little wet if you dawdle on the traverse. 15 bolts

  4. 16m (22) Finish up Slackbladder pitch 9 then scramble up gully on the left. 5 bolts

1 21
2 25
3 25
4 23
5 5
6 23
7 22
8 22
9 24

A monster sport route, with great exposed arete climbing on every pitch bar one. If you want to do the full route, rap in via Mirrorball and walk along base of cliff past Bucket Bunny and Hotel California' You can also just climb the last 4 pitches if you rap in down Yesterday's Groove. Equipped on a rainy night, the bolts seemed too far apart in the light of day, thus 4 more were added after the first ascent! If it's been raining avoid this route for at least a few days as a temporary waterfall blows onto the arete at pitch 5. Bring 20 draws, prussics or an ascender, double ropes and enough time!

Start: Starts aprox 100m right of 'Hotel California' below major arete.

  1. 15m (21) Little corner then right onto rounded arete. At ledge walk right and step across gap and up short chossy crack to belay under main arete.

  2. 17m (25) Bouldery and powerful. 'Monkey' over roof and swing left across lip to gain arete. Up this to comfy belay ledge.

  3. 29m (25) Up arete with devious moves for 15m, then traverse right onto face away from arete for several metres, then trend left back onto the arete at flake to finish. Bolts up the arete direct are an open project. Belay in large slot under roof.

  4. 25m (23) Thug over roof and up aretes to belay on vegetated slope at DUB.

  5. 50m (5) Scramble up hill side to 7m fixed rope. Hand over hand or prussic up this (rope was installed in 2010 - stay roped up and take care!) and continue up vegetated hillside to arrive at base of upper wall.

  6. 35m (23) Face to major arete with offset seam on the right side. A pumper! Hanging belay in little cave.

  7. 25m (22) Technical arete on small ironstone edges. Hanging bolt belay or link into the next pitch for full value!

  8. 18m (22) Up the wall and then left to arete and up to large cave belay. A little bold. You can bail from the end of this pitch by scrambling up the gully to the left (roped).

  9. 17m (24) Bouldery. Crawl right through cave and peer around lip to find hanging belay bolt. Re-position belay. Rightwards up face on crimpers, then back left up pumpy wall to easy death by ironstone.

FA: Monty Curtis, Vanessa Wills, richard sonnerdale, Mikl Law & vanessa peterson, 2010

A dry alternative to pitch 6 of to Slackbladder if the waterfall is running onto the main arete. A bit chossy but has plenty of bolts. Starts at bolted arete on right of chossy corner 5m right of Slackbladder' Delicately up the vegetation to first bolt, then bouldery first move to gain the arete on the right. Up the arete then out left above the roof and up face and arete to hanging belay at little cave (same belay as pitch 1 of Slackbladder). A couple of bolts were added after the first ascent - but it's still airy.

FA: Neil Monteith, Mike Law & Vanessa Peterson, 2009

1 22 35m
2 24 40m
3 24 30m

Major orange corner. Once a scary mixed route but heavily rebolted now.

  1. 35m (22) Stemming corner

  2. 40m (24) Very technical stemming!

  3. 30m (24) Airy traverse left across major break and then up face to finish.

…with jug references. 'Steep' and juggy, Gets sun at 4pm

Start: 100m right of yesterday's Groove at small right facing corner

  1. 15m (20) Up corner, clip 2nd u with screwgate to protect runout. DUB (Double Ubolt Belay)

  2. 48m (22) Up and leftwards, use long draws to reduce drag. DUB

  3. 20m (23) Out left, sling second runner. BUB on right

  4. 25m (20) Up and head left to DUB. Scramble up and walk left 70m to scramble up.

FA: mikl, Ness, Moss & Tom Cecel, 2009

trad corners leading to slab. Take big rack and some brackets.

Start: About 120m right of yesterday's groove, scramble up to ledge and single U belay

  1. 15m (19) Up crack on left to ledge and BB

  2. 40m (19) left into corner and up past 2BR to roof, Up crack, Up chimney to ledge on left (right?) arete, bolt and cam anchor

  3. 35m (19) Up corner till it fades, past botls and cams, left into easy crack and ledge. DUB

  4. 35m (18) Left and up slab (Ubolts) then follow dirty ramp to ledge and DUB.

  5. 30m (15) Left 5m to corner, Up corner past bolt and up grass slope to base of big cliff and DUB. Finish up gully on left

FA: Moss, Tom cecil, Erwin Gamboa & Mikl Law, 2010

Thin face climbing variant finish, crappy bolts at one spot

Start: On belay 3 of 50 year itch

FA: Mikl, Moss & Tom Cecil, 2010

1 18 30m
2 21 30m
3 23 30m
4 17 15m

Brilliant face climbing on all pitches. All U-bolts

Start: Start as for 50 Year Itch, 120m right of Yesterday's Groove. Best to leave gear at the col, scramble down and rap down Yesterday's Groove raps

  1. 30m (18) Lots of huge holds up a right trending line to get you warmed up. Belay on 2nd ledge.

  2. 30m (21) Up more fantastic juggy rock to belay on left end of ledge. Move belay 10m right to right end of ledge.

  3. 30m (23) Up brilliant technical wall with some airy exposure to small stance - either belay here on double rings or link into next pitch. 16 draws if you want to link the top two pitches.

  4. 15m (17) Short and not particularly nice exit pitch.

To get off walk up and right to breach the second cliff line and then around and left to get to the col.

FA: Moss & Mikl, 2010

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