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The Shark's Fin

  • Grade context: AU
  • Photos: 2
  • Ascents: 7

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Description

A prominent free standing fin of rock, right in the corner where the North Cliffs end, and the Far North Cliffs begin. Approximately 35m high at its highest face (and 12m high at its lowest). A fixed rope has been left in-place on the back (lowest) point of the Fin, to allow easy access to the anchors at its summit. WARNING - this rope was installed in 2013 prior to the 2019 bushfires. Treat with caution - it may be damaged.

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.

Approach

Approximately 20min walk from the Access Gully (with gear). Walk as if you were going to the Far North Cliffs, and you will walk right past the Shark's Fin (on your left).

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 https://sydneyrockies.org.au/rebolting/

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.

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Routes

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Grade Route

Climbs the Eastern side of the prominent knife-blade southern arete. Quite unique at the grade in the Blueys.

Stick clip first bolt, and start from directly below the arete. Desperate moves until past the second roof, then tenuous moves up the knife-blade arete to easy top section. Bring up second and rap-off eastern-side of the Shark's Fin, or lower off from last bolt below the topout to clean.

FA: Paul Thomson, 24 Mar 2013

A short, easy crack on the shortest (north-eastern) side of the Shark's Fin. Originally done as solo-aid to gain access to the summit to install anchors.

FA: P. Thomson, Feb 2013

FFA: R. Burton, 17 Mar 2013

Starts on North-Western side of The Shark's Fin at obvious clean slabby crack (with an undercut start) on far left-hand end (before vegetated chimney) which gradually steepens before becoming vegetated. Climb the crack to where the crack ends below the roof. Place some bomber pro. Swing left to gain the tree in the chimney, and bring up your second.

Alternatively use the fixed rope and 2 x raps to pull gear from the very top. Rap anchor will be installed within a month.

The extension through the roof has been cleaned, and is an open project (21/22)?

FA: Paul Thomson, 24 Mar 2013

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