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Cosmic County

Access: Cosmic County access after the bushfires.

Overall the cliffs have seen very little affect from the bushfires. However, the approach has been heavily burned out and care needs to be taken when walking in.

The track down from the carpark is marked with small cairns and pink tape. At the base of the hill cross the bog/marsh via the log bridge and follow the path up to the road.

Please only descend to the cliffs via the Memory Lane walkdown gully as the first gully is extremely loose and at high risk of erosion.

See warning details and discuss

Created 4 months ago - Edited 3 months ago

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Summary

Vertical Radness!

Description

An area that was popular in the 80's due to its ease of access and quality vertical face climbing. Nowadays, a highly under-rated crag with heaps of moderate classics from 17-25. Most of the routes are mixed, but a single rack of cams and a set of nuts will get you through the majority of the mixed routes here.

Cosmic is also home to one of the best beginner splitter cracks of the blue mountains, 'Interstate 31' (just make sure to bring everything you have in the hands range), as well as one of the best moderate cracks, 'Gentleman's Drag'.

Access issues

Due to changes in land ownership, some unnecessary angst created by climbers and the recent bush fires, the access situation to the Freezer, Cosmic County etc has now completely changed. The road down through the Buddist’s Monk’s Retreat must NOT be used under any circumstances. It is very important that climbers use the NEW access track (it skirts around to the eastern side of the Monks Retreat). Refer to Simon Carter's wesbite for new access details: http://www.onsight.com.au/bluemtns/

Suggestions for slight access change due to recent fires: Access the cliff via the 'Memory Lane' access gully. Avoid the first walk-down gully that would have you walking in to 'Greenhouse Gully' as it is at high risk for serious erosion.

Approach

Driving:

  1. From Mount Victoria take the Darling Causeway to Bell. And then from Bell take a left on the Chifley Rd towards Lithgow.

  2. Drive 8km and take left Petra Ave, Clarence. Drive up the road and take another left at Donald Rd. Drive 850 till you reach the end.

Walking:

  1. Once you are parked, there is a path (marked with a cairn) headed south into the bush. *If you are facing the road (Donald Rd) that you just drove on, the path will be to your left.

  2. Follow this track down the hill, there are small cairns and pink tape to mark the track. At the base of the hill cross over the log bridge (DO NOT head right to small road - this is private property and could threaten access if used), continue up to the road.

  3. Take a right on the paved road and keep walking on this road for 3-4mins until you come to big tree in the middle of the road. The tree is marked with pink graffiti, saying 'Big Tree'.

  4. At the big tree, take a left on the fire trail and follow it down hill for 350m. Keep an eye out for a cairn on the left.

  5. Once you find the cairn, take the path heading left. Follow this path (5mins approx) until you come to a clearing that is the old campsite.

  6. At the campsite find a trail heading right (marked with a cairn and pink tape). Follow this trail and soon to your left chossy rock walls should appear. Keep following this track, keeping an eye out for cairns. You will walk past a log that has step cut into it. And then you will also come across a small creek (can be dry). The view will then open up and beautiful rock walls (of Railway Cliffs and the Freezer) will be to your right.

  7. For Memory Lane area (and suggested access for whole crag): Keep walking along the track, staying on top of the cliff line until you come to the first set of chains (at foot level). Use these chains as a handrail to descend and using step cuts into the rock as foot holds.

  8. When at the bottom, walk left for 30m and another set of chains will be awaiting for your descend. Descend down the gully and the climb marked 'WW' to your left is Walking Wounded.

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.

History

View historical timeline

Andrew Penney lead the charge of early development with the zeal of an explorer, trailing many others in his wake.

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Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)

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