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Access: December firetrail closure

BMCC will be doing "vegetation management work on the Hourn Point fire trail as part of Council’s 2021-22 fire mitigation program ... on-site work is now scheduled to commence on 1 December, weather permitting. ... This work will necessitate the presence of heavy machinery, trucks and other equipment, and as a work-site the fire trail, some nearby walking tracks and the loop road will need to be closed to public access for the duration of work. Council apologises for any inconvenience, and asks the community to be patient for two to three weeks while this important work is completed".

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Created 4 days ago

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Description

One of the most popular areas at Mt Piddington and covers climbs between Tombstone Wall and Skypilot. As a consequence of long term popularity, the erosion along the base from foot traffic is significant in places, and a number of medium-large boulders have been undermined and will probably soon collapse; caution advised. Better yet, why not pitch in with some trackwork to stabilise the base.

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.

Descent notes

There is an abseil anchor at the top of Angular Crack.

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.

Tags

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

Routes

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Grade Route

Up past difficult mantle then up right to break. Traverse right to edge of arete then up to top passing several carrots on the way. Belay just below top out on stainless carrots. Belay leader from top belay to rap chains for Angular Crack.

Re-bolted with stainless glue in carrots in 2016.

Direct start is 24.

Start: Thin crack 6m left of 'The Bells of Rhymney',

FA: J Ewbank & J Davis

Start as for TW to break. Up staying left of the arete.

FA: A.Penney & A.Jones, 1988

Start as for TW. Then up and left.

FA: G.Bradbury & G.Weigand, 1981

Start 2m left of TW.

Blocky corner 3m left of TW. More popular as a rap line than a route, and probably rightly so.

FA: B Ryan, E Saxby & G Boyd

Start 3m left of AC. Up thin crack and arete for about 12m until the crack disappears, then up wall past two bolts to ledge. Clip the first bolt off this ledge and step left to finish up On Edge. Three carrot bolts and trad + a ring or two on On Edge if climbing the route this way. Rebolted 26/5/2012.

FFA: H.Barber

FA: B.Osbourne, 1967

Climbs the crack then the top head wall above. 6 bolt brackets for the climb and 2 for the anchor. Rebolted 26/5/2012.

Start above AC.

FA: S.Moon, 1984

Start 3m left of HB.

FA: G.Weigand, 1985

Stunning technical arete 2m left of GW. Bolts are spaced and can be supplemented with cams (#2 & #3 Camalot).

FA: M.Law & A.Penney, 1977

Start 2m left of On Edge. Old carrots but eminently convenient to TR now that Flake Crack has got lower-offs.

FA: T. Atroshenko, 2002

1 17 15m
2 17 15m
3 23m

Starts at the obvious layback flake 4m left of On Edge. Most link pitch 1 & 2 and forego the final pitch, descending via lowers or onto ledge and sketchy traverse right (use a rope) to rap anchors on Angular crack.

  1. 15m (17) Up sustained layback flake (big cams) to ledge (most link straight into 2nd pitch)

  2. 15m (17) From ledge head right and up obvious crack through rooflet to lower-offs or onto ledge and carrot belay

  3. 23m (??) Rarely done chimney pitch off to the left.

Lower-offs and new belay carrots added 2016.

FA: J Ewbank & E Saxby, 1964

Not good. Start at chain on Faith.

FA: M.Scheel, 1985

The corner crack 4m left of Flake Crack.

  1. 15m Up corner to chains.

  2. 15m Up corner and gully.

  3. 22m Walk left, up into chimney.

FA: E.Saxby, B.Ryan & G.Boyd, 1964

Starts as for Faith P2, go to second bolt, then step down and traverse left until half way across the wall. Up flakes.

FA: G.Bradbury & S.Moon, 1985

The arete 2m left of Faith. Minimal gear.

FA: J.Worrall & F.Hodges, 1966

Finger crack 2m left of Chastity. One hard move. Lower off shared chains on top.

FA: E.Saxby, B.Ryan & G.Boyd, 1966

Start 2m left of Hope. Slab climbing up orange face between Hope and Charity. Step right and finish on Hope when it gets hard. Direct finish is much harder.

FA: J.Worrall & F.Hodges, 1966

Start 2m left of Sincerity. The wide crack in the corner - take big cams. Double hangers with rings lower off at the top.

FA: E.Saxby, B.Ryan & G.Boyd, 1964

Start from belay 1 of Charity.

  1. 17m (23) Traverse left. Up, around arete and up to ledge.

  2. 19m (-)

FA: M.Law & A.Penney, 1979

Start from TOtG belay 1. Traverse right out of cave, to flake, ledge.

FA: W.Baird & G.Bradbury, 1979

As for Charity for 10m, left to flake, left to cave.

FFA: K.Carrigan

FA: J.Worrall & J.Ewbank, 1966

Pumpy. Up Charity to obvious traverse line. Hand traverse left past a bolt about half way, to bolt on wall. Up to cave and lower offs or head on up past two more pitches.

FA: J.Ewbank & J.Worrall, 1966

Start 2m left of Charity.

FA: M.Baker, 1991

Start 4m L of C (marked below fixed hanger). Stick clip fixed hanger then thin balancy moves up and slight left to hand traverse ledge. Hand traverse left past bolts and up to medium cam placements on arete, then easily up and right past another cam to cave and rap chain.

Undercut arete 6m left of Charity. (Marked TGSDS). Stick clip. Old carrots.

FA: S.Moon, 1985

1 19 21m
2 9m
3 18m
4 19 21m

You can rap off after pitch 1 (traverse 8m L to tree) for an awesome 1 pitch outing. Start 8m left of RC.

  1. 21m (19) A brilliant pitch. Corner, through roof and up to tree/ledge.

  2. 9m (-) Traverse right to blocks.

  3. 18m (-) Wall.

  4. 21m (19) Up the weakness to ledge. Left and up.

FA: J.Ewbank & J.Worrall, 1967

Start 3m left of Forward. 3 pitches.

FA: J.Worrall & J.Ewbank, 1967

Bulging diagonal 3m left of Preface.

  1. Up and left to ledge.

  2. Square corner on left. Finish up Prologue.

FA: J.Ewbank & J.Worrall, 1967

Start as for Introduction then left across wall and up. One wire at the start then all carrots.

FA: G.Robbins, 1980

Start 3m left of I. 3 pitches. Corner. Thin cracks on left arete of I. Gully.

FA: M.Law & G.Bradbury, 1979

1 11 8m
2 11 21m
3 11 21m
4 11 23m

Start 1m left of E. More like 15!

  1. 8m (11) Crack to ledge. rightwards to R side of cove

  2. 21m (11) Corner to cave, left up to big cave. Traverse right (old BR) and up to ledge.

  3. 21m (11) Left along ledge, up small black wall into gully.

  4. 23m (11) Up.

FA: J.Ewbank, A.Quinlan & R.Smith, 1965

1 15 8m
2 15 21m
3 15 18m
4 13m

Thin corner 2m left of Prologue.

  1. 8m (15) Up to tree.

  2. 21m (15) Left side of groove to bush.

  3. 18m (15) Left and up to bollard.

  4. 13m (-) Up.

FA: J.Davis & Witham, 1965

Start 2m left of A.

  1. 15m (18) Up thin crack then straight over bulge to tree.

  2. 20m (18) Follow 'Ballrace' to end of its P1 (threaded slings in rock), over roof to ledge.

  3. 15m (-) Up.

FA: M.Law, J.Smoothy & T.Bernutt, 1978

3 pitches. Crack 1m left of Kim.

FA: J.Davis & D.Witham, 1965

Start 1m left of B. Arete and wall.

FA: M.law & K.Carrigan, 1977

Arete 8m left again.

  1. 15m (23) Crack to arete.

  2. 20m (16) Right, over bulge and up to ledge.

  3. 25m (-) Crack, slab to the left. Corner.

FA: G.Bradbury & G.Weigand, 1981

The climb was cleaned up considerably before the fist absent, and still climbs better then it looks. There are a few unnecessary bolts that were decommissioned in the '60's. "It may be done safely on purely jamb protection" J Ewbank 1967 guidebook.

The black V-chimney 1.5m left of AA.

  1. 26m (16) Chimney.

  2. 21m (16) Up to corner.

  3. 20m (16) Up the corner.

FA: L.Muzzati, G.Davies & G. Owens, 1966

Start 7m left of OU.

FA: P.Webber, 1981

Aid at M3. Start 5m left of M. Sebco's finest hour: probably never repeated, and with good reason.

  1. 15m (-) Aid roof, up the scrubby wall to ledge.

  2. 15m (12) Up right through jungle to join OU.

FA: G.Herbert & G.Prime, 1978

Start below roofs 4m left of AGDftI. Small corner.

FA: M.Law & G.Harrison, 1979

Again a tricky and strenuous first section.

Start at a dirty jagged crack 20m left of Orang Utang, marked.

  1. 25m (13) Up 10m then fall onto thick scrub on ledge. Continue more easily to tree anchor on next ledge.

  2. 30m (15) Up easily to top. Tree anchor.

Could probably also be done as one long pitch.

FA: J.Ewbank & J.Worrall, 1967

Left hand variant to Brumby. Start as for B.

  1. 38m (18) Up over fern? To shelf, left to mantle. Wall right of tree to block.

  2. 22m (15) Left to bollard, up wall.

FA: J.Friend & R.Templeton, 1973

A hard first pitch, strenuous and tricky. Starts at a square groove, marked.

P1. Up groove, (missing) peg runner, move out at top to left, and up to tree (and block) anchor.

P2. Up easy slab to top.

Can also be done as one long pitch.

FA: J Ewbank. & J Worral, 1967

Blocky arete about 11m left of Mustang.

FA: K.Carrigan & G.Bradbury.A.Penney, 1978

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