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Narrow Neck Crags

Access: Narrowneck landslide

On 6 March 2022 a landslide caused by flooding heavily damaged Glenraphael Drive, closing the approach road to all Narrow Neck crags (but not affecting access to Rhum Dhu/Boars Head). The road will probably be closed for many months. However a temporary walking track bypasses the road washout if you want to walk/mtb an extra few kms into these crags.

See warning details and discuss

Created 4 months ago

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Description

Probably the oldest climbing area in the Bluey's. A little bit forgotten about these days but still very worthwhile. Take a lot of care with the fixed protection. Hopefully at some point in the future there will be funds available to 'renew' this area.

© (mjw)

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

For the Northern Crag, walk down the Devils Hole as for Rhum Dhu and turn left along the cliff base track.

For all others, turn off Cliff Drive into Glenraphael Drive (as for 'Diamond Falls') and follow the dirt road down.

  • "Main Bivouac Ledge" - rap down 100' Slab and turn left at the bottom
  • "100' Slab Area" - park at gated pumping station dirt road, then follow foot track right (facing out) under the upper cliff to rap station directly above 100' Slab
  • "Southern Crag" - park further along Glenraphael Drive and rap down "Cave Climb"
  • "Herbaceous Gully" - see access description

Previous access past the pumping station down Dixon's Ladders is not possible as the access slot has been barred and the ladders chopped.

© (mjw)

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

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Selected Guidebooks all

Author(s): Simon Carter

Date: 2019

ISBN: 9780958079082

The latest comprehensive, latest and greatest Blue Mountains Climbing Guide is here and it has more routes than you can poke a clip stick at! 3421 to be exact. You are not going to get bored.

Author(s): Simon Carter

Date: 2019

ISBN: 9780958079075

Simon Carter's "Best of the Blue" is the latest selected climbing guide book for the Blue Mountains and covers 1000 routes and 19 different climbing areas. For all the sport climbers out there, the travellers, or just anyone who doesn't want to lug around the big guide that's more than 3 times the size - cut out the riff-raff and get to the good stuff! This will pretty much cover everything you need!

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