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SSCC4 Area

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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.

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.

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

30m L of Pyro.

  1. Groove, L to ledge and tree belay.

  2. Wall then flake (sling tree) to small tree.

  3. Bulge, slight left and up to tree.

FA: K.Bell & R.Lassman, 1972

Take some gear. Batman to carrot on lip (!), 1m L of the arete 3m left of Pyro. Follow carrots.

FA: J.Pearson, 1988

This is the corner at the left hand end of the SSCC4 slab.

  1. Corner and little roof to belay.

  2. Crack to top.

FA: D.Klees & G.Wurth, 1972

FFA: K.Bell, R.Reynolds & S Anderson, 1978

Carrots to the left of SSCC4. Also requires gear, but don't fall on it. Needs rebolting!

FA: M Radke & john smoothy, 1988

FFA: M Radke, 1993

Sustained slab.

  1. 25m (23) Tough first move, but then keep it together. Absorbing climbing on rings and historic fixed hangers.

  2. 25m (24) The reputation pitch!

FA: M.Law & D.Whitehouse, 1993

A hold at the start has been pulled off so the route is at least 23 now, but really worth the effort.

Very good. Has 2 totally different pitches. Start: Left of Excalibur. The Line on ring bolts.

  1. 27m (22) Very trad, for a sport pitch. Corner to faint arete.

  2. 20m (25) One of the best aretes in the mountains!

FA: V.Peterson & S. Clark, 2004

Crack and groove. Overgrown. A version (?) of this route has been freed by Lee Cossey in 2004. All gear except anchor. Can climb and rap on 60m rope.

  1. 30m (20) Can also start as for Bareback and head right on better rock, but unprotected. Belay on Bareback anchor.

  2. 25m (22) The groove above?

FA: K.Bell & R.Lassman, 1972

FFA: (?) Lee Cossey, 2004

  1. 30m Start up CL for half a dozen bolts or so before drifting left into Excelsior at about 3/4 height. Some small cams for the crack or very runout to DRBB.

  2. 23m (27) Bronco style up arete and through roof to join Bareback.

FFA: Julian Saunders, 2009

Starts right of 'Excelsior', up chossy arete to awesome face on fixed hangers (red). 'Excellent' climbing! Has a bit of reinforcement at the top. Runout.

FA: G.Childs, 2002

Chimney with crack above.

  1. 35m Climb crack through poor rock into chimney. Up chimney then out onto wedged block and up to a ledge 3m above. Traverse along ledge and climb flake. Up blocks into small cave chimney. Up and out over small roof and belay on ledge below overhang.

  2. 40m Up groove above then 2 skyhooks and 2 aid bolts below overhang to BR at lip. Climb crack above, fight past bushes into a small niche. Up groove above past loose looking boulder into crack which leads to the top.

A piece of aid on the second pitch was eliminated on a subsequent ascent.

FA: K.Bell & R.Lassman, 1972

  1. 20m (20) As for Lucifer's Hammer (choss corner).

  2. 40m (25) Head up a scary arete (carrots). Barndoor all the way!

FA: J.Smoothy, 1988

  1. 20m (20) Start as for Hazard Reduction but continue straight up and into corner. Through the steep bit to a hanging belay.

  2. 40m (25) Left and up wall for about 6m to break, then R (Soul Catcher goes straight up the arete at this point) and up the middle of the beautiful face to lower-off.

FA: M.Radke & J.Smoothy, 1988

Line of FHs on the wall R of the chossy chimney. Head for the exposed right arete. After pulling through the roof, you are rewarded with a delightfully sculpted arete. Chain lower-off.

FA: G.Childs, 2002

Start on large detached block 5m right of Excelsior.

  1. 20m Traverse right to groove. Up it for 5m then move right to small belay stance. Peg anchor.

  2. 40m Up groove above belay to horizontal break, up steep wall right to small bulge. Over this on right to rest. Lassoe a small flake then use it to climb to the flake. Move rightwards and up to good belay ledge. Bolt and peg anchor.

  3. 30m Up wall above for 15m to smooth section. Up its left hand side then continue up corner to top.

FA: K. Bell, J. Morgan & G. Mortimer, 1972

Start as for of Bewt Root.

  1. 20m As for 1st pitch of Bewt Root.

  2. 35m Up groove above belay to horizontal break. Up steep wall on right to a small bulge with a crackline on left. Bewt Root traverses right here. Up crack above, through small overhang to a horizontal break. Move right and up onto small ledge - DBB.

  3. 30m Diagonally left for 7 metres, up wall above to top and tree anchors.

FA: K.Bell & R. Lassman, 1972

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