Sooty Crag





A lovely remote orange face with a good collection of wall routes. Shade until midday in summer.


This cliff is rarely visited however the routes climb good rock and cracks that remain in good condition despite it's lack of popularity.

Access issues inherited from Medlow Bath

Be wary of where you park, ensuring not to block any driveways or leave any rubbish. The crags are located on land owned by The Hydro Majestic, so act appropriately.


Best access as for Sunbath (it's about a 15 min extra walk in from that crag). Park at Balgravia St walk to Sunbath. Keep walking past The Block down steps through "tunnel". At the bottom of the steps turn right (facing out) onto Valley Track. Follow this for approx. 200m until a sharp hairpin left. At hairpin continue ahead/rightish. The track is good but then seems to disappear at some ferns. Push ferns aside and keep following track until you cross the creek almost at cliff base. Keep walking 200m to the ringbolted orange wall of Sooty. GPS -33.668228972776085, 150.27503745680545

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

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.


View historical timeline

The first routes were established here in the 1980 but never written up. In 2003 the wall was "rediscovered" and some of the original trad routes were retrobolted as sport routes.



Add route(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit Convert grades
Grade Route

Excellent technical slab and vertical wall. Far left bolted route 2m to the left of Abbey Road and finishing at that routes anchors. Climb direct to the anchors - don't bail right down low.

FA: S. Bell, 2003

This landmark right facing bolted flake crack is the best warm-up at the crag. Originally climbed on natural gear in 1980 and accidentally retrobolted in 2003 (where is was named Chimera).

FA: Rod Young & Mark Burton, 1980

Ignore first set of anchors and mantle onto ledge. Stem madly up brilliant retrobolted corner crack to loweroffs. This extension was how Rod's original trad 1980s route was done.

FA: Rod Young & Mark Burton, 1980

Not the best route here but totally worth a go. Funky start through opening bulge then stop start featured wall above.

FA: M. Rofe, 2003

Spectacular pocketed orange face guarded by a damn hard chimney and bulge down low. Apparently a hold broke off in this lower section in 2017 and it is now quite desperate. Alternatively stem up the nearby tree and step onto the rock.

FA: M. File, 2003

Info unknown. Potentially this is the bolted extension to Wildfire up the arete?

FA: M. File, 2004

Fantastic arete that shares the first two bolts of Wildfire then breaks right. The chimney start is not grade 22 however after a hold broke in 2017. Stem up the tree or batman to first bolt.

FA: S. Bell, 2003

Info unknown. Possibly the extension of Vulcan?

FA: S. Bell, 2003

The left of the two routes on the wall left of Windy Row. Stick-clip bolt out left of Windy Row's corner (or place trad) and layback up crack for a couple of metres to start.

FA: M. Rofe, 2003

The sport route up grey face just left of Windy's corner.

FA: M. Rofe, 2003

1 16 25m
2 15 20m

Mega corner crack that would have to be one of the best 16's in the Blue Mountains. Worth lugging a rack here just for this route. There is a convenient lower-off at the top of the first pitch. The second pitch seems very vegetated and unclimbed.

FA: Rod Young & Mark Burton, 1980

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