Shooting Star Block




Across the river from the Illusion buttress and slightly downstream is an overhanging wall of smooth compact rock with a veritable matrix of routes on it. The wall faces south and is an excellent place to hang out on hot summer days. Routes are described from left to right.

Access issues inherited from Upper Gara Gorge

Gara gorge is part of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park and access is open:

Ethic inherited from Upper Gara Gorge

Basically, the climbers of Armidale are a pretty laid back, free thinking group and as long as you don’t go out of your way to put people’s noses out of joint you’ll be amazed at how helpful they can be. The quickest way to piss people off is by ripping off projects. There are a few devoted locals making an effort and putting up quality new climbs. A lot of time, hard work and even money goes into their endeavours (cracks can be projects too) and there is too much unclimbed rock around to justify destroying someone else’s motivation. Any routes marked as such or not in the guide should be left alone. The simple courtesy of asking first may save you from being stripped naked and being staked out for the crows to pick your eyes out. If putting up new routes is your thing then please feel free. The only request is that you avoid placing hangers or conspicuous bolts around the Gara Boulders as we are already viewed as an environmental menace by the NPWS - bolting in National Parks is actually illegal.

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Water level needs to be fairly low. Fantastic juggy start then progressively harder through the face, a big dyno, then probably head left up the arete.

The juggy wall. A pleasant easy climb. Up wall, trending left to start, then back right to finish. #4 Friend belay.

Just right of the small shrub, 3m right of S.S. Up through the bulge and onward to exit up shallow dihedral. Three bolts in total. Double- bolt belay.

FA: Gordon Low & Jeff Gracie, 1995

Originally a very dangerous route with the possibility of decking at the crux. Has since been rebolted to satisfy the trembling hordes. An absolute bum-stinger! Start: As for Sweet Surrender. Directly up from first bolt on S.S. then trending left from second bolt to third then up (fourth bolt) to exit up groove. Double-bolt belay.

FA: Ben Christian, 1995

Right trending seam right of Shooting Star. Along overhang past 3 bolts, then up past a 4th bolt over lip to top. 2 BR belay directly after lip.

FA: Gordon Low, 1995

On the steepest section of rock directly below the second bolt on S.S. there is a bolt. Up past a BR to the 2nd bolt on S.S. Go up and slightly left past two more BR’s to top out. The BR to the right in the top section is still a project.

FA: Andreas Audetat, 1995

Start as for Sweet Surrender. but once you’ve clipped the fourth bolt step back down and continue traversing right to the big jug and another bolt (ignore the extra bolt in between - it’s for another route and is a real bastard to clip. From the jug haul onto the slab and up the seam (wire placement) and onto the S.S. belay bolts.

FA: Al Stephens & Gordon Low, 1995

A power-endurance fest. Start: As for L.A. - clip first bolt from the block. Pump up to the jug on Trapeze then reverse this to the second bolt on R.G.M. Finish as for this route.

FA: Andreas Audetat, 1995

Start: 2-3m right of Low Flying Angel Same bolts. Boulder along under the roof (trying not to break your back) to join the original link-up and so on....

FA: Andreas Audetat, 1995

An easy tick if you are short. Start: The large flake roof at the extreme right- hand end of the buttress. Lean off the block to clip the first bolt then step back under roof. Swing out to letterbox then flip up onto the slab and continue on past another bolt. Double-bolt belay

FA: Scott Clelland & Al Stephens, 1994

If you scramble downstream and uphill slightly, facing downstream, you'll find a small cave area with a couple boulder problems so far. There is scope for a bunch more hard problems here.

Downstream and uphill (north) about 30m away is a small bouldering cave with one wicked hard project.

Hard full stretch gaston through horizontal roof then onto face and up.

Five metres to the right of Shooting Star Cave and downhill is another cave created by boulders stacked on top of each other.

Sit start at the back of cave on obvious roof with a nice arete on the right. A right toe-hook on the arete and a left heel hook under the roof will get you off the ground without using the boulder at the end of the cave. Slap your right hand along the arete and use sidepull and undercling with your left. Follow the roof arete up into the chimney where it ends.

FFA: Alan Ezzy, 13 Mar 2012

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