Black Cave

  • Grade context: AU
  • Photos: 14
  • Ascents: 1,278
  • Aka: Forty Basket Beach




Only a few problems here; however what Black Cave lacks in quantity it makes up in quality of climbs.


AKA Manly Cave AKA Forty Basket Beach

Access issues inherited from New South Wales and ACT

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


Park on Beatty St and take a narrow walkway from about halfway down the street, with stairs all the way to the beach. Hang a right and then walk along the rocky shoreline a couple of hundred meters to the crag.


History timeline chart

First climbed in 2007.


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Grade Route

Stand Start on big undergoing on the far LHS of the roof. Climb straight up through juggy pockets and a high pinch. Don't underestimate the topout or the terrible landing.

Stand start on big undercling on the far left of the roof. Climb rightward to top out on the nice sidepull feature. Tsz Ying Yau

Start with both hands inside the undercling on the far left. Then traverse left to right on the lip. The roof is out.

If you're bored of cruel sea or Aquarius. Starting from the big jug left side of the cave, climbing back through Aquarius staying low on the lip, then with an easy finish up Cave party.

Start on the shelf. Big move to the hueco then top out via the elegant crescent shaped holds just right of Dead Calm. Reachy.

Crazy roof right on the waters edge of the ocean. Sit start from two good crimps at the back of the cave, followed by 8 hard moves in a roof to a cool headwall and top out to the right.

First boulder of the grade sent by an Australian woman - Amy Fenton in 2017. Amy suggested a downgrade, saying "The consensus probably sits at a slash grade (V12/13) but I am definitely no authority. Before Deep Blue Sea my hardest tick was V10 so the idea of skipping two grades and going straight to V13 didn’t sit right with me."

Aurel Gelot | Travis Bettison | Mattias Braach-Maksvytis | Amy Fenton

FA: Chris Webb Parsons, 2008

As for 'Deep Blue Sea', once at the lip finish up 'Cruel Sea' Dylan Soin

FA: Dylan Soin, Aug 2021

Far right cave problem. Can be done in a number of different ways including a crazy dyno that could potentially send you rolling down to a rocky but somewhat refreshing swim in the ocean.

Mattias Braach-Maksvytis | Oliver Chen

The Plunge into Aquarius.

FA: Crag Care

The Plunge into Cruel Sea.

Start at the right side V5 and straight up. Heel hooked and feet off the adjacent rock for the full grade. Good warm up for the V4.

FA: unknown

Set: al bradley & Al Bradley, 15 Sep 2017

Fun eliminate. Start as for Cruel Sea and Aquarius using just the lip holds, then go straight up to the crimp and top out right.

Start Matched on the lower far right jug at the lip of the roof. The separated wall on the right is off.

Traverse using holds on the face above the roof in the reverse direction to the V4 ('Right to left').

Finish matched on the starting jug of the V4.

Phillip Booth

Same as 'Right to Left' but topout as 'Dead calm' / 'Aquarius' instead of finishing on the starting hold of the V4

Traverse right to left as for Cruel Sea into the heuco, but then cut out the crux sequence by going straight towards the topout as for Dead Calm. Stay low all the way with the "upper V5 Lip" being out.

Kiu Hei Chu | Phillip Booth | Darien Winarso (No cut beta)

A great Eliminate. Traverse from right to left using holds in the roof and on the actual lip only . Once you've dropped down to the hueco keep heading left to top out via the short wall on the far LHS of the cave as for DISW. The early topout directly from the Hueco is Aquarius V6.

Mauricio Chino


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Selected Guidebooks more

Author(s): Neil Monteith and Simon Carter

Date: 2021

ISBN: 9780645299908

Featuring 1142 climbing routes located at 24 of the best crags in the Sydney area, this A5 size guide book is super user friendly with easy to use colour cliff topos and access maps. Covers sport and trad climbing at a variety of grades, something for everyone.

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