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The Badlands

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Summary

New crag out in the Wolgan. Andrew Penny put up a route back in the 80's at the far Western end of the crag and called the area Penrose Gully. There are tonnes of potential new routes out there.

Bolts are glue in stainless steel requiring bolt brackets. Cliff faces N/W. Don’t go on a hot summer’s day

Access issues

There are no defined paths to the crag as of yet. The listed routes are spread over 1km of cliffline. It's easiest to get orientated as to where you are if you head to the left (north-east) looking at the cliff as there is a concentration of routes (Home By Six - "Flake-ation"). Some hundreds of metres to the south-west is another concentration of routes, Mouse Land - "Just Don't Be Weak".

There is an abseil point 2UBB approx 10m West of top out of The Badlands. 40m abseil to ledge, then abseil off 2BB 30m to ground. Descents of routes are listed.

Approach

All GR's for Ben Bullen topo map 8931-4S Drive 2.4km past the ford for Coal Mines Cliff and park in a small cutout on the side of the road opposite a gate, as the road bends round to the north. GR 430 221. About 50m upstream from the parking area is a broad fallen tree allowing a dry crossing. There is not presently a defined trail to the crag. The crag itself is about 1 km long. There are a couple of usable approaches:

Home by six - Flake-ation area: The steep, direct line will take you to the northern end of the crag. After crossing the creek head up the hill, reaching the Newnes Ruins / Glow Worm trail after about 5 minutes. Follow the trail briefly (80m) towards the Glow Worm tunnel and leave it to continue up broad spur till you reach the cliffline (20 min), hopefully noting some rock cairns along the way. After reaching the lower cliffline, head right approx. 50m until you can scramble further up with the aid of a handline. Continue up to main cliff line along the path of least resistance where you should find "Flake-ation".

Mouse land - Just don't be weak area: An alternative, slightly gentler approach will take you further south along the crag, reaching Glockenspiel Crack after about 45 minutes. Walk in as for Home by six - Flake-ation until you reach the Newnes Ruins / Glow Worm trail. Follow this towards the Glow Worm tunnel for 400m until a fence is reached.GR 426 21. Go through the fence and then follow the line of least resistance uphill till a small knoll is reached GR 427 214. Continue straight up past some huge house sized boulders to the cliff line which should lead you to Glockenspiel Crack.

Ethic

"Old School" is the vibe we are after. Ground up if possible. Limited bolts, viewed as an extension of trad gear (maybe think carrots rather than rings). What's there has often been bolted by hand on lead, and should be assessed carefully before committing to it. However the classic "trade" routes have had bolts replaced with glue in stainless carrots.

History

History timeline chart

First visited by Andrew Penney one day in 1984, when he put up the single route Zoser (including the installation of a bolt and the customary painted square and initial!). Fast forward a few decades: Marty Doolan spied the line of The Badlands from the road and checked it out one day with Hugh Ward. The rest is history.

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Routes

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Grade Route

Start at small thin corner. Double set of cams including a #4 and 5 cam essential, small to micro cams handy plus a set of wires.

  1. 25m 20 - Up corner for 15m, #4 cam then hand traverse left to ledge. Up wall #5 cam, the tend left past bolt to crack. Follow crack to ledge and tree belay.

  2. 35m 18 – Small wire protects move off ledge, up wall past BR, medium wire then 4 more BR to ledge. Small cam then hand size cams in blocky corner on right. 4 more BR then another 0.4 cam to top. Belay off small eucalyptus. From the belay you can rap 35m to the tree belay on pitch one then 20m to the ground. Otherwise Walk to the rap point just past the Badlands.

FA: Marty Doolan & Hugh Ward, 2 May 2017

Follows a series of flakes and cracks. Both pitches at 22 the first is technical and the second more powerful.

Starts off the same ledge as Arete central. Sling large block for belayer.

  1. Step onto wall off ledge past BR. #3 camalot in horizontal and up to first flake system BR. Step slightly left to jugs, mantle then step right to main flake system. Climb slightly left of flake to stance. Micro cams in crack. Awkward move laybacking up crack to ok stance. 0.4 cam and small wire. Up to BR and jug to rest. Continue up techy corner past 3 BR’s and then spicy moves veering leftwards to belay.

  2. Up off belay past 2 BR then traverse back right through steepness past 4 BR and an optional #4 camalot in horizontal to top .

FA: Marty Doolan & Alex Forwell, 19 Sep 2018

FFA: Marty Doolan & hugh sutherland, 23 Sep 2018

Start off 15m high ledge system 5m left of the Badlands. Access by scrambing up through small cave and scramble up easy wall (grade 5). Start off pedestal 5m left of The badlands at DBB.

Up wall past 0.4 cam to flake system. Follow this past 2BR then traverse out to arête. Up arête past 4 BR, # 2 cam in horizontal break, sling horn on the arête, BR, 0.75 and # 1 cam and medium wire to 2bb. Rope stretching 35m rap to ledge then 20m rap to ground off DBB, otherwise scramble back down.

FA: Marty Doolan & Hugh Ward, 13 Jul 2017

5m right of cave and 3m left of Off limits. Climbed ground up onsite. The bolts placed on lead were off set thread bolts which have since been removed and replaced by stainless glue in carrots.

  1. 25m 19 – Up thin corner to ledge. Through bulge to small cave. Continue up wide crack to belay were the crack steepens. BR plus save a #3 and 4 cam for the belay.

  2. 25m 21 - Continue up crack system, Small cams and wires essential to alcove and 2BB. You can traverse left from the belay for 8m to the rap point for Arete central and do 2 raps to the ground or continue up pitch 3.

  3. 20m 16 - Up short chimney to ledge and eucalypt. Continue to top. Tree belay.

FA: Hugh Ward, Marty Doolan & Bridie Campbell, 14 Apr 2017

3m right of TB. 35m 18 – Up nice water polished corner to sandy scoop. Awkward moves to roof then up corner to tree belay. Most parties rap off 5m right of tree belay back to ground. Double rack of cams plus #5

FA: Marty Doolan & Alex Forwell, 11 Jul 2017

Start 2m right of Off limits. Up wall to stance, traverse out left past BR to arete. Blast up puppy arete to ledge and then to top.

Starts 1m left of Acoustic Corner. Great Climbing up a beautiful wall and great rock. Take a single rack with a extra number 2.

Set: Hugh Ward

FA: Hugh Ward & hugh sutherland, 29 Sep 2019

5m right of OL.

  1. 25m 20 - Thin crack leads into nice corner. Hard move to gain thin crack at the start, up to ledge then follow pleasant corner into chimney and up to ledge. Tree belay. Most people rap off after P1 unless you want to continue to the top.

  2. 15m 14 - Up behind trees to next ledge. Tree belay.

  3. 40m 16 - Up corner to ledge. Step out right onto wall and follow to the top. Small cams handy 0.3 and c3’s

FA: Marty Doolan & Hugh Ward, 12 Apr 2017

Start at the seam right of Accoustic Corner. Up this for 2m then right onto face following bolts and gear to gain amazing tapered splitter crack. Up this to 2BB. Rap to ground (better option) or continue up Acoustic Corner.

Initially led ground up, without pre-inspection. Start at the scoops about 10m right of Acoustic Corner at a small pile of discarded holds - don't be put off by these. Surprisingly well protected using natural placements throughout, take 2 sets of wires and a double rack of small to medium cams. Originally led in 4 pitches, though the below might be a better method.

  1. Delicately through face moves past bolt to sling arch. From here the rock quality is very good. Follow the plumb line through shockingly good gear to 2BB on the ledge at 35m.

  2. Continue on the plumb line through adequate (though fiddlier) gear to belay at small bulge just below the 1/2 way ledge.

  3. Easily up to 1/2 way ledge to belay from large gum.

Descent: walk left to 2 RBB rap station, 32m rap to next station, then 35m to ground at the bottom of Road to Hell.

FFA: Hanna Kallweit & Hugh Ward, 25 Aug 2020

Start 50m right of Acoustic Corner. Up obvious flake to ledge. Second pitch-" Back to work " step right of belay up small corner then tend back left to large ledge. Is recommended that you abseil of after first pitch as the second is rather full on....

Nice hand crack to start into some less attractive looking rock.

FA: George Wilkinson & Tom

Big chimney then nice hand crack. 2 x 30m pitches

Star 3m right of FOW. Diagonal crack to ledge.

FA: Hugh Ward

Awesome hand crack!! A big whopping 50m pitch. 10m right of big chimney which is Fog of war and 3m right of scrubby unclimbed corner system at left leaning hand crack. Take plenty of hand size pieces 4x #2, 3x #3's and 2 x #4's as a minimum plus your usual rack. Climb hand crack through small rooflet at 25m to a wide section. Continue to top. Tree belay.

Another great climb, was done ground up with both Hugh's "yoyoing" the first pitch. Start 30m right of "Mysts of Time" on small pedestal.

  1. Up face via piton and 2 bolts to large horizontal, then take traversing line via bolt to Arete. Glorious postion. Bolted anchor in cave feature. Is recomended to abseil off from here.

  2. Up left out of cave and wander to top.

FA: Hugh Ward & hugh sutherland, 11 Sep 2020

Follows a good line offering interesting hand jamming in the central section. Take a good supply of medium/large cams and hexes.

Start in shallow right facing corner which is a bout 15m right of an easy looking blocky chimney/corner. Approx 1km West of The Badlands.

Scramble up 10m to tree anchor on triangular sandy ledge.

Up short slab then hard moves (crux) bridging past BR and then up corner being carful of several loose blocks and Boris the spider!. Abseil off tree.

FA: Andrew Penny, 1984

Start 20m left of Glockenspiel Crack at low angled blunt arete.

  1. 35m (13) - Up steepening arete through bulges to belay at tree on ledge. Run out in places.

  2. 20m (16) - Right facing corner crack to half way ledge. Rap from tree above Glockenspeil Crack.

FA: Greg Mortimer & Brad Carmady, 14 Jun 2021

1 17
2 19

60m to the right of Zoser, look out for a striking rightwards diagonal crack splitting the headwall.

  1. 25m (17) - Up onto ledge with large tree. Up fine corner to ledge and cave. Large tree belay.

  2. 40m (19) - Step right around corner and follow the diagonal crack to just before corner. Up hand crack which thins to fingers and finish up corner.

FA: Bridie Campbell, andrew stevenson & Hugh Ward, 22 Apr 2017

Named because the Jesse forgot most of his climbing gear. Start 10m right of Glockenspiel crack.

P1. 10m.Up small open book corner for 5m to ledge and belay 5m to the right at good stance.

P2. 25m. Straight up crack through chimney into awesome hand crack. Belay in chimney.

P3. 35m. Continue up chimney and crack.

Rap off tree as for TWTLD

FA: Jesse Adams & hugh sutherland, 13 Sep 2018

Nice climbing but a tad serious.

  1. Same as Forgetful.

  2. Up crack for 2m. Traverse left until below large steep corner, up this till good belay ledge.

  3. Up corner, hard and committing. Take care, tree belay.

FA: Jesse Adams & hugh sutherland, 13 Sep 2018

Start 50m right of This water tastes like diesel. Thin corner with two carrots at the start.

FA: Hugh Ward & Bridie Campbell, 1 Jun 2017

Start at arete to the left of 'Cave Diving'. Another classy addition to the area.

  1. Up arete via balancy and awesome movements to horizontal. Up onto wall then traverse above roof to arete. Up to semi hanging belay.

  2. Easy start leads to bulge. Step right onto arete and up. Follow arete to ledge then up crack to tree. NOTE: bolts on second pitch were placed on lead, Take care

FA: hugh sutherland & Hugh Ward, 1 Oct 2020

Start just before large corner and 30m before Mouseland. First pitch (18) Up twin seams to awesome hand crack. First pitch finishes at a stance with some fixed hexes Second pitch (19). Wide Crack with featured face holds. Wide gear and some small stuff. Finish at fixed sling. Abseil off.

FA: Brad Carmady, Greg Mortimer & Ben Maddison, Jul 2020

Potentially quite dangerous. Start at the splitting crack to the right of the big corner under the obvious roof. Up this to tree, better than it looks. Into corner system on left and up through limestone-esque cave features to horrifying shield. Gingerly commit to shield then awkward moves into chimney and up to bolted anchor. It would not be pretty if this shield dislodged with belayer below. There is a pitch (open project) above this that looks quite good, although it was too wet to climb it on our visit. Previous high point (just below shield) set by Brad Carmady.

Start approximately 100m right of Glockenspiel Crack at obvious overhanging hand crack in yellow rock. Up crack until it widens significantly at a stance. More dignified to move left onto the face to use some unprotected but big holds to the ledge, rather than grovelling up the offwidth. Great climb.

A large thread on the ledge allows an easy descent.

FA: hugh sutherland & Hugh Ward, 29 Sep 2019

Described by Statius as "the queen of long distance roads" the construction of the Appian Way commenced in 312 BC and served as a supply route for troops and supplies during the Samnite Wars. As a long straight clean line this is one of the more efficient ways to gain the 1/2 way ledge for anyone wanting to inspect the tougher routes prior to climbing. The line commences about 10m Right of Mouse land and 20m Left of Interregnum. Follow the rightmost of the 2 cracks through a bulge and onto a blunt arête. Directly up the sea of rock on the arête through mixed gear, beautiful holds and fabulous exposure. The last 5m off the ledge to the anchor is climbed via the small arete past 1 BR to tree belay. Take: 8 bolt plates, at least 2 x .5 and 2 x .3, offset nuts are good (keep a blue for the headwall), otherwise a single rack should do.

FA: Hugh Ward & hugh sutherland, 22 May 2021

Durum via - hard road. Bring your big boy pants . Great face climbing completely on gear. Start 20 to 30m right of 'Mouseland' at top of small rise. Up groove with seem for protection. Continue up vague groove feature to left side of roof at 2/3 height. Up flake then wall to top. Take care.

FA: hugh sutherland & Hugh Ward, 22 May 2021

Stunning blunt arete immediately left of "Just Don't Be Weak". Mega classic pitch and a must do of the crag!

Requires 15 bolt plates as well as a single rack of cams from .4 to 2 and a set of wires. Step into the line from left side of arete.

Rap down from large tree at half way ledge. Doubles get you to the ground, or a single rope reaches the anchors at "Just Don't Be Weak".

FA: hugh sutherland & Hugh Ward, 10 Sep 2020

Outstanding climbing, probably one of the "Must Do's" at the crag, despite it's shorter length.

Stemming corner problem with small gear down low. 2 sets of nuts are worth considering, as is a #4 for up high. Follow the thin crack until it widens to off width, then look for gear and holds on the face. 2BB at the top of this pitch. A rope stretching 30m abseil to the deck.

An attempt was made on the corner above, but abandoned after 15m due to loose rock, reduced rock quality, and the proximity of more desirable climbing.

The fused corner the right of just don't be weak. Start behind large tree. 3 BR's to #3 Camalot then up and left into fused corner. Excellent stemming past good but small wires and cams. DBB

Start 10m right of The House Jack Built in small alcove. Bring plenty of finger size pieces as its quiet sustained in that size. Climb the rotten corner for a meter or so then up onto wall past two horizontal breaks which take cams. Keep moving up till your feet are in the second horizontal and make a hard move out to arete, BR then up to base of corner. Steeply up finger crack corner for 25m to large ledge. Climb slaby corner on the right to tree belay.

FA: Marty Doolan, Taib & Hugh Ward, 26 Jun 2021

Start approximately 100m right of 'don't be Weak' at tall finger sized stemming corner. A mega pitch and classic wolgan heady climbing. Follow corner all the way to tree belay. Being solid at the grade is recommended.

FA: hugh sutherland & Bridie Campbell, 8 Sep 2020

Up shallow corner, crack then finger seem to thread. Then wall to top. Bring extra in small gear.

FA: hugh sutherland & Levi Worden, Feb 2021

Named as such because of the pasty shirtless climbers in the area on the first ascent. Start 50m right past 'Had me in Stitches'. Double cracks at left of wall. Climb right crack until they converge, continue till crack ends then out left and up. Awesome position. Tree anchor. Two ropes required to get Down.

FA: hugh sutherland & Bridie Campbell, 8 Sep 2020

Climbs the crackline 5(ish) metres right of Blinded by the White. Splitter crack up the wall, although the climbing tends to make use of the face holds, belay at big tree to avoid loose 1/2 way ledge. A lovely line. Rap 42m from the tree to the ground.

FA: jacinde Jackson, Justine Jenkins & Hugh Ward

Lovely but committing face climbing up to crack line 1/2 way up the wall, initially climbed on sight and ground up, so the grading and star may need some verification. Start on the face a couple of metres right of Blue Mountains Has Talent, up past large cams (4 and/or 5) in horizontal at top of block and then onto face. Past bolt and adequate wire as well as slung chicken heads to small cams (0.5 or 0.75) in horizontal break, continue to the base of finger crack. Follow crack to high tree anchor. 42m rappelled from this tree.

FA: Hugh Ward, jacinde Jackson & Justine Jenkins, 8 Sep 2020

Begin on the far right-hand side of the wall where "Blinded by the White" is the first crack system. Go up the hill until you are 10 meters from the corner, and you will see a crack with a small plant at 1/3 height and an off-width slot about half way up. Bring plenty of medium-big gear: 3 number 3's and a single 5 are not the worst idea in the world...The tree sitting right above the line is unfortunately dead and has been burnt, so either traverse awkwardly 4 meters left to only decent tree around to belay, or go way back over the edge to larger tree behind the first dead one. Take care not to kill your belayer in the process of reaching an anchor tree. Requires two 60 meter ropes to get down and some shenanigans.

FA: Justine Jenkins, Hugh Ward & Jacindie Jackson, 8 Sep 2020

Cool "shark fin" looking corner system on the upper cliff line - see photo above. "Enjoyable, dunno if I'd bother repeating it. Cool adventure though" Hugh Ward.

The route can be accessed via a half way ledge from the West. Quite a long walk for one route, but there is plenty of potential for further routes. Can be seen from the road. Almost directly above The house jack built.

FA: Hugh Ward, Bridie Campbell & Tom, Aug 2017

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