Mount Keira 15 Dec 2019

A December club trip to the awesome Mount Keira – West Face crag. Excellent easy trad and sport routes – perfect for learning to lead. As you can see in the photo, our group of 20 managed to occupy the popular amphitheater for most of the day – but there were some non-club climbers due to the bushfires restricting many Blue Mountains crags.

Ahh the job of a trip leader never ends. If you bring a helmet, might as well wear it.

A few cheeky trad leads to finish off a great day once most had left.

Blackheath Highway Bypass

There is a proposal to upgrade the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow. Most of the upgrade is to increase the number of lanes, but for Blackheath there are a few options:
1. Duplicate existing road
2. Outer bypass (crag impact)
3. Western bypass
4. Long and short tunnel options

The Outer Bypass option will impact the Centennial Glen and Shipley crags and our climbing community need to provide feedback to avoid this option being selected.

Have your say by filling out the feedback form by 16 December on https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/great-western-highway/katoomba-to-lithgow/index.html

Club Trip to Heathcliff Crag on 31 Aug 2019

Although it was foggy at Blackheath the crag was dry and there was no wind. The maximum temperature during the day was 8 degrees, great for sending plus we had the crag all to ourselves.
Heathcliff is a remote-feeling tall cliff with a great combination of long single pitch routes and short multi-pitches.
Contrary to a number of aspirants it didn’t rain so without the weather nervous our group walked in efficiently and we had the time to check out the climbs at Celebrity Crag, towards a future trip.
The walk is scenic, good lookouts, steep in part, and fairly complex but no one was lost, the importance of a smaller climbing group.
Climbing gems completed included; Fake Blood (18), Bad Blood (19), Chip off the Old Block (19) and the multi-pitch The Rift (19). Climbers were all very busy, there was no lunch break, just snacking on the go.
The weather was actually great and we finally arrived at the car park at 5.00pm, a longish day, really enjoyable with a group of like-minded climbers.

Lindfield Clean and Climb Day – 18 Aug 2019

Sixteen keen bods turned up for the first clean and climb day. The first 90 minutes were spent hunting sparse rubbish. We got about 3 big bags of rubbish, a pallet, 10kg of tiles, and a few syringes.

This was run as a satellite Clean Up Australia event which gave us gloves, bags, a first aid kit, and helped with the council picking up our pile’o’crap at the end.

Then we broke out the climbing shoes and toproped or bouldered our way to glory till pizza arrived at 1am.

Many thanks to all that helped to keep our park clean. We hope to make this a regular event.

Trip Leader: Michael Law.

Photos by Jeff Crass

Berowra Trip Report – 20 July 2019

A perfect winter’s day with warm temperatures and lots of sun at Berowra on Saturday 20 July 2019. 24 members attended and 2 very small future members – which made some routes very busy, particularly as there were many other non-club climbers at the crag. Fortunately there are a lot of intermediate grade sport routes spread out across the crag to give everyone something to climb.

We started a the southern end and tackled some crag classics on the bullet hole wall – including Mental Fatigue (18), Fox Sox Pox (18) and IGMC (19). A little further down Wall Thing (19), Boundary Rider (18) and a new route called Wee Gully (17) which was a little strange with so many ledge fall potentials. Although it would be a perfect climb to learn cleaning an anchor as you can stand on a large ledge 1.5 metres below the lower offs.

Some also top roped Kenneth’s Climb (14) whilst Andrew McPherson made his first trad lead on the tricky crack and did an excellent job with placing protection. Karen also did a lead on this and kept a cool head at the upper layback to the anchors.

Luv Handles (20), Yesterday’s Heroes (17), Palm Sunday (21) and Glamorpus (24) were also done by various folks whilst trekking between either end of the crag.

Later in the day there was a non-club crew hanging about around Ladder of Gloom and with no chance to get space we headed up to Pimple Buttress. I believe Andrew Stevenson, Matt Short and others already had completed Savage Cabbage (19), Stone Grotties (16), the Ladder of Gloom (19) and with Andrew’s reach, the Ladder of Death (22).

I was stoked to redpoint Pimple (20) with a bolt at the roof then cams through the crack. We also did the new route A (17/18) which was strange at the start and then easy above the roof. Sean Maguire turned up after work and managed to squeeze in a few routes around this area including Look Blue Go Purple (18) and It’s For You (16).

Photos: Jeff Crass

Bonnet Bay Club Trip – 15 June 2019

This month Paul took us to Bonnet Bay, a small crag with a 20 second (yes, second) walk in (ok it was uphill but still!). Bonnet Bay offers a great range of shorter sport climbs and can cater to most climbers with sport grades from 15-27. The crag is family friendly with a nice flat areas at the base ideal for picnic rugs and keeping the kids entertained, most climbs can be accessed from the top in case you need to rap in to clean.

The trip drew a good crowd and we had ropes up along a good selection of the cliff line. The Chimney (15 with a tough crux), The Jungle book (15), Mowgli (18), Burning Shells (17) and Kim (21) were especially popular and a few took on the challenges of Between the Lines (23) and Lean Beef (24). Heavy Haulage will have to wait until next time!

Bangor West Club Trip on May 19

The Rockies has a very large turnout last Sunday to Bangor West with 25 participants attending. Mikl and Jeff took the opportunity to demonstrate a few important skills such as changeover/cleaning a sport anchor. As you can see by the photo there was much interest

The more popular climbs were attempted – Python (17), Andrew’s Bulge (16), Zip (18), Chicanery Crack (13), Nananapper (14), Zulu Trainer (13), Reno (17), The Whorl (17), Fixed Steps (19). A rarely climbed but quirky Sandstorm (20) was attempted and of course the test piece Lucky’s Roof (20) saw more than a few laps

A special mention for the team that worked on The Whorl. With a particularly bouldery start, this attracted quite the peanut gallery to laugh, clap and provide unsolicited advice – such as “use the tree”, “pull with your hamstrings” and “the hold is just behind your head”