We arrived to discover that recent rain left the slab walls seeping and soggy, but decided to explore which routes were climbable. Demetrius, Tom and Nathan attacked the soaking pitch 1 of Nintendo 64 (17) but found that the remaining pitches – including a finish on The Very Easy route (13) were much more reasonable. Geoff, Andrew and Tony tried The Devil’s Tears (17) and a big thanks to Jeff Crass for helping to stick clip the first bolt with the old school method of actually using sticks. A bit of French-free climbing and negotiating the very wet start of pitch 2 and we finally got to the top anchors. Later on, we all went up The Very Easy Route and Gripping Yarn (16) – although with a rope tangle late in the day needed to combine forces and get 4 people up the final section all on the one remaining un-tangled rope.
Article: Geoff Cooper
Photos: Jeff Crass
One of those wonderful sunny days in winter where you can get away with a t-shirt most of the day. We had 9 participants and split into 2 groups and spread out across the crag. Jeff had Elaine, Shannon and Nigel on the first section of lower tier for the best selection of sport routes, whilst Geoff took Daniel, Chris, Andreas and Neil down further to do the trad routes initially. The best routes for trad are called Best Line at the Crag (12) and Second Best Line at the Crag (13). A good opportunity for Chris to learn to place gear and fortuitously Daniel had brought a triple rack so no chance of inadequate gear selection.
This crag has mostly easy grades, but a few had a chance to play on the slightly more moderate routes such as Wisdom with Silence (17), Still Cannot Fix This Broken Machine (17) and 0’s and 1’s (19). But the more popular routes were Deathwalker (15), Bum Crack (15) and Once Bitten (16) which can be climbed in a variety of footwear such as approach shoes (or crocs).
Article: Geoff Cooper
Photos: Jeff Crass
As the NSW Government have eased restrictions on outdoor gatherings the club will restart outdoor trips in June.
There will be a few changes in our process in order to ensure that we limit participation and adhere to the new Covid19 guidelines. I’ve also changed the registration process in order to gather your availability, climbing proficiency and what type of climbing you would like to experience. Based on registration details, we will plan a few trips each month to ensure we cater for as many members as possible.
June Registration Form
I look forward to getting out to the bush and climbing again with you.
Due to the current Coronavirus outbreak, the Sydney Rockies monthly meetings will not be held at the usual time of first Wednesday of each month.
Club trips already planned will be managed on a case by case basis with limits to the number of participants.
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.
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
View of the cliffs around the campground, and some local wildlife
Creek crossing, the historic coke ovens and the slog up the hill to the crag
Hanging out in the cave preparing to head out into the sun for some climbing
Love crack climbing!
The campfire after the sheep