Contact – Jean Cane ACA.Bluemountains@climb.org.au
The Blue Mountains is New South Wales’ most famous and popular climbing area – but it is also a complex access beast with several land managers including – NSW National Parks, Blue Mountains City Council, Lithgow Council, private property, State Rail, Aboriginal groups and various other State Forests and National Parks (Newnes, Evans Crown, Wolgan etc). In some ways this diversity of land managers protects any potential blanket climbing ban from ever occurring.
There are several on-going access issues in the Blue Mountains. Don’t let your actions stuff it up for everyone else! When climbing in our wonderful Bluies, please adhere to the following to ensure you’re not having a negative impact on our access.
- Dogs are prohibited in all National Parks. This includes Bell, Bowens and Pierces Pass crags.
- Visit Blue Mountains City Council crags if you want to take your dog (Shipley, Boronia etc)
- A full carpark means a full crag – go somewhere else, social distancing still applies.
- Be courteous to the local residents and think about where you are parking.
- Car-pool – even if it is from nearby towns.
- Logan Brae – Limited car parking – don’t park on sides of narrow road. Continued access to this area hinges on our compliance and landowner has threatened closure in 2021.
- Medlow Bath – Park at Train Line end of road not at the trail head.
- Shipley, Celebrity – Do not park in-front of driveways or anywhere that may annoy residents.
- Mt York & Megalong Valley campgrounds are open. Use the metal fire-pits only and bring your own firewood – don’t collect from the bush.
- Big Top informal camping area is officially closed and signposted as such.
- Perry’s Lookdown campground is temporarily closed (probably until 2022)
- Don’t vanlife at crag carparks or suburban streets.
- It may be cold but it is illegal to light fires outside of approved fireplaces. Do not light fires at crags.
- Cigarette smoking is banned in all NSW National Parks.
- Pulpit Rock (Bellbird Wall) remains closed due to bushfire damage (October 2021)
Regional (non-Blue Mountains LGA) crags
- Several crags are located in the Lithgow LGA which is considered regional NSW and cannot be visited if you are a resident of the Greater Sydney area. Covid cops have booked people for driving into these areas.
- Areas include Dam Cliffs, Cosmic County, Freezer, Railway Cliffs, Wolgan Valley and the Newnes Plateau (Garden of Stone NP). Even Historic Wells and New York crags on Mt York Rd are technically in the Lithgow LGA.
- Toilet paper still plagues our most popular crags. Use best practices for toileting at the crag.
- Burying waste is not sustainable at busy crags, use toilet facilities away from the climbing area.
- In less busy areas, ensure all waste is buried and if possible, carry out your toilet paper.
- Reduce the likelihood of needing emergency assistance by thoroughly planning and preparing your day.
- Research approach, route, descent and retreat information before departing.
- Bunny Bucket Buttress is not the place to learn how to abseil or prussik.
- In winter daylight hours are short and nights are cold. Start climbing early but still be prepared for climbing/walking in the dark and cold.
- Have a self-rescue plan and tell someone else where you are going and when you will return.
Remember access is no accident. Take ownership, if you see someone else doing the wrong thing, speak up. We must all work together to ensure access remains in place. Lastly, make sure you check the latest Onsight Blue Mountains climbing print guide, www.onsight.com.au/bluemtns and thecrag.com for up-to-date information. Rock climbing in the Blue Mountains Facebook group is a good place to ask questions.
Rare Plants – Save Our Species Videos
The Blue Mountains is home to many rare plants that share the same vertical terrain that climbers enjoy. These native species are at risk – including species known as the Cliffhanging Five. Some are survivors from the time of the Gondwana supercontinent, before flowering plants even existed and when dinosaurs walked the earth over 200 million years ago. The Save Our Species Program from the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage is in place to protect these species by educating those who frequent the Blue Mountains on how to do their part in the conservation of the native flora .