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Wolgan Valley
Mixed Climbing: Blue Mountains-style

When most people think of mixed climbing they think of crampons, ice axes, rock and ice.  Mixed climbing in the Blue Mountains serves up something a little different . . .
On your harness is a selection of trad gear, bolt plates and quickdraws.  You’re squinting into the distance trying to spot a trad placement or a carrot bolt.  Maybe you’re run out on sandy rock, standing on a shrub and calling down to your belayer to check if you’re on the right route.  Welcome to mixed

11 Oct 2016
Alex Forwell lead climbing
Would You Ever Free Climb?

Yes, we would! In fact, we do. We love free climbing. We free climb at every opportunity. Which often surprises people. What we don’t do is free-solo. Do you know the difference?
Most of the time when people ask if we free climb, they actually mean ‘do you free-solo?’  Free-soloing is climbing up cliffs without a rope. Recently, climbers like Alex Honnold have become household names (in some households!) for their superhuman feats of free-soloing, climbing

13 Sep 2016
Clipping
Top Rope, Sport or Trad: Which is right for you?

One of the most common questions people ask us here is ‘what’s the difference between top rope, sport, traditional climbing?’
When you’re new to climbing it can feel like travelling to a new country where everyone is speaking a foreign language.
Today we’re going to translate three of the most popular styles of climbing in Australia: top tope, sport and traditional climbing.
Top rope climbing
Top rope climbing is the style of climbing you

16 Aug 2016
Misty abseil
Vertical Survival Skills Course

Self-Rescue 1 with Simon and Monique
Simon and Monique are back again with stories from their Self Rescue 1 Course…
Not long after the Indoor to Outdoor Conversion course, we scrounged up some money and invested in some outdoor climbing gear. Between our uni and work commitments, days at the crag were less frequent than we’d hoped. I’m sure we are not alone in this sentiment - I think most get to the crag less frequently than they’d like. We made the most

26 May 2016
Blue Mountains Climbing Guidebook
New Blue Mountains Climbing Guide Book

The long-awaited 2015 edition of the Blue Mountains Climbing Guide has arrived!
As always, the new edition is packed with glossy photos and photo-topos, colour-coded crag guides and more new routes than you can poke a nut tool at.  It also has two handy indexes at the back, where you can find routes grouped alphabetically and by grade.
Of special interest to sport climbers heading outdoors for the first time, you can now add The Soft Parade to your sport climbing map, along

10 Dec 2015
Hand anatomy
Protect your Pulleys with Matt Bulman

By Dr. Matt Bulman, Chiropractor and Staff
Rock climbers put unique strain on their bodies, particularly the fingers.  In fact there are few sports that demand quite as much from these tiny appendages as rock climbing.
Today we’re going to look at finger injuries, particularly pulley injuries - why and how they happen, how to avoid them and what to do if you can’t.
Anatomy: the compromise of a bipedal tool user
Even though your fingers might feel

31 Oct 2015
Dylan coiling a rope
Harnesses 2/ If the harness fits . . .

Welcome to Part 2 of our harness guide.  If you'd like to start with our first post, you can read it here.  If you already know the difference between a tie-in loop and a haul loop and are ready to find out how to get the perfect fit, read on.
1.  Dress for success
When you go harness shopping, take the pants, short or tights you climb in most often.  It's worth fitting the leg loops with the clothes you'll be wearing.  Before you put the harness on,

15 Oct 2015
Harness anatomy
Harnesses 101: Know your gear

With so many climbing harnesses on the market and so many different features and styles to get your head around, it can be hard to know where to start.  Tune in over the next few weeks as we take a look at climbing harnesses, their features, how to get the right fit and how to choose the best one for the kind of climbing you want to do.
For starters, here are the basic features of your harness and what they do:
Waist belt:  The waist belt is a padded or

10 Sep 2015
Learn to Lead course
Indoor Skills to Outdoor Thrills

Simon and Monique are back with stories from their Indoor to Outdoor Conversion course with instructor Marty Doolan. . . 
Our climbing weekend started with an early wake up and a road trip from our home in Wollongong up to the Blue Mountains. Our first stop was in Blackheath, our designated meeting point. Here, in a small Blackheath café, we put a face to the familiar voice of our instructor Marty. He had called us a couple days earlier to grab some information about our level of

27 Feb 2015
Learn to Lead course
Meet Simon and Monique

"I’m not sure when we first thought of climbing, but once we entered the welcoming doors of our local climbing gym, it no longer mattered.  We took to climbing like I take to chocolates in the house; we kept coming back for more."
Meet the winners of the Australian Climbing Festival Carabiner Guessing Competition: Monique and Simon!  They've won an Indoor to Outdoor Climbing Course, and over the next 12 months they will be be sharing their journey from indoor climbing bunnies to

6 Feb 2015