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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
northern exposure 29-Sep-2003 At 9:31:43 AM Nico

G'day all - another message from the frozen north - that is, the ACT. Great autumn weather, blue skies, howling winds, snow, sleet, even a drop of rain to remind us that it's still a drought and the bushfire season starts next month.

Went out yesterday to have a look at the granite: first of all, on the road up to Booroomba were big yellow signs saying, No Entry, No Public Access, No Rock Climbing, trees are still falling and the cliffs are unstable because of the January fires.

OK, so we turned around and headed for Tidbinbilla and Gibraltar.

There was something happening at the Namadgi National Park information centre - lots of cars and people with day packs and hats and boots.

The road was open to Tidbinbilla, the pine forests are blasted with little regrowth, and the higher tops look bleak. Unusual views of Gibraltar rocks, with no screen of trees.
First of all we went to The Fortress, which you can reach with 4WD. The rock is scaling off and there's a pile of granite flakes right around the base of the rocks, with quite a lot still to come down. No climbing yet ...

We walked up to the top of Gibraltar, (the track was too badly washed out for the Brumby); we didn't bother to take the rope, looking at the dead trees and the little regrowth. There were signs everywhere saying: no climbing, and that the park would re-open on 27 September (the day before!). There were two climbers on Hey Jude (17), who said that the rock was fine except where the bush had been close to the rock surfaces. They had also been in to Booroomba, also fine except in a few places.

On the news that evening there was a story that Namadgi National Park had been officially re-opened that day, which was what the crowd was all about.

Conclusion? That the ACT granite cliffs are open again but should be treated with extra caution, especially the boulder areas on the Orroral Ridge where the rock may have been overcooked. And somebody (official?) has chopped the two essential bolts at the top of Gibraltar, making the top belay a tad difficult.

And take a sweater ...

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