|Hi all. Just letting people know of a cliff i developed late last year with the help of some friends.
The story: After stumbling across a cliff named Tom Thumb (not knowing of this crag's existence) on the west side of Mt Clarence, i followed the cliffline southeast and came across some really impressive natural lines. Since then 12 trad climbs have been put up in ground up fashion, with the help of some climbing friends. Paul's suggestion for a name "the colliery" seemed appropriate, in reference to the old nearby clarence coal mine.
The whereabouts: The cliffline that makes up the colliery is situated on the southern tip of mount clarence. It can be seen when driving on the gap road between lithgow and hartley, but access to them is off bells line of road. Paul has likened the crag to an underdeveloped Mt York, which can be seen 4km south as the crow flies.
see: http://www.thecrag.com/climbing/australia/blue-mountains/bells-line-of-road/area/251900076 for access, as well as climb photos and descriptions.
The climbing: In my biased opinion, i feel the longish walkins (esp if you don't own a 4wd) are rewarded by some really nice trad climbs in the easier to moderate grades. The majority of the climbs follow obvious natural cracks/corners, so you won't get lost enroute. The rock is generally good, but future traffic (if it occurs) will likely to brake off the odd hold on a few of the climbs.
The easiest climbs are good fun but maybe not ideal for people just leading at the grade (some are very exciting for the grade) and the harder ones are very worthwhile. 4 of the climbs take big gear, eg #5 & #6 camalots. Climb descriptions will tell you if big gear is needed.
The general aspect of the colliery is west facing, and is great for climbing out of the sun. Suprisingly, quite a few climbs don't really even get afternoon sun either. Good for hot sunny days.
In short, if you're up for some fun trad, single or 2 pitch, and are up for an adventure, then check it out.
Many thanks go to Alex, Morgan and Jonas for listening to me rave about the place and subsequently coming out and sharing some first ascents. Big thanks to Paul for helping me knock over the remaining obvious lines, and even bigger thanks for doing the write up on thecrag.com (I don't know if i would have ever got around to that one!). And thanks to Paul's dad for letting us use his 4wd on the last trip out there.
Thanks to my partner sam for putting up with my new routeing obsession of late.
If anyone has done any of these climbs previously let me know, i'd be keen to hear.