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A Taste of New Nowra
1:33:41 PM
Looking at my past photo albums, the last time I climbed in Nowra was quite a while back: June 2009. Seems like yesterday that I warmed up on "Vanderholics", tried to tick "Killer Boas", got spanked on "Black Beddy" and almost, almost succeeded on "Still Life". One of the days, I should revisit.

For some reason, the Blueys seems to have been our preferred destination for the last 18 months or so. Probably because we love multipitching so much. In any case, a few weeks ago, Dominik suggested a long weekend climbing and I was quick to point out that there are whole "new" areas to be tried around Nowra. I only had a vague idea of where exactly but Shaz told me that there were plenty of AWESOME climbs to be tried and pointed me to the ACA Website

New Nowra – or South-West Nowra or Turpentine Road Region, as you wish – comprises many crags of which we sampled two over three days. We first visited Hylands Lookout and then Tianjara Falls. Why these two? Well no specific reasons apart from the fact that they offer the most routes: 116 and 178 respectively. That should be enough for 3 days, right?

Both locations are accessed from the top and, standing on top of the cliff, offer fabulous views. Check this out:

View from the TIanjara Falls Lookout. How beautiful is that?

View from the Hylands Lookout. A lonely soul.

From Sydney, access to these crags will add between 20 and 40 km to your usual Thompson's Point trip. Just past Nowra and head down South-West along Braidwood road: it has been resealed and is perfect for some inspired driving. I didn't know my car could do 170 km/h flawlessly...

Friday, March 11 – Hylands Lookout: South-western Side

The access to the South-Western side is a breeze. From the car park, down the gully, grab the metal rungs, then the fixed rope and your there - five minutes, tops.

Maya and I did our warm up on "Peugeot: French for Lemon" (I thought it was Renault myself) (28m, 18) while Dominik and Alex chose "An Easy Lady on the Loose" (15m, 17). Soon after that, they went up the very steep and fun "Fancy That!" (18m, 19). So far so good with the grading being as expected.

Dominik feeling strong that day decided to tackle something more challenging and applied himself on "Freeloader Varient" (Variant?) (25m, 24). Check him out cheeting:

Dominik on "Freeloader Varient". And no, it's not that steep.

Later on, I also tried my luck on it. The crux is roughly halfway up with a desperate sequence on thin holds. Next time, I'll get it. Excellent climb. One of those that eases as you reach the finish line and make you forget how badly you fared at the crux...

I didn't take very long before realising that most of the routes on offer do not see a lot of traffic. The number of holds (hand- and footholds), that broke was bordering on the ridiculous. My toes still hurt from two bad breaks and my fingers got awkwardly jammed in the crack of "Crakling Rosie" (28m, 18) when I pulled on a dodgy hold within the crack. That one was very painful. On the other hand, the protection is overall excellent, so that makes up for it. Somehow. I think.

But The highlight of the day was certainly "Mon Zombie" (10m, 21). The description reads "remember that line from the favorite porn movie and "slap that butt" ". After some delicate and technical face climbing comes the desperate, desperate crux with both feet at bolt height which requires slapping the unknown aręte. For once, I felt less than happy about being on the rock face: "Are you with me!" I shouted, slapped, held for three second and then plunged down. Very cool.

Alex just at the crux of "Mon Zombie" -- "woo, this is hard". He had the privilege of putting on the draws and slapping that butt.

Saturday, March 12 – Tianjara Falls: Bill James Testimonial Gully

This is another easy access. Just find the lookout (trivial), jump the fence (simple), walk to the first gully (steep and rocky) and head-down and left. Another five minute job. Perhaps seven.

If you want a good warm up, don't jump on the obvious "Just Think Pork" (15m, 16) as Dominik did. It's not an 16 and it is not well protected. No, jump on "Corona with Lemon" (20m, 17) which "will appease your taste buds" as the guidebook suggest. Excellent climb with the crux early on on a slight overhang/bulge.

After your warmup, you could walk further down the crag and jump on "Carlsberg's at the Cricket" (30m, 19), if you have a 60m rope that is. Long excellent climb with a bit of everything.

The climb of day remains "Chicken Lips" (17m, 21) on excellent rock. Here's Dominik just past the technical crux:

You then reach the fun part, the steep groovy finish. If you do it right, it's not that difficult and rather exciting. Here's myself just "punching through" the overhang:

We had time to do a few more routes before the sky opened up and the rain came pouring down. Worth mentioning is "Thriller direct" (18m, 22) which follows an aręte with holds galore and a run-out slabby finish. We sat and chatted on a comfy ledge while the rain eased and the fog moved in.

Sunday, March 13 – Hylands Lookout: Middle Ground Upper

My impression was that we were returning to Tianjara Falls for our last day of climbing. *Twenty* kilometres pass the turn-off to Hylands Lookout, Alex, the copilot, mentioned that, no, we're actually not going to Tianjara Falls. What? Que? Clearly someone was not paying any attention. Grumble. Double back.

So back we were at Hylands Lookout, down the gully, down the rungs but instead of a left turn we went right to the Middle Ground Upper area. Overall, lots of choss everywhere and a few good routes at irregular intervals.

The best climb on the day was without a doubt "Sunset Boulevard" (20m, 19) which starts with thin face climbing (the crux) leading to a very exposed and enjoyable aręte. Next to it, there another 19: "Come in Spinner" also very enjoyable but of a completely different character: a big jug fest on a decent overhang followed by some slab climbing. Those two made me very happy.

Dominik on the aręte of "Sunset Boulevard". The crux below him, the rest is exposed and fun.

Myself negotiating the rooflet of "Come in Spinner". The blue sky was a bonus.

We couldn't stop giggling as Dominik went up "Shenanigans" (18m, 22) and was progressively loosing his temper as holds kept on breaking on him. Seriously, he must have pulled at least four holds during his ascent of this very tricky and balancy aręte, some of them punctuated by the appropriate "Scheisse!". According to Alex who, for some unknown reason, decided to also try his luck, this is not a 22 anymore -- more like a 24 with a desperate move half-way up. The climb is like a bolt-ladder though. So, you try it and let me know.

As for me, I got badly spanked on "Seaman Staynes" (8m, 22). The first two bolts are ok although I suggest to stick-clip the first one. Then the fun starts. I'd go as far as to say this is the toughest 22 I've ever tried, never mind the hold that broke at the crux (shouldn't make too much of a difference though). Maybe I haven't climbed enough. This is certainly not a 22. Maybe.

And lastly, Maya did her second lead climb ever on "Work is Su

1:55:48 PM
I find the vertical and slabby walls tend to be thin with exploding holds - not really the good stuff. There are much better versions of that style in the Blue Mountains. Treat the 'stars' in the guidebook with a degree of caution. For a first time visit i would only climb things with 2 or 3 stars - many of the lesser starred routes may have had only one ascent and are likely snap-o-rama.

Next time check out Darkside, Moonshine & Panther. These crags are more heavily featured with waterpolished rock and pockets. The far end of TJF has some good stuff as well if you are willing to walk for 15 minutes.

2:03:10 PM
Glad you guys had a fun time....

* "Freeloader Varient" or was it WtW ? Both share the same crux but WtW stops 2/3rds of the way up the cliff...
* Most of the climbs are a few more paces past the access gully. Just look for the stars in the guide.

* Same again, while Bill James gully is fun, the best climbs an extra couple minutes walk. Ricks Cafe and Indian Head are awesome !!

2:03:41 PM
That was a really nice read. Good to see the images inline instead of all bunched at the bottom. Breaks up the text a little and makes it more enjoyable to read.

2:16:26 PM
P.S. In summer. Its probably best to give the south east facing crags a run. Next time check out Utopia (no sun and no rain) and Darkside (no sun)

P.P.S. Simple's goldmine is also great. Faces south east, and in the last 2 weeks another 15 routes have been established. Johnny the Wog and Glenn Jones have been working on another new "New Nowra" crag as well.

2:20:37 PM
P.P.P.S. 3 more lines bolted and climbed today. Hawkman and love "New Nowra"

4:16:58 PM
I can't wait to see ODH's trip report.
4:34:48 PM
On 16/03/2011 nmonteith wrote:
>I find the vertical and slabby walls tend to be thin with exploding holds
>- not really the good stuff. There are much better versions of that style
>in the Blue Mountains.

I tend to agree although there plenty of exploding holds in the Blueys as well...

>Next time check out Darkside, Moonshine & Panther. These crags are more
>heavily featured with waterpolished rock and pockets. The far end of TJF
>has some good stuff as well if you are willing to walk for 15 minutes.

15 minutes?!? So many crags, so little time.

And BTW, Neil, many thanks from all of us for developing the area -- and the same to Jason! We had such a great weekend, not to mention the "extra-curricular" activities.
4:40:13 PM
On 16/03/2011 BundyBear wrote:
>* "Freeloader Varient" or was it WtW ? Both share the same crux but WtW
>stops 2/3rds of the way up the cliff...

Hmm, lemme check... No, no, "Freeloader Varient" indeed. Up through the crux and then left to the top. Don't know why Dominik picked that one and not the other.

>* Same again, while Bill James gully is fun, the best climbs an extra
>couple minutes walk. Ricks Cafe and Indian Head are awesome !!

Ok, next time. There's always a next time. And again Jason, thanks for all the good work.
4:47:01 PM
Wow! Dominik is really upset about the picture of him cheating: "Yeah right, except for the wrong pic you put should have taken this one:"

One Day Hero
9:17:07 AM
On 16/03/2011 tnd wrote:
>I can't wait to see ODH's trip report.

The thing is tnd, I don't need to rewrite this one. It's just perfect as is.............unstoppable enthusiasm and positivity runs head first into unspeakable choss, best trip report I've read in ages!

I love the bit about "things were starting to get a bit silly as we broke dozens of footholds......."
9:48:40 AM
+ 1 to Bundy's comment, Darkside and Moonshine are gold! Some great routes there in the 18 - 24 range.
Great trip report too :o)

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