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Sydney / Blue Mountains - NEED BETA SPRAY DOWN

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Cole D · · Sydney, NSW, AU · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 156

Gonna be in a land down under for a while. So far the only beta I have is to constantly reference Men at Work. Hopefully thats not a troll.

I'm looking for any info that can supplement my online research.

-Indoor gym recommendations for the area of Sydney near Centennial Park/Zetland. Pros and Cons of places like Indoor Climbing (St Peters), Nomad Bouldering, or anything around there.
-Any info on Blue Mountains. Good crags to check out classics during the summer when you need to chase shade, general must hit climbs, must hit crack climbs, whatever you got!
-Partners/Guides info. I don't think I'm going to bring my gear with me, so I may be looking for guide services from time to time. Facebook groups that may be good for finding partners, etc.

Any info appreciated, thanks!

Robert Owyang · · Quincy, Ma · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

Hello, I've lived in Zetland, Sydney since July, part working part climbing.

As for Zetland, Indoor climbing in St. Peters is definitely your best choice. 10-min drive or 30-min by bus. Route potential is immense and they are constantly setting new ones so that I have endless todo list and end up with a economical seasonal pass. No wonder it's the biggest in Southern Hemisphere(although there aren't as many in Northern :)  

Some bouldering enthusiasts of my friends also go to 9 degrees boulder gym. They say the route style is a bit different, while I heard that recently they share the same setters. For me the boulder problems in St Peters are more than enough. Different terrains, different styles, crimpy old school and jumpy parkour, and a Moon board.

And blue mountains, that's fantastic, for a climber based in China who has seen some great Asian rocks. Friction is superb. At first I felt like the routes are bouldery, both trad and sport. Often you have a ledge, kneebar, or at least a jug for no hand rest and then a boulder problem. Then I discovered some sustained routes, as there're more than 3500 in this area according to the guidebook. Grab a guidebook in the gym or so many elsewhere. It is soooo informative. Including where to hit in sun burnt summer or a specific weather/season. Thecrag.com also helps a lot in terms of comment, popularity and conditions.

As far as I know, the must go crags, for cracks hit the Piddington, for slab Shipley Upper(a bit hot in summer), for hard overhanging sport Wave wall and Diamond falls.

The weather is so good in July and August. It seems like a piece of cloud is precious. However I've heard rumors about consecutive rainy days in October.

I haven't hire any guide yet, it seems like they are for newcomers? Don't know. Yesterday I met up someone who would share me the Facebook group of bluey climbers. Let's see. I mostly climb with Australian-based Chinese climbers within a small community. However I‘m open to meet new partners.

When will you be in Sydney? I'm a safe belayer, climb sport, trad, alpine a lot in past three years. Also searching for a partner, types of climb and grade don't matter.

Scott Butler · · Sydney, AU · Joined Aug 2019 · Points: 0

Hi Cole, yes SICG St Peters has a good range of lead/top rope routes as well as a large selection of bouldering. If you like your bouldering to at least vaguely resemble climbing on rock then I would go to St Peters rather than Nomad or 9 degrees (the setters at St Peters say that the upstairs bouldering is more 'traditional' and the larger downstairs area is a bit more funky). Outdoors, if you want cracks then Piddington and Mt Boyce have some, but both crags bake in summer. Shady crags include Centennial Glen, Wave Wall, Porters Pass, Bell Super Crag (has a shady and a sunny side), Banksy, and The Freezer. At most of those crags bolts and steep orangeness prevails. I hope that helps a bit.

Cole D · · Sydney, NSW, AU · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 156

Thanks for the replies!

Do you know if any of the gyms have decent indoor crack setups?

Scott Butler · · Sydney, AU · Joined Aug 2019 · Points: 0

None that I know of. I think SICG had a crack at one stage but it was removed because hardly anyone touched it!

Cole D · · Sydney, NSW, AU · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 156

Damn, that’s a shame.

Robert Owyang · · Quincy, Ma · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0
Cole D wrote: Thanks for the replies!

Do you know if any of the gyms have decent indoor crack setups?

SICG has two crack setups made of plywood. A short hand and an 8m-ish offwidth, though the offwidth could easily be done by laybacking. Route setters took the advantage to set a few technical routes. 

Robert Owyang · · Quincy, Ma · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0
Scott Butler wrote: None that I know of. I think SICG had a crack at one stage but it was removed because hardly anyone touched it!

Maybe they took it out recently? Last Tuesday I remember it was there.

Mark Fletcher · · Clovis, CA · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 11

I went to the Blue Mountains in 2016 while visiting Sydney.  You can get there by train in about 2. 5 hours with at least one train transfer.  If you are considering climbing with a guide on a weekend, make sure you make arrangements well in advance as the guide services are popular on the weekends.  I did not make reservations for a guide far enough in advance and could not climb during the weekdays, so could not get a guide for the day I had available for climbing.  This particularly applies during the summer hemisphere autumn, which opposite of the northern hemisphere.  If you can climb during the weekdays, then you will probably have more guide service choices.  Be prepared for humidity, but it will not be as bad as our southeast in the summer.

Cole D · · Sydney, NSW, AU · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 156

I decided to take my gear so I probably won’t be going the guide route. Thanks for that heads up though!

saign charlestein · · Tacoma WA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 1,565

I was down there in the spring. Only stopped by the bluies for a couple days but it was awesome. Free camping at my York. Bardens lookout has a bunch of  good sport from easy slab and jugs to overhung  amphitheaters. Shipley is awesome too but roasts in the sun. Worth getting the guidebook.

There’s also a bunch of seaclff climbing outside of Sydney. Coogee to Bondi has a bunch. 
Check the crag.com it’s like mp but for everywhere outside the US.
Also if you make it south, go to arapiles and the Grampians. So good!   

Cole D · · Sydney, NSW, AU · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 156
Robert Owyang wrote:

SICG has two crack setups made of plywood. A short hand and an 8m-ish offwidth, though the offwidth could easily be done by laybacking. Route setters took the advantage to set a few technical routes. 

Hey Robert, I toured the gym last week and didn't see them. Are you talking about the St Peters location or the Villawood location? I also asked the manager and he said they had no cracks :( 

Also for the record, Nomads has two cracks, both roughly #2-3 size, one a touch overhung the other meandering to the right. They were roughly about 4-5 meters. Fun. But not really enough to train with.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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