15. March 2009 10:56
by Rene Pallesen

Climbing at Blue Bell (The Shire)

15. March 2009 10:56 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

climbing at blue bell the shire

This weekend Andy and I decided to explore a new climbing area in the Sydney Area (We are running out of places to climb within Sydney and sometime Sydney is too long a drive).

This time we decided on a small area called Blue Bell in the Southern part of Sydney in the Heathcote National Park.

Once we arrived we had to find the access to the cliffs. The carpark is almost on the top of the cliffs near houses, but the area doesn't get a lot of traffic so there is no good tracks. Eventually we found our way down with some a lot of bush bashing.

We decided to start on a couple of easier climbs on the Mini Wall where there was some grade 16 climbs (and 10/11's). They were far from being grade 16. The first two climbs (Anika 16 and Nathan 16) were harder than what they were graded at. Both Andy and I were finding it hard and agreed that the climbing felt more like a 18 or 19...and we were both thinking "what the fu.. is wrong there!". We then looked at who had graded the climbs and it turned out to be the same person a Jason Lammers. We decided that this may be one very dangerous Wanker and decided to take other climbs that he'd graded with caution (Next day I found another website describing the climb as being a lot harder...this guy graded it as a 6a = 19).

After this we moved to the main wall and did another climb at the same grade (Sparky 16) and this turned out to be really nice a cruisy and this would potentially be a good lear-to-lead climb for someone who is comfortable in the gym.

Blue Bell Main Wall

After this we moved onto a bit harder climb (Heathcote 18) graded by the same idiot Jason Lammers. Someone who is only just comfortable at this grade would be in real trouble here. The top move is really delicate; in fact so delicate that Andy were totally unable to complete the move and bailed after a a number of attempts (and a lot of falls).
I then tried the climb and eventually after a couple of falls managed to complete the move...and boy that is really balancy. You hand on to this slobing groove and then do a high stepup. you then balance your left hand up the wall until you reach a good hold up very high (as Andy put it: "A typical Rene move"). I would grade it as a 21 move...three grades harder that the wanker graded it.

We had a look at the climb next to it (Screaming Cookatoos 18) and decided to do this on a top rope given that the top move looked dubious and that we hadn't had much luck with grades.
Lucky that because the top move it really reachy and fairly thin. It would have taken a lot of commitment and knowing exactly where the only good hold is (which isn't great) to be able to complete it and then you still have to put a plate on the carrot bolt and clip it from this position before moving to the anchor. They really should have put a ring bolt here and they could have put the bolt a bit lover so it could be clipped from below protecting this move better.

By the way this area is a weird mix of Ring bolts, fixed hangers, ringbolts, gear, chain anchors, ring bolt anchors and topouts....great job guys!!! Anyway we had a really good day but we didn't dare try any of the many 19, 20, 21's (which is my comfortable lead limit) in the area as most of them were graded by the same guy. Without including these climbs the area is too small to return to in the near future.
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