• geoffmcooper

This post is to show the gear list and photos for heading out to the classic Blue Mountains multi-pitch Tom Thumb.

The leader should carry:

  • A 50 or 60 metre dynamic climbing rope

  • Basic trad rack with medium nuts, cams from #0.4 to #3 and a nut tool

  • 12 bolt plates

  • 12 quickdraws - preferrably with some longer slings and alpine draws

  • ATC belay device

  • Slings and locking quickdraws

  • Prusiks for backing up abseils, ascending double ropes and rescue

The seconder should carry:

  • Another 50 or 60 metre rope as the abseils are approximately 50 metres long. Consider using twin or half ropes

  • ATC belay device

  • Nut tool

  • Sling and lockers

  • Prusiks

Both parties should also carry essential items including:

  • Helmet

  • Harness

  • Comfortable climbing shoes that you can wear all day

  • Plenty of water (1-2 litres)

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Rain/wind jacket

  • Gloves for long abseils and belaying in cool weather

  • Walkie talkies as the leader will be out of sight of the belay on most pitches

Other key items for one person to also bring:

  • Emergency beacon

  • First-aid kit

  • Toileting items - toilet paper, wag bag, shovel

Author: Geoff Cooper

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  • geoffmcooper

An all expenses paid trip to New York (no, just the crag...)


Four of us in the end, after a couple of late cancellations, ventured out to New York near Mt Victoria on a cool morning. The sun was shining and the West Side of the crag sheltered us from the cold westerly breeze, so T-shirt climbing was the go for the first couple of hours. Spoonbender (15) and Factotum (17) provided the warm up laps before Gavin and Adrian began Spanking De Sade (21, maybe 22), a challenging arete, while Greg and Bernard achieved some Synchronicity (18) with a tricky slab crux and then enjoyed a quick run up in the sun on the Winter Slab (14). After that we moved over to the lower East Side, where Greg and Bernard attempted to hear the Silence of the Cams (19 - or really 21?), while Adrian and Gavin provided some alternative background noises in the form of a Moan Groan Dial Tone (22). The afternoon wore on with cooler temperatures and a bit less sun, so a quick run up an Unknown 1 (14) on the Two Carrots wall to finish the day was the last feast for us.


Bernard Pfeil, trip leader



Gavin Spanking De Sade (21-22)


Adrian providing a Moan Groan Dial Tone (22)


Greg (belaying) Bernard's efforts at becoming a Spoonbender (15)

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  • geoffmcooper

Best to start with climbs that have easy access and no abseil required:

  • Here Be Dragons, Mt Gibraltar (grade 18, 52m, 4 pitches)

  • Schwing, Medlow Bath (grade 18, 46m, 2 pitches)

  • Whymper, Sublime Point (grade 19, 150m, 5 pitches)

  • Saccharine Nightmare, Sublime Point (grade 22, 100m, 4 pitches)


The next routes all require an abseil, but have access to the base of the climb or easy escape from an adjacent easy route:

  • Let’s Get a Taco, Medlow Bath (grade 18, 36m, 2 pitches)

  • Stuck in the Middle with You, Medlow Bath (grade 19, 38m, 2 pitches)

  • Bohemiath, Medlow Bath (grade 20, 37m, 2 pitches)

  • Mr Orange (grade 21, 38m, 2 pitches)

  • My Way or the Highway (grade 21, 39m, 2 pitches)


Multi-pitch abseiling is required for the next ones:

  • Mr Big, James Bond (grade 19, 85m, 3 pitches)

  • Dirty Rotten Pig, Rhum Dhu (grade 19, 130m, 4 pitches)

  • The Rift, Heathcliff (grade 19, 55m, 3 pitches)

  • Cats in the Cradle, Mt Boyce (grade 19, 53m, 3 pitches)


These ones have no escape from the base, so you would need to get back to the top somehow:

  • Whale of a Time, Scarborough Cliffs (grade 16, 50m, 3 pitches)

  • Bellbird Wall, Pulpit Rock (grade 18, 100m, 3 pitches)


Pierce’s pass has an escape from the base, but very long bushbashing:

  • West Face of the Mirrorball, Pierce’s Pass (grade 19, 120m, 4 pitches)

  • Bunny Bucket Buttress, Pierce’s Pass (grade 18, 270m, 8 pitches)

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