Coal Mines


The first bit of text

Cardiff Rose 15 48m
Start on the extreme left end of the cliff, at the corner of the buttress where the cliff turns back on itself slightly and where the base level drops away into a secondary cliffline below. Start at the small overhang beneath the tree. 1. 24m Layback and throw yourself around the awkward overhand (grade 18?), past a tree (or start further right, go up and back left) and continue up corner crack to ledge and bush anchor. 2. 24m Continue up the corner crack behind to top.
Rohan Reynolds, Steve Anderson (alt) 1976
March Fly Mayhem 18 51m
Delightful climbing up a series of overhangs. Start 50m right of Cardiff Rose in a sweeping left-leading corner capped by roofs. 1. 21m Up corner to ledge then follow the line through roofs to tree anchor. 2. 30m Continue up corner through bulges and over slabs to top.
Rohan Reynolds, Hugh Ward 26-2-78
Blue 20 50m
A hard line with technical face climbing. Possibly unprotectable. Start 10m right of March Fly Mayhem at the just discernible line up wall in a thin hard groove below roofs. Boulder short steep corner groove, left at roof at 5m, onto face and balance delicately up wall to top. Tree is off route.
Kim Carrigan, Greg Child, Mike Law 30-1-78

The access track arrives at the cliff here.

* Spaghetti Western 18 55m
An unusual crux pitch followed by a pleasant exposed wall. Use double ropes and long slings on nearly all runners on P1 to avoid hideous rope drag. Start 7m right of Blue. 1. 20m (18) Tricky moves up initial wall to ledge then continue up wall to roof. A strange traverse leads down left-wards beneath overhung wall, then up and over to wall above. It's possible to belay here (1 BR, wire) to avoid rope drag. Easily up wall 7m to small ledge. 3BRs, 5FHs. 2BB (plus BR 2m above). 2. 35m (14) Directly up wall (5 or 6 BRs) to tree anchor. Descent = walk right to abseil chain around tree above Thin Lipped wall.
Andrew Penney, Mike Stacey 22-12-86
* * Khe Sanh 20 25m
Technical climbing up an improbable looking wall. Soft for the grade. Start marked 6m right of Spaghetti Western. Up (BR) to horizontal break. Fine moves right and up (3BRs) to small ledge. Hand traverse right (medium hex or large wire) and step up to 5th BR. Move right and up (BR). Hard move up and left to join flake system. Progressively easier moves up to caves (sling, #3 cam). Up 3m to stance. 3BB, abseil chain. Rap off 25m to deck.
Andrew Penney, Craig Sloss 3-8-86
* * Dien Bien Phu 22 25m
A very thin sequence on good rock. Start 4m right of Khe Sanh. Up to #3.5 cam break, then up with sustained difficulty (2BRs, 2FHs) to join Khe Sanh at the small ledge (medium hex or large wire). Continue as for Khe Sanh.
Mike Stacey, Dana Houser 6-12-86
* Absolutely Sweet Marie 14 53m
Delightful climbing with bombproof protection. Most rap off after P2. If you only have a single rope, you can abseil down this climb to the deck. Start 2m right of Dien Bien Phu in a left-facing corner. 1. 18m (14) Up the left side of the block to stance on top. Up corner crack to belay on second tree. Abseil chain above. 2. 20m (13) Up corner to roof. Bypass roof on right and airy moves up to large tree anchor. Rap off. 3. 15m Walk back above belay across ledge to small broken wall. Up this to top.
Rohan Reynolds, Pete Taylor (alt) 8-10-77
Positively 4th Street 19 43m
Technical climbing on small fingerlocks up a steep crack with good protection. Start 1m right of Absolutely Sweet Marie under the prominent crack which splits the wall. 1. 23m Up right side of block, then up fingercrack on right to belay on top of huge block. Step left to abseil chain at anchor 1 of Absolutely Sweet Marie or continue to top. 2. 20m (X) Follow sandy corner past large perched block to tree anchor.
Rohan Reynolds, Hugh Ward, Pete Taylor 26-2-78
* * Monitor Madness 18 50m
Excellent. A long relaxing pitch up an aesthetic curving arete. Named after the very grumpy monitor that was disturbed during bolting and who later caused grief on the first ascent. Start 2m right of Positively 4th Street. Up onto ledge, then up and left to BR. Climb the lovely curving arete, gradually getting steeper on good rock to a couple of large horizontals at 15m. The crux section follow. 8BRs, wires, optional #4 cam. Tree anchor. Descent = move right 10m to the abseil chain around tree at the top of Thin Lipped. Rap 48m to deck.
Mike Stacey, Andrew Penney, Craig Sloss 1-8-86
Thin Lipped 20 50m
A grim and intimidating first pitch on poor rock, followed by an excellent pitch of exposed wall climbing. Start 13m right of Monitor Madness at a rotten flake leading up to a diagonal line of roofs. 2. 25m (20X) Up the thin rotten flake to roof (poor pro). Hard moves left under roof on poor rock and down slightly to vague rest. Continue following the diagonal line under roofs, up steep flake corner then traverse right to ledge. Multiple suspect BBs. 2. 25m (19*) Take many wires. Easily up diagonally left to a steepening. A hard move up to a good flake then move strenuously left-wards and mantle onto small ledge. Continue trending out towards arete and up to top. Descent = rap 48m to deck from abseil chain around large tree.
Mike Law, Andrew Penney 23-10-77
Fat Lipped 19 20m
Superseded by Max Bygraves. Start 3m right of Thin Lipped in left-facing corner. Up corner, traverse right then straight up wall to ledge. Multiple suspect BBs as for Thin Lipped.
Mike Law, Greg Child, Kim Carrigan 30-1-78
* Max Bygraves 19 25m
Start as for Fat Lipped. Up corner, reach right to clip FH then hand traverse right 4m and pull up to stand on ledge. Straight up (FH) then left-ward leading groove (4FHs). Traverse right just below last BR and pull onto ledge. BR, 5FHs, wires. Multiple suspect BBs as for Thin Lipped.
Mike Stacey, Simon Myles October 1986
XTC 18 50m
A good sustained wall climb with both pitches roughly the same grade. Fair protection. Start 10m right of Fat Lipped at a depression on the wall with a small overhang at the base. 1. 25m A very hard and unprotected move to surmount overhang. Hard moves up short corner then a tricky move left at the top of it. Follow the obvious line of left-leading grooves then traverse left to a good ledge. Multiple suspect BBs as for Thin Lipped. 2. 25m Straight up (2BRs - reachy to clip) then up and right through overhang (poorly sited BR, #2 cams). Up wall to left of a groove to top. Take wires. Rap off as for Thin Lipped.
Mike Law, Andrew Penney 23-10-77
* Full Tilt 20 55m
Great climbing on different rock to the rest of the cliff, following an almost closed corner which overhangs at the top. Good holds. Start as for Conspiracy. 1. 40m (20) Up Conspiracy to tree then left on to slab trending left-ward to base of corner (2BRs, #2 cam). Corner (small wires) to FH. Up the steep corner (3FHs) gradually getting harder at the top. Step left to large belay ledge (2BB, medium wire). 2. 15m Straight up to top (2BRs, both on small ledges). Tree anchor. Descent = move left to rap 48m off abseil chain in large tree.
Mike Stacey, Lorna McManus, Andrew Penney 23-8-86
* * Conspiracy 16 45m
A very striking and appealing line. Can be done in one 50m pitch (with rope drag). You can also exit right from the base of the wide section at 35m (right and up past 2nd last FH on Paranoid Neighbours) to the Barten's Effort rap chains. Start 12m right of XTC at an overhang below a large right-facing corner. 1. 35m Gymnastically up the short corner and pass left of tree. Up thin corner to flake then follow it through bulges to where it widens. Belay at base of the wide section (#9 hex, #4 cam). 2. 10m Continue up the wide section (large pro) and niche to top. Large tree anchor. Descent = walk right then down with extreme care to abseil chain in tree at top of Paranoid Neighbours. Rap 45m to deck.
Steve Anderson, Greg Mortimer (alt) 1975
* Paranoid Neighbours 20 45m
Sustained, clean climbing on excellent rock. It's a pity it runs so close to Conspiracy. Extensively brushed. Most people escape right after 35m to the Barten's Effort rap chains. Start as for Conspiracy. Up Conspiracy to tree and continue up corner for 4m until you can step right onto wall. Straight up wall (2BRs, 6FHs, #1.5 cam) past small tree and ledge to the halfway ledge and a large tree anchor with abseil chain. Rap 45m to deck.
Mike Stacey, Lorna McManus 17-8-86
* * Barten's Effort 20 35m
An absolute classic. Now stainless glue ins! Rebolted Sept.2014. The 6FHs were expansion type bolts. Start 2m right of Conspiracy. Up short left-ward leading corner to stance (#3 cam in break on right). Up right to 1st FH. Sustained and fingery wall. After last BR veer right to abseil chain and ubolt on the ledge 10m below the halfway ledge. 7FH , 1 BR. Rap 35m to deck.
Tony Barten, Noel Ward, Mike Peck, Joe Lynch June 1985
* * Crossing the Rubicon 22 38m
A tough crux at 22. Start as for Barten's Effort. Up Barten's Effort 5m to stance (#3 cam in break on right). Step right, then up and right (3BRs) to small horizontal break (optional #0.5 cam). Hard moves up faint central rib (FH, 3BRs) then step right to 9th BR on Chrysalis. Up (2BRs) to ledge and tree. 2BB. Descent = step left to Barten's Effort abseil and rap 35m to deck.
Wade Stevens July 1995
* * * Chrysalis 23 35m
Excellent, sustained and varied face climbing on hard water polished stone. Start marked 7m right of Barten's Effort at a large tree. Bridge up tree, clip BR and up to ledge. Thin moves lead left to a desperate mantle. Straight up wall to another hard section by the 6th BR. Traverse left 1m to larger holds, then up the wall on small incuts to ledge. 6BRs, 5FHs. 2BB+Ubolt. Descent = step left to Barten's Effort abseil and rap 35m to deck. Rebolted Sept. 2014.
Mike Stacey, Lorna McManus, Andrew Penney 29-6-86
* * * TDM 20 50m
One of the better finger-cracks in the Wolgan. A superb climb following an excellent line on good rock. Start 4m right of Chrysalis below a roofed corner leading to a soaring crack. Surmount the awkward overhang and up the wall left of the ferny crack, then great moves up to the roof. Swing over and follow the spectacular finger crack past a small tree to a ledge with a large gum tree. The climb originally finished up either the short corner behind or up the wall on the right. Most people step left at 30m onto the ledge and 2BB of Chysalis. Rap off.
Mike Law, Andrew Penney 9-10-77
Plug in Drug 22 47m
A fine looking route and very photogenic from the Barten's Effort ledge. A good middle section but the dicky start discourages most people. Start 6m right of TDM on the arete below a FH. Stick-clip FH then somehow haul through the roof. Up arete (small cams, wires) to a FH. Up and left then step around to left side of arete (wires). Great climbing past 3FHs leads to easy ground. Keep on arete to finish. Descent = move right to chain at the top of Tranzister and rap 50m to deck.
Joe Lynch, Mike Peck June 1985
Mastadon 24 25m
Rarely repeated. Probably best to climb in one pitch. Start 6m right of Plug in Drug. 1. 15m (24) Stick clip BR, boulder past it then up thin crack to small tree anchor. 2. 10m Up (2BRs) to a 3rd BR then abseil off.
Steve Moon, John Smoothy 28-3-85
* The Tower of Babel 23 50m
The climb is notorious for the controversial use of fixed carabiners on the fixed hangers. The first ascent team described it as 'quality engineering' but was considered by others to be an ethical low point for the Wolgan. Fine sustained climbing. Start from a cairn on the turkey mound 2m left of Tranzister. 1. 20m (21) Hard move onto and up wall (BR, 3FHs with fixed 'biners). From the good flat hold move left to BR then up and left (2BRs) to semi-hanging 3BB, small cam. BYO tat (and knife) for retreat or continue to top. 2. 30m (23) Hard technical moves up thin flake on right, then sustained climbing up the steep wall (4BRs, 5FHs with fixed 'biners) to a small ledge. 2BB and abseil chain.
FFA (P1) Andrew Penney 21-9-86; FFA (P2 seconded free) Mike Stacey, Andrew Penney 15-11-86; FFA (P1 & P2 together) John Smoothy 17-11-86
* * Tranzister 21 50m
Superb technical climbing up an amazing line. Very sustained throughout but well protected. Start 25m right of TDM at a left-facing orange corner leading to a roof. Bridge up the short corner to roof. Left under this and follow crack up to next roof and resting place. Swing over roof and follow the steep thin crack (good pro) to V-groove. Up this with technical moves on small holds, then left onto easy angled rock to top. Tree anchor and abseil chain. Descent = Rap 50m from abseil chain to deck.
Mike Law, Andrew Penney 22-10-77
* A Stagecoach Full of Feathers and Footprints 23 60m
Another excellent wall. Fingery and sustained in the usual Coal Mines fashion. Start as for Tranzister. 1. 16m Up corner as for Tranzister to first roof. Pull up right onto ledge and follow grooves up and right to semi-hanging 3BB. 2. 44m (23) Head straight up from belay to hard moves (FH) to gain a good hold in a small hanging flake. Straight up until jugs are reached then traverse right a bit and up to ledge below roof. Pull up gleefully (medium wire). Tree anchor 10m back. 2BRs, 5FHs. Descent = move left to abseil chain at the top of Tranzister and rap 50m to deck.
John Smoothy, Mike Stacey 21-9-86
* * * Red Hot 'n' Blue 22 54m
A beauty. Takes a lovely line up a big wall. The rock is superb and clean. Start as for Tranzister. 1. 14m (15) Up Tranzister to first roof and pull up right onto ledge as for Stagecoach. Instead of going up, traverse 4m right to semi-hanging 2BB. 2. 40m (22) Up diagonally right to BR. Up and right to a set of twin BRs (clip both). Up and left to a horizontal break and up again to another break. Traverse right to blunt nose. Undecling then up the lovely rib to a rather tiring bulge at the top. 9BRs, 4FHs. Tree anchor. Descent = move left to abseil chain at the top of Tranzister and rap 50m to deck.
FA (22M0) Lorna McManus, Mike Stacey 12-7-86; FFA John Smoothy, Mike Stacey 29-8-86
* White Hot 24 20m
A very thin direct start to Red Hot 'n' Blue. White Hot plus Red Hot 'n' Blue pitch 2 make a 50m pitch. Start 6m right of Tranzister at the blunt arete. BR (very poor), 2BRs, cam, BR to join Red Hot 'n' Blue P2.
Mark Baker November 1990
* * * Corregidor 23 50m
A truly magnificent wall, one of the best in the Wolgan. Very sustained climbing with few resting places. Start at a large cairn beneath an awesome looking wall 12m right of Tranzister. Heave around overhang then follow your nose past 16BRs. The hardest moves are low down, although some of the moves at mid-height are pretty thin. Good tree anchors up the hillside a bit. Descent = move left to abseil chain at the top of Tranzister and rap 50m to deck.
John Smoothy 16-7-86
* Continuum 25 47m
Sustained. Start as for Transformer. Up Transformer for a few moves (cam) then step left to BR. Hanging flakes (wires) and wall to tree. 5BRs, 5FHs. Tree anchor.
Andrew McAuley, Wendy Stevenson July 1993
Transformer 18 48m
Originally done in 3 pitches, but most people now climb pitches 1 and 2 together, then rap off. Start 25m right of Tranzister at a left-facing corner with twin cracks going through a bulge. Start at the left crack. 1. 8m Jamb crack past large leaning tree to ledge. 2. 20m Up the off-width crack over the overhang onto ledge. Up short corner to large tree anchor. Rap off or continue to the top. 3. 20m (X) Straight up the broken section above the tree very delicately, through the breaks in the wafers and past bulges to top.
Pete Taylor, Rohan Reynolds (alt) 18-9-77
Luba the Baroness 18 55m
Awkward and strenuous. Start 2m right of Transformer below a short chimney which is blocked by a chockstone at 7m. 1. 35m Struggle up short chimney into off-width and follow left-facing corner crack. Large tree anchor. 2. 20m Continue up as you like to top.
Rohan Reynolds, Pete Taylor 18-1-78
* Ride With Ya Daddy 18 58m
A nicely positioned second pitch with ample exposure. The block on the first belay ledge should be treated with respect. Start 10m right of Luba the Baroness. 1. 27m (18) Up wall (5BRs) then carefully surmount monster block to belay ledge. 3BB. 2. 31m (18**) Move right from belay and up to a small rotten cave. Reach around and clip a BR then straight up (5BRs) to top. Tree anchors. Descent = Move right to Hellzapoppin and rap 45m to deck.
Lorna McManus, Mike Stacey 29-6-86
Blue Vein 16 50m
Start 15m right of Luba the Baroness in a broken chossy chimney. 1. 15m Up broken orange corner, through overhang (past sticks) and bulge to ledge. Tree anchor. 2. 25m Continue up crack and corner through bulges to tree anchor. 3. 10m Continue up corner crack to top.
Greg Mortimer, Steve Anderson (alt) 1975
Bare Essence 17 45m
A bit shy on pro in a few spots but still quite pleasant. Can be done in one pitch. Start 5m right of Blue Vein. 1. 30m Use tree to gain wall then drift up groove (#9 hex, RP, medium cam on left) to large ledge. Step right to BR then up arete. Hard moves (2BRs) then more easily (run-out) to a small stance. 2BB. 2. 15m Up (BR, natural pro) to top. Large tree anchor as for Hellzapoppin.
John Smoothy, Fiona Lumsden 22-11-84
* * Hellzapoppin 17 45m
Good, well protected wall climbing. Take some wires and small-medium cams. Start marked (behind a bush) 3m right of Bare Essence around the corner on left half of wall. Straight up wall (BR, small cam on left, BR on ledge at 10m, wires, 3BRs) past a stance at 30m then up (BR, small wire, BR) to large tree with 2 abseil chains. Rap 45m to deck.
John Smoothy, Steve Moon, Nat Nicholas 28-3-85
* A Spoonful of Sugar 21 45m
Good, well protected climbing up an immaculately brushed streak. A weird crux that's easier if you are tall. Start 4m right of Hellzapoppin. The crux section is the short blank wall past the 3rd and 4th BRs and is climbed on the left side. After the 6th BR, the climb follows the right side of the brushed streak for most of the way with the difficulty easing towards the top. 9BRs, 3FHs. Descent = step left to Hellzapoppin and rap 45m to deck.
Andrew Penney, Mike Stacey 21-8-86
* The Val Doonican Show 20 45m
Two entertaining pitches. Start 3m right of A Spoonful of Sugar. 1. 30m (18) Up (2BRs) to ledge. Move past BR to line of holds and small corner on right (wires). Left beneath roof (BR) then pull through it to twin BRs. Up wall (twin BRs) to belay ledge. 3BB. Take #2 cam, thin tape. 2. 18m (20) Balance up the brushed slab/wall (5BRs), climbing 1m left of the last BR. 3BB on small ledge at top. Descent = move left with care to Hellzapoppin and rap 45m to deck.
Craig Sloss, Andrew Penney (alt), Mike Stacey 2-8-86

Solo 8m up the easy left-facing corner 15m right of The Val Doonican Show to a large ledge for the next two climbs.

Meu Filho 21 30m
Start 4m left of the large tree on Frodo ledge. Up past horizontal break (small cam). 5BRs, FH (reachy clips) to join Frodo at the left end of the overhang. Up (wire, small cam) to top. Tree anchor.
Andrew McAuley, Wade Stevens, Wendy Stevenson August 1993
* * Frodo 20 32m
An excellent climb along a sweeping diagonal overhang. Very pushy! Start on ledge at base of the imposing diagonal. Up slab and crack to below roof then traverse left along diagonal under roof (carefully) to the far left end. Sidestip the end then up to top (wire, small cam). Tree anchor. Rap off.
Norm Booth, Ray Lassman, John Smart, Rohan Reynolds 29-1-78

Back on ground level.

* Bilbo Baggins 19 51m
Hits you with the crux when you think you've cracked it. Start 15m right of the easy left-facing corner access to Frodo ledge at a crack leading to a left-ward diagonal corner higher up. 1. 33m Up crack and broken section, through broken roof to ledge then up the fine finger crack/corner to large ledge. Tree anchor. 2. 18m (19) Surmount overhang on left (desperate) then up the fine finger-crack in grooves to top.
Norm Booth, Ray Lassman, Rohan Reynolds 23-10-77
* Tupelo Honey 15 42m
All the climbing moves are there - even the off-width is OK, apparently. Start 50m right of Bilbo Baggins at a crack in the wall, leading into a corner. Follow corner crack past tree and into off-width section (big pro useful) then chimney to top. Tree anchor.
Pete Taylor, Harry Luxford, Rohan Reynolds, Paul Mende 23-10-77
Subterranean Homesick Blues 16 54m
Apparently harder than it looks. Start 25m right of Tupelo Honey in a short left-facing corner. 1. 24m Easily up corner to the twenty eight man bivvy ledge. Bush anchor. 2. 30m Up into the left corner crack, around bulge and up off-width past second bulge to top. Belay on tree at the top of the slope.
Rohan Reynolds, Pete Taylor, Peter McTacet 6-11-77
* Fringe Benefits 18 45m
Start 12m right of Subterranean Homesick Blues at a 3m high sandy corner capped by a roof. 1. 15m From the base of the corner, move up around roof into crack on wall then up to tree and large ledge. Bush anchor. 2. 30m Move right off ledge over big boulder, then straight up to top with excellent wall climbing.
John Smart, Mark Paramor 6-11-77
Rapid Transit 20 55m
Getting off the ground gives the climb its grade. Natural pro. Start 12m right of Fringe Benefits at the thin crack going through a roof above two slabby boulders. 1. 15m (20) Heave off the slab over roof and pull into crack (absolutely desperate). Follow crack up wall to obvious ledge and nut anchor. 2. 40m Straight up the beautiful vertical wall on good holds to top.
John Smart, Chris Carson 23-10-77
Sour Plum 14 55m
Start 18m right of Rapid Transit at the obvious jamb crack running up the wall to ledge. 1. 15m Up crack to ledge. Nut anchor. 2. 40m Up to the top on a beautiful, easy, exposed wall with natural pro.
Mark Paramor, John Smart (alt) 6-11-77
Last Year's Man 11 30m
Walk 40m right of Sour Plum to a dry gully. Stroll up the gully for 20m or so until you reach a wide chimney on your left. Up the grotty chimney, step onto wall and up crack to top.
Geoff Herbert, Garry Prime 22-10-77
Little Meanie 21 25m
An excellent crack problem on good rock. Start 10m right of and uphill from Last Year's Man at the top of the gully. Follow the one and a quarter inch crack straight up to the obvious belay.
John Smart, Mark Paramor 6-11-77

The following climb is not on the Coal Mines Cliff but maybe on a cliff nearby. The climb could not be located. The original description is listed in full below. Note that 'the first ford' has become a concreted dip and there is a house 'on the pub side' of it.

Just Gorgeous 15 88m
Park anywhere on the pub side of the first ford in the valley (below the Glow Worm Tunnel). Up the hill just left of its shoulder, continue up giant gully to second cliffline, then go left until the second obvious chimney is reached. This is it. 1. 12m Up to thread belay. 2. 33m (15) Up chimney. 3. 43m Up chimney and left wall above chockstone.
George Owens, Sue Streeter 3-11-79