Phegans Bay


Originally known as "Gnomeland" in the Wondabyne climber's guide to the Lower Hawkesbury River but now commonly referred to as Phegan's Bay, given the crags location. This is a pleasant and now popular eastern facing crag, well suited to the beginner or those wanting a leisurely day. Efforts have been made to use hex head bolts in climbs around the main wall area to ensure minimum visual impact due to the public traffic through this area.


The earliest known climbs in this area were the charge of the rather colourful characters of the Wondabyne Climbers around 1978 - 1979. Most of the obvious cracks and easier face climbs were ticked off. The grades of several of the climbs they established are considered a bit light-on by today's standards and for the purpose of this guide have been updated. The area saw a resurgence of activity in the late 90s when Richard Jeffrey armed with a Hilti established a few of the classic sports routes to the main wall and regrettably also retro-bolting two of the existing established lines. This new activity has however seen the crag further developed with several active new routers Gary Hamilton, Kye Riddington and Shane adding a host of new lines.<br/>This crag has been the centre of much controversy locally over retro-bolting and route stealing. A number of routes have been put up by transient climbers who never conveyed route descriptions so it is hoped the details of unnamed routes will eventually trickle in, as may other comments. As noted several of the climbs in this area have been regrettably retro-bolted without consent of the original ascentionist. It is believed the level of protection now on these climbs is testament to the boldness of their achievement. These routes are now enjoyed safely by the great number of climbers who visit this crag, however should the original ascentionist request removal of this protection it will be done without hesitation and all efforts made to remediate any damage resulting from their removal. Although that can't be said for everyone as tempers flare easily.


Park at the end of Olive Avenue (also called Clem Cl in some street directories), Phegan's Bay and walk south along the track to the right of the road's end. Follow this track along the top of the cliff leaving the track to the right for the cliff edge and the obvious descent gully as the track turns back west away from the cliff.

Descent Gully

The short wall in the gully hosts the following climbs.

Problem 22 5m
At right hand end of short wall. Boulder up rounded flakes. Top rope or solo only.
Paul Riviere (solo) 2002
* Honey I'm Wet 21 6m
At low flake. Move from low flake to slightly wet dominant pocket (I've heard people describe their wives this way!). Easily down climbed to clean. 3 BRs.
Richard Jeffrey 1996
* * A 22 6m
2m left of HIW. Start up past 3 BRs. Again best to down climb to save a lot of mess.
Gary Hamilton 1999
Mr Penetration 15 6m
Below overhanging offwidth corner at left end of wall. A gutsy little climb. Straight up the corner.
Phil Stallard, Dave McGrouther 1979

Mohamed (Main) Wall

Most of the climbs on the main wall had double BBs, however all have been maliciously damaged. They have since been removed and now await replacement.

NS? 16 15m
On left side of arete. Stem up the dihedral to start then follow arete to top. Fairly chossy. 4 BRs.
* * B 20 15m
4m right of arete. Straight up. A little runout.
Richard Jeffrey, Grant Severn, Gordon Porter 2000
* * Stingray 15 15m
Obvious line up middle of left wall. Thin start but getting easier with height. 5 BRs.
Phil Stallard, Dave McGrouther, Steve Moss 1978
C 21 15m
2m right of S. Up. Paul Rivere's abandoned project.
Unknown 2000
* * Rub a Dub 21 15m
2m left of M. Up passing 4 BRs. A #3.5 friend keeps the rope out of the way to start.
Richard Jeffrey 2000
Mohamed 15 15m
Large crack that splits the main wall.
Phil Stallard, Dave McGrouther, Steve Moss, Scott Hoy 1978
* Wiggle it Just a Little Bit 21 15m
2m right of M. 4 BRs and mid sized friends.
Richard Jeffrey 1999
* * * Sharon Stone 19 15m
2m right of WIJALB at huge pocket. 1. Even looks like a great route! 6 BRs.
Richard Jeffrey, Matthew Kingsman-Smith 1996
* * * Phoenix 19 15m
Start as for SS. Nice moves make a classic face climb at the grade. 6 BRs.
Richard Jeffrey, Matthew Kingsman-Smith 1996
* * * HS? 15 15m
2m right of SS / P. Around small bulge then straight up easy ground. Well protected with 5 BRs.

To the right of HS a route awaits rebolting after unsightly and mysteriously appearing ring bolts were removed from a line which had just been drilled for hex heads. This action regrettably led to a bit of malicious retaliation with the damage to all belay bolts on this wall.

* * Opium 20 15m
Below right side of blunt arete at north end of Mohamed Wall. Named for what you'd need if you miss the first clip. 3 BRs, #3.5 friend and wires.
Ross Linsley, Paul Riviere 1996
Chips Ahoy 17 15m
4m right of O. They needed a lot of cleaning to unearth this one. Up through suspect rock passing 5 BRs.
Kye Riddington 1999
Show Bag 18 13m
4m right of CA. Up to the left, behind tree. 4 BRs.
Gary Hamilton 1999
Gastric 21 13m
Up SB then veer right, the back left to rejoin SB to finish. 4 BRs.
Gary Hamilton 1999

Stuff Wall

Parrallel to Mohamed Wall but some 20m to the north west is a short wall.

Vagination 9 5m
Short corner at left end of Stuff Wall.
Scott Hoy (solo) 1978
Hard Stuff 19 7m
On small boulder in centre of wall. Up centre of wall, fingery holds with a few good jugs lower down. 3 BRs to double BB.
Richard Jeffrey, Matthew Kingsman-Smith, Jenny McClaren 1996
D ?? 7m
At right end of Stuff Wall. Up through chossy cave then veer left. 2 BRs.
Shane, Gary Hamilton 2001
E ?? 7m
Start as for D. Straight up. 1 BR, small friends.
Shane, Gary Hamilton 2001

Sweet Mamma Area

About 60 - 80m north of Stuff wall is another short slabby wall with a few gems. At the centre of this area is "Sweet Mamma" the obvious wide overhanging chimney. About 50m before this area is another access gully (about 15m right of Stuff Wall).

F 21 7m
20m left of Sweet Mamma. Up right side of blunt arete passing 2 BRs and 1 RB. Take care with opening gate on second runner.
Shane 2002
G 12 5m
3m right of F. Hard start then eases off. 2 BRs to double BB.
David Forbes 2002
H 6 5m
6m right of G. Up easy slab. 2 BRs to double BB.
David Forbes 2002
* * * I 17 6m
Slabby blunt arete. Nice little climb. 2 BRs to double BB.
Shane 2002
* J 17 6m
2m right of I. Nice thin slab then over bulge. 2 BRs to double BB.
Shane 2002
* K 15 6m
3m right of J. Another a little gem! Thin slab then over bulge. 3 BRs to double BB.
Shane 2002
L 16 5m
2m right of K. Dirty slab. 2 BRs to double BB.
Shane 2002
Sweet Mamma 12 8m
Right of the obvious, wide, overhanging chimney. Up steep wall and overhanging chimney.
Phil Stallard, Scott Hoy 1978
M 16 10m
Start as for SM. Straight up left side of obvious large bulging block. 3 RBs (last needs long runner) to double BB.
Shane 2002
* * * N 18 10m
At obvious tree stump. Centre line up block and over bulges. 3 RBs (third needs long runner) to double BB.
Shane 2002
* * O 22 10m
Right line on block. Start up chossy undercut (take care) to first high clip, then up over bulges. Watch the tree behind you. 2 BRs and 1 RB.
Shane 2002

20m further right on the same upper terrace after the large rotten cave is the following very short route. Staying on this terrace will get you to another scramble access up to the cliff top track. Head right along this to get to the carpark.

P 14 4m
20m right of O. 2 BRs and 1 RB.
Shane 2002

About 80m further north of this climb, a few very short bolted routes have been established on some very suspect rock (take care!). Details unknown.

Mother's Buttress

The following areas and climbs are to the south of the major Descent Gully.

* * * Inbreeds in the Midst 18 10m
The arete at the very base of the gully. Straight up on jugs. Walk down left on ramps, or round out the top and off. 3 BRs to double BBs in back of cave.
Richard Jeffrey 2002
Mother's Choice 11 15m
Left of IITM. Wandery. Up leftward ascending slab onto ramps, then up and right to last overhang. Muscle over this to top.
Phil Stallard, David McGrouther, Iam Williamson, Steve Moss and A. Fraser 1978

In Between Areas

To the south of Mother's Buttress the cliff breaks into small narrow nondescript gullies. Most of the obvious cracks located in the rear of these gullies were climbed by the Wondabyne Climbers in the late 1970s. Their lines are used here to locate and describe the more recently established climbs.

Roundabout 14 8m
Up high corner about 20m left of MC, then break out left onto wall and up slab above.
Phil Stallard, Steve Moss 1978
* * Knife Edge 17 8m
Start as for Roundabout. Veer left to arete. #2.5 friend protects start then 3 BRs to triple BB belay. Retrobolted by David Forbes and Gary Hamilton, 2002.
Gordon Porter 2000
Q ?? 6m
Right side of Roundabout Gully. Straight up past 3 BRs to double BB belay.
Gary Hamilton, David Forbes 2002
* Little Roof Riding Hood 18 8m
3m right of Roundabout. Clip BR to start, right over ledge then upward right through juggy overhang. 1 BR, 2 RBs and #0.5 friend below top.
Richard Jeffrey, Matthew Kingsman-Smith 2000
* R 17 10m
Around arete 4m left of Roundabout. Through chossy start then straight up steepening slab. 4 BRs to triple BBs.
Gary Hamilton, David Forbes 2002
Spalding 11 10m
At rotten roof left of Roundabout, with black corner above. Delicately up frail holds under roof. Over this then follow bulging corner to top.
Phil Stallard, Steve Moss 1978
S 12 10m
3m left of Spalding. Around bulge on frail holds then up slab to left. 4 BRs.
Shane 2000
Grandmother Crack 7 10m
7m left of S. Easily up corner.
David McGrouther (solo) 1978
The Mysteron 12 12m
Overhanging groove 6m left of GC. Up groove, right up walls to top. Take care of loose blocks suspended by tree.
Scott Hoy, David McGrouther 1978
The Catalyst 11 10m
Corner 6m left of TM, just past rotten cave. Up groove then onto wall. Left into corner then follow your nose to the top.
Scott Hoy, Phil Stallard 1978

The Other End

About 100m south of Mother's Buttress is another area hosting several quality routes. The area described starts from the obvious gully of "The Little Grotto" with a smooth black slab on its left side.

The Little Grotto 10 10m
Large corner 12m left of TC. Grovel left at the top.
Scott Hoy, David McGrouther 1978
T 21 10m
2m right of TLG. Up thin wall. 4 BRs.
Shane 2000
U 15 8m
4m right of TLG. Wandery and brittle, take care. Veer right toward arete then up left to belay. 3 BRs to double BB.
Shane 2000
* * Sabotage 18 8m
3m left of TLG. Up nice slab. 3 BRs to double BB. This line was drilled minimally by Grant Severn immediately before the appearance of the final line.
Shane 2000
V 15 10m
Down left below blunt arete. Up around bulge and up final dirty ramp / slab. 3 RBs to double BB.
Unknown 2001
* * W 15 12m
4m left of V. Juggy. Up wall and slab to finish, then traverse right to belay as for V. 3 RBs.
Unknown 2001
* * * Gordo's Climb 16 12m
3m left of W. Straight up wall and slab above, traverse right to belay as for V / W. 3 BRs.
Gordon Porter 2002
* * X 16 12m
2m left of GC. Straight up steep slab passing 3 BRs.
Kye Riddington 1999

The next climbs are about 20m south of "The Little Grotto". "Wet 'n' Wild" (a large dirty and often wet crack) is a good landmark.

* * * Debbie Does Dynos 22 12m
2m right of WNW (below). Over bulge. Gnarly second clip if you're short. 2 RBs, 1 BR, #1.5 friend below top.
Richard Jeffrey 1999
Wet 'n' Wild 14 12m
At obvious large, dirty and often wet crack. Bring a range of friends and some absorbent cloth.
Gordon Porter, Jeff Connelly, Grant Severn, Richard Jeffrey 1999
* * Chicken Nuggets 18 12m
1.5 left of WNW. Veer left then straight up. A little over protected with 7 BRs. This climb seems to have been retro-bolted with the appearance of several very large ring bolts. The original bolts have not been removed.
Kye Riddington 1999

About 10m left of the large ground level block next to Chicken Nuggets is a short slabby wall with the following routes.

Slabs Inc. 10 10m
Left juggy side of the steep slab. Trend up slabs past tree and more slabs to top.
Phil Stallard, I. Dymock, I. Jones 1979
After You 11 10m
10m left of SI. Up steep wall.
Dave McGrouther, Phil Stallard (solo) 1979
Then Me 10 10m
2m left of AY. Straight up wall on good holds.
Phil Stallard, Dave McGrouther 1979
Suburbia Street 10 12m
6m left of TM at tree growing out of crack. Straight up crack and overhang above.
Phil Stallard (solo) 1979

The Wondabyne Climbers indicate that several other solo routes and boulder problems were established in this area, however none were described as the climbs are very short and nondescript.