Whale Beach

Morning sun


An out of the way little spot that's very popular with fishermen. It's not at all popular with climbers, which isn't particularly surprising seeing as much of the crag is choss, and what little fixed protection remains is badly weathered. The crag is located at Careel Point (about 5kms south of Barrenjoey).


To get there, drive to the end of Rayner Rd, Whale Beach and walk south along the path to a small lookout area. Head down the obvious steep path to the left (the path continuing straight past the danger sign ends up on the same track, but is more roundabout). After heading down to below the small, chossy upper cliff line, continue south along the large ledge and past a jumble of fallen blocks. At the far end of the ledge is a line of chipped holds heading down with a large steel bolt at the top (this had 2 handlines tied to it when we were there). The routes are described right to left (north to south), facing the cliff. There is some confusion over the exact location of the recorded climbs.

The following three routes are located on the first decent rock to the right of the descent ladders. There are a few large boulders here, and all of the climbs start below a large corner, just above a shale band. Scramble up to a BB (almost certainly manky or missing by now).

Suck Face With a Jellyfish 21 15m
Start below the corner. Clip a BR from the belay, then move right and up strenuously (BR). Traverse right to the arete (BR) and follow this (cams) to a tree belay.
Hey, Buster 22 15m
From the 2nd BR on SFWaJ, continue straight up and over small roof (cam). Thin moves to ledge (BR) and up to top.
East Ridge 17 18m
As for SFWAJ. Climb the crack, move left (BR) then head up to bulge. Pass this on the left (BR) then straight over next bulge. Continue up slab (BRs) to double BBs.

The descent route reaches the base of the cliff just here.

Crimson Streams 17 15m
Crack 15m left of the descent. There's a large bolt in the boulder opposite. Follow the crack to a ledge then up the thinner crack above.
Craig B. Martin, Martin Jones 1983

The Coke Ovens

The large 25m high wall on the side of the first (usually dry) zawn.

A 20 15m
Somewhere on the left hand wall of the Coke Ovens. A Bill Goddard SRT practice "route" installed inside a cleft. Take a headlamp.
Northern Beaches Cliff Training Team
Pull Up the Roots 18 20m
Start below the obvious open book corner, 10m left of the left hand end of the Coke Ovens. Scramble up the shale band (rusty mower blades) to a small ledge (BB and cams). Strenuous moves up and left to follow a right tending groove to a nasty mantle top out. Double BBs.
Craig D. Martin, Craig B. Martin 1983-12
* Self Deception 19 20m
About 25m left of PUtR (3m right of DR). Good moves. Over a bulge and up the "Arapilesian" wall to a seam. Follow this and continue up the wall above (2 FHs) to final pocketed flake (take care).
Craig D. Martin, Craig B. Martin 1984-01-07
Double Release 17 20m
An undercut corner 30m left of PUtR. Follow the corner and groove above (good jamming and laybacking). Boulder belay. Rap off the double BBs above PUtR.
Craig D. Martin, Craig B. Martin 1984-01-07
* Negotiable Fixation 20 8m
2m left of DR, under big roof. Up to roof (BR), then out on jugs to lip (FH). Up to ledge then as for DR.
Craig B. Martin, Craig D. Martin 1984-02-18
Anorak Man 17 7m
About 35m left of NF. Up (BR) then over hanging corner to a ledge.
Craig B. Martin, Craig D. Martin 1984-02-15

Upper Cliffline

The following two routes tackle the impressively chossy upper cliff line. To get to the start, do one of the lower routes.

* Madness 21 40m
At the far left hand end of the halfway ledge. 1. 20m (21). Up wall (BR) then trend slightly left (BRs) to ledge. 2. 20m (21). Straight up to corner and follow this to awful mantle. Belay to the right then bush bash up the hill.
Paul Byrnes, Mary Roulstone 1985-05
B ? 40m?
Veers right from M? Not a lot of decent rock for it to go up!
Paul Byrnes, Mary Roulstone 1985-05

The Zawn

About 200m past SD is an impressive zawn. The following route apparently starts on the right hand side, but stuffed if I could find it!

The Pendulum 19M1 40m
About 200m left of SD, at the edge of the big zawn. Climb up and right (BRs). Clip last one, then lower off and swing across the zawn to a double BB belay. Either tyrolean back across or take flippers and garbage bags and swim out.
Paul Byrnes, Mark Colyvan 1985-06-03