With both Gill and I having days off work, and Andy in between jobs, we piled in Andy's car early on Friday morning to head up to the Blueys. Andy had been discussing doing Boars Head Rock as a climb, but we had limited information. One web site indicated a couple of pitches of grade 12 climbing, and my old Upper Blue Mountains guide had a number of climbs in the general vicinity, but it was hard to tell without going there.
We had all abseiled there, so we figured that getting there wouldn't be too much of a problem. But after my most recent abseiling trip down Boars Head, I decided that we would only go ahead if it was not windy. On the abseiling trip, the Boars Head gully had funnelled the cold wind straight through us, and it would have made for extremely unpleasant climbing.
After the usual stop at the Katoomba Bakery, we headed down to Boars Head to find it blowing a gale. With our lips slowly stiffening up because of the cold, we headed back to the car and decided on Narrowneck. Despite it still facing west, and into the teeth of the breeze, we figured that it would be pretty calm for most of the climb and only cold near the top.
After a bit of fiddling around looking for tracks, we located the one down to Herbaceous Gully, and did the first abseil off the big-arse rap ring. It was less than 20m, unlike the notes that we had that said 30m, so we unnecessarily had joined the two ropes together. Walking down the gully, we rebelayed a single 50m rope off a large casuarina and rapped to the bottom, about 17m.
Some discussion on which climb to do followed, but we settled on Cave Climb (65m *13). Andy led a rather difficult first pitch, with some strenuous moves to reach the traverse, and some interesting moves to gain a surprisingly large cave. Andy also led the second pitch, a nice easy laybacking pitch up the crack, to a windy belay on top. There were also a set of rap chains, presumably for the next climb. They appeared to be longer than 50m, possibly longer than 60m. Perhaps there's a rebelay point somewhere in the middle?
With a bit of time left, we wandered down to 100' Slab, and I led the top pitch of that (variously graded anywhere from 8 to 12 - but I'd say it's at the easier end).
After a couple of good pizzas at Papadinos, I jumped on a train as Gill and Andy headed to Mt York to camp.
[I subsequently found some old notes on Herbaceous Gully that indicated a one rope abseil, followed by a walk down the gully, a climb down chains, and a final short abseil. The chains appear to have been eroded away, leaving a rap off the tree higher up, with easy pulldown, or a tricky climb down to the second rap ring.]
Andy leading the first pitch of Cave Climb (13)
Gill on the first pitch of Cave Climb
Andy just out of the cave leading the second pitch of Cave Climb
Gill nearing the top of the second pitch of Cave Climb