After dinner on Friday night at the Chinese restaurant in Wentworth Falls, we headed to Narrowneck via Coles at Katoomba. After driving out to the locked gate we parked at the turn off to Dixon's Ladders (or where they used to be before the top set of ladders was removed). We walked in and camped at the Pumping Station Cave, just below the first hairpin on the fire trail. Given that we'd never been there before, it was a bit tricky to find after dark, but we managed. We settled down to wine and port with tea lights and a fire.

The next morning it was blowing a gale, although we were pretty well protected in the cave. We realised you could easily see the cave in the daytime from the road. We packed up our gear and headed around on ledges and abseiled in two pitches down the 100' Slab. It's a fair walk along the bottom to Tal (13), our route for the day.

Chris hadn't climbed outdoors at all before, and it was my first multipitch climb, so it was an experience for both of us.

Charles led both pitches. The first was a nice section of crack climbing before an interesting traverse out to the arete and then up to a ledge. Charles took a while, not helped by the wind which kept gusting at awkward moments. I was stalled for a while on the traverse before I found a step down to better holds and a ledge. Chris did well to make it although there was plenty of grunting and groaning. Liz flew up it, and we settled in for a cosy lunch on the narrow ledge.

The second pitch was easier, with a scrubby section in between a couple of tricky moves, but mostly easy holds on a slab. Charles dismissed the third pitch and we exited up Herbaceous Gully and back along the road to the car.

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Charles on the first pitch of Tal

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Charles heading out to the arete on the first pitch of Tal

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The view out over the Megalong Valley from the top of the first pitch

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Chris in the crack on his first outdoor climb

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Me on the ledge at the top of the first pitch

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Chris and Liz - Liz at least looking at the camera for a change, even if she is making a silly face

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The second pitch of Tal - Chris and Charles just visible at the top

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Chris - having conquered his first outdoor climb

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Chris and Liz on a random boulder

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Sunset from Narrowneck