In search of a thrill in the Blue Mountains? How does hanging by a thread sound?
Most people who have watched climbers scaling up and down steep cliff faces marvel at the bravery of those doing it.
Craig Albery, the owner of Ropewerx, compares rock climbing with a good game of chess in both pastimes each move must be well planned and well executed. He loves the challenge of introducing novices to the exhilarating sport and has the ideal place to do it.
Central Boyce at Blackheath has around 150 climbs for all levels of climber, but the one he suggests first-timers attempt is around 40 metres, done in two stages. It is not quite 100 percent sheer vertical and is easily accessible.
A day climb starts at 8.45am in Katoomba where you're given an overview of the day and basic instructions on technique and safety. You will be fitted with special boots with a soft sole made from sticky rubber which will adhere to even the thinnest piece of rock ledge. You also have your harness gear fitted and are given chalk for your hands to increase your grip.
Your instructor goes up the first part of your climb and attaches the gear. Some fixed bolts are already in place in the rock face.
Rock climbing is all about pushing yourself with your legs, rather than pulling yourself with your arms. Balance is obviously very important, and the Ropewerx instructors find most people are fairly natural climbers. With up to 15 years in the industry, the instructors are experts at instilling you with confidence and many fast-learning novices are encouraged to work out their own path up the cliff.
Beginners are offered a couple of options, but it all comes down to having fun.
Katoomba, 1½ hours west of Sydney.
Blue Mountains Ropewerx have beginners' rock climbing from $145 per person. They operate year round.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Blue Mountains Ropewerx
Ph: 0500 88 firstname.lastname@example.org
Best Western: Ph: 131 779www.bestwestern.com.au