Nathan Wales on ‘Nothing Left’.

» see the Booroomba Rocks image gallery

Booroomba Rocks is the largest crag near Canberra and has some fantastic granite climbing. This crag was developed mainly through the 70s and 80s, and the routes tend to be a mixture of natural gear and bolts, with plenty of long run-out slabs for your mind to contend with. The crag is about 140m at its highest around the Central Slabs but there are many single-pitch climbs around the Middle Rocks and the South Buttress areas.

To get there, drive south of Canberra to Tharwa, cross the big old bridge over the Murrumbidgee River and turn left towards Namadgi National Park. Continue for about 10km until you come to a right hand turn on a crest which is Apollo Road – follow this for about 8km until you come to another right hand turn; this road is dirt and leads to the Booroomba Rocks car park. From here it’s roughly a 15-20 minute walk up the hill on the tourist track which leads you to the top of Middle Rocks. Booroomba Rocks gets most of the days’ sun, which is great on a winter’s day but creates a frying pan on the slabs in summer.

Route information

A guide to the Northern Slabs showcases Canberra’s most extensive easy to moderate slab climbing:

Booroomba Rocks Northern Slabs guide (PDF 4.4MB)

Comprehensive information about routes at Booroomba Rocks is available in the ACT Granite guidebook (1989) and in the list at the bottom of this page for routes established since 1989. Route information is also available at Booroomba Rocks on thecrag.com.

Abseil points for accessing routes at Booroomba Rocks

Please note that the CCA takes no responsibility for the accuracy of this information. This information is provided by climbers, for use by competent and experienced climbers. As with anything related to climbing, there are risks associated with abseiling. Consider backing up your abseil. If in any doubt, you should seek qualified instruction.

South Buttress

Top of Dangermouse (near Integral):
  • 25 metres to platform, then walk and scramble off north (up the gully)
  • 35 metres to ground
Top of Equanimity:
  • 50 metres to ground
Top of African Walking Tree:
  • 20 metres to platform in Square Gully
  • 30 metres to ground
Platform in Square Gully:
  • 10 metres to ground
Above Modern Times Direct Finish:
  • 25 metres to ground
Top of Jack’s Crack:
  • 30 metres to ground (with some scrambling, this is accessible for climbs from Jack’s Crack through to Possum)
Ledge above Winter Retreat and Unusual Weather:
  • 15 metres to ground
Cakes and Ale:
  • 20 metre lower-off
Top of Vomit:
  • 30 metres to ground
Cocker’s Gully
Top of Scungy Wall / Plimsole Line:
  • 25-30 metres to ground
Middle rocks
Top of Hurricane Cracks Wall:
  • 30-35m abseil to base of wall
Cave wall
Double rings at top of Cave Route – suitable for lower-off only
Abseil point above Kathy and Jacob:
  • 25m to ground.
Booroomba Rocks - North Buttress raps

Booroomba Rocks – North Buttress raps

North Buttress

Top of Hermes:
  • 30 metres to Hermes belay ledge (natural anchor only on this ledge)
  • 60 metres to ground
Top of Yellow Brick Road (see picture above):
  • (a) 35 metres
  • (b) 35 metres
  • (c) 25 metres
  • (d) 25 metres
If abseiling with double 60m ropes (b) and (c) can be combined to get to (d) at the base of the Prow; a 60m rap from (a) gets to the base of Yellow Brick Road alternate start and the start of Jet Arete; (c) is at the top of the Prow (also known as “Determinant Ledge”).

Central Slabs

From top of Nothing Left:
  • (a) 50-60 metres?
  • (b) 50 metres?
  • (c) 50m?
(a): top of Nothing Left
(b): below headwall of Nothing Left
(c): first belay of Closer In/Extreme Youth/Channel 19
Top of first pitch of Outer Limit:
  • 45 metres to ground
Top of Smash Palace:
  • 50 metres
  • 50 metres
Snickers Wall sport routes all finish at lower-offs.
Top of Astradyne:
  • Scramble down till you get to the top of the slabs, rap 50 metres down and right a little to 3 anchors in a corner
  • 30 metres to ground at the start of Silver City Highway
Psychosomatic:
  • 40m rap to ground
Pitch 1, Unacceptable in the 80s:
  • 40m rap to ground

New routes at Booroomba Rocks

Routes established since the publication of the ACT Granite 1997 guide and contributed from the community via thecrag.com, are: