(Re)developing Pierces Creek

Canberra is home to an abundance of good climbing, mostly on granite, long multipitch slabs, and a lot of boulders.

The main bouldering area for the last decade has been Black Range - an hour away, past Queanbeyan. Black range comprises numerous areas of great problems spread throughout the gums.

Originally developed at a similar time was Pierces Creek, despite being much closer (~20 mins) it faded into obscurity due to the 2003 Canberra fires, which destroyed the pine forest, and damaged many of the problems. I had a look out there a few times, between '08 and '10, but found limited areas, with no traffic, a lot of cleaning required and a lot of chipped holds in some areas. Having not visited it prior to the fires I didn't realise the quality problems  I was missing.

Over the last year or so it has seen a resurgence. The old maps were translated into google maps on theCrag, published in Duncan's guide, and a few areas were cleaned up and redeveloped for publishing. Seeing some more activity out there I had another look, and found that a lot of it is nicer than I had first thought. This coincided with Veronica and I acquiring Maddie, which limits our climbing to dog legal, if not friendly locations. Pierces falls into that category, and is one of only a few local areas that do.

I can also climb out there solo (with the dog), so it's been a popular spot over the summer when my usual partners bail.

My work has been mostly around the Sushi Row area, putting up and writing about 30 new routes. I've also helped Peter out with some grading and cleaning at the Tumblers. Combined with the pre-existing work at Playboy, there are now about 150 problems in close proximity, Ranging from VB to ~V9, with single move problems and sweet high-balls in good condition.

I'm going to continue developing the main loop, to get a decent number and density of problems, before heading west as I get bored of each area. I've already found a few new areas that haven't been looked at as far as I am aware, which could hold some interesting problems, and there will be more coming as I teach Maddie to follow a mountain bike over the coming months. There's definitely more than enough to keep us busy for the foreseeable future. Keep an eye on theCrag to see what's happening out there.


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