Home Forums Climbing Talk A beginner’s guide to climbing Hellfire Gully (Bluff Knoll) Reply To: A beginner’s guide to climbing Hellfire Gully (Bluff Knoll)


After this failed attempt described above, we went back recently for another try and sent the thing fairly easily in the end. In case this info is useful to anyone, the main things we did differently this time were:
i) prepare better – we more or less gave up sport climbing and did lots more trad up to grade 19 at Churchman’s, various quarries, Darlington boulders, and really worked on our proficiency with gear placement, anchor building and rope handling. Seems obvious, I suppose, perhaps because it is, but then you don’t always know what you don’t know.
ii) take fewer people – there were 3 of us this time, which turned out to be a good number. Leading 2 pitches and following on 4 made the whole thing quite relaxed, and didn’t slow us down much at all. It also meant you usually had someone to talk to at the top or bottom of the pitch.
That’s it really.
Ross Weiter’s topo is still the best guide to the climb, though I’d make a few notes: we got plenty of use out of a #3 C4 cam, we used a lot of hexes in bomber placements all over the place (I think that’s all I used on pitch 2), and the bush-bashing on the approach is not light, goddammit.
Anyway, it’s a terrific route to get you started on long, multi-pitch trad climbing and we’ll be back for a go at Devil’s Nose some time. I’d still argue that pitches 2 and 3 (and maybe 4) are more like 15 than 14, but not too strenuously.
Anyone got a topo for Coercion?

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