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Hey everyone, IMPORTANT MESSAGE RE LOGAN BRAE ACCESS (Blue Mountains). Please help get the word out about this!

The owners of the land that is used for accessing the Logan Brae crag have been in touch with me and raised several issues regarding climbers using their private property. Note, they are not the landowners of the actual crag, but they are the owners of the land where cars are parked and where the walking track goes (as noted in the latest guidebook). This walking track was cut without the landowner’s knowledge or permission several years ago — when access became problematic further up the road. As they said “The dramatic increase in use of the track over the last few years has affected the quiet amenity and privacy of our property and we are very keen to implement measures that better control what is going on. Recently someone has dumped some asbestos and other rubbish past the start of the climbers’ track on the way down to our lookout. Presumably this has happened because the area seems to be a public area now and people are inclined to stop there.”

Obviously an easy solution for the landowners would just be to shut down access but they do not wish to do this. They recognise the importance of the Logan Brae climbing area to the local climbing community, they wish to support us and they understand that should the access through their land be cut off (as is their right) then practical access to the climbing area would be lost. I’ve met the landowners, we’ve identified the issues that climbers can help with, these regard environmental impact, safety and security, and they are asking the climbing community to address these issues:

— PARKING. The biggest issue. The parking area is being increasingly enlarged and vegetation is being damaged. In meeting with the landowners it was agreed that the current parking area (on the left side of the road) is, from a climbers perspective, the best, most convenient, and a relatively safe parking option, however the environmental impact needs to be managed, also where cars park and overflow parking needs to be managed.
1) Do not park cars are any further up the road (past the current parking area, as indicated in the guidebook) on the left hand side.
2) Don’t do anything to add to the environmental impact of the parking area.
3) DO NOT park cars anywhere on the RIGHT (northern) side of the road (the ground is boggy amongst other reasons).
4) Please be thoughtful about how you park; leave as much room as possible for other cars on busy days and consider safety. For example, do not leave part of your car sticking out onto the road!

If this first parking area becomes full, then 1) use the smaller pull-off about 80m back down the road on the left, or 2) there is space for a couple of cars in front of the disused bush fire brigade building further down the road on the right, and if they are all full 3) park somewhere further back down the road (towards Blackheath).

— OVERNIGHT PARKING. There have been instances of people parking and staying overnight in their vans at the parking area. This is a very big no no. Do not leave cars parked in the area at night. Remember, this is private property.

— FIRES. No fires at any time, period. Should go without saying…

— CAIRNS. Someone has built some very nice rock cairns at the parking area, one indicating the parking area and two at the start of the walking track. It’s believed the cairn which is visible from the road might be causing tourists to stop and explore the area out of curiosity. This cairn is not necessary, the location of the parking is clearly described in the current guidebook. The cairns at the trail head are also unnecessary, the track is now well defined. The cairns should be removed. In future, please do not move rock from the bush for cairn building.

— LITTERING. Perhaps not a big issue as climbers are usually fairly conscious of this but during our meeting we found several wrappers on the ground. Please no littering, and if you see any rubbish, clean it up.

— NO DOGS.

— GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. Along with the parking congestion this is the landowners biggest concern. So, as mentioned above, do not do anything to enlarge the current parking area. Also, please stick to the trail. And start/finish walking at the trail head; do not cut through the bush to take shortcuts.

Simple enough eh? By the time the weather heats up and the crag gets popular again next summer, we hope that a small sign with some of this info will be installed near the trail head. In the meantime, please help spread the word. Thanks!

Simon

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