[SUBW-A] Trip report - Kanangra-Boyd NP Easter 2002

Albert Chetcuti albertc at med.usyd.edu.au
Thu Apr 4 21:57:50 AEST 2002


Trip Report – Kanangra-Boyd NP – Easter 2002

Party – Wendy, Joanna, Kristina, Marcelle, Joe, and me (Albert).
 
It was an early start on Good Friday, way way too early. It was about 8:00 
am, by the time I’d left Westmead, with Wendy, Joe, and Christina onboard. We 
arrived to the misty surroundings of Katoomba at 9:00 am. I dropped the guys 
off, and went back to Wentworth Falls to pick up Joanne. 

By 9:30, Marcelle and Cameron had arrived, each in their own cars. We had a 
warm breakfast at the local bakery, before driving out to Narrow Neck and 
leaving a car at the end of the road. Time was ticking, and it wasn’t until 
11:30 am that we had left Katoomba. 

During our time in Katoomba, I found an outdoor store (on the corner, 
opposite the train station, next to the Chinese Restaurant, near the Pet 
Shop) that was selling second hand Dunlop Volleys !!!

We reached Kanangra Walls carpark by about 1 pm, after a scary moment 
overtaking a bus up the steep hill after Jenolan caves. We said goodbye to 
Cameron, and left the carpark at 2pm. 

We stopped at the lookout, and had a look at Kanangra gorge and Mt 
Cloudmarker in the distance. The weather at this point was sunny, and we’d 
had to put sunscreen on while in the carpark. The track follows the edge of 
the Kanangra Walls. A slight navigation error by myself, led us off the track 
out to Maxwell Tops, but we soon found the right track along the top of the 
walls. 

Kanangra Tops is covered in lots of tracks, so staying on the main track was 
a challenge, even at this early stage. The track continues along Brennan Tops 
before dropping down to Kilpatrick causeway. There was only one way down off 
the tops, down to the causeway, and that was Smiths Pass. We reached the top 
of Smiths pass, and had a look. It was extremely step, and it didn’t look 
like the way. We walked back up to Brennan tops, and looked for another way 
down. After 45 min of looking, there was no other way down. We walked back to 
Smiths pass, and had another look. It was do-able. All the rocks were wet, 
and the going was slow. Within 10-15 minutes, we all reached the bottom, and 
walked along the causeway. 

When I looked back, it was obvious that this was the only way down. I was 
glad that I didn’t have to climb back up the pass (but that’s what we had to 
do the next day).

When we were still on Brennan tops, we could clearly see a huge rainstorm 
coming from the southeast. By the time we reach the bottom of Smiths pass the 
rain had started, and seemed to never stop. 

It was getting late, and our progress along the track was much slower than 
I’d hoped. It was clear that at the current pace, we would not reach Mt 
Cloudmaker and Dex creek by dark. We followed the track, pass the huge cliffs 
of Crafts Wall and Mt Berry. The rain was coming down hard, and didn’t look 
like stopping. It was getting late, and we had to look for a camp site and 
water source.

>From Mt Berry, the track descended the ridge to Gabes Gap. The whole area was 
covered in a thick mist, and visibility was reduced to about 20 m. As we 
approached the bottom the gap, I was amazed to find 6 tents pitched. This was 
our home for the night, as well. The rain didn’t stop, and we had to pitch 
the tents in heavy rain. This made it difficult, as everything was getting 
wet. I took a team effort from all 6 of us to erect Kristina’s super tent, 
without it filling with water. We all retreated to our respective tents, and 
cooked dinner. As our $39 Kmart tent had no vestibules, we had to cook dinner 
(using a stove) in the tent. This is sometime I don’t recommend you try. 

Next morning, the sound of the kids in the other tents woke us all up. They 
were running around, burning the leeches with an aerosol can and a lighter. 
We had to make a decision, continue, or return back to the carpark. The 
weather at that stage, didn’t look like it was going to improve. But by the 
time we had returned to the carpark, the sun was shining again.

We packed up, and said our goodbyes to Joe and Marcelle, who were on 
a “Mission from God”, to reach Katoomba by Easter Monday. Considering the 
rain the previous week, and the pace we were walking at, I felt that it was 
not possible for the whole group to continue onto Katoomba. The other walkers 
at Gabes Gap who were on a Boys Brigade trip, had also decided to return to 
the carpark. They were trying to get mobile reception, to call someone to 
collect them from Kanangra Walls. But there was not reception from Mt High 
and Mighty.

We retraced our steps, and climbed back up to Mt Berry, before having morning 
tea break at the eastern end of Crafts Wall. From the wall, we continued out 
along Kilpatrick causeway, where we began to come across other walkers, 
coming from the carpark. 

On the causeway, we reached a group of 3 people from Macquarie Uni walking 
club, who were trying to catch an Eastern Yellow Robin. The bird had an 
injured wing, and thus was unable to fly. I caught the bird, and placed it in 
a beanie, before continuing along the track. 

The guys from the Boys brigade were not far behind us, as we could hear them 
making lots of noise. We reached Smiths pass, and made slow progress up the 
rock scramble. We had lunch on Brennan Tops, an enjoyed the views out over 
Kanangra gorge. We continued along the walls, which followed the badly eroded 
track. We stopped at Dancefloor cave, and had a look, before returning to the 
carpark. The guys from the Boys brigade were spending the night in the cave, 
before leaving on Sunday.  

In the carpark, Joanna had 2 leeches which found there way into her socks, 
and inside her long pants, results in blood everywhere. All that was left was 
the long drive back to Sydney. A fantastic area for walking. Good navigation 
skills are required, and a good level of fitness also, will come in handy. 
 
Till next time............

C ya

Albert

-- 
Albert Chetcuti
Cancer Genetics Group 
Department of Medicine 
Faculty of Medicine 
Blackburn Building - D06 
The University of Sydney 
NSW, 2006 Australia. 
 
(02) 9515 5194 (Office1)
(02) 9351 3556 (Office2) 
(02) 9515 5192 (Lab) 
(02) 9516 1273 (Fax) 
Email albertc at med.usyd.edu.au 





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