[SUBW-A] Trip report - Nangar NP

Roger Butler R.Butler at lake.com.au
Mon Jun 17 13:10:50 AEST 2002

Party members - Dave Blythe, Carolin Storey, Grace Tang, Jon Castley, Louise
de Beuzeville, Tristan, Siobhan Toohill, Roger Butler.

The party consisted of members of SUBW, SPAN, SRC, and people who just felt
like getting out for the weekend.  Our original plan was to venture
southwards for three days of cross-country skiing on the Main Range.  But a
weather check on Friday morning confirmed our fears that we weren't going to
have a lot of fun.  There was no snow and gale force winds.  So after a lot
of emails, phone calls, and visits to map shops, we had a new destination:
Nangar National Park.

Nangar is around 350km west of Sydney and 50km west of Orange.  It consists
of a horseshoe-shaped mountain range, enclosing and enclosed by farmland.
None of us knew anything about it until Friday.  

We left Sydney in three cars and met at the Mt Vic café for dinner.  Our
next rendevouz was Orange, where both Louise and Grace went to school.  A
light rain was falling and Dave and Carolin decided a motel would be much
more comfortable than a tent.  We had an amusing conversation by mobile
phone from two cars parked next to each other.  Sure enough, when we arrived
at the national park, close to 1am, the rain had stopped.  We settled in for
a welcome sleep and arose late on Saturday.

The cloud was still hanging around in the morning, but cleared into a
gorgeous day.  Carolin and Dave arrived and we drove to a central spot in
the park called Dripping Rock.  We stopped to ask some local horse riders
for directions because our map was 30 years old and had the old farmhouse
marked in the wrong spot.  Dripping Rock is an unremarkable monolith with a
small creek flowing over it.  The creek was proved drinkable, although it
looked dodgy.  Luckily, we'd carried lots of water from Mt Vic.  Except that
Louise's enormous water bladder looked contaminated and had disturbing
floaties.  But we had enough good stuff.

After a quick reccie to find out exactly where we were, we started dragging
our overladen packs out of the farmland and up into the mountains.  The
farmland gave way to fairly open eucalypt forest a we made good progress to
the tops.  Once on the western side of the mountain range, we headed for a
place Louise found on the map that looked good for a base camp.
Unfortunately it was a bit scrubby, so we headed back to another spot we'd
seen.  This site had some good tent sights and great views over the valley
and up to Mt Nangar.

After setting up tents and having a late lunch, a few of us went for a late
afternoon walk onto another hill to see if we could get good views.  There
were no views, but it was a pleasant walk.  We returned to a great night
around a roaring campfire.

Most of us awoke to Carolin's sonorous "Good morning everybody!" at 7am.  We
breakfasted quickly and began a big day's walk at 8:30am.  We started by
heading south from our base camp along the ridge to Mt Nangar.  This
mountain lies at the southern end of the horseshoe-shaped ridge and has an
impressive cliff on the northern side.  The going was fairly open and we
made good progress along the untracked ridge.  Our remote experience was
shattered when we arrived at the top of the mountain.  Behind the two trail
bike riders was an horrendous steel barricade as protection from the cliff
edge.  It was ugly, unnecessary, and quite ineffective, as there were easy
ways around it.  We had a quick bite to eat and retreated back to the
sanctuary of the bush as the sound of the trail bikes faded into the

We had passed the bottom of the horseshoe and were now cruising north along
the eastern ridgeline towards the road at the northern end.  Dark clouds and
mist rolled in as we were having lunch, and we considered our options.
Grace and Jon were lured by the thought of hot chocolate around the campfire
and took the easier route into the valley and up the other side.  The rest
of us continued to the northern road, encountering feral pests such as
prickly pear cactus and goats along the way.

The descent to the road was steep but fun.  Despite the mild June weather,
no one joined me for a swim in the river running beside the road.  We walked
the three kilometres west along the road to the other ridge.  It was now 4pm
and nightfall wasn't far away.  Rather than walk off-track along the ridge,
we opted to stay in the valley farmland and climb an obvious spur onto the
tops.  This was an excellent move and Tristan found a good route up,
following in the footsteps of Jon and Grace a few hours before.  We arrived
back at camp a little after dark and were soon enjoying dinner and one of
Siobhan's great desserts, sticky date pudding.

After our long Sunday, we were quite happy to languidly pack up on Monday
morning and make our way back towards the cars, this time via a different
route.  We explored an old heritage farmhouse on the way out of the park,
but didn't hang around too long, as Dave's stomach was grumbling.  Finding a
good place to eat proved difficult, but we eventually found one in Orange
and had a great lunch.  Then we settled in for the drive back to Sydney and
the usual fight with the Blue Mountains traffic.

Nangar is not a big park and we felt that we saw the best parts of it in the
three days.  The views from the ridge were magnificent at all times and even
though we could see farmland it still felt remote.  Apart from the Mt Nangar
lookout, we never saw signs of other people.  It was a great way to spend
the long weekend.

Photos here:
www.photoisland.com <www.photoisland.com> , username rogerbutler, password


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