[SUBW] SUBW Trip Report - Mt Victoria-Mt York 27-8-17

Bruce Stafford bstaffor at med.usyd.edu.au
Mon Sep 4 11:44:13 AEST 2017

SUBW Trip Report - Mt Victoria-Mt York 27-8-17

Party: Bruce (leading), Douglas, Erin, Zack, Liam, Joyce, Candice,  
Gong, Frances, Zhong.

Trackwork on the Northern Line caused a slight change of routine for  
me, needing to drive to Gordon Station and picking up Candice at  
Wahroonga on the way. At Central we got off that North Shore Line  
train and waited on the same platform for the Blue Mountains train to  
Mt Victoria which was only 5 minutes behind (unusually starting from  
North Sydney due to more trackwork at Central).

Here we met up with a couple more of the walkers. Unknown to us,  
however, as Candice and I got off the North Shore train, Wendy and  
Jessica got on it by mistake! All was still not lost, however, as that  
train was a Penrith train which ran ahead of the Blue Mountains train  
as far as Granville, and they could have got the right train there.  
Unfortunately they got off the train at Redfern on realising they were  
on the wrong train, but the Mt Victoria train did not stop at Redfern.  
So it was a matter of seeing Wendy and Jessica on another walk sometime.

The rest of us settled in for the long trip to Mt Victoria. At that  
station we met up with Liam. It was 7 degrees with a cold wind which  
made it seem more like 2 degrees.
Then there was an inevitable road bash along the Great Western Highway  
to Mt York Road where Frances was waiting for us. Another 1km road  
bash took us to the start of Lawson's Long Alley trackhead and also  
the track to the Lockyers Track start.
I had not done Lockyers track before, and although overall shorter  
than Lawson's Long Alley, it covers a longer distance in bushland (the  
last section of Lawson's Long Alley is through farmland).
At the Start of Lockyers a couple of people with a dog set off ahead  
of us. Now, this section is not in a national park but is on Crown  
Land and dogs are allowed if on a leash. But this dog wasn't, and it  
was a pity that the dog was there as it would have scared off any  
wildlife. As it turned out we didn't see any animals on this walk  
(unlike on past walks in this area).

Lockyer's track stays level for a long way as it stays on top of a  
ridge extending into the valley of Hartley Vale. Along the way there  
are several small rock pagodas, miniature versions of what can be seen  
in the national parks further north.
After a while the track starts a steep descent down into Hartley Vale,  
still following the old road of 1823. Eventually it reached the  
junction with Cox's Road track,and then a bit further on we reached  
the picnic area at Hartley Vale. Some were glad there is a basic pit  
toilet here!

After lunch we started along the track of Cox's Road. This is  
undulating through woodland for quite a while. After passing through  
some open country (and along a series of poles put down as stepping  
"stones" during wet weather), it starts up a quite steep track until  
reaching the top at Mount York. The steepness makes one wonder how it  
was possible to get bullock wagons up and down this track when opened  
as a road in 1815. It is not surprising it was soon replaced by  
Lockyer's Track in 1823. The 5th and latest attempt at a pass down the  
west escarpment of the Blue Mountains is the present Victoria Pass.
There are places where evidence of the work of the original convict  
teams which made this road can be seen.

Once at Mt York there were great views over Hartley Vale (where we had  
been), and there were a pair of abseilers there as well.

Up to now the weather had been cold, windy but sunny. Dark clouds  
could now be seen down south in the vicinity of the Jenolan area  
("those clouds are looking pregnant" said Frances)and so it was time  
to make our way back to Mt Victoria Station. From Mt York a walking  
track more or less follows Mt York Road so there is no need to walk on  
it until Lawson's Long Alley Trackhead. There was a lookout along the  
way giving great views over the Megalong Valley an the mountains to  
the south around Kanangra-Boyd. The clouds were getting closer and  
Eventually we reached Frances' car at the service station at the  
Highway and Candice, Joyce and Gong opted for a lift to Mt Victoria  
Station to get an earlier train home. The remaining 6 of us continued  
on to the Station, stopping at a coffee shop for some welcome warm food.
We said goodbye to Liam at the Station, and while waiting at the  
station the wind picked up, and it felt like standing in front of an  
open freezer door! And then as the train approached the first few  
drops of light rain came along. Then, as the train proceeded to  
Blackheath we looked at the view south towards Megalong Valley. Well,  
there was no view, it was a white-out! We had left Mt Victoria just  
ahead of the light rain and snow.

Eventually we arrived back in Sydney and went our own ways.

It was a good trip in cold but sunny weather (most of the way) and  
everyone enjoyed the walk in a less often visited area of the Blue  
There was one "no show".

My photo link:

Bruce Stafford.

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