[SUBW-A] trip report: Castle Head 22 July

Tim Svenson tsvenson@ozemail.com.au
Sun, 22 Jul 2001 09:11:15 +0000

Yet again we had a demonstration of the rule relating weather in Sydney
to weather in the Blue Mountains: there is no such rule! There was rain
at six in the morning and six in the evening in Sydney, and only a few
very small sprinkles at Katoomba to interrupt an otherwise fine day.
Note: "fine" means "no rain, snow, other precipitation, dust storms,
fog, etc.". "fine" definitely does not imply "sunny".

Four of us negotiated the railway bus and train without incident,
arriving two minutes early at 10:23. Maybe ten or fifteen minutes later
Cameron showed up to take us to the gate on Narrow Neck blocking
Glenraphael Drive.

From there we set of on Glenraphael Drive, looking for the side track to
Castle Head. We missed it and took another track instead. Then we
somehow wandered off that as well and ended up in a small valley leading
to the cliff. There were many strange rock formations that appeared to
have curved hard sheets inside softer rock. There was a small cave with
a wall looking vaguely like the baleen sheet in a whale's mouth!

At this point we had a philosophical discussion of what "lost" meant. We
concluded that being lost is something that you only notice after you
have been doing it for a while, noting that we could conceivably be lost
right there and then, but just not know it yet. Confident that the path
to Castle Head was "right at the top of this hill!" , and using the
compass which Kathy had the foresight to bring, we bush bashed our way
up the far side of the valley. A little further on than we expected,
"the" path was found. We walked along a bit. Another path was
unexpectedly found, which turned out to be the path we were looking for
in the first place! Some references to "we" in this paragraph refer to
the illustrious and ever confident trip leader; other such references
refer to those who were not so confident about the trip leader's

At Castle Head we found a survey mark, putting to rest any lingering
suspicions we might have had that we were still lost. This allowed us to
eat the emergency chocolate supply along with the rest of our lunch. We
admired the clear view of all the Jamison valley tourist attractions and
tourist traps, other than Wentworth falls (hidden behind Sublime Point).
Hardier tourists down in the valley near the Ruined Castle could be
clearly heard singing Waltzing Matilda as if no one could hear them...

After returning to Glenraphael Drive we continued on for a bit, until
someone (I forget who) decided that "that track over there looks more
interesting". This went along fine for a few minutes until it became
clear that the track was finished and we were just making our own.
Having had enough of that earlier in the day we made straight for
Glenraphael Drive and returned to Katoomba in plenty of time for some
hot chokky at Cafe Zuppa.

End note: it turns out that the return distance from the gate on
Glenraphael Drive to the end of Narrow Neck is 22 kilometres. With all
the fun we had, we covered about a third of that distance.