[SUBW-A] Trip Report: Dec 31-Jan 2 Arabanoo Ck - Bulga Denis Canyon - Brumby Ridge

jbev1596 at mail.usyd.edu.au jbev1596 at mail.usyd.edu.au
Mon Jan 3 23:22:59 EST 2005


Well Tom seems to have beaten me to it, but anyway......:)

Trip Report: Dec 31 - Jan 2 Arabanoo Creek - Kowmung River - Brumby Ridge

Party: Jacqui Knox, Tom Gleeson & James Bevan

The sun had set and the stars were out as we left the carpark at Kanangra
Walls on NYE. We made a quick detour on route to the coal seam cave to chat
with a few campers at the dance floor cave. They had a blazing fire
going,including a huge tree stump (roots and all!) which the fellow
claimed to have dragged from a kilometre away. I was about to have a quick
drink from the water drum when they informed us it was being used for
washing hands and dishes.

We followed the track over the tops and lay down on the rocks at the usual
lookout to gaze at the stars and enjoy the silence which was only
interrupted by the sound of the odd bat. The track then took us south past
mount maxwell where tom spotted the moon rising. Its bright red colour more
closely resembled the sun. We wanted to stay and watch but we had an early
start the next morning so we pressed on to the coal seam cave. There we
broke in the new year with warm beer and sparklers.

The next morning we set off around 6 and climbed cottage rock for
breakfast. It was quite windy but tom still managed to get a fire going
and cook his mush. After admiring the views we descended the nearby spur
and by 8.30 had reached the cool and shady Arabanoo Creek. We changed into
volleys for the expected slippery rocks and began rock hopping. In contrast
to the reports from the PBT, Arabanoo wasn't all that slippery and we
didn't see even one leech. However there was still an abundance of cool,
clear water with which to quench our thirst. We soon approached the first
waterfall which we climbed around without too much difficulty and after a
bit more creeking we had morning tea. By this stage we'd already
encountered half a dozen red bellies which tom informed me was far too
many!

After a bit more creeking we reached the gorgey (canyon according to the
map) section and encountered our first swim. While we were waterproofing
our gear a rather large, thick brown snake came up to say hello. It wasn't
an aquaintence I felt was worth making so I made a bit of noise and it
retreated around the other side of the rock. I turned my back and
continued repacking only to hear a loud shriek from Jacqui. The thing was
back again and moving rather quickly in my direction. After lifting its
head from the rock in an attempt to see if my hand was worth tasting,
Jacqui's yell must have scared it off. We saw it disappear, swimming
across the pool we were about to plunge into.

We had a nice dip and continued through the gorge before the creek opened
out. It was now quite warm and before too long we encountered christys
creek. We had a short break before continuing to the Kowmung for lunch.
The Kowmung was a bit murky and much lower than it was on the PBT, so
after a bite to eat we decided to head downstream for orange bluffs.

This section of the Kowmung is one of the best. Apart from several more
black snakes, we encountered many fine swimming holes and enjoyed an
afternoon wading through the cool water, surrounded by towering granite
bluffs. There are several "orange" bluffs in this section and after a bit
of confusion over which were "the" orange bluffs we camped next to a fine
swimming hole a k upstream from our intended campsite. Tom and Jacqui soon
introduced me to an old friend of theirs, John Walker, who'd travelled all
the way down from the walls to meet us. He was a delightful chap - very
easy to get on with. Needless to say we had a pleasant evening.

The next morning was a lazy one. We left camp at 9.30 and wandered
downstream to the base of brumby ridge. There we filled up with water and
began the climb. The ridge afforded intermittent views of the kowmung
valley. Despite rising temperatures we soon arrived at brumby mountain and
then first top. Around 1 we had lunch with fine views on Cottage Rock.

We then wandered back to the walls, where it was blowing a gale. We played
around, taking photos and getting nice and close to the edge. The heat
then took us down to the black pool for a dip and we spent the afternoon
in the cool of Kalang Falls.

A terrific weekend with great company

cheers
James

p.s. total snake count: 26 red bellies & 1 brown (+ feral pigs, lace
monitors, blue tongues & a bottled man)

I've put some photos up here:

http://client.webshots.com/album/243234042nfLAUS

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