[SUBW-A] Trip Report - Blue Breaks - July 5 - 10, 2005

David Noble dnoble at ozemail.com.au
Tue Jul 12 17:47:08 EST 2005

Trip Report - Blue Breaks - July 5 - 10, 2005

Party - Jo Boyd, Vanessa Haverd, Dave Noble

A selection of photos can be seen via:


On Tuesday July 5th, I set out with Vanessa from Sydney for Wentworth  
Falls were we met Jo and changed cars for the rest of the drive to  
Kanangra Walls. We arrived there about 11 and were happy to notice that  
the parking ticket machines had been removed. After finishing off our  
packing we set off along to Kanangra Walls, pausing for the obligatory  
photographs and started on the Gingra Track. At Bullhead Top we had  
lunch and then followed the track down the Bullhead Range to Cambage  
Spire. After some more photos we scrambled down off the rocky summit  
and descended to the Kowmung. We camped on some nice grassy flats near  
Christies Creek Junction (the campsite will be familiar to those on  
last years PBT)

After a cool night we awoke to find the valley cloaked in a thick mist  
- but we warmed up by the fire and contemplated the crossing of the  
Kowmung River that awaited us. We went downstream and found a  
reasonable crossing spot and soon waded across. Then is was a brisk  
walk up Bulga Ridge - emerging out of the mist layer as we ascended. We  
stopped at the Bugle Lookout to admire the views and some aboriginal  
sharpening grooves and paused also to look at some nearby fossils. Then  
Jo led the way to Scotts Main Range. Then is was a short road bash to  
Byrnes Gap. We were passed by two vehicles on their way from New Yards  
Ridge and the Catholic Bushwalkers Huts there. At the hut at Byrnes Gap  
was took advantage of the watertank and carried a modest amount of  
water with us on Axehead Mountain. We were hopeful that recent rain  
would have filled up some rock pools on the tops - but could we rely on  

The traverse of Axehead Mountain was truly splendid. Awesome views  
greeted us in all directions and all of our cameras got a good workout.  
For most of the way we traversed the skyline - and at one place you  
come to a steep step - a 20m vertical wall. To descend this you need to  
backtrack a little way and descend a very steep pass. I had been over  
the mountain quite a few times before - but this time I had trouble  
locating the pass. The reason was due to a recent landslide - one side  
of the pass had gone! No wonder I had trouble finding it. Anyway - the  
actual pass itself was unchanged although with the side missing it  
seemed a lot more exposed. Once down we had to cross the debris from  
the slide - but this was no problem. Jo told us that the slide had  
occured while she and others were on a walk last year - they had got  
through the area OK- but later on the trip - they had seen the new  
landslide scar looking back from the Walls. So it must have taken place  
the day after they went past. One is left to speculate on possible  
triggers for the landslide......

Anyway - we traversed to Toddy Head - and set up camp. A recently  
deceased wombat was lying in rest at the top campsite so we we chose  
the lower one. The hoped for pool of water was there and the views were  
every bit as magnificent was we all remembered. We had a leisurely  
afternoon reading, drinking tea and taking photos. The vening was  
camped off with a fine sunset, some of Jo's port and a nice slice each  
of Vanessa's fruit cake.

We awoke before sunrise the next morning - and apart from some well lit  
up clouds the sunrise was not too special. After breakfast we set off  
along the rest of the traverse - climbing over Bull Island and then up  
onto Vengeance Peninsula. More photo opportunities were available at  
the "Thin Bit" of Vengeance - where the range is a knife-edge only a  
metre wide with 100m cliffs on either side. With big packs this part of  
the trip was a bit scary - thankfully we all made it safely across.  
Then is was a steep descent down to Green Wattle Creek for lunch and  
then a steep climb up to Lacys Tableland via Cuff Link Pass. This handy  
pass was pioneered on a SUBW trip in the late 1970's. One member of the  
party Ross Bradstock had found a nice rock on the way up to the pass  
and decided to do some bouldering. After he had climbed the rock, he  
was feeling hot, so rolled up his shirt sleeves. To do so he had to  
take off his cuff links (bushwalkers were always well dressed back in  
those days...) - and he placed them on the rock and completely forgot  
about them. A few years later, Ross was in a party descending that very  
pass, and again they saw the same rock and had the thought that is  
would be good to climb upon. On top were the cuff links - completely  
untarnished (they were made of gold). We went up the pass - and did not  
spot any good bouldering rock. On the top some eagles swooped down to  
take a look at us. Then is was a scrubby walk for about 2 hours to  
reach a nice campsite at Bimlow Tableland.

Next morning we again awoke and were up before sunrise - and were again  
greeted by ominous red clouds. The weather forecast was for rain - but  
were walking in the catchment area and it never rains there - does it?

During the day we only had a few spots of rain - and were able to enjoy  
the fantastic views that the Bimlow Tablelands provides. Some scrub  
needed to be negotiated and there were no tracks to follow. We had to  
constantly route-find our way through small bluffs. Late in the  
afternoon we arrived at a nice cave. During the night it rained - so  
the cave was a welcome shelter.

Next morning we again awoke early - and this time we were rewarded by a  
nice sunrise and thick valley mist. We even were able to see (and  
photograph) a Brocken Spectre. Magic! Then it was off down Hicksons  
Pass (named after an incident on a SUBW trip on Bimlow Tablelands in  
1974 when Ian Hickson almost died there - a dislodged boulder hurtled a  
few cms from his head). At the bottom, we had another rainshower - and  
this was resposible for altering our plans to head home via Shoobridge  
Head on Broken Rock Range, so instead we bypassed the range and camped  
in Butchers Creek (which was nicely flowing for a change).

On the last day - we climbed onto Scotts Main Range - and walked along  
the fire trail. Again we met some catholic bushwalking club members  
driving along to their shack. One (Frank Bendeich) drove back and  
offered us a lift along the range. This was very generous of him - so  
we accepted a lift to the Denis Ridge turnoff 0 greatly shortening our  
roadbash and our walk out of the Kowmung. We were able to cross the  
Kowmung at the base of Roots Ridge and reach Kanangra Walls by the mid  

On the drive back we saw some snow on the Boyd Plateau - and we warmed  
up near the fire at the Half Way House at Hampton were we enjoyed some  
willy burgers, chips and scrambled eggs. As mobile phones were turned  
on we heard anxious messages relating to a senior member of the club  
being lost or overdue (5 days overdue?, and for the second time within  
a week!) but a later call was made and it turns up he had been found.  
We eagerly await the full story...

We all had a great walk in some of the finest country in the Blue Mts.  
Thanks to Jo and Vanessa for their company.

Dave Noble

David Noble
dnoble at ozemail.com.au

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