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Date:30/05/2015 – 31/05/2015
Leader:David Lee

Welcome to SUBW Masterchef – The outback cooking competition.
The idea is simple: I will be running an overnight walk to a spectacular but little known part of the Blue Mountains. The walk is ~ 6km, and suitable for beginners with overnight walking experience (no big ups or downs). We will aim to get to the campsite early afternoon to leave plenty of time for exploration and…

SUBW Masterchef!!!!

This will be a friendly cooking competition, and a great opportunity to sow off your favorite campfire recipe. Please bring enough to share a little taste with everyone (but remember others will be sharing theirs with you, so there will be plenty of food to go around) Anything is fair game: Starters, Mains, Desserts, Drinks, what have you. Judging will be done by group vote, with prizes a possibility (any committee members who can help me out here?)

Walk out will be on sunday, via a slightly different route, returning to Sydney hopefully early evening.

Fresh drinking water should be available at the campsite, but I will confirm this closer to the date. This is a remote campsite with no facilities (although there is a largeish camp cave if the weather turns bad).

You will need to organise your own camping gear, keeping in mind that it will almost certainly be quite cold overnight. Please contact the club gear officers if you need to borrow anything. There will be a campfire for cooking, or you can bring a stove if you like.

We will be carpooling to get out there. The road in is a bit rough, but should be manageable in a 2wd as long as you take it slow 🙂 Details of the location will be sent out to those who sign up, but I can assure you it is a SPECTACULAR spot: Soaring cliff-lines, Immense Pagodas, Flowing (hopefully) Waterfalls, Deep Canyons etc. etc.

Please email any questions to

See you in the Bush!
Dave “Fritz” Lee



I wasn’t too sure about attending this trip as I needed to collect my free kayak from Gandalf, but after sending a few emails to Fritz my attention was further engrossed in an area I had done very little walking in – I hadn’t even heard of the Blue Rocks!

So not too early on Saturday morning I headed out along the Wolgan Road turning of onto the firetrail that runs parallel to the Coxs River. There where a few 4WDers camped along the road.
I continued to the road junction and pulled over around roughly at 298 148. I had identified a good lookout here and had arranged to meet the rest of the group here.
Whilst admiring the view, a group of moterbikers joined me, I thought it funny that they didn’t know where they where, they didn’t even realise they where looking into the Wolgan Valley.

After the motorbikers some other people pulled up with a dog. They where from the Lithgow Environmental Group and where just out for a look at the view and a hot drink. I talked to them for a while and eventually had to leave when the rest of my group showed up.

We headed part way along the trail that leads to Cape Horn after some walking turned off at light track heading north along the ridge towards Mt. Mcleans / Mcleans Gap. I hung back with Michael Tran trying to impart my experiences on navigation – hopefully some of it was useful!

We met back up with the group in Mcleans Gap – just above Stargate Tunnel and before long where clambering up the pagodas on the other side.
As we made our way along the clifflines towards Mt Jamison we had some spectacular views into the Capertee Valley.

We soon reached a rift that is quite obvious on the areal imagery, it isn’t very difficult to cross. I decided that I wanted to do a bit more walking and was originally going to head down this rift into the Capertee, but changed plans reversing the trip so that I could drop my pack off at our camp first.

I left the others and headed East along the rift before making my way up beside Mt Davidson. Fritz had pointed to the camp location on my laminated map, and I navigated there taking bearings predominantly from the areal imagery so that I could negotiate the large pagodas – this worked very well and before I knew it I had arrived at The Pondage – a weird flat sandy area that becomes a lake in heavy rain.
I dumped most of my gear laying a weighted tarp over everything and headed for Point Cameron.


Point Cameron lookout – Patoneys crown on the left horizon
(left) a selfie on the way down the Point Cameron pass (middle) some pretty wet rocks at the base of the cliffline (right) some snake skin.


I had originally planned to visit the Blue Rock limestone, but with the late start this wasn’t really practical. I did however get a good view of the limestone and the strange vegetation it housed from the lookout at Point Cameron.
I quickly identified the route down and made very good time under the cliffline. There where a couple of places you could comfortably camp and in a number of spots water was trickling down from above creating pools that I drunk from a number of times.
An impressive smooth wall.


(left) Strange blue colouring on this rock. (right) looking out of the pass I used to gain access back to the top of the cliffs.

I soon reached the pass up as I climbed up noticed it getting darker and darker as the walls closed in. The vegetation changed dramatically with lush ferns covering much of the ground.
It took me a couple of pushes to find a way up through a rockpile but in the end found a route that was quite tame.
I used the same route to return to camp and caught the tail of the group getting ready to leave for Mos Eisley Spaceport (under two hours loop – camp to camp).

The fading light produced some spectacular skies.



After a squeeze challenge, we returned to camp and soon the cooking began (I assembled my hammock) . I felt a little bad for not bringing much to share, but in the end there was so much food that this wasn’t a problem, it also gave me the opportunity to takes photos of everyone – I had even brought my Scurion which helped heaps in getting good lighting.


 Some examples of the delicious foods!


After eating lots of delicious food (even more for those who eat meat) some of us headed off for a night walk. David, Owen and I headed through the canyon, climbing out on the left where we met the others.
We sat at the top of a pagoda, looking out into the moonlit valley. The moon had what Fritz described as an ice ring – apparently this phenomenon occurs when there are ice crystals in the air.
The ring around the Moon is caused by the refraction of Moonlight (which of course is reflected sunlight) from ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. The shape of the ice crystals results in a focusing of the light into a ring. Since the ice crystals typically have the same shape, namely a hexagonal shape, the Moon ring is almost always the same size.
Less typical are the halos that may be produced by different angles in the crystals. They can create halos with an angle of 46 degrees. 
The ring that appears around the moon arises from light passing through six-sided ice crystals high in the atmosphere. These ice crystals refract, or bend, light in the same manner that a camera lens bends light. The ring has a diameter of 22° , and sometimes, if you are lucky, it is also possible to detect a second ring, 44° diameter. Thin high cirrus clouds lofting at 20,000 feet or more contain tiny ice crystals that originate from the freezing of super cooled water droplets. These crystals behave like jewels refracting and reflecting in different directions.

Moon Ring Weather Folklore
Folklore has it that a ring around the moon signifies bad weather is coming, and in many cases this may be true. So how can rings around the moon be a predictor of weather to come? The ice crystals that cover the halo signify high altitude, thin cirrus clouds that normally precede a warm front by one or two days. Typically, a warm front will be associated with a low pressure system which is commonly referred to as a storm.

It is believed that the number of stars within a moon halo indicate the number days before bad weather will arrive. Give it a try the next time you observe a moon halo.



In the morning Fritz and I headed into the canyon for a quick ledge traverse. Everyone then headed off to Point Cameron whilst I packed my gear. I met back with them on their return trip along the top of the cliffs. We found a cool rift to climb into.
Some of the group went back via a more adventurous route involving some pagoda traversing. When I got back I said by and headed off hoping it wasn’t going to be too late to collect the kayak.
I again missed the Exploded Pagoda (I’ll just have to visit again), but witnessed a couple of large eagles. I also visited Stargate Tunnel on the way through (waved to a group while I was heading into Mcleans Pass). I was surprised to find an entry for our group in the logbook already – must have missed it whilst I dawdled on the way in. I added my name to the list.



It was very late by the time I got returned to my parents place with the kayak… I has happy to find that it had been hand made!