Party: Leo, Owen and I
7:45 – Start
Lunchtime – Woolpack
CC – 3:30
7:45 – Start
10am – Mt Dawson
1pm – Car
We woke early and after breaking camp drove a short way up the road. Leaving the car at the same junction we retraced the start of the route used on the SUBW Master Chef walk. Having walked this before, we made good time to the old trig point at the top of Mt Davidson.
We crossed Blue Rock gap with little difficulty and continued towards Hughes Defile. I wasn’t sure how easy this would be to cross… I hadn’t pencilled in a planned route here because it looked quite cliffy.
As it turned out we found a way down quite quickly, and once down found an even better way just around the corner. We pressed on making quite good time to Red Rock Creek.
We had agreed to continue along further if we got to Woolpack before lunch. This way we could finish the trip a day early – Leo still had packing to do before going overseas, and Owen wanted more time to prepare for SUBW FreezeFest. I wasn’t too fussed, but would have to do another trip to explore Woolpack.
Instead of continuing up the ‘best’ route, I had my mind set on on trying to reverse one of the slots I had seen on the aerial imagery. The start of this went well, we scrambled around a few drops, and then did a small exposed climb. After passing packs up through a narrow section we reached a waterfall we weren’t going to get safely up.
Looking for other options I tried traversing around on some small ledges. There was some serious exposure which made one move feel more difficult than it actually was. After confirming that it got better from then on, Leo joined me in exploring.
It was quite a cool spot. Unfortunately we didn’t find any magical passes to the top. We ended up in the next gulley, where a short fixed handline was found. It looked like it had been there for a while. Even after climbing up, I couldn’t see why it had been left there.
After a couple of hours we decided it was time to abandon these more interesting passes and head down stream a short way to where the maps suggested an easy way up. Instead of reversing the climbs we all did the ledge traverse and walked down in the next gulley – much safer I think.
We crossed Collett Gap and continued along the ‘Z’ shaped ridge. Below a small bluff we found a suitable camp spot. I decided that it would be good to camp here and have time to settle in instead of risking not finding anything to camp under (there was some rain forecast most nights this week). I talked the others into it and after settling in Leo and I went exploring the surrounding area, the primary objective was to see if we could find any water.
After finding only one scungy pool on the pagodas I dropped into a creek and found a small pool above a short but pretty constriction.
We continued up to some rocks overlooking the Wolgan. Despite wanting to explore further, it was getting late and we needed to get back quick. Choosing to to follow the ridges back we ended up doing a big loop – we didn’t have maps at the time, but looking at them now we might have chosen to go through the valley as this would be about half the distance.
It was dark well before we got back. Some cooees helped relocate Owen and our campsite.
Leaving our camp early we headed back up to the ridge top. We made our way with limited visibility through the fog and wet bush.
There was a bit of scrub, but there where open sections of rocks you could link together. We came across a mystery tree that had been cut by a chainsaw, we weren’t too sure why someone would have a chainsaw, maybe for to create a fire break? but I would have expected to see more than one stump.
We reached Mt Dawson well before midday and with the fog still thick, didn’t bother climbing to the summit. We quickly located the creek we had chosen to follow back to Newns. It was quite scrubby so we stayed high in places.
Not far downstream, we passed a couple of giant boulders that had created the ideal campsite. I’ll keep it in mind for future trips 🙂
Further down the creek, we found a fantastic bit of canyon which we named Surprise Canyon. There where three climbdowns, one through a hole cut by a side creek entering the canyon.
Opting for an early lunch we eat in a small clearing beside the creek.
At the major creek junction, we found a solid track.
As a walk, I didn’t find anything really amazing about it. The views from the Pantoneys trip where much better/more sustained. That said there are spots I would visit more to explore than repeat the traverse.
For a challenge I reckon you could do the traverse as a day trip.
After a battle of Scissors Paper Rocks at Long Swamp, Leo lost and had to take me back to my car. My family would be surprised to see me a day early.