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195905 [2012/12/21 01:00]
colin [Nerriga Area - Yadboro Escarpment - The Castle - Drury's. Easter 1959]
195905 [2012/12/21 01:19] (current)
colin [Frank Barlow]
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 ==== Alex Colley ==== ==== Alex Colley ====
-Mount Renwick is a lozenge shaped table-top about a mile long and 3,000 feet high. Its narrow axis is bisected by a fissure running from East to West. The fissure is about 40 feet deep near the centre and runs down through the cliff edges. The top of the mountain is mostly rock, partly covered with a thin layer of soil +Mount Renwick ​[Cole] ​is a lozenge shaped table-top about a mile long and 3,000 feet high. Its narrow axis is bisected by a fissure running from East to West. The fissure is about 40 feet deep near the centre and runs down through the cliff edges. The top of the mountain is mostly rock, partly covered with a thin layer of soil 
 which supports a knee-high growth of shrubs. The sides of the fissure are rounded which supports a knee-high growth of shrubs. The sides of the fissure are rounded
 at the top and nearly vertical at the bottom. The shallow part is 10 to 20 yards wide and its floor supports a thick growth of small saplings. As it deepens the bottom becomes a slit only a few feet across, slimy, slippery and full of debris at the top and nearly vertical at the bottom. The shallow part is 10 to 20 yards wide and its floor supports a thick growth of small saplings. As it deepens the bottom becomes a slit only a few feet across, slimy, slippery and full of debris
-and vegetation. About 4 p m. on Easter Saturday, as mist settled over the mountain, ​re off dawn the fissure towards the Castle, believing that a previous party +and vegetation. About 4 p m. on Easter Saturday, as mist settled over the mountain, ​we set off down the fissure towards the Castle, believing that a previous party 
-of :,3 15's had found it negotiable. After about half an hour of scrub-pushing,​ +of S.B.W.'s had found it negotiable. After about half an hour of scrub-pushing,​ 
-serrd.:​ling ​and crawling, we came to a sheer drop of some 20 feet, negotiable for a small agile party, but a slow and risky proposition for an average party of 16. If+scrambling ​and crawling, we came to a sheer drop of some 20 feet, negotiable for a small agile party, but a slow and risky proposition for an average party of 16. If
 we did get down we still mightn'​t get through. By that time it would be dark, we did get down we still mightn'​t get through. By that time it would be dark,
 camping down there was impossible and we wouldn'​t get back till morning. So we retreated; luckily finding a route straight up to the top of the mountain. We aimed to go back to the shallowest part of the fissure, where, with some clearing, camping down there was impossible and we wouldn'​t get back till morning. So we retreated; luckily finding a route straight up to the top of the mountain. We aimed to go back to the shallowest part of the fissure, where, with some clearing,
 there was enough space to camp. On the top we met Paul Driver, whose party had made there was enough space to camp. On the top we met Paul Driver, whose party had made
 camp there. This decided most of the party to stay on top, while some made down to the cleared patches where five of us had camped two years before. camp there. This decided most of the party to stay on top, while some made down to the cleared patches where five of us had camped two years before.
 +
 The rain came just as we started tea. Having spent many a wet season weekend The rain came just as we started tea. Having spent many a wet season weekend
 at Jamberoo not far from Peter Page's rain gauge, I think I can estimate precipitation fairly well. For long stretches the rate of fall must have been at at Jamberoo not far from Peter Page's rain gauge, I think I can estimate precipitation fairly well. For long stretches the rate of fall must have been at
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 Very soon the thin layer of soil on the top was saturated and water ran over Very soon the thin layer of soil on the top was saturated and water ran over
-it an almost continuous sheet. As the Slope increased towards the fissure rivulets were formed which cascaded over the rock into the trough. Before long the soil in the fissure too, although much deeper, was saturated, and water flowed over its surface.+it an almost continuous sheet. As the slope increased towards the fissure rivulets were formed which cascaded over the rock into the trough. Before long the soil in the fissure too, although much deeper, was saturated, and water flowed over its surface.
  
 As the deluge intensified I recalled Frank Barlow'​s recent experience at Lamington during a similar downpour. The only place he could camp was on the track, with groundsheet stretched over the rivulet which ran down it. During the night four large crayfish left the stream to share his aquatic couch. The morning after our wetting I asked Frank whether the lobsters had annoyed him, but he was too busy wringing the water out of his sleeping bag to heed my funny joke. As the deluge intensified I recalled Frank Barlow'​s recent experience at Lamington during a similar downpour. The only place he could camp was on the track, with groundsheet stretched over the rivulet which ran down it. During the night four large crayfish left the stream to share his aquatic couch. The morning after our wetting I asked Frank whether the lobsters had annoyed him, but he was too busy wringing the water out of his sleeping bag to heed my funny joke.
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 cleared a space on the crest of the rise, and if we moved camp we should at least have no further trouble with water rushing through the tent. We stuffed our gear into our packs, which were swirling round in deep pools, uprooted the tent, and fought our way back through the wet scrub to the cleared space. Alex and Alan cleared a space on the crest of the rise, and if we moved camp we should at least have no further trouble with water rushing through the tent. We stuffed our gear into our packs, which were swirling round in deep pools, uprooted the tent, and fought our way back through the wet scrub to the cleared space. Alex and Alan
 re-erected the tent, and did a wonderful job. It was a most awkward business to say re-erected the tent, and did a wonderful job. It was a most awkward business to say
-the least, as the cords had all become hopelessly tangled, and had to be cut and retied. The rain was still not too heavy, we thought, but the trees dripped endlessly and the water ran off us in rivulets. Looking from a little distance through the saplings, I was amused at the sight. Two grotesque figures (my apologies, sirs) crawling round in the mud, making strange noises and passing an evil-looking knife from one to the other. Five feet from our front door one of the dozens of waterfalls roared down the rock-face, but as our leader had forecast, it ran down-hill and let us be. The rain started again in earnest. Alan returned to our first tent-site to recover a square of plastic which had been overlooked during our packing. He told us that the crew of the next tent had built themselves an island each and they were stretched straight out on these, while the briny lapped round the edges. We mopped up the groundsheets and crawled back into Sleeping ​bags. These were damp in patches,+the least, as the cords had all become hopelessly tangled, and had to be cut and retied. The rain was still not too heavy, we thought, but the trees dripped endlessly and the water ran off us in rivulets. Looking from a little distance through the saplings, I was amused at the sight. Two grotesque figures (my apologies, sirs) crawling round in the mud, making strange noises and passing an evil-looking knife from one to the other. Five feet from our front door one of the dozens of waterfalls roared down the rock-face, but as our leader had forecast, it ran down-hill and let us be. The rain started again in earnest. Alan returned to our first tent-site to recover a square of plastic which had been overlooked during our packing. He told us that the crew of the next tent had built themselves an island each and they were stretched straight out on these, while the briny lapped round the edges. We mopped up the groundsheets and crawled back into sleeping ​bags. These were damp in patches,
 but they kept us warm for the rest of the night. About 4 hours, I think, had passed since we had first crawled into our sleeping bags. During the trip, I had tried to but they kept us warm for the rest of the night. About 4 hours, I think, had passed since we had first crawled into our sleeping bags. During the trip, I had tried to
 impress on people the many good points of this mountain. It would be diplomatic to impress on people the many good points of this mountain. It would be diplomatic to
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 Having completed this diversion we surveyed our sodden bags and, to our amazement, Having completed this diversion we surveyed our sodden bags and, to our amazement,
 Brian suggested we get out of them and spend the night sitting up. As it was not yet Brian suggested we get out of them and spend the night sitting up. As it was not yet
-midnight Irene and I protested volubly against such folly, preferring pneumonia recumbent, enclosed in bag, to pneumonia sitting up, without bag. After much seeking we found some not so wet portions of our bags, twisted these round to our backs, and lay back hopefully ​'wooing ​Sleep. Whether it was the constant bellowing of the tent in the wind, the rhythmic drip drip from various parts of the tent, and the gentle spraying of the rain (through the japara) on our faces we'll never know,+midnight Irene and I protested volubly against such folly, preferring pneumonia recumbent, enclosed in bag, to pneumonia sitting up, without bag. After much seeking we found some not so wet portions of our bags, twisted these round to our backs, and lay back hopefully wooing ​sleep. Whether it was the constant bellowing of the tent in the wind, the rhythmic drip drip from various parts of the tent, and the gentle spraying of the rain (through the japara) on our faces we'll never know,
 but we did sleep, fitfully. With the dawn came a very wet Alex, adjuring us to pack up as quickly as possible and get going. After hastily eating some cold rice and apple we wrang ourselves, and our gear, out, hoisted up rucksacks, and squelched off, after our leader, into the mist. but we did sleep, fitfully. With the dawn came a very wet Alex, adjuring us to pack up as quickly as possible and get going. After hastily eating some cold rice and apple we wrang ourselves, and our gear, out, hoisted up rucksacks, and squelched off, after our leader, into the mist.
  
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 Having failed in our efforts to get down through the central crevice of Mount Having failed in our efforts to get down through the central crevice of Mount
-Renwick, on our way to The Castle, and as we were fast running out of light, and as+Renwick ​[Cole], on our way to The Castle, and as we were fast running out of light, and as
 it was going to rain, we returned to the centre of the mountain top. Stumbling along the steeply Sloping southern side of the crevice we came upon an extra bare it was going to rain, we returned to the centre of the mountain top. Stumbling along the steeply Sloping southern side of the crevice we came upon an extra bare
 -patch with about two or three inches of soil or moss every here and there in small patches on otherwise steeply sloping rocks. -patch with about two or three inches of soil or moss every here and there in small patches on otherwise steeply sloping rocks.
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 they can both swim because, in the morning, they were both seen fast asleep, floating at the end of their anchor lines. they can both swim because, in the morning, they were both seen fast asleep, floating at the end of their anchor lines.
  
-I couldn'​t understand why I was so cold during the night. Every time I moved it seed as though a block of ice was against my back.  After a,most hideous and+I couldn'​t understand why I was so cold during the night. Every time I moved it seemed ​as though a block of ice was against my back.  After a most hideous and
 sleepless night I dozed off and dreamt I was pouring myself out of my water-bag sleepless night I dozed off and dreamt I was pouring myself out of my water-bag
 (fantastic thing to dream). Waking from the nightmare I realised that the reason for feeling cold was that my sleeping bag was full, and I mean full, of water. Anyhow, after pouring myself out, I found that Brian had got a fire going and that the rain had stopped. On examination,​ the only dry article of gear was my camera which was inside three plastic bags. (fantastic thing to dream). Waking from the nightmare I realised that the reason for feeling cold was that my sleeping bag was full, and I mean full, of water. Anyhow, after pouring myself out, I found that Brian had got a fire going and that the rain had stopped. On examination,​ the only dry article of gear was my camera which was inside three plastic bags.
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 I've camped on rocks before this. I've camped on mud. I've camped on snow and ice. I've camped on logs. But I've never camped IN a waterfall before. I've camped on rocks before this. I've camped on mud. I've camped on snow and ice. I've camped on logs. But I've never camped IN a waterfall before.
  
-Breakfast: Hot foodCheerful banter! Smiling faces!? Wet, heavy packs, and on the track again and off for The Castle. Silly, isn't it?+Breakfast: Hot foodCheerful banter! Smiling faces!? Wet, heavy packs, and on the track again and off for The Castle. Silly, isn't it?
  
 Over lunch we discuss how we should negotiate this section of the route next time. Silly, isn't it? or is it? Over lunch we discuss how we should negotiate this section of the route next time. Silly, isn't it? or is it?
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 There was considerable consternation in the Leyden-Cosgrove tent a couple of times, but the night continued wet and windy until about 2 a m. when a bright light There was considerable consternation in the Leyden-Cosgrove tent a couple of times, but the night continued wet and windy until about 2 a m. when a bright light
-Shining ​into the tent and Max Gentle'​s voice woke me from a doze saying '​Who'​s in here? I'm washed out". So he came in and settled down. Water may have been running+shining ​into the tent and Max Gentle'​s voice woke me from a doze saying '​Who'​s in here? I'm washed out". So he came in and settled down. Water may have been running
 under the grass but the tent wasn't letting any rain through. under the grass but the tent wasn't letting any rain through.
 +
 To while away the hours until dawn we discussed this and that - women in our lives, the possible difficulty in ascending the rock face of the fissure later in To while away the hours until dawn we discussed this and that - women in our lives, the possible difficulty in ascending the rock face of the fissure later in
 the morning and whether we should go on to the Clyde River or return along the the morning and whether we should go on to the Clyde River or return along the
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 I think perhaps that we did not suffer as much as some that night. In fact now that I look back on it from the comfort of my home some five weeks later I can't help feeling that I may have been exaggerating a little about our discomfort. Of course we got wet, or at least Pam and I did. Pam had found herself the cutest little hip I think perhaps that we did not suffer as much as some that night. In fact now that I look back on it from the comfort of my home some five weeks later I can't help feeling that I may have been exaggerating a little about our discomfort. Of course we got wet, or at least Pam and I did. Pam had found herself the cutest little hip
 hole earlier in the evening but as it soon turned itself into a hip bath it had to be hole earlier in the evening but as it soon turned itself into a hip bath it had to be
-vacated, although by then it was too late. Also the wind changed through the night and blew in on her. As far myself I only got my dry bed sox wet and my shoulders where the water seeped through the groundsheet,​ but Bill was dry: When the rain first began Bill, with true protective instincts, offered to sleep at the end of the tent from whence the weather came. Standing in the pouring rain, with the mind lashing his groundsheet about him, he gamely tied a spare groundsheet across the end of the abdulled tent and then, although quite exhausted from this great effort,+vacated, although by then it was too late. Also the wind changed through the night and blew in on her. As for myself I only got my dry bed sox wet and my shoulders where the water seeped through the groundsheet,​ but Bill was dry: When the rain first began Bill, with true protective instincts, offered to sleep at the end of the tent from whence the weather came. Standing in the pouring rain, with the wind lashing his groundsheet about him, he gamely tied a spare groundsheet across the end of the abdulled tent and then, although quite exhausted from this great effort,
  ​summoned the strength to put our three packs along the inside to help hold down the groundsheet. As I said, Bill was dry!  ​summoned the strength to put our three packs along the inside to help hold down the groundsheet. As I said, Bill was dry!
  
-Although the night seemed long we did sleep a little and in our waking moments were entertained by snippets of conversation coming from David'​s tent, next to ours. Max had moved in during the night and whiled away the hours recounting a few of the more romantic moments of his life to a weary David. But it was very frustrating the way the mind roared right at the most enthralling pointApart from that it was interesting to lie back listening to the sounds of the night and try to decide whether those shrieks and moans came from the wind in the casuarinas outside the tent or were in reality the sounds of souls in despair.+Although the night seemed long we did sleep a little and in our waking moments were entertained by snippets of conversation coming from David'​s tent, next to ours. Max had moved in during the night and whiled away the hours recounting a few of the more romantic moments of his life to a weary David. But it was very frustrating the way the mind roared right at the most enthralling pointApart from that it was interesting to lie back listening to the sounds of the night and try to decide whether those shrieks and moans came from the wind in the casuarinas outside the tent or were in reality the sounds of souls in despair.
  
 And so the night at last became day and after a hearty breakfast of one half apple, one half orange, one chocolate-coated biscuit each and the promise of a lolly later, we began one of the longest walking days I can remember. And so the night at last became day and after a hearty breakfast of one half apple, one half orange, one chocolate-coated biscuit each and the promise of a lolly later, we began one of the longest walking days I can remember.
  
195905.1356051635.txt.gz · Last modified: 2012/12/21 01:00 by colin