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  ​FOOTWEAR ​ MANY TYPES OF BUOYANCY & LIFE VESTS  HELMETS  ​FOOTWEAR ​ MANY TYPES OF BUOYANCY & LIFE VESTS  HELMETS
 Page 14 The Sydney Bushwalker January 1990 Page 14 The Sydney Bushwalker January 1990
-MOUNT CAMERON TO BELL by David Rostron+ 
 + 
 +===== Mount Cameron to Bell ===== 
 + 
 +by David Rostron\\
 (First published in the magazine July 1982) (First published in the magazine July 1982)
-A.study of maps is possibly the best way to become inspired about a new route (for us). This resulted in the programmed car swap trip for lst/2nd May, from Mount Cameron to 'Mount Tootie with Don Finch and Ileading the respective ​"​legs"​. However, after learning of the + 
-experience of others on the 30 km ridge section, over the Maiden and Mount Mistake to the Colo (thick scrub, no views, 13 ridge junctions and one-mile-an-hour country) we decided to proceed as per program ​only if the area had been burnt in the 1979 fires. +A study of maps is possibly the best way to become inspired about a new route (for us). This resulted in the programmed car swap trip for lst and 2nd May, from Mount Cameron to Mount Tootie with Don Finch and I leading the respectable ​"​legs"​. However, after learning of the experience of others on the 30km ridge section, over the Maiden and Mt. Mistake to the Colo (thick scrub, no views, 13 ridge junctions and one-mile-an-hour country) we decided to proceed as per programme ​only if the area had been burnt in the 1979 fires. When subsequently travelling by plane to Dubbo on two occasions ​I determined that the area had not been burnt and it was obvious that the trip would be "hard work". I walk to enjoy myself and I believe this is also Don's philosophy. Not for us the foolish belief quoted by many: "The greater the suffering, the greater the trip". Don readily agreed to a change of route - from Mt. Cameron to Mt. Wilson - but later considered ​Mt. Cameron to Bell would be the ideal trip. He felt the crossings of the canyons and creeks would provide sufficient "​sport"​. 
-When subsequently travelling by plane to Dubbo on two ocnasions ​I determined that the area had not been burnt and it was obvious that the trip would be 'hard work'. I walk to + 
-enjoy myself and I believe this is also Don's philosophy. Not for us the foolish belief +On the Wednesday night before the trip we had eight starters, but then Tony Marshall dropped out with a virus and Pat Harrison didn't appreciate the route change. So David Martin, Bob Hodgson, Don Finch, Spiro Hajinakitas,​ Barrie Murdoch and I, plus three vehicles, convened at Bell at 8.30 pm on Friday night. One vehicle was left at Bell, and we headed off along the maze of roads on the Newnes Plateau. After more than a few false leads (Don, of course, was navigating at this stage - allegedly on reliable information) we found the Mt. Cameron fire trail. After a few km we were stopped by a badly rutted hill. 
-quoted by many: "The greater the suffering, the greater the trip". Don readily agreed to a + 
-change of route - from Mount Cameron to Mount Wilson - but later considered ​Mount Cameron to +We had known it was not possible to drive past Natural Bridge, but this meant a further ​2km on the 9km we had intended to walk that night. For me it was two hours of mental torment along a fire trail we did not know and with partial moon for only the first hour. I had the sensation of being on a treadmill - our surroundings didn't seem to change. After two hours we began the slight climb to the basalt cap of Mt. Cameron. With the change in vegetation there was a different aroma evident. There was the usual luxuriant grass on the cap which provided an ideal campsite. 
-Bell would be the ideal trip. He felt the crossings of the canyons and creeks would provide + 
-sufficient "​sport"​. +The next morning we were up at 5.45 am and away by 7.05 am. We followed the fire trail over the cap until it turned east and we then headed south-west. 
-On the Wednesday night before the trip we had eight starters, but then Tony Marshall dropped out with a virus and Pat Harrison didn't appreciate the route change. So David Martin, + 
-Bob Hodgson, Don Finch, Spiro Hajinakitas,​ Barrie Murdoch and I, plus three vehicles, convened +The map indicated a perfect route down to Nayook Creek at 535117 and an easy ridge up the other side. When 400m away the route down and up looked ideal. However, when almost on the creek 15-20 metre cliffs on both sides were evident. We headed west for 300m but there were no apparent routes. So it was back to the ridge top and along a SW ridge for a possible crossing opposite a creek at 524107. Again the map indicated the route as feasible. 
-at Bell at 8.30 pm on Friday night. One vehicle was left at Bell, and we headed off along + 
-the maze of roads on the Newnes Plateau. After more than a few false leads (Don, of course, +When dropping off the ridge we had to negotiate a rocky ramp and then a causeway ​40m long and 2m wide at 524112. We were able to drop off the causeway ​but when above the creek there were still 15m cliffs. We eventually found a gully down at 523108 and then a route through the cliffs on the other side. However, the diversions had cost us 1.5 hours, so it was head down and tail up for the next 6km and 1.5 hours south across the plateau. 
-was navigating at this stage - allegedly on reliable information) we found the Mount Cameron + 
-fire trail. After a few kilometres ​we were stopped by a badly rutted hill. +We carried water for lunch and this was enjoyed at 507076 with extensive views to the south. ​Mt. Wilson was visible, many km to the SE. Lunch was a brief affair of 35 minutes and then it was west for 1 km across the ridge top before heading south again towards Derailment Hill and, we hoped, a route to North Bungleboori ​Creek. 
-We had known it was not possible to drive past Natural Bridge, but this meant a further + 
-2 km on the 9 km we had intended to walk that night. For me it was two hours of mental torment +After passing ​over Derailment Hill the route ahead had the appearance of a bushwalkers' ​minefield - cliffs, gendarmes, etc. We decided to descend to the creek to the west and follow it south to Bungleboori Creek. Howeverit was about an hour later that we finally reached the first creek after negotiating ​gulleys, chimneys and faces as well as exploring about four other possible routes. 
-along a fire trail we did not know and with partial moon for only the first hour. I had the + 
-sensation of being on a treadmill - our surroundings didn't seem to change. After two hours +The floor of the valley was slow going with heavy growth, but eventually we crossed Bungleboori at 493045 and then had afternoon tea. We decided to carry water just in case we didn't make South Bungleboori Creek before nightfall. We headed south up the ridge to reach a fire trail at 491035. David Martin had been troubled by a knee problem and decided to retire at this point - to try to find his car via the fire trail maze. 
-we began the slight climb to the basalt cap of Mount Cameron. With the change in vegetation + 
-there was a different aroma evident. There was the usual luxuriant grass an the cap which +Five of us then followed fire trails for 3 km - first SW and then SE and turned off south at 492018. Bob had walked along this part of the route before and was confident about finding a pass down to South Bungleboori Creek. We traversed a ridge to a cliff top about 100m above the creek at 496004 and then tried a number of gullies before finally reaching the creek just on dusk. 
-provided an ideal campsite. + 
-The next morning we were up at 5.45 am and away by 7.05 am. We followed the fire trail over the cap until it turned east and we then headed south-west. The map indicated a perfect route down to Nayook Creek at 535117 and an easy ridge up the other side. When 405 metres ​away the route down and up looked ideal. However, when almost on the creek 15-20 metre cliffs on both sides were evident. We headed west for 300 metres ​but there were no apparent routes. So it was back to the ridge top and along a south-west ​ridge for a possible crossing opposite +First impressions of the creek were that there would be no 5-star campsite that night. Bob was optimistic about a possible site 200m downstream, but to reach it took another 10 minutes. Well - it was about half-star rating. We had to clear sites for adjoining flies and then the fire on sand amongst fallen trees. The location was typical of the creeks in this area - 40m cliffs on both sides. 
-a creek at 524107. Again the map indicated the route was feasible. + 
-When dropping off the ridge we had to negotiate a rocky ramp and then a causeway ​40 metres ​long and 2 metres ​wide at 524112. We were able to drop off the moseway ​but when above the +Next morning saw a later start at 7.30 am and then it was up ledges and cracks at 497003 with some rope work to emerge on top of the Western Arthurs (named by Bob on a previous trip). These are rocky tors extending over 2 km and provided some interesting scrambling and route-finding with good views. We headed west over these tops for about lkm and then it was south again over a high valley to the next ridge top. We crossed this and followed a ridge south - more scrambling - and then it was down a pass at 490985 which Bob had used before. We followed the creek south to North Dumbano Creek, which we crossed at 493978. It was then time for morning tea. Dumbano Creek at this point has only small cliff lines 5m to 10m with numerous breaks. 
-creek there were still 15 metre cliffs. We eventually found a gully down at 523108 and then + 
-a route through the cliffs on the other side. However, the diversions had cost us hours, +We had contemplated visiting ​Wollangambe ​Crater but the ridge from Wollangambe River to Bell - about 7 km - was still an unknown quantity. We decided to continue by the easiest route to the river. We crossed the marshy area of South Dumbano Creek at 498966 and then followed a ridge SW to the Schay Ridge Fire Trail. A gallop along the trail for 4 km to the end was followed by open ridge walking and then a drop of about 100m to the Wollangambe. This was reached by a series of ledges and gullies at 505928. 
-so it was head down and tail up for the next 6 km and 11 hours south across the plateau. + 
-We carried water for lunch and this was enjoyed at 507076 with extensive views to the south. ​Mount Wilson was visible, many kilometres ​to the south-east. Lunch was a brief +The lunch that followed was the most relaxed meal of the trip. We had the luxury of a fire in cool sunshine. The route up the other side looked reasonable and, from what we could see of the ridge to the Bell Road, our hopes for easy final 10 km were rising.  
-affair of 35 minutes and then it waa west for lkm across the ridge top before heading south again towards Derailment Hill and, we hoped, a route to North Bungledoori ​Creek. + 
-After paating ​over Derailment Hill the route ahead had the appearance of a bushwalkerst ​minefield - cliffs, gendarmes, etc. We decided to descend to the creek to the west and +The ridge proved to be delightful. It comprised rocky tors and large areas of heath-type vegetation - the formula for expansive views and relaxed walking. The view from a height of 994 was probably the best of the trip. Later, among the low eucalypts, the waratahs were prolific. 
-follow it south to Bungleboori Creek. However it was about an hour later that we finally reached the first creek after negotiating ​gullys, chimneys and faces as well as exploring about four other possible routes. + 
-The floor of the valley was slow going with heavy growth, but eventually we crossed Bungleboori at 493045 and then had afternoon tea. We decided to carry water just in case ww didn't make South Bungleboori Creek before nightfall. We headed south up the ridgd to reach a firetrail ​at 491035. David Martin had been troubled by a knee problem and decided to +As we neared the road Don pushed to the front and began a none-too subtle increase of pace. From a flowing, relaxed pace there developed an urgent panting ​stride. Spiro was heard to remark "​Anyone would think it'​s ​Carlon's horses heading for home". 
-retire at this point - to try to find his car via the fire trail maze. + 
-January 1990 The Sydney Bushwalker Page 15 +Then we were on the road on the north side of the rail line with 3 km to Bell. Foolishly we let Don set the pace. Whereas normal fit walkers are capable of 5,000 rpm Don appears to have 6,000 rpm available. With my longer legs I was just able to match his walking speed, but Spiro and Bob were periodically jogging whilst Barrie jogged all the way to keep up. 
-Five of us then followed fire trails for 3 km - first south-west ​and then south-east ​and turned off south at 492018. Bob had walked along this part of the route before and was confident about finding a pass down to South Bungleboori Creek. We traversed a ridge to a cliff top about 100 metres ​above the creek at 496004 and then tried a number of gullies before finally reaching the creek just on dusk. + 
-First impressions of the creek were;​fthat ​there would be no 5-star campsite that night. Bob was optimistic about a possible site 200 metres ​downstream, but to reach it took another 10 minutes. Well - it was about 4-star rating. We had to clear sites for adjoining flies +I think we all hoped to put on a final spurt for the last 150m up a hill to Bell, and overtake Don, but he started running before we did and all we could do was chew his dustIt was 4.15 pm and the end of a great exploratory trip. 
-and then the fire on sand amongst fallen trees. The location was typical of the creeks in this area - 40 metre cliffs on both sides. + 
-Next morning saw a later start at 7.30 am and then it was up ledges and cracks at 497003 with some rope work to emerge on top of the Western Arthurs (named by Bob on a previous trip). These are rocky tors extending over 2 km and provided some interesting scrambling and route- finding with good views. +I should add that the area around ​Mt Cameron was not burnt in the 1979 fires. These fires apparently extended to Nayook Creek, about 3 km south of Mt Cameron. There has been considerable regrowth since but the walking through most of the area is straightforward - there is no dense scrub to push through. Views are mainly restricted by low eucalypts which have recovered to an amazing degree. Throughout the area the waratahs, compared to most parts of the mountains, are prolific. An early spring walk would be a delight. 
-We headed west over these tops for about 1 km and then it was south again over a high valley to the next ridge top. We crossed this and followed + 
-a ridge south - more scrambling - and then it was down a pass at 490985which Bob had used before. We followed the creek south to North Dumbano Creek, +
-which we crossed at 493978. It was then time for morning tea. Dumbano Creek at this point +
-has only small cliff Lines 5 m to 10 m with numerous breaks. +
-We had contemplated visiting ​Wollongambe ​Crater but the ridge from Wollongambe Rive' ​to +
-Bell - about 7 km - was still an unknown quantity. We decided to continue by the easiest route +
-to the river. We crossed the marshy area of South Dumbano Creek at 498966 and then followed +
-a ridge south-west ​to the Shay Ridge Fire Trail. A gallop along the trail for 4 km to the end +
-was followed by open ridge walking and then a drop of about 100 m to the Wollongambe. This was +
-reached by a series of ledges and gullies at 505928. +
-The lunch that followed was the most relaxed meal of the trip. We had the luxury of a +
-fire in cool sunshine. The route up the other side looked reasonable and, from what we could +
-see of the ridge to the Bell Road, our hopes for an easy final 10 km were rising. +
-The ridge proved to be delightful. It comprised rocky tors and large areas of heath-type +
-vegetation - the formula for expansive views and relaxed walking. The view from a height of +
-994 metres ​was probably the best of the trip. Later, among the low eucalypts, the waratahs +
-were prolific. +
-As we neared the road Don pushed to the front and began a none-too-subtle increase of pace. From a flowing, relaxed pace there developed an urgentipanting ​stride. Spiro was heard to remark "​Anyone would think it'​s ​Canon's horses heading for home"​. +
-Then we were on the road on the north side of the rail line with 3 km to Bell. Foolishly +
-we let Don set the pace. Whereas normal fit walkers are capable of 5,000 rpm Don appears to +
-have 6,000 rpm available. With my longer legs I was just able to match his walking speed, but +
-Spiro and Bob were periodically jogging whilst Barrie jogged all the way to keep up. +
-I think we all hoped to put on a final spurt for the last 150 metres ​up a hill to Bell, and overtake Don, but he started running before we did and all we could do was chew his dustIt was 4.15 pm and the end of a great exploratory trip. +
-I should add that the area around ​Mount Cameron was not burnt in the 1979 fires. These +
-fires apparently extended to Nayook Creek, about 3 km south of Mount Cameron. There has been +
-considerable regrowth since but the walking through most of the area is straightforward - there is no dense scrub to push through. Views are mainly restricted by low eucalypts which have +
-recovered to an amazing degree. Throughout the area the waratahs, compared to most parts of +
-the mountains, are prolific. An early spring walk would be a delight.+
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 Page 16 the Sydney Bushwalker January 1990 Page 16 the Sydney Bushwalker January 1990
199001.txt · Last modified: 2014/12/15 00:51 by sbw