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199001 [2020/04/09 17:02]
rogerbrowne [The December General Meeting]
199001 [2020/04/10 09:07]
rogerbrowne [Mount Cameron to Bell]
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 ===== Mount Cameron to Bell ===== ===== Mount Cameron to Bell =====
  
-by David Rostron\\+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 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".+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".
  
 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. 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.
  
-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.+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 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.
  
-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 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 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 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 a creek at 524107. Again the map indicated the route as feasible.
  
-The map indicated perfect route down to Nayook Creek at 535117 and an easy ridge up the other sideWhen 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.+When dropping off the ridge we had to negotiate a rocky ramp and then causeway 40 metres long and 2 metres wide at 524112We were able to drop off the causeway but when above the 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 sideHowever, the diversions had cost us 1½ hours, so it was head down and tail up for the next 6 km and 1½ hours south across the plateau.
  
-When dropping off the ridge we had to negotiate a rocky ramp and then a causeway 40m long and 2m wide at 524112We were able to drop off the causeway but when above the creek there were still 15m cliffsWe eventually found 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.+We carried water for lunch and this was enjoyed at 507076 with extensive views to the southMt. Wilson was visible, many km to the south-eastLunch was 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 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. +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. 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.
- +
-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.+
  
 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. 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.
  
-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.+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 100m 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 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.+First impressions of the creek were that 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 ½-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 - 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. 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.+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 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.+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 - 5 m to 10 m with numerous breaks. 
 + 
 +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 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 100m to the Wollangambe. 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 a easy final 10 km were rising.  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 a easy final 10 km were rising.
Line 295: Line 298:
 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. 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 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.+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 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. 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.
  
  
-* * * * * * * * * +===== Federation notes ===== 
-Page 16 the Sydney Bushwalker January 1990 +
-FEDERATION NOTES+
 Federation Meeting Place. From 16/1/90 the Federation will meet in Demountable Classroom No.4, Federation Meeting Place. From 16/1/90 the Federation will meet in Demountable Classroom No.4,
 Burwood Primary School, Conder Street, Burwood. Burwood Primary School, Conder Street, Burwood.
199001.txt · Last modified: 2020/04/10 09:33 by rogerbrowne