1984 Tribute: Mittagong to Katoomba

Walker

John McDouall Stuart
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Back in August 1984 seven of us from our Bushwalking Club set out on a ten day walk between Wombeyan Caves Road to Katoomba Railway Station - there is a designated route that was put in several years ago, but our trip followed a self determined route through the infamous Blue Breaks.

Tribute to two mates who are no longer with us.

Obviously, back then there were no mobile phones, digital cameras, GPS, etc. Navigation was done by map, compass, and experienced dead reckoning.

10 days worth of food was carried, we shared two tents and cooking gear between the group that was divided into two teams: 4 and 3 respectively. Lunches began with cabanossi, cheese and pocket bread, which by day three had became unclassified life forms in their own right! (We ate the cabanossi that had lost it's red colour and turned a nice shade of bright green, and the pocket bread had gone very sour ... the cheese was slightly fluffy ... none of us got ill, but I wouldn't recommend repeating the experiment.) When that ran out, we chose to eat Bushwalkers seasonal backup: scroggin. Every breakfast was the dreaded porridge. We supplemented dinners by carrying flour, dried fruit and Golden Syrup/Apricot Jam and made damper.

Incidentally, we all weighed our rucksacks, then divided the food and gear so each person carried the same total weight. It was up to personal preference what else was taken i.e. the old adage: you can carry anything you want, but you gotta carry it in and out.

This was one of our Clubs most memorable trips.

The photos show, not in order: a view of the Wollondilly River valley with Bonnum Pic in the distance, Back Bimlow Walls, Confluence of Butchers Creek and Butlers Creek map check, Huge River Oaks on Butchers Creek, the Lower Kowmung (River) Gorge.

Confluence of Butchers Creek & Butlers Creek.jpgView of Wollondilly River Valley towards Bonnum Pic.jpgLower Kowmung (River) Gorge.jpgBack Bimlow Walls.jpgButchers Creek Huge River Oaks.jpg
 
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ChrisM

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Thanks for sharing your story and photos. Sounds like quite the adventure:)


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Wentworth

Bear Mears
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Nice trip report Walker. I did the walk in 2010, but luckily the track was well established by then. Offtrack in the Blue Breaks is more interesting than the 50km firetrail bash of Scotts Main Range. We did that bit through the night to get it over with.
 

Walker

John McDouall Stuart
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Yes, Scotts MR is a slog, the Catholic Bushwalkers have a great site midway along, which is where we entered the Kowmung River to walk the gorge. We did a fair bit of walking around Colong And Church Creek Caves, Mt Armour, Axehead, etc, but mainly via Kanangra Walls e.g. Uni Rover Track, up Cloudmaker and across the plateau, or 'simply' drop into Kanangra Creek near Crafts Walls and walk downstream to the Kowmung.

Fantastic area, but not one to go unprepared for wilderness or with dodgy navigation skills - the Blue Breaks is similar to parts of Wollemi: hard to navigate when in the Creek systems and all the ridges look the same.

If you want the exact route we took and maps used PM me.
 
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