9.6.11

Greenie's Gone Grose Valley - Multi Day walk - Days 1 & 2

It is a funny thing what adrenalin and a little bit of motivation can do. It can be great to see the result of those two coming together and what they can achieve. This post is not only about that but also my three day walk in the rugged but equally beautiful Grose Valley in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.

I woke up on a warm morning in suburbia and wasn't feeling the best. I had a small head cold. With my father at the wheel of the car, I could at least relax and rest. As we approached the lower Blue Mountains I was feeling a lot worst. I was questioning myself if I should do the walk or not.

We called into the NPWS Heritage Centre at Blackheath to collect a Epirb for the trip. Somewhere between the centre and the Victoria Falls Rd car park some adrenalin must have been released. I am not sure if that happened, all I know is that I felt fine as I put the pack on at the start of the walk.


Just a few hundred metres walk from the trackhead at the carpark is the Victoria Falls Lookout. The name of the lookout should be changed as you cannot see the falls, only hear them. The drive along to the dirt road and small walk to the lookout is still worth it. There are great views here of the upper Grose Valley. 


The track then goes down a well formed track and stairs. Here my father returned to the car. I hadn't noticed my pace was too quick for him, which he said later it was. Not long after this a red bellied black snake was lying on the track in front of me, it slithered into bush just of the track when it felt me coming. It didn't move from this position, so I just quickly walked passed it with walking poles in hand just in case I needed protection. 
I soon arrived at Victoria Cascades where I had a bite to eat next to refreshing sound of the cool water that was crashing over the rocks. 

video

Then it was a short walk to the top of Victoria Falls. Here you have to be careful as there no safety barriers and drop of 15 metres into the valley below. 

I then walked down the hill and around the base of Victoria Falls. Here you can walk up a scree slope if you are game and stand behind the falls. I did that and recorded a video which you can see on my YouTube Channel.  Here you need to be very careful with your footing as it is a long way down. On the way down I used my hiking poles like ski stocks. I wasn't careful enough and fell, cutting my hand on the rocks.


All along the track if you looked up there were great views of the cliffs of the Grose Valley. I then crossed Victoria Creek. Here the track turns from tourist track to one for more experienced walkers. The track is very muddy in places and eroded. You need to climb down a track that turns into a small muddy waterfall and scramble across a small timber plank. By 3pm I had arrived at my campsite at Burra Korain Flat. This sheltered campsite has both Victoria Creek and the Grose River available for water. I soon setup my new one person Exped Vera 1 tent. I then cooked dinner and watched the peaceful sunset on the cliffs above me. The first day was a short but rewarding day of walking. 


The next day I was up and ready by 8am after a good sleep. Straight away I misplaced myself, I walked up a steep hill and soon realised that the track was going nowhere. I turned around and soon went crashing back down the hill, with one leg staying up the hill, while the other going down, almost breaking my hip. Next time I will read the track notes better! This was all within 20 metres of the campsite.
I then crossed Victoria Creek and came across two blokes that were nice and friendly and we discussed the track ahead. They only camped about 100 hundred metres from me the night before, but I never heard them during the night. I then crossed the Grose River by stepping rock to rock.


The next bit of the track was annoying more than anything else. It is covers several kilometres of undulating country. That isn't the problem, the problem was that the track isn't used much at all and I was cut to pieces. I was given some new gaiters for Christmas that come up just under the knee. I should have brought them with me instead of the pair I had that are ankle height and some lightweight gloves as well. Besides my legs being scratched all over, my arms and hands were also scratched and bleeding. By 10am it was 34 degrees in the sun and I haven't sweated that much in my life before.

I did like this track for it's scenic beauty though. There are several vantage points. If you look up you will see the sandstone cliffs of the valley. If you look down and to your left you will see in places, the Grose River. I also crossed a number of small creeks. They had a flow of nice cool running water.


 
Somewhere along the track I passed two young blokes with day packs. I said G'day, they however didn't return the favor. This was my last contact with people for the rest of the day. I soon stopped for a drink and had a quick bite at the intersection of Pierces Pass overlooking the river.


I walked pass the sign for the Blue Gum forest. This not only a amazing place with great stands of Blue Gums (Eucalyptus deanei) but a place that changed conservation history in the Blue Mountains and well beyond. In the 1930's during the great depression members of the Sydney Bushwalking Club raised the money to buy the area off a farmer from Bilpin who was going to clear the gums and plant walnuts. Not only did they save the area, but with the help of one of the members (Myles Dunphy) lead to the establishment of the Blue Mountains National Park. 




Just before 2pm I arrived at my campsite at Acacia Flats. Although a relatively short walk, the heat was starting to take it's toll on me.  I had some lunch, pitched my tent and collected water from nearby Grose River. I continued to sweat in the hot humid heat. Little flies that I had not seen before started biting at my scratched knuckes and my ears.  I soon had a nap in my tent. An hour later I went back down the river and collected and filtered some more water. As the sun set I was glad that the heat was dissipating but a bit worried as the forecast for the next day was rain. I was still looking forward to the next day with a large and exciting climb ahead of me.


Walk date 10/2/11 & 11/2/11


3 comments:

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  2. Great post an photos, I really hope I can visit the Blue Mountains some day.

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