Mount Paralyser from Kanangra Walls
Kanangra-Boyd National Park, NSW Australia
Mark Lauer, Danny Yee, Jen Sandbach, Tony Jack
(thumbnails link to larger images)
Mark had started organising this walk several months in advance, but
things didn't turn out as planned. The plan was to go to the Budawangs,
but that was ruled out at the last minute because of bushfires. And there
were going to be eight participants, but four pulled out on the Friday.
One car made things simple: Mark picked me up, then we went to Annandale
to pick up Jen and Tony. We were running half an hour behind schedule,
and stopped in Leura to visit a bakery and in Blackheath to register
the walk with the police, but we set off from Kanangra Walls at 11.50.
We didn't have time to sit and enjoy the view from the
Walls properly, but it was an obvious time to pull out my new digital camera.
looking south over Maxwell Top
towards Mt Cloudmaker
We stopped at the end of Craft's Wall for lunch, then it was up to High
and Mighty and along to Stormbreaker. We didn't leave Stormbreaker (and
the track) till 4.15, and with some slow going on the nearly 750m descent,
the last fifteen minutes were done in the dark. Fortunately there was
a decent camp site within 30 metres of where we reached Kanangra Creek.
There was a total fire ban, so we sat around Jen's camp-candle and cooked
on Mark's Trangia and my Gaz stove. I just had packet instant pasta,
but the others put together couscous, marinated lamb (pre-cooked),
chickpeas, and fresh zucchini.
lamb, chickpeas, zucchini, couscous
around the camp-candle: Mark, Jen, Tony, Danny
With a clear sky and no mosquitos, I didn't bother getting into the tent
with Mark, just put down my groundsheet and slept on that.
Mark remembers Danny's birthday
We got away around 9am and it was up, up, up - 850m up the ridge to the
top of Mt Paralyser. Fortunately it wasn't too hot and there was a bit
of a breeze, and my ability to remain fit without exercising doesn't seem
to have gone away (it had been three months since my previous bushwalk,
and I get pretty much no other exercise).
It also helped that I was carrying a fair bit less than the others.
My starting pack (with 2 litres of water) weighed in at a bit over 10
kilograms, while Mark had started with over 20 kilograms and Jen and
Tony not that much less. They did eat their way through a fair bit of
that as the
picnictrip progressed, though!
surprisingly intact hair
For most of the climb trees blocked the views, but there were a few spots
with great views back towards Kanangra.
The logbook at the Mt Paralyser cairn is in an industrial-quality
tungsten-welded stainless steel logbook holder. Many of the entries were
people doing the Three Peaks and there were a few names I recognised from
Sydney University Bushwalkers. Ours was the twentieth entry for 2002.
I went over two small knobs (Cyclops and Karooba Maroo) while the others
sidled around them. Then we left the track we'd picked up and went down
a ridge to Sally Camp Creek, where we found a nice camp spot with an hour
of light still left. This time Mark whipped up a laksa - from a tin! -
while I happily ate my instant pasta.
Again, no mosquitos, but Tony found a leech.
There was a leech underneath my groundsheet in the morning, and Tony and
Jen found one inside their tent, but no one had been bitten.
A pretty incompetent bunch (squirm?) of leeches if you ask me.
Sally Camp Creek
still life: waterbottles
It was a pleasantly cool overcast day - perfect walking weather -
for the climb back up to Thurat ridge. There we found the track again
and soon reached the firetrail; we had lunch at Kanangra Creek ford.
At the main road we chose to all do the dusty couple of kilometres back
to the car rather than sending Mark on a jog sans pack.
the dusty main road
Just as we were getting settled in for the drive home and everyone was
saying what a great walk it had been, we ran out of petrol. The nearest
petrol station was in Oberon, about 50 kilometres away, so Tony and
Jen got a lift with a car heading there, while Mark flagged down cars,
looking for someone with a siphon and some spare fuel. A NPWS service
truck with drums of aviation fuel was no use; nor was a colleague of
Mark's from Macquarie Uni; but I was hoping all the Sydney Uni Bushwalkers
from the annual President's Bludge Trip would turn up.
Eventually a 4WD and another WRX (the same model as Mark's car) had what
we needed - the former a mechanic with a siphon and the second the right
kind of petrol. After some jiggling with fuel lines we transferred
six litres, and the WRX driver wouldn't even let Mark pay for them.
In the end we were delayed only an hour.
from one WRX to the other
across the road from the service station - Oberon fire station
We weren't sure that we'd spot Mark and Jen going the other way, but when
an NRMA road service van passed us it was easy - Jen had sweet-talked the
NRMA man into coming out to get us, even though Mark wasn't a member.
In Oberon we filled up properly and Mark joined the NRMA, then it was
pizza for dinner in Katoomba and back to Sydney, with the traffic not
too bad for a long weekend.