Danny Yee >> Travelogues >> Australia >> Bushwalks

Mount Paralyser from Kanangra Walls

Kanangra-Boyd National Park, NSW Australia
October 2002
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.

Maxwell Top looking south over Maxwell Top mount cloudmaker towards Mt Cloudmaker mount 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.

culinary camping lamb, chickpeas, zucchini, couscous
mark jen tony danny
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.


birthday cake and candles 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!

Jen Sandbach surprisingly intact hair Crafts Wall Crafts Wall Kanangra Walls Kanangra Walls

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 Sally Camp Creek Sally Camp Creek water bottles 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.

Xanthorrea Xanthorrhoea a tree overcast Kanangra road 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.

Subaru WRX from one WRX to the other Oberon Fire Station 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.

Bushwalks << Australia << Travelogues << Danny Yee