27/01/2006 - report - photos

Participants: Tom Brennan, Duanne White

After Sacha and Sarah dropped me off at Katoomba station, I caught the train to Blackheath and headed down Hat Hill Rd to Duanne's place in the dark. We pored over maps for a while and made a few plans before heading to bed.

We had a latish start the next day, and set off from Duanne's place across Hat Hill Creek and up to Burramoko Ridge. We turned off on to an old fire trail and headed down a ridge to Victoria Creek. Getting through the cliffs looked interesting near the bottom, so we dropped left and down a steep bank into the creek. Fairly quickly Duanne pointed out some cut trees, and a small marijuana plantation in the creek. It's always surprising the things you find in the bush.

There was a vaguely canyon like section near the top of the creek, but it opened out into excellent walking along very smooth rock creek beds, interspersed with occasional sections of boulder scrambling. There were a couple of larger waterfalls which appeared very slippery, and we scrambled around those. Eventually we reached the junction with Victoria Brook, without having seen anything that looked much like real canyon, and stopped for lunch.

After a break, we set off upstream, mostly scrambling up larger and larger boulders in the creek. Duanne was interested in looking at the cliffs for climbing potential, and when the creek didn't seem promising, we scrambled up to the cliff line. A little further upstream we reached a section where the creek flattened out and wound its way on a sandy bed through coachwood and sassafras. A very nice bit, but still no canyon. Finally we gave up and climbed out a side creek up to the pagoda on top, and had a look down at where we had been.

There was a bit of scrub up to the top of the ridge, and as a storm rolled over us, we missed our target ridge back in to Victoria Creek. In hindsight this might have been good, since we dropped in a bit higher up and found the most canyon like section we'd discovered all day. It was pretty poor quality, but canyon none the less. It didn't take long to walk back downstream to where we started in the morning, and from there it was back up to the fire trail, and across a couple of ridges to Duanne's place.

An interesting day of exploring.