30/12/2000-01/01/2001 - report - photos

Participants: Tom Brennan, Lisa McGinnigle, Tania King, Lachlan Yates, Adam Yates, Paul Bayes

I was running out of time to arrange some way of getting out of the rat race for New Year, when Lachie and Tania asked if I was interested in doing a loop of the Jamison Valley. I was keen, although I assumed that the loop would actually be around the bottom of the valley, so I was a little disappointed to find that it went across Mt Solitary. I'd done a traverse of Mt Solitary only three months before. Still, I was interested in exploring a bit more, so I suggested we went the other way - Wentworth Falls - Mt Solitary - Katoomba - Wentworth Falls.

With Big Granny (Lisa), and Paul and Adam, friends of Lachie's, we set off from the carpark at Wentworth Falls on the morning of the 30th. Wentworth Falls appeared very unimpressive...until we reached Rocket Point and realised that the falls were downstream, not the 5m cascades upstream!

Reaching Kings Tableland Road we started the long road bash down into the Kedumba Valley. The continual walk downhill started to jam my toes into the front of my shoes, and in the end I found it easier to jog the last two kilometres to the bottom.

From there it was a short walk to our lunch stop by the banks of the Kedumba River. Lunch lengthened, then included a nap, and it wasn't long til we were voting to stay the night there as well! Certainly added new meaning to the words "bludge walk"!

The next morning we headed off bright and early and quickly picked up the track at the creek junction leading to the eastern cliffline of Mt Solitary. As we left, we noticed that heading up the opposite ridge to this were a line of metal discs nailed to trees, presumably an attempt at starting a new track up to Kedumba Pass. This was confirmed by a note in the visitors book at the top. The path steadily got steeper, although it was certainly easier going up than down. There was a bit of a scramble right at the end and then we were at the lookout, with fantastic views back over the Kedumba Valley.

A quick look back through the logbook showed a few names I recognised. I went back to my entry from a few months before, and found that someone had annotated it with a picture of a guy diving off the cliff after a frisbee - amusing since they had obviously recognised some of our names as fellow frisbee players. We spent a while teasing Granny for not being able to hear any of the echos. She's gone half deaf mowing too many lawns. Still, some of us were hearing 5 or 6 echos, so it's not too much to ask to hear one!

After an extended morning tea we headed west along the north cliff line, and after a brief stop for water at Singajingawell Creek, climbed to the peak of Mt Solitary. We didn't waste any time here. Like most peaks in the Blue Mountains, the views are poor, obscured by bush. The best views are usually to be had from rocky outcrops below the main peak.

At this point my half written trip report from over 10 years ago ended - we camped at Chinamans Gully on New Year's Eve, but I don't think anyone else made it to midnight. I enjoyed the Katoomba fireworks from the cliff edge in the dark. The next day we walked out to Katoomba and somehow made our way back to the cars at Wentworth Falls.