14/11/2004 - report - photos

Participants: Tom Brennan, Sacha Vidler, Rachel Grindlay, Karl Adamson, Melanie Barlow

Sacha had a loop from Faulconbridge Ridge to Blue Gum Swamp Creek figured, going via the Grose. He was figuring for 3 hours. I told Rachel that this was very unlikely, but wasn't particularly worried as we had at least 8 hours of daylight.

Leaving the car at the locked gate on Faulconbridge Ridge, we headed out along the fire trail. Karl was into the bush after only a short distance, spotting a baby Mountain Dragon which he chased out to show us.

We hadn't planned to go all the way to the lookout as I figured it would be a longish trip anyway, but we missed the turnoff to the Grose on the way out and ended up at the lookout. Faulconbridge Lookout has some spectacular views so was well worth the detour. After a few snacks, we headed back to the path that we had missed and down to the Grose. There were a couple of short climb downs at the end, and then we were at a delightful pool. After a swim and a leisurely lunch, we filled water bottles from the creek and started down the Grose.

After a bit of bushbashing and boulder hopping, the route opened out onto superb slabs above the river, and we made good going. Unfortunately that ended all too soon, and we had some distance through slow scrub, although it was reasonably light and occasionally had some evidence of a track. Someone appeared to be trying to form a track by tying red ribbons around various trees, but the ribbons were so infrequent that nothing is ever likely to come of it.

I looked at my map at this stage hoping that we were almost at the junction with Springwood Creek, only to find that we were barely half way. After a bit of easy walking there was some more scrub, and then a final section of boulder hopping and the occasionaly open slab down the section to the junction. We bashed up Springwood Creek for about half a kilometre, headed up a side gully and then scrambled out of the gully on to the ridge. The ridge was particularly steep, with a few exposed easy scrambles near the top. We eventually emerged not far from Grose Mountain Lookout. Sacha put in a call to Sarah to have some food ready by the time we arrived back.

The last 8km home were thankfully pretty flat. We had a big downhill to Blue Gum Swamp Creek, and then a lovely walk through the forest of huge blue gums to the end of the fire trail. Sarah had a fantastic feed going for us when we arrived just on dark, and we devoured it hungrily.