23/03/2007 - report - photos

Participants: Tom Brennan

Some unfinished business lured me back to the middle section of Glenbrook Creek. A missing track down the ridge from Glenbrook, and a wander up the lower part of Kanuka Brook.

I left the car at about 8am after a couple of doughnuts from the bakery and wandered down the hill to the Blue Pool. The track up Glenbrook Creek in this section was fairly indistinct, but the tactic of staying high when in doubt seemed to work well. I soon reached the bottom of a ridge we were supposed to walk down a few weeks ago, and I downed pack and went exploring. No sign of a track until I scrambled up on to the ridge itself, and an almost superhighway presented itself! I headed all the way up to the top, checking out a couple of track detours along the way, eventually reaching the fire trail we had walked in along. The start of the track was a bit off the main fire trail, which sort of explained why we missed it.

When I got back to the bottom it became reasonably clear why the track was so difficult to find from below. The first few metres were up a narrow, but easy cleft. It didn't look obvious, that was for sure.

With all that exertion and the increasing heat and humidity of the day, I had a bit of a dip in the next little pool before heading on. The Glenbrook Creek track seemed a little clearer from here on, although it could have just been because I had walked much of it before. It was not long til I reached the junction with Kanuka Brook, and the fantastic little swimming hole. I couldn't let the opportunity go by, so had to have another dip. It truly must be one of the best pools in that part of the mountains.

I hadn't been up Kanuka Brook before, so didn't know what to expect in the way of tracks/routes etc. Whether you would call what was there a track probably depends on your expectations. You wouldn't notice if you crossed it, but it certainly made the going pretty easy. It was good enough for me!

The aim was to ascend the ridge between two creeks about a kilometre upstream to a fire trail. I crossed the first creek and started up the hill on another vague track, before pulling out the map. Turned out the creek I had already crossed split into the two creeks a little way upstream, so I backtracked and walked up the creek bed. An interesting looking line of cliffs presented itself not far above me, and I headed up the ridge to meet them. After spotting what looked like a likely pass, it turned out to involve an exposed scramble up a steep slab with minimal hand holds. I backed off and went looking a little further. Good idea. Not far around the corner was an obvious ramp up to the next level, marked with a cairn at the top and the bottom. A few more broken cliff lines needed to be negotiated, but these were fairly easy, and I soon hit the fire trail. Looking back, there appeared to be a bit of a track going down the ridge I had climbed. But despite following it and a number of cairns, it seemed to vanish at about the first cliff line.

I set off along the old fire trail towards Red Hands Cave. A nasty cramp developed in my weak calf, and despite lots of stretching, I couldn't budge it. Once I hit the road, I welcomed the easy downhill to the picnic area as it took a bit of pressure off the calf. It was pretty hot by now, so I thought I would find somewhere shady to eat lunch. I wasn't sure if Red Hands Cave itself would have anything, but I figured it would be better than the picnic area up on the ridge. However, the "cave" in Red Hands Cave is well and truly walled off. Perspex and metal grills separate the hand paintings from Joe Public. I'm sure it's necessary to stop people from touching and vandalising. However, it had the effect of making me feel rather disconnected from the aborigines who painted them.

Since there wasn't much shade I pushed on to the junction of Red Hands Creek with Camp Fire Creek, and from there down towards Glenbrook Creek. I had to stop once for a break on a large rocky platform as my calf was continuing to cramp badly, but eventually I reached the pool at the causeway. Trying to have a nudie swim without offending someone proved a bit tricky there. I seemed to be a car magnet! Eventually there was a break in the traffic, and I cooled off. After lunch on a rock in the pool I started up the hill back to the car. Half way up a minibus carrying a large number of elderly ladies pulled over and offered me a lift. They had been checking out the roos at Euroka. My calf was still problematic, so I accepted their offer.