11/06/2007 - report - photos

Participants: Tom Brennan, Rachel Grindlay

With the storms and rain on Friday and Saturday we had aborted our trip to Kanangra. Instead we headed up on Monday to Narrow Neck for a bit of mountain biking and bushwalking. Driving out along Glenraphael Drive to the far parking area we drove past a familiar figure. At least the hat was familiar. Ashley Burke, Jo Boyd and a friend were carrying a couple of ropes to abseil Castle Head. Ashley asked whether their 40m and 65m ropes would do the trick. I couldn't remember, but figured they should be OK (I had a look at home later, the longest abseil is 45m but can be avoided by some shorter ones).

It was very cold as we set off on the bikes and we were wearing pretty much every article of clothing we had. I stopped half way up the first hill and wondered why Rachel wasn't behind me. She took about five minutes to turn up, somewhat grumpy. Her chain had fallen off and I hadn't heard her call out.

I was a bit surprised when the fire tower turned up. I had expected us to take a bit longer. We locked the bikes up and walked out to Clear Hill. I hadn't descended Taros Ladders before so that was a new experience. I also went for a wander and eventually found what looked like Duncans Pass (or at least what is incorrectly marked as Duncans Pass). Then we headed over Deberts Knob, a pleasant walk, and down to Medlow Gap for a morning tea stop. I was keen to head out on Black Horse Ridge and down to Breakfast Creek to get a bit of exercise, but Rachel was feeling a bit sick, so we headed up the fire trail towards Carlons Head.

The climb up the chains was more awkward than I remembered. Some of the rings are getting pretty rusty, and one of them wobbles a bit! Not very comforting. We had lunch to great views of the Wild Dogs from the top of the chains, and then headed back to Bushwalkers Hill along the track which was littered with dead trees.

The sky by this stage was dark grey and very ominous, and we could see rain out over parts of the Megalong Valley heading our way. The ride back to the car was easier than the ride out, and the rain held off other than a few drops. Being the last day of a long weekend the traffic was atrocious, and I turned back into Katoomba and took the back way. It got us home in an hour and three quarters, a lot less than the four and a half someone at work ended up taking!