Sassafras to Wog Wog

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Sassafras to Wog Wog

Postby Huntsman247 » Thu 16 May, 2019 8:44 pm

Undertaken in the first week of May. Just been crazy busy so only now getting around to posting this. Along with 2 others, I lead a small group from Sassafras to Wog Wog going through Hollands Gorge. I’ve always been curious about it and it surpassed expectations.
I decided to splurge on luxuries this trip. Despite my base weight being in at around 10 kgs, my pack was around 24kgs once camera gear and luxury food and gear was included. It's been a while since I've had that much weight but it was worth it or so I kept telling myself as I sat on my chair every night and enjoyed some good red. lol.

Day 1
Started walking in from sassafras entrance at 6.30.
About 8.30 we turned off the fire trail and headed down the foot pad towards folly point. Bits of pink ribbon, not tape cut at lengths of about 15cms stuck only on obvious parts of the trail every turn. After the first couple, I decided to carry them out. The foot pad is well defined and easy to follow for the most part. But a lot of trees are fallen making walking with a pack a bit more awkward. Where the grass was longer I managed to step on the head of a large snake (tiger? maybe). It was barely moving after that... Poor thing.
Glad I decided to stick the gaiters on early.
We arrived at Folly point at lunchtime and we're planning of setting up camp that night up on top. But after consulting the forecast while we had the reception at the lookout, we learnt that we'd get rain later that afternoon till the next day. So we opted to go find the CC SE of Watson's pass.
So after an extended lunch, we left to go look for the CC. After Watson's pass, there is a cairned route to the CC after following the cliff line E a little but not completely to the end of the trail. It's easy to miss as the well-defined track continues. We missed it the first day and ended up bashing a good part of the way down and having to navigate some small cliffs to the creek at Endrick 490960. We dropped into the creek a bit too upstream and had an interesting time getting past the slippery drops and waterfalls in the creek. It was starting to get rather dark when I noticed a faint track heading back up out of the creek which funnily enough was the CC. This was a bit after 5, so a long day. Glad we didn't have to settle for whatever spot we could find because the forecast was right and we were able to stay dry. There is a small creek next to the cave that had about 20 semi-continuous drips going for it. We filled up our bottles with ease using an emergency blanket as a funnel.

Day 2
We planned to do a day trip and go see sluice box falls but when the weather is really rubbish and you’re in a dry cave by a nice fire the idea of bush bashing all day through some steep terrain is not overly appealing... So we opted to eat food and relax. By lunchtime, the weather cleared up and I'd had enough relaxing so we decided to go part way and at least see Munnuldi Falls. This trip took us about 3.5hrs. We headed up towards Watson’s pass again following the cairns this time (way easier, lol). From Watson’s you head straight down where if you have a keen eye you can find a bit of a route but that’s on & off. Just before Munnuldi Falls, there is a lovely CC very close to Camping Rock Creek which is also your access into the creek if you want to cross it I think. But that's as far as we decided to explore settling for a swim in an awesomely large and deep pothole in the creek. How it feels to be clean!
Then we headed back to our CC and got ready for an early start.
The shrub can get really thick between the falls and Watsons but if you stay on the spur the vegetation is pretty open by Budawang standards.

Day 3
We followed a track on the southern side of the creek next to the CC keeping elevation till it disappeared. After 5 minutes of searching, I opted to just find our own way instead of fluffing around to find where this track goes. Funnily enough, this was the last bit of pink tape we saw too for at least a day. I'd accumulated half an A4 ziplock full of pink ribbons and tape by this stage! We started to head down toward Camping Rock Creek and eventually followed the second tributary down to it. From here on it was surprisingly easy going by Budawang standards again. Just follow the cks and at times walk alongside it needed switching sides as needed. Absolutely stunning gorge scenery at this point. I will definitely be back. There were a few campsites before the junc of Camping rock ck & Hollands. Otherwise, the only flat spot is at the junc of Angel’s ck & Hollands. This campsite is absolutely superb but it was only after lunch. At this stage one member of the group was struggling and was rather tired. But we needed to make our pick up so we pushed on. From that campsite, we followed the ridge straight up which saved us dealing with scrub. This took as a while. A lot of waiting on our tired party member. I was particularly not looking forward to this bit due to the rapid climb in elevation but even though steep, if you’re reasonably fit it isn’t really bad. The lack of scrub bashing made it relatively easy for a steep climb. Even with my still 20kg pack I never felt like I needed to stop going up the ridge.
At the cliff line just northwest of crooked falls we found a track that follows the bottom towards angel ck and an abandoned pack which turns out was left there a few weeks prior when a guy got airlifted out with an ankle injury.
The track hugs the cliffs turning west where we left our tired party member to take a look at the crooked falls lookout. What a steep decent to the lookout. 100+m loss in about 50m. Well worth it though! Not the place to have a tumble.
Once we got back to our friend and packs we continued to follow the track. But it was getting rather dark at this stage. The track seemed to disappear we made our own way again but it was pretty open rainforest so not too bad. We came across a lovely flat bit near Angel’s ck which was as far as we got. By the time we took our packs off it was dark and we needed headlights. It was only about 4.30 but the canopy and the steepness of the gorge made it dark a whole hour and a half earlier.
Somehow the red tasted so much better after the steep climb. haha.

Day 4
Went and checked out the top of crooked falls before pushing on. I'd planned a shorter day as I was unsure of the terrain in Hollands gorge and the fitness of the party. We continued through Angles ck until the cairns stacked in the middle of the ck indicated our accent. These days there is a reasonable track from Angel’s ck up to the track going to Don Jon’s base. The pink tape began again but you'll be glad to note that the area is free of it once more. Water from the CC at Watson’s up to the accent at Angels is pretty solid. Next time I think I'd bring a little carabiner and leave the water bottles empty for that stretch and just use my cup; attaching it to my pack.
There was a bit off water to be hear between the "splendid" camp cave described in the Rod Doughton book and the small sandy overhang further up toward Don Jons Base. The next water we came across was on the outskirts of Mt Bibbenluke in the rainforest area between its 2 spurs. From the intersection of the Mt Cole/Monolith/Don Jon tracks its pretty well defined footpad as most probably know all the way out to the Wog Wog car park. We headed west past Cole and Bibbenluke. I wanted to go check out Murrumbooie Falls but no one else in the party was up for it so we kept on going.
Just before the intersection arriving at the intersection to Yurnga Lookout at about CORANG 396927 there is a VERY well maintained track heading SW. Very interested as to where it goes. The first 20m seems scrubby but the more you follow it the better it gets. We didn't have time to explore it further.
We decided to push on to camp near the Corang ribs after taking a look at Yurnga Lookout and skipping the Corang arch as those in my group were pretty wiped. Has anyone used the pass just below the lookout? Looks like you could use the ridge below it to make your way to the Yarboro River.
We got to our camp just before dark and had a fantastic view of the night’s sky. We saw lots of meteors from the meteor shower we just had and not a single cloud to contend with.

Day 5
We had a lazy morning and was planning to go for a swim in the morning but it was a bit fresh so we decided to walk to the Corang Lagoon for a swim after warming up first. Glad we went for a warm up as the water was an invigorating 7.1 degrees according to my watch. We had lunch and dried off in the sun before heading off and getting to the wog wog car park by 2.50. No signs of signs or anything from the property owner at the lagoon. Day 5 was the easiest day by far.

A few items:
I'm curious about a couple things.
First, has anyone here been to Don Jon? Is there a way up to the summit?
Second, on day 4, near Yurnga Lookout, the well maintained track. Anybody know anything about it?
Third, The pass at Yurnga. Has anyone explored it?

A few photos attached.
Attachments
DSC_0002.jpg
On the way to folly pt
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Where we dropped into the creek upstream of the CC
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Perfect pop corn! BBQ flavoured!
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A new angle of the castle for me.
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Munnuldi
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A Creek
DSC_0106.jpg
Camping Rock Ck
DSC_0132.jpg
In flight entertainment
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Hollands Creek
DSC_0143.jpg
Hollands Gorge
Last edited by Huntsman247 on Thu 16 May, 2019 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sassafras to Wog Wog

Postby Huntsman247 » Thu 16 May, 2019 8:47 pm

I haven't gone through all my photos yet but these are some enjoy.
Attachments
DSC_0144.jpg
Hollands Gorge
DSC_0146.jpg
Hollands Gorge
DSC_0175.jpg
Hollands Gorge
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Re: Sassafras to Wog Wog

Postby Grabeach » Thu 16 May, 2019 11:43 pm

I can only answer your first query. The only scrambling route up onto the Donjon (only ever seen it written as one word) is at the northern end. My recollections from 30 odd years ago were that it was fairly difficult and one could possibly walk straight by it unless you were specifically looking for a way up. There was no cairn back then.
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Re: Sassafras to Wog Wog

Postby crollsurf » Fri 17 May, 2019 7:53 am

Thanks Huntsman, you've got me motivated to get back down there. Might try a loop and come back to Sassafras via Quilty/Hidden Valley instead of heading to Wog Wog
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Re: Sassafras to Wog Wog

Postby insect_eater » Fri 17 May, 2019 10:21 am

Thanks huntsman for the detailed report and set of nice pics. I've decided to head in to Hidden Valley area this weekend rather than the Corang area, as I've realised that neither of us have been there.
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Re: Sassafras to Wog Wog

Postby Huntsman247 » Fri 17 May, 2019 11:21 am

crollsurf wrote:Thanks Huntsman, you've got me motivated to get back down there. Might try a loop and come back to Sassafras via Quilty/Hidden Valley instead of heading to Wog Wog
You could utilise a bike then to munch out the kms on the fire trail. Leaving them at the gate.
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Re: Sassafras to Wog Wog

Postby Huntsman247 » Fri 17 May, 2019 11:27 am

insect_eater wrote:Thanks huntsman for the detailed report and set of nice pics. I've decided to head in to Hidden Valley area this weekend rather than the Corang area, as I've realised that neither of us have been there.
I'd be interested to hear what getting to pagoda rocks is like. Or what the way down between Sturgiss & Elliot is like if you explore up there. Every time I've gone to the valley (4 times now) it's rained with no visibility so I've never bothered with it and just kept going.
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Re: Sassafras to Wog Wog

Postby insect_eater » Tue 21 May, 2019 5:54 am

We did have glorious weather - still and sunny - even warm - and didnt want to leave the top of quilty's mountain, but alas, i rolled an ankle badly (tendons snapping with a crack) on a little hidden lyrebird-scratched undercut on the track just before the hidden valley turnoff. My first trail injury in four decades of hiking. After a restless night i limped and rode (one-legged) back to the car with single-minded determination after much joking about where choppers could land or the height of tree and density of canopy that the could winch through, and how to wangle it that the pack wasnt left behind. Regardless, it was a beautiful way to spend an election weekend. So i didnt get to explore around Sturgiss, or even get to Styles creek. Ill be back to do that and to look for my custom tooth guard that i must've droped some where on the track (in a small snaplok bag).
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Re: Sassafras to Wog Wog

Postby Huntsman247 » Tue 21 May, 2019 5:06 pm

insect_eater wrote:We did have glorious weather - still and sunny - even warm - and didnt want to leave the top of quilty's mountain, but alas, i rolled an ankle badly (tendons snapping with a crack) on a little hidden lyrebird-scratched undercut on the track just before the hidden valley turnoff. My first trail injury in four decades of hiking. After a restless night i limped and rode (one-legged) back to the car with single-minded determination after much joking about where choppers could land or the height of tree and density of canopy that the could winch through, and how to wangle it that the pack wasnt left behind. Regardless, it was a beautiful way to spend an election weekend. So i didnt get to explore around Sturgiss, or even get to Styles creek. Ill be back to do that and to look for my custom tooth guard that i must've droped some where on the track (in a small snaplok bag).
Sorry to hear! Sounds like you need taller boots. Lol. Hope it heals up quickly.
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