3 Peaks The Shortest Way

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3 Peaks The Shortest Way

Postby roo12 » Wed 13 Jul, 2016 12:39 pm

Just came back from doing 3 Peaks the shortest way starting and finishing at Kanangra Walls - thought I'd let you know how it went. My buddy and I followed basically the same route as is described by Caro Ryan here - only we went the opposite way.

In short, we planned to go:

Day 1: Mt Cloudmaker
Camp night 1: Thunder Bend
Day 2: Mt Paralyser
Camp night 2: Junction of Whalania Creek and Kanangra Creek
Day 3: Mt Guougang

We drove up to the Boyd Crossing camping ground Friday night after stopping by nearly every gas station on the way looking for kerosene. Finally found a single bottle at the gas station in Wentworth Falls after first visiting all the ones around Katoomba.

Got up early Saturday, parked the car at the Kanangra Walls car park and was on the trail to Mount Cloudmaker by 7am. The trail is easy to follow and we walked in cloudy but unseasonably warm weather all morning - perfect!

Side note: While taking a break and checking the map at Gabe's Gap, we realised that the el cheapo compass my hiking buddy has brought is actually pointing south.

We reached the top of Cloudmaker by about 12.30 and backtracked a little to start on the ridge towards Mt Goowong, from where we'd start descending into the valley towards Thunder Bend. The plan was to follow the ridge into the valley and more or less hit Thunder Bend. Turns out it can be really difficult to follow these steep ridges straight and we ended up perhaps a kilometer away from the planned camp site. The area around the creek was very over grown and practically every step we took meant fighting off branches and razor blade shrubs. Found a half decent camp site minutes before sundown and just managed to get a little fire going from the wet wood we found on the ground.

Day 2 was pretty obvious as we were sleeping on the foot of Paralyser: up, up, up. We started climbing up the ridge around 7.30 and took regular breaks as we moved up the ridge to finally hit the top about 11.00. The last record in the log book was from a month earlier so we were pretty sure we were alone in the area.

Going down from Paralyser we managed to hit the wrong ridge (again) which took us about a kilometer away from our planned camp site (again). But the descent looked to be easier than our planned route and it gave us a chance to see a beautiful stretch of Kanangra Creek and trout which must have been in the 1-1.5kg range. Wouldn't mind coming back and spending a few days up here! Camped near the junction of Whalania and Kanangra Creek and got in the sleeping bags early to be ready for the longest day.

On the morning of Day 3 we crossed the river and were once again standing at the bottom of a very steep ridge - Bullogowar Ridge. Instead of going to the end of the ridge to begin climbing, we decided to save some time and go straight up. The ridge leading up to Mt Bullogowar is rocky and steep in sections but overall a great experience with a nice view. It started raining about halfway up and it would only get worse on the way to the top.

With Mt Bullogowar behind us, we headed west on the final ascent - the saddle between Mt Bullogowar and Mt Guougang. At the end of this saddle there is a heap of rocks which you can't go over - you have to walk to the right/north side of it. We finally reached the top of Guougang in pouring rain and quickly learned that the infamous thick shrub on this mountain has not been exaggerated. It is absolutely infuriating trying to get through and it must have taken us about half an hour to find the summit with the log book, again at about 11am.

The final leg back to the car went from Mt Guougang to Ferny Flat where we planned to follow a 4WD only track. It took us a while to locate it as it is pretty overgrown in places. We followed the track for a few hours, seeing wallabies every few steps and finally hit the Kanangra Walls road around 3pm. As it was Monday afternoon there was no traffic on the road and we couldn't hitch a ride before we met Navy man Tom at the Boyd River camping ground who drove us down to our car. Thanks again Tom!

Quick conclusions: We did the trip as a trial for the 3 Peaks Challenge to get to know the terrain a little. It's certainly a tough walk and I can understand all the failed attempts we read about in the log books. Water was not a problem but only really available at our camp sites - all the gullies we passed were dry.
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Re: 3 Peaks The Shortest Way

Postby kanangra » Wed 13 Jul, 2016 4:23 pm

Great trip well done. Personally I prefer Bullagowar Buttress. It is the best ridge climb in the BM's.

K
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Re: 3 Peaks The Shortest Way

Postby puredingo » Fri 15 Jul, 2016 6:09 pm

Unreal! Well done.
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Re: 3 Peaks The Shortest Way

Postby rcaffin » Wed 14 Sep, 2016 8:11 pm

Thunder Bend: Leech Central! Unreal.
Guougang: there used to be a track from Bullogowar to the G cairn. If you miss that track, THICK scrub.
Bullogowar Ridge: it's OK but Nooroo Buttress is 'more fun'. One of the steepest and highest straight climbs in NSW (just under 1,000 m). Some tape or rope might be advised in one or two places.

Cheers
Roger
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