Passes of Narrow Neck

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Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby YoungCodger » Wed 04 Aug, 2021 2:52 pm

Hi all. Are there are any passes that I don't know about?

Done
Duncan's Pass
Tarros Ladder
Dog Face Gully / Landslide Gully
Wall's Pass
Mitchell's Creek Pass / Coachwood Pass
Rock Pile Pass
Manson's Chains / Carlon Head
Golden Stairs
Red Ledge
Dickson's ladders / Water board ladders
Dunphy's Pass
Harmil Ledge
Black Billy Head

To do (abseiling or climbing involved)
Diamond Head
Castle Head
Glenraphael Head

Heard of - hoping for more details
Cedar Head: stone steps and burnt out wooden ladders.
Blue Gum Pass: a gentle sloping fallen tree up the difficult lowest cliff of Fools Paradise, the headwaters of Mitchell’s Creek.

Theoretically there are an infinite number of abseils that could be done off Narrow Neck - I'm more interested in bushwalking passes.
The Keats/Fox book is out of print, but I can see online that is has a chapter titled "Other Passes off Narrow Neck". Have I missed any of those?
I'll have a look at Jim Barrett's monogram (also out of print) when the National Library is accessible again. If someone could tell me whether it has any I've missed, that would be great.

Thanks!
Last edited by YoungCodger on Thu 05 Aug, 2021 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby jonnosan » Wed 04 Aug, 2021 6:34 pm

If Landslide Gully can be considered part of Narrowneck, probably for completeness The Devil's Hole should be as well. Maybe even the Boars Head abseil.
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby YoungCodger » Wed 04 Aug, 2021 8:28 pm

jonnosan wrote:If Landslide Gully can be considered part of Narrowneck, probably for completeness The Devil's Hole should be as well. Maybe even the Boars Head abseil.


Thanks.

I just included Landslide Gully because when you top out you appear on Glenraphael Drive. It's arguable too.
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby tom_brennan » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 3:16 pm

Some of the "passes" listed in both Jim Barrett's book, and the Keats/Fox book are somewhat speculative. Similar with the Wilf Hilder list.

Cedar Head (Jim Barrett) - I'd be interested in seeing photo evidence of the "Old steps cut into the rock ... on the nose of Cedar Head" as mentioned by Jim Barrett
Miners Pass (Wilf Hilder) - this is probably just part of Duncans Pass
Castle Head (Jim Barrett) - "The Jamison Valley miners in the Ruined Castle area used passes at the Golden Stairs and at Castle Head." Keats/Fox did investigate this and didn't find any evidence. It seems unlikely to me - there are too many large drops
Rock Pile Pass (Keats/Fox) - the pass as described in their book is not the actual Rock Pile Pass(!). However, it is negotiable via one exposed scramble/climb, so is arguably a pass. Perhaps needs a different name
Glenraphael Head - as far as I can tell, the route as described by Jim Barrett is the same as for Harmil Ledge, other than leaving the ledge earlier (on ascent), but being harder. I'd consider them variants of the same pass, similar to Tarros Ladder/Wallaby Track being parts of Duncans Pass.
Blue Gum Pass - I imagine the Blue Gum is gone, but it seems like it was in the vicinity of Coachwood Pass in any case

So I would have as my list the following:
Golden Stairs
Walls Pass
Duncans Pass (inc Tarros Ladder/Wallaby Track)
Dunphys Pass
Glenraphael Head/Harmil Ledge
Manson's Ladders (Carlon Head)
Black Billy Head
Mitchells Creek (Coachwood Pass)
Rock Pile Pass (Holbeach)
Rock Pile Pass (Keats/Fox)
Red Ledge Pass
Diamond Head
Dicksons Ladders (Water Board ladders) - depends on condition of "ladders"
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby YoungCodger » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 6:01 pm

tom_brennan wrote:Some of the "passes" listed in both Jim Barrett's book, and the Keats/Fox book are somewhat speculative. Similar with the Wilf Hilder list....


Thanks for a detailed response Tom! That leaves me with a much more manageable list.
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby YoungCodger » Thu 05 Aug, 2021 10:25 pm

tom_brennan wrote:...
Rock Pile Pass (Holbeach)
Rock Pile Pass (Keats/Fox)...


One more question if you don't mind - where is Graeme's rock pile pass?
We did this route:
rock pile pass.JPG
rock pile pass.JPG (51.78 KiB) Viewed 2546 times

2FWb7gOHlOSuRDKI40zYOhZHQvQwFAvJzb1MJzlyhFc-1536x2048.jpg


I just found a comment from Graeme Holbeach https://fatcanyoners.org/2011/01/23/narrowneck2/ that suggests his original pass is not where we were (SW of Red ledge). However, your blog's photo shows the same rock pile that we visited: https://ozultimate.com/tom/bushwalking/2018/20180701_rockpile-mitchells/photos.htm

Did Graeme drop down North of the rock pile in my photo (perhaps on to the ledge which we continued South along)? I did see a nice appealing ledge running North out of the pass which I haven't explored yet. Or further South, past the Far Side climbing area?

Thanks for your time!
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby tom_brennan » Fri 06 Aug, 2021 1:06 pm

From what I can tell, you did Graeme Holbeach's Rock Pile Pass (the original one). It descends the minor gully to the Rock Pile, and then south past the Far Side climbing area.

The fake Rock Pile Pass (Keats/Fox) follows the the main ridge to the west of Red Ledge. There is one drop requiring abseiling/scrambling/climbing depending on which direction you are going. I've only abseiled down, but I can see where you would climb up. I know of people who have, but they did have a good climber get up and put down a rope.

I haven't done it, but it is possible to walk from the Red Ledge to the top of the abseil.
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby YoungCodger » Sat 07 Aug, 2021 7:31 pm

Thanks for your pointers! We did Diamond Head Pass and fake Rock Pile Pass today.

We followed the climbers ledge past Diamond Falls and descended the nose of Diamond Head. Had abseiling gear in case it was sketchy, but it turned out to be very sensible unexposed scrambling the whole way down. Set up a tape sling once but didn't need it. I will happily repeat the pass from the bottom now that I realise how safe the best line is.

I walked down the ramp between the two Rock Pile passes to see if that ledge connects easily to the original rock pile pass - it does. Then we abseiled down the fake rock pile pass. From the base of the cliff, I looked at the three possible climbing lines up, each around 8m, and started the first 2-3m of each to test them. That climb is on a completely different level of difficulty to all the other Narrow Neck passes - for anyone else reading, I don't think the fake rock pile "pass" belongs in a scrambler's to-do list. It's a frisky move for a competent climber, it's beyond scrambling. I had no issues with Manson's Chains, Walls Pass, Landslide Gully and so on, but this one is basically vertical and relies on brittle sandstone without any safety. Maybe there's a safer option that I missed, didn't poke around for too long.

Now on to the fun adventure of looking for passes that I haven't heard about!
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby YoungCodger » Sun 15 Aug, 2021 8:12 pm

Has anyone heard of a walk from Dunphy's Pass further along the ledge to Glenraphael Falls?
Someone mentioned that they read a trip report from a long time ago, but I haven't been able to find anything.
Thanks!
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby tom_brennan » Mon 16 Aug, 2021 12:08 pm

YoungCodger wrote:Has anyone heard of a walk from Dunphy's Pass further along the ledge to Glenraphael Falls?
Someone mentioned that they read a trip report from a long time ago, but I haven't been able to find anything.


I recall Graeme Holbeach talking about this, but I can't remember in what forum.
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby YoungCodger » Mon 16 Aug, 2021 3:46 pm

Thanks Tom. Here it is: https://fatcanyoners.org/2011/06/05/narrowneck-passes/

Edit: someone did Graeme's route very recently! https://www.whatworkedforme.com/blog/Un ... owneckPass
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby yellowdog » Mon 30 Aug, 2021 2:57 pm

What's the pass off the same ledge as Redledge but further around to the west? Years ago, Rogo took me down Mitchells Creek pass and we then skirted the large property visible on google maps. We then climbed up, and ascended a walk-up pass that involved no rock climbing. I seem to remember it ascending a bit diagonally and remember looking down and thinking "you wouldn't want to slip here" even though is was easy going, From the top we followed the ledge east and came to the top of Redledge Pass. I don't think that this pass was mentioned above. Maybe it doesn't have a name but is just Redledge Mark 2.
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby YoungCodger » Mon 30 Aug, 2021 6:31 pm

Intriguing. Are you talking about a different slot to ascend, that is less than 100m SW of the actual slot (with the chock stone)?

Or are you talking about somewhere closer to the head 500m SW? That’s the pass people mistakenly refer to as Rock Pile Pass. I’ve explored the head there, and not seen an easy scramble, only 8m vertical climbs.

Perhaps we missed a spot to ascend, either there or somewhere NE on the way to Redledge?
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby YoungCodger » Mon 30 Aug, 2021 6:33 pm

You might also be describing the actual Rock Pile Pass, and simply followed the ledge all the way around the head? That sounds like a great walk!
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby yellowdog » Tue 31 Aug, 2021 4:41 pm

Ah, quoting from "https://www.whatworkedforme.com/blog/DiamondHead", I think that this is the pass that we came up about 15 years ago:

Start quote
Redledge again
After this short ramp a very welcome faint track can be found heading back towards Redledge Pass, thus avoiding the inevitable. Less than twenty minutes of hugging the cliff base sees the Pass. As an alternative to the well known Pass, about 50m before it (& a little higher) is a slightly steeper route. This has no chockstone, but ends up at the by now familiar red ledge.
End quote

Easy ascent and closer to normal Redledge (ie. the chockstone) than Rock Pile or Fake Rock Pile.

It probably deserves its own pass name.
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Re: Passes of Narrow Neck

Postby YoungCodger » Wed 01 Sep, 2021 12:21 am

I went down that a few times before I realised the slot with the chock stone is the easier and more common choice. The view at the top of the one you’re describing is better though.
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