Three Peaks

3-4 Nov 2001


All content copyright © Ashley Burke 2008. Not to be used for any purpose without permission.


Trip Report

TRIP: Three Peaks, 3-4 Nov 2001


Ashley Burke
Alex Makarenko
Scott Mills

TRIP REPORT (by Scott Mills, appended to by Ashley Burke):

(Ashley Burke)

OK, as Scott requests I'll briefly report on events after splitting from the others ...

Until Guouogang my side of events was similar to that of the others, except that they occurred a couple of hours earlier. Upon arriving at Guouogang at 5pm, after a long grind up the spectacular Nooroo ridge, I decided that in the remaining 2 hours of light I had two choices:

1. Sit on my backside.
2. Head off.

I chose the latter. The traditional way back via the Krungle Bungles and Breakfast Creek seemed like a good option - the last time I had gone back that way on a 3 peaks trip was in 1992 with Mr Bean. On the ridge between Mt Queahgong and Jenolan I found a spot which I couldn't bring myself to go past so camped there.

Next morning at about 5:30am I set off and headed over Mt Jenolan, down Gaspers Ridge to the Coxs, then walked upstream to breakfast Creek. Then it was up Breakfast Creek and Carlons Head to the Fire Tower. The climb up Carlons chains and the view from the top was one of the highlights of the trip. Then of course it was the foot pounding and knee knackering bash back along the neck to Katoomba.

Another great 3 peaks trip.

Trip time 41 hours.

Ashley Burke

> -----Original Message-----

(Scott Mills)

Got off to a good start from the start of the Neck at 8pm on Friday night. The walk to Coxs River was uneventful, through the overcast sky meant the occasional trip or stubbed toe on the way down the Yellow Dog track. The river at 1:30am and quick to hit the sack, the brooding weather decided to give us until 4am before descending with mist and patches of fine drizzle.

Up at 5am (uh!), the damp trio crossed the river and started up the Strongleg ridge on the way to the first peak. Ascending with Ashley in the lead, the drizzle set in steadily; leaving us cold and wet by the time the first peak was reached about 8:30am. The mood was further dampened by the fact that no one had brought a fly and there was discussion of pushing on back to the cave at Mobbs Soak after the 3rd peak if things didn't improve. Our numbed fingers made for embarrassingly scrawled logbook entries on Mt Cloudmaker (and some rather miserable team photos do doubt, Alex).

Shivering our way off the summit and over the knolls to Marooba Karoo ridge, Ashley pushed ahead to Kanangra Creek; while Alex and myself took a slower decent. Fortunately the mist gave way, making the navigation down to Thunder Bend and easy task.

A bit of confusion at the creek, with Alex and myself uncertain on Ashley's location. Undecided on whether he'd taken a different route down, or if he was looking for us, or if he's pushed on to the second peak; caused us to idle for over an hour around the base of the Mt Paralyser ascent. Eventually at 12:30 we decided to tie a note to a tree and push on to the second peak rather than backtrack.

The slow climb got us to the Mt Paralyser logbook at about 2:20pm, and were glad to see Ashley had summited about 2 hours before us. From this point on, Ashley gained an ever increasing lead and we weren't to see him again. The weather now fine and sunny, the two of us descended the pleasant ridge off Paralyser; and with the imposing Nooroo Buttress looming ahead, took the steep drop off down to Whalania Ck. Plenty of tree snatching and the odd ass slide later, we scrambled the final few sharp metres to the creek just before 5pm.

Tired, yet very thankful of the summer sunlight, it was quick break before the last (and highest) ascent. We were fortunate to get some great views off the rocky turrets on the way up before the mist and darkness set back in. Another slow climb, it took us three hours - Alex stumbling in sleep-deprived haze (afterall, it was 15 hours on the go) - to hit the gloomy Mt Guouagang summit. 8pm, three hours behind Ashley, and not a moment too soon. The torches came on as we rigged a shelter from a groundsheet and all our shoelaces. Dry meal. Zzzzz.

The rain stayed away, and the next morning we took a leisurely pace down to Mt Bullagowar and followed the ridge to the river. Weather excellent as we reached Konagaroo Clearing, it was an obvious, footsore trudge back up our Friday night route to Narrow Neck. Hardly the victorious finish, we simply noted a trip time of 46 hours 15 min, then trudged on to Katoomba station.

All in all, a long and grueling slog; balanced by some great scenery and amazing terrain.

Scott Mills

PS I'm sure Ashley can add with his side of events spanning the last two thirds of the trip, and what the other way out was like.


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All content copyright © Ashley Burke 2008. Not to be used for any purpose without permission.