Another 1966 Three Peaks Trip

Notes by Graham Wootton

May 1966




Graham Wootton

Jim Box


In the sixties, most attempts that I was aware of were in the late autumn period, coinciding with the University Vacation for SUBW aspirants and also usually planned for the nearest full moon.  This period had the advantage of cool, pleasant weather to walk in but being only a month short of the winter solstice the daylight hours for walking were quite short.   The cooler weather also really required carrying a sleeping bag to be taken for comfortable overnight sleep and I remember also taking a frying pan and some steak to cook on the second night, all contained a Paddy Pallin three-pocket frameless pack.

I only did the trip once, in May 1966 with another SUBW member Jim Box who I believe later went on to represent Australia at the Winter Olympics in cross-country skiing.  We set out from Narrow Neck about 8.30 pm and reached the Cox via the then standard route of White Dog in about four hours.  Effective head torches were non-existent in those days but we managed OK with the aid of hand torches and moonlight for that section of the trip.  All the other walking was done in good daylight.

We managed to get about five hours sleep on the Cox before heading up onto the Low Gangerangs, Kooriecone Pass and subsequently Cloudmaker.  Neither of us had walked the sections beyond the Coxs River before and we did get a bit bushed and lost some time around Cloudmaker.  We then knocked off Paralyser reasonably smartly but because of the time we had lost and the shorter days we ran out of time to climb Guouogang that day and made a very comfortable camp on the Kanangra River with no water problems.

We set off early the next morning, climbed Nooroo Buttress and took the Queahgong- Mt Jenolan route.  Miles of mountain holly but the skip down the Gaspers Spur made it very worthwhile.  We then finished off via Breakfast Creek and Carlons Head and got back to the start in a bit over 43 hours.  We did not regret taking the time to get two reasonable nights’ sleep on the trip and felt much fresher for it after the trip.  I was out Narrow Neck two days later (in snow) on a trip with the ‘Springwood Presbyterian Bushwalking Club’ (forerunner of the Springwood Bushwalking Club) to Splendour Rock and return via Cedar Creek.  After that walk I was tired!  Carol Isaacs, Mitchell’s mother was also on the Splendour Rock trip and eventually went on with another SUBW member, Denise Black, to be the first two women to complete the Three Peaks in under 48 hours – I’m sure you know all about that trip. It is good to see you have people like Izuska Spaleniak carrying on the tradition.



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