Training walk, Thursday April 12, 2012.
Party: Saul Richardson and Will Gilbert.
Will and I met at Katoomba Station so I could show him the way to the Golden Stairs car park which would be the end of the walk. Leaving my car there, we drove down through Wentworth Falls to the locked gate carpark at the top of Kedumba Pass.
By about 9:00, we were underway. The trail is flat for a little while before falling away steeply towards the valley below, following a winding route clinging close to the cliff wall. Here I suggested that we run the down hills to save time. Will was for it, so off we went at a decent clip down the steep gravel service road.
Pausing only briefly for Will to take a photo of the view, and to open the pig gate, we made great time to the bottom. We slowed a bit in case I missed the narrow turn off onto the single track, but needn’t have worried: it was well signposted. We rushed on down to the crossing of Kedumba Creek, the lowest point of the day’s walk. There was no avoiding getting wet feet here, and we just splashed straight across the creek. I’ve seen trout here before, but nothing this time.
Next came the sharp climb up the pass to the Col on Mt Solitary’s eastern end. We weren’t too slow, but did have to pause for breath a few times. It really is quite steep, especially closer to the top. The views from the Col are worth the effort, though. Distant Lake Burragorang seemd much bigger than usual: we had had a lot of rain recently and Warragamba Dam was full. I signed the logbook while Will took another photo.
After a bite to eat, it was time to move on. While the Col marks the top of the major climb, it is actually uphill or the next couple of kilometres along the top of the mountain. There is a little downhill into chinaman’s Gully, but it doesn’t really level off until after thatm where a casuarina grove begins. Not long before the steep scramble down the Korrowal Knife Edge at the North Western end of Solitary.
Another photo stop for Will “one photo only”, the third for the day? The views over cedar valley are good though.
We made pretty fast time past the ruined castle turn off and to the bottom of the Golden Stairs. Twenty minutes later we were at the top, back at my car ready for the reverse car shuffle and the long drive home.
A good day, a couple of decent hills (up and down) to build the legs, and 26KM, roughly, in 5:30.