Sunday, September 2, 2018

Burra Korain Head to Hanging Rock, crossing Crayfish Creek, Blue Mts, NSW, Australia


2018 September:  Day-trip
     to Burra Korain Head
     then cross Crayfish Creek
     to Hanging Rock
Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia


Prolog - Hanging Rock

Photographer: AC
Hanging Rock is best remembered by the above photographs ... a fissure separating it from the main cliff.
And you need to jump over it ... not for the faint hearted !


Today's trip

Plenty of hikers have walked along Burra Korain Ridge to Burra Korain Head.

And plenty of them have walked along Burramoko Ridge to Hanging Rock.

But hardly any one has done a circuit walk:
     - to Burra Korain Head,
     - then cross Crayfish Creek,
     - to Hanging Rock at Burramoko Head.

Well, from the Internet, there is no description of how this can be done.

Reason: Typical Blue Mountains terrain, both Burra Korain Head and Burramoko Head are surrounded by unscalable cliffs. And so, how to cross Crayfish Creek to go from one Head to the other is not obvious.

Well, today, YM, AC and I are going to check out the feasibility of this circuit walk.


Previous trips to Hanging Rock & Burra Korain Head

- Hanging Rock, 2018 February :

7 months ago, in 2018 February, I went to Hanging Rock with 5 others: FM, FB, NC, HT, JR.

It was a simple firetrail walk along Burramoko Ridge, 1.5 hours one-way.

Hanging Rock was interesting; but the walk along the firetrail was boring. It prompted me to ask the question: Why can't this walk be made more interesting, by first going to Burra Korain Head; then cross Crayfish Creek to Hanging Rock at Burramoko Head ?  ...


- Burra Korain Head, 2018 May :

... And so, 4 months ago, in 2018 May, KZ, KY and I explored ways to cross Crayfish Creek from Burra Korain Head.

We failed. The slope we intended to climb down to Crayfish Creek was too steep for our liking.

I suspect even though the slope was steep, it was possible to climb down. But at the time, looking at the terrain, we weren't sure once we were to go down, whether it was possible to climb up the cliffs of Burramoko Head on the other side of the creek. And so, we chickened out from climbing down.

Refer to map 3 below for the route we took.

But today, with 2 good climbers, YM & AC, and armed with a climbing tape, we are successful in crossing Crayfish Creek ! Although this time we take a different route from the 2018 May trip ... as shown in Map 3.


Post Script: Crayfish Canyon & Creek to Hanging Rock

2 years later, in 2020 December, I'll go to Hanging Rock via Crayfish Creek Canyon & Caryfish Creek.
Trip report will be written up one day.

For now, some interesting photos are in this link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mkRa_QiflNCkxLY0_P0z10B1gTxW11k_/view?usp=sharing


Maps

- 1:25,000 scaled Mount Wilson 8930-1N
- 1:50,000 scaled Blue Mountains North by Spatial Visions Innovation, 1st edition
- 1:100,000 scaled Katoomba 8930

[Map 1]  Below is the relevant part of the 1:25,000 scaled map.


GPS tracklog file & Route

The GPX tracklog file of our walk can be downloaded from:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/18CJYbYkuJV9uS8HPP0xdmeNXzF3ABJDs/view?usp=sharing

[Map 2]  Below is our tracklog in red as a clockwise circuit superimposed on the 1:25,000 map.
- 4 red arrows near top of map, from left to right:
       1: Main rocky platform, between GR 498 820 and GR 498 821
       2: Lookout 1, GR 497 822 (almost at GR 497 821), a rock
       3: Lookout 2, GR 499 821, a rocky outcrop jutting out from the main cliff
       4: Lookout 3, GR 500 820, narrow strip by the cliff edge
- A group of 7 red arrows further down the map, from left to right:
       1: Lookout 4, GR 500 808, a pagoda-like rock formation
       2: An almost dry waterfall, GR 501 806 (almost at GR 500 806)
       3: Where we use a climbing tape to climb down the cliff, GR 501 806
       4: Lookout 5, GR 502 805 (almost at GR 501 805), small rocky area on a cliff edge
       5: Lookout 6, GR 504 809, a rocky area north-west of Hanging Rock
       6: Hanging Rock (In the map, the label "Hanging Rock" is wrongly placed. It should be at this arrow.)
       7: Baltzer Lookout (In the map, the label "Baltzer Lookout" is wrongly placed, It should be at this arrow.)
- Red arrow at bottom left corner: Carpark by a locked gate, GR 484 765, Ridgewell Road, Blackheath


[Map 3]  Zooming into the upper half of the above map, including part of 2018 May's tracklog ~~~
- Red line: Our tracklog for today's trip
- Red dots: Part of 2018 May's tracklog ... up to where we chickened out from climbing down to Crayfish Creek
- 4 red arrows from top to bottom:
       1: An almost dry waterfall, GR 501 809 ... In 2018 May, our progress to Crayfish Creek was stopped abruptly there.
           Dots to the east of this arrow: We walked along a ledge there to see whether there might be a way down.
           Well, the slope down to Crayfish Creek was steep and scrubby, but I think it is possible to climb down.
           However, we chickened out from doing it.
       2: Lookout 4, GR 500 808, a pagoda-like rock formation
       3: An almost dry waterfall, GR 501 806 (almost at GR 500 806)
       4: Lookout 5, GR 502 805 (almost at GR 501 805), small rocky area on a cliff edge
           (On the map, lookout 5 is below the cliff. The map is wrong. The lookout is on top of the cliff.)
- Red oval: Narrow gully, photos #38 to #46


Satellite image of map #2


Summary of our route:
-  Start at a carpark by a locked gate on Ridgewell Road, Blackheath
-  Walk to a locked gate at the boundary of Blue Mountains National Park
-  Along top of Burra Korain Ridge to Burra Korain Head
-  Cross Crayfish Creek
-  Climb up Burramoko Head via a narrow gully
-  To Baltzer Lookout
-  To Hanging Rock
-  To a rocky area (labelled as lookout 6) north-west of Hanging Rock
-  Back to the car along top of Burramoko Ridge


Timeline & Distance

Park AC's car at a carpark by a locked gate on Ridgewell Road, Blackheath.
Grid Ref of carpark: 484 765

07:51   0.0  km  Start walking along Ridgewell Road.
08:09   1.5  km  At a locked gate, GR 492 777, boundary of Blue Mountains Nat Pk
08:10   1.55km  Go off-road. Walk on a foot track along the top of Burra Korain Ridge.
09:48   6.4  km  At main rocky platform of Burra Korain Head, between GR 498 820 and GR 498 821

Morning tea

10:05   6.4  km  Resume walking.
10:11   6.55km  At lookout 1, GR 497 822 (almost at GR 497 821), north of main rocky platform

10:15   6.55km  Start climbing down lookout 1.
10:16   6.6  km  Stop to take photographs of AC and YM at lookout 1.

10:22   6.6  km  Resume walking.
10:27   6.8  km  At lookout 2, GR 499 821

10:29   6.8  km  Resume walking.
10:39   7.1  km  At lookout 3, GR 500 820 (Nothing special here, can be skipped in future walks.)

10:42   7.1  km  Resume walking.
11:16   8.45km  At lookout 4, GR 500 808

11:20   8.45km  Start climbing down east side of lookout 4, then head south towards Crayfish Creek.
11:46   8.75km  At an almost dry waterfall, GR 501 806 (almost at GR 500 806)

Discuss among ourselves on how to proceed next.

11:54   8.75km  Start traversing slope on right-hand side of the waterfall.
12:00   8.8  km  At GR 501 806 where the cliff is not too high, so I let down a tape for us to climb down.

More detail on what happens in this hour is in the write-up between photo #29 and #30.

13:05   8.8  km  YM and I have climbed down with the assistance of the tape.

Wait for AC to climb down.
Then I put the climbing tape back into the backpack.

13:09   8.8  km  Start walking southward (upstream) along Crayfish Creek.
13:38   9.0  km  At mouth of a tributary on east side of Crayfish Creek ... Start walking into the tributary.
13:40   9.05km  Leave the tributary. Start going north into a narrow gully.
14:03   9.1  km  At top of the gully ... after some steep climbs in the gully
14:09   9.25km  At lookout 5, GR 502 805 (almost at GR 501 805)

14:13   9.25km  Start walking eastward towards Burramoko Ridge.
14:27   9.75km  At Burramoko Trail on top of Burramoko Ridge
14:29   9.8  km  At Baltzer Lookout

Lunch

14:56   9.8  km  Resume walking.
15:11  10.0 km  At fissure separating Hanging Rock from the main cliff

Jump over fissure to Hanging Rock.
Spend some time there.
Jump back to the main cliff.

15:22  10.05km  Resume walking.
15:30  10.3  km  At lookout 6, GR 504 809 (north-west of Hanging Rock)

15:35  10.3  km  Turn around.
15:38  10.5  km  Back at fissure separating Hanging Rock from the main cliff
15:47  10.7  km  Back at Baltzer Lookout
16:30  14.4  km  Back at locked gate, GR 492 777, boundary of Blue Mountains Nat Pk
16:46  15.9  km  Back at carpark

==============================================

Total:  8 hrs 55 mins
           15.9km  Distance is from Google Earth based on an idealized plot of our route


Pictures - Firetrail To Blue Mts Nat Pk boundary

We take AC's car to a carpark at Ridgewell Road. There is a gate at Grid Ref 484 765 which prevents cars from going any further.

1)  From the carpark, there is a firetrail towards Hanging Rock.
Here, the firetrail is Ridgewell Road. It changes its name to Burramoko Trail after crossing into Blue Mountains National Park.


2)  We come to a locked gate at GR 492 777 marking the boundary of Blue Mountains National Park.
- Turquoise sign on the left:
       Blue Mountains
       National Park
- Orange sign on the right:
       WARNING
       REMOTE
       SURVEILLANCE
       CAMERA USED
       IN THIS AREA
I can't find the surveillance camera; and in any case, what is the camera for? Maybe to detect motorcycles?


To Burra Korain Head

3)  Almost immediately after passing the locked gate of the previous pic, we leave the firetrail by turning left (north). There is a foot track along the top of Burra Korain Ridge towards Burra Korain Head.
The foot track is easy to follow. But there are places where the track is indistinct. And so, you should have navigation skill or carry a GPS if you wish to walk all the way to Burra Korain Head.
- Right pic, left to right: AC, me (Photographer: YM)


4)  Not long into the foot track is this wrecked car.


5)  Almost a signature rock along the foot track to Burra Korain Head


Flora along the foot track to Burra Korain Head

6)  Acacia terminalis (Sunshine Wattle)


7)  Banksia spinulosa (Hairpin Banksia)
(Photographs taken in the 2018 May trip)


8)  Lambertia formosa (Mountain Devil)
(Photograph taken in the 2018 May trip)


9)  Isopogon anemonifolius (Broad-leaved drumsticks)


10)  Scribbly Gum, Eucalyptus sclerophylla  (correct me if I'm wrong.)
I always like their bark patterns.
(Photographs taken in the 2018 May trip)


Burra Korain Head - main rocky platform

We arrive at the main rocky platform of Burra Korain Head.
Grid Ref: Between GR 498 820 and GR 498 821

11)  (Photograph taken in the 2018 May trip)
It is a large platform.
- KZ is the star here.
- Red oval: Victoria Creek
- Continuation to the right of this pic is photo #12. In fact, this pic and photo #12 form a 360-degree panorama.


12)  (Continuation to the right of previous pic)
- The pics here are taken in this trip (whereas the previous pic was taken in the 2018 May trip.)
- Upper pic:
       • Red oval: Towards north-west ... Asgard Brook flows down the valley towards Victoria Creek.
       • Yellow arrow: We'll be climbing this rock soon, labelled as lookout 1, GR 497 822 (almost at GR 497 821).
       • The cliffs between the red oval and yellow arrow belong to  Asgard Head.
       • Victoria Creek flows horizontally across the bottom of the pic.
- Middle pic: (Continuation to the right of the upper pic)
       • Yellow arrow: Same yellow arrow as in the upper pic
- Lower pic: (Continuation to the right of the middle pic)
       • Red oval: I'll be standing there to take photo #14. (This rocky platform is large.)
       • 2 guys on the right edge, from left to right: AC, YM
- Continuation to the right of the lower pic is photo #11, thus completing a 360-degree panorama.


13)  Still at the main rocky platform ~~~
- KY looking at the cliffs forming Asgard Head  (Photograph taken in the 2018 May trip)


14)  I am now at the red oval of the lower pic of photo #12.
The 3 pics below together with photo #15 form a 360-degree panorama.
- Upper pic:
       • Centred towards south-west
- Middle pic: (Continuation to the right of the upper pic)
       • Centred towards north-west
       • Main rocky platform of Burra Korain Head forms the bulk of this pic.
       • Red circle: I was standing there when taking photo #12.
       • The cliffs at the centre of this pic (and to the left of the red circle) belong to Asgard Head.
- Lower pic: (Continuation to the right of the middle pic)
       • Main rocky platform of Burra Korain Head forms the bulk of this pic.
- Continuation to the right of the lower pic is photo #15.


15)  (Continuation to the right of previous pic)
From here, we can see Burramoko Head and Hanging Rock ... we'll be going there later on.
- Upper pic:
       • Red arrow: Burramoko Head / Baltzer Lookout, towards south-south-east.
       • Continuation to the right of this pic is photo #14, thus completing a 360-degree panorama.
- Lower pic: Zooming into Burramoko Head of the upper pic
       • Left red arrow: Red circle in photo #54
       • Right red arrow: Burramoko Head / Baltzer Lookout
       • Red oval: Hanging Rock


Lookout 1 (north of the main rocky platform)

We are going to climb the rock pointed by the yellow arrow in photo #12.
- GR 497 822 (almost at GR 497 821)
- Located north of the main rocky platform
- Also the northern tip of Burra Korain Head

For the purpose of this report, I label the rock as lookout 1.

16)  The rock we are going to climb is at the centre of each of the 3 pics below.
- Upper pic:
       • Valley left of the rock: Victoria Creek flows there.
       • Valley above the rock: Grose River flows there.
- Middle & Lower pics: YM is approaching closer and closer to the rock.


17)  At top of the rock ~~~
- Upper & middle pics: Left to right: YM, AC
- Lower pic, left to right: YM, me (Photographer: AC)


18)  From the top of the rock, looking back at Burra Korain Head's main rocky platform ... We came from there.
- Red arrow: I was standing there when taking photos #11 and #12.
- This pic, together with the 3 pics in photo #19, form a 360-degree panorama.


19)  Still at top of the rock ~~~
- Upper pic: (Continuation to the right of previous pic)
       • Valley across the pic from left to right: Victoria Creek flows in there.
- Middle pic: (Continuation to the right of the upper pic)
       • Cliffs on the left side of the pic: Asgard Head
       • Valley in the middle of the pic and to the right of Asgard Head: Grose River flows in there.
- Lower pic: (Continuation to the right of the middle pic)
       • AC is at the bottom of the pic
- Continuation to the right of the lower pic is photo #18, thus completing a 360-degree panorama.


Lookout 2 (east of the main rocky platform)

20)  After lookout 1, it is to lookout 2, GR 499 821, a rocky outcrop jutting out from the main cliff.
- Upper pic: Left to right: KZ, KY  (Photograph taken in the 2018 May trip)
       • Large valley diagonally across the pic: Grose River flows in there.
- Lower pic: YM is at the lookout.  (Photograph taken in this trip)


21)  180-degree panorama from lookout 2  (To enlarge the image, click on it.)
- 5 red arrows, from left to right:
       1 Asgard Head ... north-west
       2 Liversidge Hill
       3 Rigby Hill ... east
       4 Mt Banks
       5 Mt Hay ... east-south-east
- Grose River flows in the large valley to the right of Asgard Head. The river then turns to flow horizontally eastward towards Mt Hay.
- Continuation to the right of this pic is photo #22.
2 years ago, in 2016, I climbed Rigby Hill from Victoria Fall Lookout. Photographs and trip report are in:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/rigby-hill-victoria-falls-nsw-blue-mts.html


22)  (Continuation to the right of previous pic)
- Upper pic: Centred towards south-east-ish
       • 3 red arrows, from left to right:
            1 Mt Banks
            2 Mt Hay
            3 Burramoko Head / Baltzer Lookout
- Lower pic: Zooming to Burramoko Head
       • Red arrow: Burramoko Head / Baltzer Lookout
       • Red oval: Hanging Rock and the fissure separating it from the main cliff


Lookout 3 (south-east of lookout 2)

After lookout 2, it is to lookout 3:
- GR 500 820
- A narrow strip by the cliff edge
- On east side of Burra Korain Head.
- As the crow flies it is about 200 meters south-east of lookout 2.

Its view to Grose River is similar to that from lookout 2, ie photos #21. However it doesn't have a view to Burramoko Head and Hanging Rock, and so if you are going to visit Burra Korain Head, you can give this lookout a miss.

23)  Looking at Grose River from the lookout ~~~
- Asgard Head is just to the right of the foreground cliffs.
- Continuation to the right of this pic is photo #24.


24)  (Continuation to the right of previous pic)
180-degree panorama from lookout 3  (To enlarge the image, click on it.)
- 4 red arrows, from left to right:
       1 Liversidge Hill
       2 Rigby Hill ... east
       3 Mt Banks
       4 Mt Hay ... east-south-east
- Grose River flows in the valley at the left edge of the pic. The river then turns to flow horizontally eastward towards Mt Hay.


To lookout 4

25)  We've left Burra Korain Head, now bushbashing towards Crayfish Creek. The bush is not thick, easy to push through.


Lookout 4

26)  On the way to Crayfish Creek, there is this pagoda-like rock formation at GR 500 808. I label it as lookout 4. We are going to climb to the top of it now.


27)  We've climbed to the top of the rock. From there we can see where we'll be going:
- Upper pic: Zooming into right half of lower pic.
- Lower pic: This pic together with photo #28 form a 360-degree panorama.
       • Red arrow: Burramoko Head
       • 2 longer yellow arrows: Dry tributary of a tributary of Crayfish Creek ... We'll soon walk down there ...
       • Short yellow arrow: ... Then turn left to walk down a tributary of Crayfish Creek.
       • When reaching Crayfish Creek, we'll walk south (upstream) along the creek for at most 200 meters.
          (Crayfish Creek is not visible in this pic.)
       • Then turn south-east into a tributary on the east side of Crayfish Creek. The tributary is not visible in this pic.
       • After entering the tributary, almost immediately, turn north into a narrow gully (not visible in this pic).
       • The end of the narrow gully is blocked by cliffs. Not to worry, we'll manage to climb to the top of the cliffs  :-)
       • Yellow dots: Then bushbash along the yellow dots to the upper-most yellow dot on Burramoko Ridge.
       • Along the top of Burramoko Ridge there is a track. Walk on it to Burramoko Head / Baltzer Lookout / Hanging Rock.


28)  (Continuation to the right of previous pic)
- Upper pic: East-ish direction
- Middle pic: (Continuation to the right of the upper pic)
       • Yellow arrow: North-ish direction ... We walked along the arrow to here at lookout 4.
- Lower pic: (Continuation to the right of the lower pic)
       • Left red arrow: Burra Korain Head is somewhere behind the rise there.
       • Right red arrow: Burramoko Head
- Continuation to the right of the lower pic is photo #27, thus completing a 360-degree panorama.


To Crayfish Creek

29)  Going down tributaries of Crayfish Creek ~~~
Some sections are steep ... for example, the upper pic.
The tributaries are quite dry.  There hasn't been much rain for a long time.
- Upper pic: AC
- Lower pic: YM (Photographer: AC)


Then we come to a waterfall, GR 501 806 (almost at GR 500 806). It is almost dry when we are there.

There is no way we can climb down the waterfall. So we continue on by traversing along the slope and some sort of a ledge on the right side of the tributary (right when facing forward). We want to see whether there may be a chance where we can climb down to Crayfish Creek.

We come to GR 501 806 which has roughly a 6-meter drop down the cliff towards Crayfish Creek. Nearby is a sturdy tree for us to let down a climbing tape.

But I have some misgivings about climbing down using the tape. What if further on, either Crayfish Creek is not navigable, or the cliffs to Burramoko Head is unclimbable? We may not be able to retrace our steps and climb back up here again.

AC volunteers to climb down with the help of the tape, to investigate the condition of the route further on; while YM and I wait on the cliff edge.

About half an hour late, he emerges not from where he climbed down, but from further along the ledge, about 50 meters away. There he found a way to climb up the cliff without a tape. It was a steep climb, but doable. So now we have confidence to climb down the cliff knowing we can always climb back up again.


30)  From roughly where we are going to climb down the cliff, we can see the gap where we'll go in to climb up towards Burramoko Head. (Photographer: AC)
- A tributary of Crayfish Creek flows out of the gap there.


31)  I anchor a climbing tape to a nearby sturdy tree. The tree is above the cliff edge where we are now standing.


32)  AC climbing down !


33)  We've all climbed down the cliff ... now looking back at it.
- Red arrow: The tree to which the climbing tape was anchored in photo #31


Crayfish Creek

Once we climbed down the cliff, it is relatively easy going towards Crayfish Creek. But ...

34)  ... But after reaching Crayfish Creek, walking upstream along its course is not so easy.
It is at most 200 meters of walk along the creek to the mouth of a tributary on the east side of the creek. The 200 meters took us 30 minutes to get through. The creek was full of rocks, logs and debris that impede our advance. Fortunately there hasn't been much rain for ages, hence the water level is low, and that helps.
- 2 red arrow, from left to right: I am looking back at YM and AC gingerly picking their way through the debris.


35)  Looking back at YM climbing over a boulder along the bank of Crayfish Creek


36)  Almost at the mouth of a tributary on the east side of the Crayfish Creek


Tributary on east side of Crayfish Creek

A short distance into the tributary (dry at the time we are there), we turn left into a narrow gully.

37)  In this pic, the tributary flows down from the right, the yellow arrow.
The narrow gully is where YM is facing.
My plan is to go into the narrow gully to see whether we can climb up the cliffs to Burramoko Head from there. If not, then we'll walk up the tributary instead. As it turns out, we manage to climb out of the gully ... see photos #38 to #46.


1st climb in the narrow gully

38)  There are 2 steep climbs in the narrow gully. Here is the first one.
- AC leading, following by YM


39)  Photographer: AC ... He has climbed up and now takes a picture of us climbing up.
- Left to right: YM, me
- The 2 pics below are of the same scene.
- A climbing tape is used to haul our backpacks up first.


40)  Photographer: AC ... We've all climbed up !
- Left to right: YM, me


2nd climb in the narrow gully

41)  At the 2nd climb in the narrow gully
- AC leading, following by YM


42)  AC leading, following by YM


43)  Pictures taken by YM at the top of the 2nd climb ~~~
Climbing tape is not required for this climb.
- Left pic: AC is hauling up my black coloured backpack.
- Right pic: Me  :-)


44)  Me again ... I require a helping hand from AC to climb up here.


To lookout 5

45)  No more difficult vertical climbs from now on ! ... Although there are still some rock scrambles as in this pic.
And the narrow gully broadens out ... in particular, see photo #46.
- In this pic, YM is in front.


46)  Almost at the top of the broad gully ~~~
- At the top, we'll turn left slightly. There is lookout 5 which will give us a good view towards Burra Korain Ridge.


Lookout 5 (above east side of Crayfish Creek)

The lookout is in the Burramoko Head area:
- It is a small rocky area on the cliff edge above the east side of Crayfish Creek.
- GR 502 805 (almost at GR 501 805)

47)  AC reaches the lookout first.


48)  From the lookout, we have a good view of Burra Korain Ridge and our route coming from there:
- Red arrow: Somewhere behind the rise is Burra Korain Head.
- 2 horizontal yellow arrows along top of Burra Korain ridge: Our route in the morning to Burra Korain Head
- Red Oval: Lookout 4 ... Refer to photo #26.
- 3 downward pointing yellow arrows: Our route from lookout 4 to Crayfish Creek
       • Yellow arrow below red oval: Tributary of a tributary of Crayfish Creek
       • Middle of these 3 yellow arrows: Tributary of Crayfish Creek
              (Somewhere there, an almost dry waterfall prevented us from going straight towards Crayfish Creek.)
- Yellow oval: Somewhere there we used a climbing tape to climb down a cliff ... photos #31 to #33.
- Turquoise arrow: Crayfish Creek flows along the arrow towards Grose River.


49)  From the lookout ... same scene as the previous pic ~~~
- Horizontal yellow arrow along top of Burra Korain ridge: Our route in the morning to Burra Korain Head
- Red Oval: Lookout 4 ... Refer to photo #26.
- 3 downward pointing yellow arrows: Our route from lookout 4 to Crayfish Creek
       • Yellow arrow below red oval: Tributary of a tributary of Crayfish Creek
       • Middle of these 3 yellow arrows: Tributary of Crayfish Creek
              (Somewhere there, an almost dry waterfall prevented us from going straight towards Crayfish Creek.)
- Yellow oval: Somewhere there we used a climbing tape to climb down a cliff ... photos #31 to #33.
- Turquoise arrows: Crayfish Creek flows along the arrows towards Grose River.


Burramoko Head / Baltzer Lookout

50)  Now at the Burramoko Head area ~~~~
The mound at the middle of the pic is where we are heading now. At the top there is a track. There, we'll turn left (north) and walk on the track towards Hanging Rock.


51)  The orange/red balls are not the tree's fruit. It is Eucalyptus gall, the result of plant cells' reaction to invasion by, for example, wasps, beetles, moths, coccids, psyllids, bacteria.
(Thanks to Florian for the information.)


52)  At a barrier ... The track to Baltzer Lookout & hanging Rock becomes narrow and rough from here.
I suspect cars used to be able to drive up to here.
Then National Parks authorities stopped cars at the boundary into the Blue Mountains National Park ... photo #2 at GR 492 777.
Then cars are stopped further back, at the carpark at GR 484 765.


53)  We have lunch around Baltzer Lookout, the local highest point.
- Left to right: YM, AC


To Hanging Rock

54)  Now heading towards Hanging Rock ~~~
- Upper pic:
       • Red circle: Just a lookout, not Hanging Rock
       • Grose River flows in the large valley on the right half of this pic.
- Lower pic: Some hikers are at the lookout


55)  (Continuation to the right of previous pic ... To enlarge the image, click on it.)
- 4 red arrows, from left to right:
       1 Liversidge Hill
       2 Rigby Hill ... east-north-east-ish
       3 Mt Banks ... east-ish
       4 Bald Head ... east-south-east-ish
- 2 turquoise arrows at centre of the pic: Pierces Creek flows there.
- Turquoise arrow at bottom of the pic: Crayfish Creek flowing into Grose River
- Grose River flows from left to right across the entire pic.


56)  The path to Hanging Rock is rough. (We've passed the lookout, the red circle in photo #54.)
- Looking back at YM


57)  Once we passed the lookout in red circle of photo #54, Hanging Rock and its signature fissure comes into view.
- Upper pic:
       • 3 red arrows, from left to right:
            1 Lookout 4
            2 Odin Head
            3 Burra Korain Head ... We were there this morning.
       • Yellow arrows: We walked along the top of Burra Korain Ridge to Burra Korain Head.
       • Upper red oval: Area around lookout 6 north-west of Hanging Rock ... We'll go there after visiting Hanging Rock.
       • Lower red oval: Hanging Rock ... Note the fissure separating it from the main cliff !
       • Blue arrow: The path to Hanging Rock
- Middle pic:
       • Turquoise arrow: Crayfish Creek flowing into Grose River
       • Grose River flows in the large valley on the right side of the pic.


58)  Hanging Rock again  :-)


Hanging Rock

59)  I am jumping over the fissure to Hanging Rock  :-)
- Upper pic: Photographer AC
- Lower pic: The 3 backpacks behind me are ours


60)  I am standing near the tip of Hanging Rock now. (Photographer: YM)
- Red arrow: Baltzer Lookout ... we were there not too long ago  :-)
- Yellow arrows: We walked along the arrows to Hanging Rock.


61)  YM (right) and I (left) at Hanging Rock (Photographer: AC)
- Grose River flows in the large valley behind Hanging Rock.


62)  At where we were standing in the previous pic and looking back ~~~
- Upper pic: Zooming into the red square of the lower pic
       • Red oval: The fissure I jumped over in photo #59.
       • The backpacks above the red oval are ours ... on the main cliff side.
- Lower pic:
       • The large platform in the foreground is Hanging Rock.
       • Red square: Upper pic zooms into it.
       • Red arrow on the right: Burra Korain Head ... We were there this morning.
       • Valley to the right of Burra Korain Head: Grose River is there.
- Continuation to the right of the lower pic is photo #63. In fact, the lower pic together with photos #63 to #65 form a 360-degree panorama.


63)  (Continuation to the right of previous pic ... To enlarge the image, click on it.)
- 5 red arrows, from left to right:
       1 Burra Korain Head
       2 Liversidge Hill
       3 Rigby Hill ... east-north-east-ish
       4 Mt Banks ... east-ish
       5 Bald Head ... east-south-east-ish
- 2 turquoise arrows pointing downwards: Pierces Creek flows there.
- Turquoise arrow at bottom of the pic: Crayfish Creek flowing into Grose River
- Grose River flows from left to right across the entire pic.


64)  (Continuation to the right of previous pic)
- 4 red arrows, from left to right:
       1 Mt Banks ... east-ish
       2 Bald Head ... east-south-east-ish
       3 Tip of Hanging Rock
       4 Baltzer Lookout
- Yellow arrow: We walked along the arrow to Hanging Rock.
- Red oval: One day, the crack will open up and separate Baltzer Lookout from the main cliff, just like Hanging Rock  :-)


65)  (Continuation to the right of previous pic)
- Yellow arrows: We walked along the arrows to Hanging Rock.
- AC is at the middle of the pic. From there, he took photo #61 of YM and I standing on Hanging Rock.
- Continuation to the right of this pic is the lower pic of photo #62, thus completing a 360-degree panorama.


66)  Time to return to the main cliff ~~~
- Upper pic: YM (Photographer: AC)
- Lower pic: Me (Photographer: YM)


67)  This pic was taken in the 2018 February trip.
- FB was marveling at the deep fissure we need to jump across to Hanging Rock. (Photographer: NC)


Highest point on cliff edge north-west of Hanging Rock

We are now going to the highest point on a cliff edge not far north-west of Hanging Rock.

68)  This pic is taken from near the Hanging Rock area.  We'll go to the highest point in the pic by walking along the cliff edge.
- Strange the colour of the cliff is split right down the middle ! (Lighter on the left side, darker on the right side)


69)  We've reached the highest point of the previous pic. Here is the view from the top:
- Upper pic:
       • Yellow arrow: Lookout 6, a rocky area, GR 504 809 ... We are going there next.
       • Red arrow: Burra Korain Head
       • Turquoise arrow: Grose River flows in the valley there.
       • This morning, we walked along the top of Burra Korain Ridge on the left side of the pic to Burra Korain Head.
- Lower pic: (Continuation to the right of the upper pic)
       • 4 red arrows, from left to right:
            1 Liversidge Hill
            2 Rigby Hill
            3 Mt Banks
            4 Bald Head
       • Turquoise arrow: Crayfish Creek flowing into Grose River.
       • Grose River flows from left to right across the entire pic.


70)  (Continuation to the right of previous pic)
- Turquoise arrow: Hat Hill Creek flowing down into Grose River.
- 4 red arrows, from left to right:
       1 Mt Banks
       2 Bald Head
       3 Hanging Rock
       4 Baltzer Lookout
- Yellow arrow: How we walked from Hanging Rock to where we are at now.
- Small figure at tip of yellow arrow: AC
- Grose River flows in the valley below Mt Banks.


Lookout 6

We are now at the yellow arrow of photo #69.
- Labelled in this report as lookout 6
- GR 504 809
- A rocky area with a slightly different view of Burra Korain Ridge

71)  This is the view from the lookout:
- This morning, we walked along the top of Burra Korain Ridge to Burra Korain Head
- Right red arrow: Burra Korain Head
- Left red arrow: Lookout 4 ... We were at the top of this pagoda-like rock formation ... Refer to photo #72 (and #26).
- Yellow arrow: We walked down this tributary to Crayfish Creek.


72)  Zooming into the middle part of previous pic
- The 3 arrows from top to bottom:
       1 Red arrow: Lookout 4 ... We were at the top of this pagoda-like rock formation ... Refer to photo #26.
       2 Yellow arrow: We walked down this tributary to Crayfish Creek.
       3 Turquoise arrow: Crayfish Creek flowing down to Grose River


Return to car - on Burramoko Trail

73)  Then it is walking on Burramoko Trail (along the top of Burramoko Ridge) back to AC's car.
- Left to right: YM, AC


Flora along Burramoko Trail & Ridgewell Rd

The photographs below were all taken along Burramoko Trail & Ridgewell Road in the 2018 February short hike to Hanging Rock. (We walked to and from Hanging Rock directly from the carpark.)

74)  A young Banksia spinulosa (Hairpin Banksia)


75)  Lambertia formosa (Mountain Devil)


76)  Crocosmia crocosmiiflora (alternative name: Montbretia) ... It is on the Blue Mountains noxious weed register and needs to be destroyed.
(Thanks to Florian for the information.)


77)  If you know the name of this mushroom, please let me know.


Comment

The circuit walk to Burra Korain Head, then cross Crayfish Creek to Hanging Rock, is very interesting. It is strange hardly any bushwalkers do it. Why not?


Post Script: Crayfish Canyon & Creek to Hanging Rock

2 years later, in 2020 December, I'll go to Hanging Rock via Crayfish Canyon & Caryfish Creek.
Trip report will be written up one day.

For now, some interesting photos are in this link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mkRa_QiflNCkxLY0_P0z10B1gTxW11k_/view?usp=sharing

2 comments:

  1. Hi Paul,

    excellent write up of a great loop. Though I live in Blackheath I have never thought of combining the three walks together. I have done so with two friends last Tuesday after reading your blog. What a great day.
    The landscape looks quite different at the moment as the fires went through this area, including the Crayfish Canyon. With the missing vegetation and exposed rock it can be quite slippery in steep places, so care has to be taken (also not to disturb too much of the remaining vegetation).
    You did a great job in describing the route with such detail and photos. I would only mention that any group attempting the walk would need at least one good climber and a short rope to get out of the canyon through the narrow gully.
    To your questions:
    Pic 6 & 7: you are correct
    Pic 51: Could be any gum but with a parasite. This is not the trees fruit. It is called Eucalypt Gall created by the Gall Wasp
    Pic 76: Montbresia (Crocosmia). It is on the Blue Mountains noxious weed register and needs to be destroyed.
    Pic 77: To correctly identify the mushroom you have to look at the stem and the gills underneath. If not 100% sure, do not eat!

    I have seen that you recently done Black's ladder to Esgate Pass. You can also do this walk from Medlow Bath. Total is approx. 7 hours if you have a car on the other end.

    Again, great work and I'm enjoying your Blogs
    Florian

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Florian.
    When I have time I'll update the blog with your information :-)

    ReplyDelete

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