Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

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Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby jonnosan » Mon 27 Aug, 2012 7:47 am

I would like to do some exploration of the engineers track and Wentworth Cave. I have found some reports (including on this website) of routes to Wentworth Cave via Faulconbridge Point. But when I look at the topo, I can see what appears to be a firetrail with no locked gate along Patersons Range, and then a couple of tracks that seem to end close to the Grose, at points that look to be passable (at least - there are no cliff lines on the topo)

Can anyone advise if this is a viable route ? And how far along the Paterson Range could a 2WD get?
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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby kanangra » Mon 27 Aug, 2012 9:30 am

Everyone seems keen on visiting Wentworth Ck. all of a sudden? To be honest the cave isn't much and doesn't afford much protection but it is a nice spot all the same. Yes access from Patterson Range is possible but there is a gate just past the turn off. It is a pleasant walk out to the end and there is an excellent lookout over the Grose Valley. ( On the way look out for the strange sign on the left of the track. I've actually forgotten what it says? Somebodies tool line as I recall? Something to do with a firebreak I think we decided?) There is a way down to a camp site on the northern bank of the river. I think it is referred to as the old Bass fishermans track. You will find some old rope near the start. Be careful I slipped in a small creek and came down heavily on my backside. Fortunately I landed on my wallet so all was well. :oops:

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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby kanangra » Mon 27 Aug, 2012 9:35 am

I have just remembered Gellies Hand Tool line is the name of the sign? I think we decided Gellie was a firefighter and this referred to a method of fire fighting? Some form of containment line. I couldn't see anything on the ground though?

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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby Grabeach » Mon 27 Aug, 2012 6:21 pm

Doesn't the Fishos track with the small camping spot come off Browns Ridge? This is several km upstream from Wentworth Cave.

The almost direct route to Wentworth Cave is the fire trail down to MGA 746,812 signposted as the Donna Track. Kept in excellent codition, but gated. Great for a pusbike. Follow the spur down to the junction of the two creeks, then in the creek with a minor scramble to the Grose. An alternative coming back up is the spur heading north that joins the Donna Track about half way along.

The fire trail to MGA 7435,8285 is not maintained and may even be difficult to find from the road theses days. The spur to the creek / Grose junction is negotiable with a short scramble, but be aware that a couple of parties have turned back after not finding it. It is also possible to get down the creek but it is a convoluted route bypassing a fall or two.

Once into Wentworth Ck follow the Engineers 'Mistake' Track Ck on the southern side for a km or so. I stumbled on this in '94. Andy McQueen later researched it for "Back from the Brink", though I'm fairly sure his map used my estimated end point. I would be interested for someone to get a GPS reading. A bit further on there are large open slabs of rock worth seeing.

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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby Grabeach » Tue 28 Aug, 2012 8:17 pm

One more thing. When the section of the Patterson Range Rd going down to the Burralow Camping Ground (nice peaceful spot) gets too rough for cars, the NPWS will close the road not far in from the Bell Rd. It may then be months before it is graded. I think it is closed at the moment. I assume mountain bikes would be okay. If you're thinking of coming in from the Kurrajong side, forget it. I've only struck this open once and had to engage the diff lock on the Prado to get up.

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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby jonnosan » Tue 28 Aug, 2012 8:28 pm

Thanks for the tip on the gate. According to the NPWS website (http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/Natio ... x?id=N0004 ) , "The Paterson Range Fire Trail from Bilpin (western side) remains closed, as the Burralow bridge is presently undergoing repairs and is closed."

I was planning on camping out, so a bike isn't any good. I guess it's a firetrail slog :-(
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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby kanangra » Wed 29 Aug, 2012 2:56 pm

Graeme,

You are quite right. I was thinking further up. I have not done the Donna track myself.

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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby kanangra » Mon 03 Sep, 2012 6:29 pm

I checked this out and can confirm that the track is locked at the first gate. That is just past the last house. There has been some back burning out there. Gellies hand tool line has been remarked for a control burn.

I did the loop via Donna Track down to the river and then up and out via Browns Ridge. I will post a trip report when Io get around to it.

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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby jonnosan » Mon 05 Aug, 2013 10:05 pm

I finally got around to checking this out today, now that the Patterson Range Fire Trail is open again. From the end of Donnas Track down the ridge was pretty easy, all cliff clines easily negotiated, but once I reached the junction of the 2 creeks there was a small waterfall that I didn't feel confident about descending. More significantly, I wasn't sure I would be able to get back up it, and since I was unfamiliar with any other exit options decided to try and bypass it. I picked the north side, but kept having to ascend higher and higher till eventually I decided there was obviously a message in all that and just continued on up the spur till it rejoined the fire trail (as you say, about half way along). That spur was pretty easy walking, some lovely views down to the Grose from the flat rocks and pagodas along the top of the ridge, but the last 200m was very scrubby.

I think my next attempt will be to look for the fishermans track.
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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby kanangra » Mon 12 Aug, 2013 2:45 pm

I know the spot. It is not too difficult really. I think you probably would have been fine. I've been down to the river that way. Has the area recovered from the burn off? Last time I went through it was still smoking in spots.

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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby jonnosan » Tue 13 Aug, 2013 8:46 pm

I actually just read a section of keats 'explorations in the lower grouse' where he describes a trip where they got stuck briefly in a waterfall descending patersons bridge, but finding a way down after a tea break. I reckon it's the same spot, and I did see a way that I thought I could probably descend OK, but was worried there was a very small chance I would be stuck if I had to backtrack later on. I did have a handline but didn't want to have to leave it there.

I decided this was one of those situations where when you are walking solo off track, "it will probably be OK" means "don't do it". If I was with a group, and/or had an alternate exit route I was confident in, it would have been fine.

I saw a lot of burnt scrub and bare soil on the way down, and was pretty grateful for it actually. The short section (200m?) of full scrub I hit on the ascent was not much fun at all.
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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby alanchan1024 » Sun 31 Jan, 2021 11:32 pm

Did this walk Sunday 31 Jan 2021 on a wet day with a group of 7 (I was leading). I believe this is the "junction" you mean. This is the correct way and this is the way to go down (up).
Small cliffs are negotiable. Creek down to Grose is negotiable.
Unfortunately, Grose River was too high for us to cross after the recent rain.
We will have to come back again on a dry day. But we had fun today at the waterfalls :D
Attachments
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Cascades
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Creek Junction
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Grose Junction looking South
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Grose Junction looking Nouth
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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 01 Feb, 2021 8:10 am

Great photos Alan.

Impressive scramble to negotiate those cascading falls as well!
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Re: Paterson Range to Wentworth Cave?

Postby jonnosan » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 10:46 am

Hi Alan
Well it's been almost 8 years now, but that 2nd photo certainly jogged my memory of being the spot I didn't want to descend solo as wasnt certain I'd be able to get back up it if I needed to.
But you've got me excited now about making another attempt. BTW I did eventually get to Wentworth cave a few years ago by descending from Faulconbridge ridge and walking upstream (with return via a somewhat hairy ascent of Linden ridge)
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