Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

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Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby ferozious » Thu 03 Jan, 2013 12:14 pm

I have noticed on my CORANG 1:25,000 map that there is a marked walking track named "Mount Owen Route" which appears to head directly up to the southern cliffs of Mount Owen from the Yadboro River 2km upstream from Long Gully Camping Ground.

The track is marked but appears to end at CORANG 423 898.'

Has anyone walked this route? Does it allow access onto Mount Owen? I've never been to Mount Owen but I've seen the cliffs surrounding it and they look quite high... :?
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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby WarrenH » Fri 04 Jan, 2013 12:34 pm

From my time with the Canberra Bushwalking Club, guys who went over the point, only ever talked about descending Owen.

This might be helpful ... http://www.peterhenderson.com.au/budawa ... se_of_owen ... until someone who has done it, turns up and fine tunes the route.

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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby Tony » Fri 04 Jan, 2013 2:45 pm

Hi ferozious,

While doing some research on the Monolith Valley area a few years ago, I do remember reading a trip report by a group from the Shoalhaven Bushwalkers where they went up the southern end of Mt Owen or up Owen's Nose as it is sometimes called, but I am unable to find the trip report.

If you contact The Shoalhaven Bushwalkers, they will put you into contact with someone who knows something about the Owen's Nose route.

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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby clarence » Wed 23 Jan, 2013 3:26 am

Yes, there is a route up there. I have done it twice, once down and once up (in pouring rain).

We used a 40m static handline (7mm or so) and this was fine. It is highly advisable to take few slings/tape harnesses/carabiners. As always with rope related work, familiarise yourself with the gear and how to use it competently in a range of wilderness applications before you attempt to use it on such a walk.

The route is, on average, no more exposed than the ascent of the Castle. It is pretty sustained and ideally all members of the party should have at least a basic level of rope skills, be comfortable with exposure and not have overly large packs. Don't even think of doing the route with more than three people, as there is simply not the space on the ledges in the slot to allow for packs/people/safety lines to be set up and transferred safely.

The whole route from the Yadboro River, right to the top, is one of the classic walks of NSW. It also allows an alternative loop via Monolith Valley (as opposed to up and back Kaliana Ridge).

I do not think it is reasonable to publish a full route descrption, as parties who are sufficienlty capable/experienced to complete the route safely will be able to find the way without too much effort. Of the two cracks on the south point of Mt Owen, it is the one which descends to the WEST (ie high point to east, low point to west).

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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby jackhinde » Wed 23 Jan, 2013 7:24 am

Thanks clarence, I 'll go check that out
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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby Grabeach » Sun 27 Jan, 2013 8:20 am

Haven't got the latest Corang, but 25 years ago there were two roads heading up toward the base of Owen as shown on 2nd Ed. map. The first left the river at MGA 436,882 and finished at 424,895. It wasn’t easy to find from both the top and bottom then, and probably very overgrown now. The second, the one you mention, was in better condition and left the river at MGA 422,876 and finished at 422,898. The first made for a shorter round trip if going through Monolith Valley etc, but the second was more straightforward.

As for the lower cliffline itself, there are only problems if you tried to go straight up (or down) the nose. From the bottom, the correct route heads off round to the east at the base. When coming down, even many in the know would stick to the nose for too long, then have to backtrack up to where you deviate to the east, making the wrong route twice as worn as the correct one. Unless something has changed, no rope is required. I even remember carrying two overnight packs (one on back, one on front) down here without any problems when a member of our party was injured.

The upper cliffline of Mt Owen also did not require rope. Alternatively it was fairly easy going following the base of the western upper cliffline to come up the gap between Owen and Cole. We also once followed the base of the Owen western lower cliffline (hard going - not recommended) to come up to the same position. And I won't even mention following the base of the Owen southeast side cliffs. Due acknowledgement to the late Don Rice for leading all these epic Sutherland Bushwalking Club trips.

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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby clarence » Wed 30 Jan, 2013 1:34 am

Thanks for the technical info on the old roads Grabeach.

Yes, it is technically possible to climb the upper cliffline without rope. However, the two times I did it, each with relatively experienced people in the party, we all decided it was prudent to get the rope out and use it.

I believe it is more responsible to take the extra gear on any exploratory walk in places like the Budawangs. The few times I have left the rope at home, I have always wished I'd packed it.

The lower cliffline is relatively straightforward, and does not need ropes at all if you find the correct route.

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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby Grabeach » Thu 31 Jan, 2013 9:34 pm

Assuming no abseiling, which I reckoned was cheating anyway, standard procedure for us back then was for everyone in the party to carry one 3m length (small parties two lengths) of 50mm tape. These had a number of uses as required by the individual and could be joined together if necessary. We found that tape was far easier to grip than rope (even the 11mm common in those days) and nobody got lumbered with carrying a long length.

These days it appears to be left to the trip leader to shoulder the burden. In addition, a lot of time is wasted in pulling out, and repacking 20 plus metres of rope or tape when in most instances one or two lengths of tape would suffice.
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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby dyad » Sat 09 Feb, 2013 2:20 pm

I can't offer much advice about climbing Mt. Owen itself, but last weekend I attempted a circuit from Wog Wog to The Castle via Monolith Valley, returning to Wog Wog on the track up the Yadboro. The track up the Yadboro was very overgrown and difficult to find in many places and I eventually had to turn back. I did, however, reach the Mt. Owen Route and walk about 2/3 of the way up it and found it to be in very good condition. To reach the Mt. Owen Route I suggest you follow the abandoned road from the Yadboro River crossing; from this, the intersection with the Mount Owen Route should be very obvious. Note that the abandoned road crosses the river a few more times than is indicated on the map.

EDIT: After looking at an old version of the Corang map it seems that the fire trail at the river crossing may be the first one that Grabeach mentioned. In that case, it would be best for you to try to pick up the footpad that follows the river. Don't expect to go fast on that section though.
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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby clarence » Tue 30 Jul, 2013 11:41 pm

I found some pics of our ascent in of Mt Owen in the rain a few years ago. Rope is good.
Attachments
owen pass 1.jpg
owen pass 3.jpg
owen pass 2.jpg
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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby Huntsman247 » Tue 04 Jun, 2019 9:14 am

Where is the start of this trail? Would it be at a or b?Image
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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby Grabeach » Tue 04 Jun, 2019 9:31 pm

'a' is about right for one track, but 'b' isn't for the other. Refer my post of 27/1/13 which gives gives the GRs for the river crossings of both trails as well as the end points according to 2nd Ed. Corang. I think they were pretty much correct on the ground, but it's now 31 years since I was there.

BTW, the hump in Kalianna Ridge could be accessed from 'a', which made it the perfect parking spot for a Castle - MV - Mt Owen loop walk, assuming you can still drive down the track from Long Gully Rd. And while I'm here, anyone know what facilities the Camping Gound marked at 'a' has?
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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby Huntsman247 » Thu 06 Jun, 2019 8:38 pm

Grabeach wrote:'a' is about right for one track, but 'b' isn't for the other. Refer my post of 27/1/13 which gives gives the GRs for the river crossings of both trails as well as the end points according to 2nd Ed. Corang. I think they were pretty much correct on the ground, but it's now 31 years since I was there.

BTW, the hump in Kalianna Ridge could be accessed from 'a', which made it the perfect parking spot for a Castle - MV - Mt Owen loop walk, assuming you can still drive down the track from Long Gully Rd. And while I'm here, anyone know what facilities the Camping Gound marked at 'a' has?


So for both tracks I'm assuming one would follow the Yadboro river along on the wog wog track from 'a' to find them deviating from the respective GR's?

I've always started at the castle carpark, will need to suss the long gully track out.
Will be trying to make time to have a go at this route in the next few weeks. Hopefully one can drive on it still.
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Re: Climbing Mt. Owen from Long Gully

Postby Grabeach » Sun 09 Jun, 2019 1:49 am

Stop the presses. I could be wrong on 'b'. My old Corang has Belowra FT going down an extremely steep spur to the river about a km NW of where the latest Corang shows it, then following the river down stream to a dead end. I don't recall anything that steep. My old Corang shows the track from Mt Owen crossing the river at the GR I gave and heading SE to Long Gully Rd. In the absence of any other tracks I assumed this was the route. It was however dark, and as I wasn't leading I probably wasn't paying a lot of attention. On the Mt Owen side of the river the track is shown heading NW for a few hundred metres before climbing NE up onto the spur. At the point it changes direction it is not far from the 'new' Belowra track. Google maps also shows the 'new' Belowra position. SIX maps shows both the new and old Belowra tracks forming a loop as well as a branch heading west across the river to intersect the early Corang track where it changes direction. The Budawang Sketch Map shows only the Yadboro trail following the river. Neither the SIX or Google Maps air photos are much help. Anyone for a field trip?
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