Zobel Gully

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Zobel Gully

Postby davidf » Fri 07 Feb, 2014 6:51 pm

Anyone know about ascending Zebel Gully across from Mount Hay/grose river area?
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Re: zebel gully

Postby Grabeach » Sat 08 Feb, 2014 5:17 am

Zobel, with an 'o'.
Follow the creek up, noting Williamson's 'test' adit - refer Andy Macqueen's "Back from the Brink" for the history. When you get to the obvious waterfall, head right (east) for about 100m for a walk up route.
If you've got time for a side trip, MGA 599,7935 is one of the best lookouts in the mountains. However the scrub heading up there is not good.
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Re: zebel gully

Postby tom_brennan » Sat 08 Feb, 2014 9:46 am

The scrub on Mt Caley is possibly the worst I have encountered anywhere in the Blue Mountains. Actually, probably anywhere! Combination of lawyer vine and kangaroo thorn.
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Re: zebel gully

Postby jonnosan » Sat 08 Feb, 2014 9:10 pm

Isn't this area still closed?
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Re: zebel gully

Postby Grabeach » Sun 09 Feb, 2014 7:13 am

Road to Mt Banks picnic area is open. Explorers Range east of here wasn't burnt, though Mt Caley would probably benefit from a decent fire.
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Re: zebel gully

Postby FatCanyoner » Wed 12 Feb, 2014 5:13 pm

Grabeach wrote:Road to Mt Banks picnic area is open. Explorers Range east of here wasn't burnt, though Mt Caley would probably benefit from a decent fire.


They put in containment lines from the side of the fire trail. As a result, when I was there a few weeks back the fire trail is still shut at the Mt Banks picnic area (complete with warning signage). Given it was only a back burn, didn't burn intensely, and doesn't appeared to have damaged the trees overhanging the trail, I'm guessing it should reopen soonish. Perhaps they are keeping it closed to help keep people off Mt Banks itself, where the track has been burnt, and erosion and new track formation would be worse.
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Re: zebel gully

Postby DaveNoble » Wed 12 Feb, 2014 5:42 pm

I think it must be open! On the NPWS Facebook page today - they had a promo for the walk to Mt Banks. See -

https://www.facebook.com/NSWNationalParks

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Re: zebel gully

Postby FatCanyoner » Thu 13 Feb, 2014 6:21 am

DaveNoble wrote:I think it must be open! On the NPWS Facebook page today - they had a promo for the walk to Mt Banks.


It's definitely still closed. That was a stuff up by the facebook person in head office. I've already confirmed that with a local ranger. Apparently they are furious that a closed walk was getting promoted on the page!
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Re: zebel gully

Postby wildwalks » Thu 13 Feb, 2014 7:28 am

The NPWS facebook page (and their website) is a bit of a joke I think.
Last year they posted that you can use a portable gas stove on a total fireban in a NP. I sent them a private message and they refused to admit the error (refused to even believe they made a mistake) even though I provided clear evidence that the RFS was the lead agent and says the use of the stove in NSW NP is illegal on a TOBAN. They also had put up a webpage with similar incorrect info. I wrote a few people in the agency and the minister over time and got a hopeless response, once the new boss (Ann King) arrived I wrote to her and got a better response.
Here is the thread.
https://www.facebook.com/NSWNationalPar ... 4894421114
I love how instead of saying -- oops sorry we where wrong (there was a string of private messages before this post) they say "you should ensure that it follows the guidelines as set out by the RFS".

This has happened with other potentially grave errors on their website as as walk length and times been waaaaay under the actual. (and some wayyy over, which can be just as bad and people then assume the next walk they do is way easier then they say). Last year they where even plugging the Green Gully walk whilst the park was on fire and closed.

Interesting that they hardly every use facebook to communicate closures. This is left upto people like FatCanyoner to try to translate and get the message out.

It seems at least before Ann King (time will tell if still true now) that too many public facing NPWS staff are not capable of admitting a mistake.
Before we start blaming the staff though. Spare a thought as to why -- My guess is that the culture is so toxic that people fear admitting a mistake will cost them a job (there are other possibilities such as a culture of narcissism etc). But lets not get grumpy with the staff on the ground.

I am curious to see the response on FB. (May not be today I suspect many of the people involved in the discussion will be at the parks congress meeting today).
Making a mistake is easy and very forgivable -- the issue is around how they respond to the error and if they are willing to admit the mistake and fix it.

The big issue here I think is that if NPWS continues down this line then the community will not only loose faith in their ability to manage the parks but also in the value of the National Park system.

(okay, back down off my soap box now)
Matt :)
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Re: zebel gully

Postby DaveNoble » Thu 13 Feb, 2014 7:38 am

Matt - this is getting a bit of topic, but I understood that you can use a portable gas stove during a "park fire ban" but not during a "total fire ban". Also, I heard on the radio from a RFS spokesperson that you cannot smoke cigarettes outdoors during a total fire ban (but he admitted that this is not really policed).

However in Tasmania - bushwalkers can use their gas stoves during total fire bans.

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Re: zebel gully

Postby davidf » Thu 13 Feb, 2014 6:32 pm

Not done yet.

Would going up spur on a bearing north west to the trail avoid a lot of vine?

I would never break the law, is the area still closed?
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Re: zebel gully

Postby Grabeach » Fri 14 Feb, 2014 6:33 am

Would going up spur on a bearing north west to the trail avoid a lot of vine?

Assuming we're back talking about Zobel Gully, historically the bad scrub has been on Caley. Maybe something to do with the basalt cap, as basalt free Dixon and Barranbali further east were more walker friendly. Heading from Zobel directly up to the saddle and then to the end of the fire trail wasn't as bad as Caley itself. However, I was last in the area on 3/12/94, so things could be different now.

Sorry about my misleading info on park closures. I assumed that when the road to the picnic area was re-opened to cars that the rest of the low intensity back burnt fire trail would be open to walkers. I (yet again!) forgot that track closures are not always what I would consider logical.
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Re: zebel gully

Postby FatCanyoner » Fri 14 Feb, 2014 7:25 am

Grabeach wrote:Sorry about my misleading info on park closures. I assumed that when the road to the picnic area was re-opened to cars that the rest of the low intensity back burnt fire trail would be open to walkers. I (yet again!) forgot that track closures are not always what I would consider logical.


Don't worry mate. The people running the NPWS facebook page were promoting the Mt Banks walk the other day. If NPWS staff can't keep track of what is and isn't closed, what hope do the rest of us have! :lol:
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Re: zebel gully

Postby wildwalks » Fri 14 Feb, 2014 8:21 am

DaveNoble wrote:Matt - this is getting a bit of topic, but I understood that you can use a portable gas stove during a "park fire ban" but not during a "total fire ban". Also, I heard on the radio from a RFS spokesperson that you cannot smoke cigarettes outdoors during a total fire ban (but he admitted that this is not really policed).

However in Tasmania - bushwalkers can use their gas stoves during total fire bans.

Dave

-- sorry for the off topic stuff - but will just quickly answer this one :)
Hey Dave
Yep that's right in NSW NP a TOBAN basically means no open flames (as a very general rule). The RFS are the lead agency on TOBANs stuff so they make those rules. But NPWS see a need to declare park fire bans at times when a TOBAN is not declared to protect the area so they get to make the rules in this case (makes sense).
So in NSW NP no portable stove in a NP on a TOBAN (RFS rule).
We can use gas (or electric) stoves in a park fire ban if (NPWS rule)
they are under direct control of an adult
the ground within 2 metres of the barbecue is cleared of all flammable materials, and
there is an adequate supply of water (minimum of a bucket).

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/fire/ ... rebans.htm

here is the incorrect info they had up last year
http://web.archive.org/web/201302100817 ... rebans.htm

Sorry again for the distraction from the main thread

Matt :)
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Re: zebel gully

Postby tom_brennan » Fri 14 Feb, 2014 6:00 pm

Back to Zobel Gully, one of the earliest ascents by bushwalkers (it may well have been ascended/descended by prospectors earlier) was in late 1939 or early 1940 by an SBW party. Their account of the trip can be found at
http://sbw.ozultimate.com/wiki/194004#t ... excursions
They crossed Mt Caley (then called Mt Catey - see Macqueen) and descended the next creek downstream, Garrad Gulch. They didn't mention any scrub.
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Re: Zobel Gully

Postby wildwalks » Fri 14 Feb, 2014 7:35 pm

(Changed thread main title to Zobel Gully)
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Re: Zobel Gully

Postby davidf » Sat 05 Apr, 2014 2:33 pm

So who was Zobel?

Ther is a Zobel gully on the Mt Morgan map as well, leading into Constance Gorge. Obviously a miner. Anyone know where else he went digging?

Zobel sounds like an interesting fella.
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Re: Zobel Gully

Postby Grabeach » Sat 05 Apr, 2014 7:52 pm

From Andy McQueen's Back from the Brink: In the early 1920s, Williamson had some grandiose ideas about turning the Grose into a hive of industry. Martin Zobel was Williamson's 'mine manager' at the time. Zobel was a Mt Victoria resident and had been manager of the Commonwealth Shale and Oil Co.operation at Hartely Vale in 1906.

From the web (Trove), the only things I found relate to a high level legal stoush over the Cadia copper mine near Bathurst in 1899 and the inaugural AGM of the Woodlark Island Co. (British New Guinea) of which Zobel was the assistant mine manager. The company proposed to ship ore to Sydney for treatment.

Don't know anything about the Zobel Gully on the Mt Morgan sheet; I rarely get past Lithgow. Interesting guy perhaps. Reading between the lines, I suspect he was a bit of a shonk.
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Re: Zobel Gully

Postby davidf » Sun 06 Apr, 2014 12:35 pm

Thanks for the information, someone in that era would of been an amazing exploper if be a shyster.
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Re: Zobel Gully

Postby juxtaposer » Mon 07 Jul, 2014 1:46 pm

Re this: having been out on the Explorers Range several times in the late 70's/early 80's, the best going I found to be lower down around north side of Caley; its still nasty there, but seemed to have less Smilax australis than on the summit. When reversing Zobel, with the aid of a good hand line for pack hauls and a head for heights, it is possible to go left instead of right, to a height of about 20 metres above the creek, with a hand-over-hand of about half that back to rejoin the creek at the top of the waterfall. The creek can be followed directly up to Caley Saddle from there. This more challenging route at least has the advantage of avoiding Mt Caley.
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Re: Zobel Gully

Postby chriskoz » Tue 14 Aug, 2018 5:26 pm

I ascended Zobel last weekend, having descended David Crevasse and all the way to Grose River. 9h round trip non-stop walking/abseiling from Mt Banks Walls (I used a mt bike to get me to/from MGA565786 where the cycle-able part Explorer Road ends). The hardest part was the descent directly S of Edgeworth David Head, because of the lawyer Vine scrub. It took me 2h from the last abseil to the river. Walking along the river (2h) and up Zobel (2.5h) was only moderately difficult by comparison. When I hit the vertical wall of a waterfall at MGA594792, I backtracked 50m and found an easy scramble-able diagonal ramp on the eastern wall. From there, I think I made a little mistake of ascending too much in the direction of Mt Caley. I ascended up to 660-670m altitude before starting to traverse towards Caley Gap where I knew the Explorer Track starts. I hit some scrub on said traverse; it was only about 400m of scrub but it added more than 1/2h to the trip. If I traversed back ASAP to the main fork of the Zobel Creek, I think I could've avoided the worst scrub. Otherwise, the route up Zobel was straightforward. But I think I would have trouble finding the traverse and the diagonal ramp in reversing order (from the top of the waterfall). The waterfall is about 10m, so if going down Zobel Gully, it might be easier to take a 30m or so of rope and abseil rather than look for a scrubby traverse.
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