A Day in the Nattai Valley.

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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby Grabeach » Tue 30 May, 2017 11:15 pm

Another thing I liked about SIX is that the SIX image and contoured map were the same scale (there is also a slider so that you can overlay one on the other) whereas for Google you had to open Google Maps which was a different scale and isn’t contoured. I had, however, forgotten about the Google historical feature for finding overgrowing tracks. The 2009 image is certainly the best of the series.

The SIX property boundaries show, and also noted by Sloss, that the Chasm Track and Dome Track are on private property, albeit unfenced. It is strange that both Google Maps and SIX maps show these ‘private’ roads, but don’t show the National Park Chasm Trail, nor even the Nattai Valley Rd west of the Wattyl Ridge property.

The SIX image also best shows an interesting connecting trail from the Dome Track east to a trail from Wattyl ridge on the next ridge, as well as another trail from here returning across the creek and up to yet another point of the back fence of Wattyl Ridge.

PS: I've just now found I have a 1992 Ed. of Sloss’s “Mittagong Nattai Walking Tracks for the Southern Highlands” that I don’t ever remember reading. The only thing it shows is the Chasm Trail labelled as Rocky Water Holes Track.
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby tom_brennan » Wed 31 May, 2017 8:32 am

Grabeach wrote:It is strange that both Google Maps and SIX maps show these ‘private’ roads, but don’t show the National Park Chasm Trail, nor even the Nattai Valley Rd west of the Wattyl Ridge property.

When Alex and I spoke to Spatial Services (formerly LPI) at Bathurst, it sounded like there had been a bit of unexplained tension with NPWS and NPWS hadn't been giving LPI track data for inclusion on the maps. That's apparently been resolved - but there's a long backlog of tracks to review/add. But it explains why so many NP tracks are missing, even when similar ones on private or other public land are there. There are plenty of other examples in other parts of the NP estate, for example, the Wollangambe tracks end exactly at the park boundary!!

Grabeach wrote:Another thing I liked about SIX is that the SIX image and contoured map were the same scale (there is also a slider so that you can overlay one on the other) whereas for Google you had to open Google Maps which was a different scale and isn’t contoured.

Yes, it's definitely useful having the contour layer. If you're looking for a simpler alternative to SIXMaps, my mapping tool also has the contour layer and slider - http://maps.ozultimate.com/
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby michael_p » Wed 31 May, 2017 11:11 am

tom_brennan wrote:See below for the map from Sloss' 3rd edition. The names seem pretty confusing to me. You have "The Chasm Trail" leading to "Chasm Lookout" and "The Chasm Lookdown". But then you have the "Chasm Track" joining up with "The Dome Track", leading into Rocky Waterholes Creek. And finally, the lookout that I would consider the Chasm Lookout, doesn't even get a name!

Wow...Yep, the names have been changed. I found my copy of the guidebook in the bottom of my map draw and it has no edition number but is copyright 1998. Good chance mine is a Edition 1. No wonder there has been confusion.

Hughmac wrote:Hi Michael. It is possible to get across Camelot Ck to the lookout track, but it is a scrub bash with a little scrambling. Camelot Ck itself is beautiful. I recall Aaron christened it 'Spoon Drain Ck' due to the shape of parts of it's bed.

Hi Hugh,
It wasn't hard to get up to the lookout track (the old Rocky Waterholes Creek Lookout Track) from Camelot Ck. It was at least 10 years ago so my memory is a bit rusty and I think it was my first trip into this area. We walked down to Camelot CK then followed the FT down for a bit, then turned around and walked back up before consulting the map and picking a side gully to go up, headed west and after a short bush bash we hit the old RWC track then onto the lookout.

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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby dwtrailruns » Thu 08 Jun, 2017 2:37 pm

Hey guys,

Thanks for the discussion about Nattai which has been going for a long time now - I really appreciated reading all of your cumulative experience before heading out over the weekend.

I'm a trail runner and orienteer (I'm on the board of Southern Highlands Orienteers) and I led a couple of trail running friends on a 3 hour adventure out there on Sunday.

I thought I was heading to Ahearns lookout from looking at some of NPWS pages, but in hindsight it looks like we headed out to Chasm lookout first via a major track/fire trail? We had clear views of Mount Jellore, it was great.

We then headed down Starlights via the Southern trail head (what looks like the start of the Ahearns track, but I didn't see a branch?) before heading north across the creek/gully and following the marked trail down the southern feet of cliffs before doing a quite steep section down to the Nattai. The route was very close to the Starlights marked on my topo map, but it doesn't sound entirely like what some of you have described as Starlights. Can someone confirm that we actually hit Starlights, or did we do something else? On the way out there was a STB with an arrown at the north trail head.

I have attached my Strava gps file if anyone wants to check it out. Some of the tracks (inlcuding Starlights at the bottom) were far less distinct than I expected. However, we had an awesome run/climb. So close to home and so wild!

Thanks for sharing all of your collective experience/wisdom!

Dean
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby tom_brennan » Fri 09 Jun, 2017 2:18 pm

No, you went out Ahearns Track, and then down Slott Way to the Nattai.

Starlights turnoff is 130m further back north along the fire trail.

See http://maps.ozultimate.com/?id=1496981880067 - Starlights is the northernmost of the 3 tracks, Slott Way is the southernmost.
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby dwtrailruns » Fri 09 Jun, 2017 7:47 pm

Hi Tom,

Thanks for letting me know. I thought we we heading too far south, but it was fairly hard to tell the gullies apart that high up. I also thought the two trail heads turned into one track (there is a track that heads north from the Ahearns track to join them only 100m or so from the start), so I didn't bother checking the north head out on the way back from Chasm lookout.

Thanks for the waypoints too, I'll use them to keep on the Ahearns track as well next time - I'll definitely be heading out for another run.

Appreciate your sharing!

Many thanks,
Dean
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby michael_p » Sat 10 Jun, 2017 11:36 am

dwtrailruns wrote:Thanks for the discussion about Nattai which has been going for a long time now - I really appreciated reading all of your cumulative experience before heading out over the weekend. Thanks for sharing all of your collective experience/wisdom!

Hi Dean and welcome. Happy to share my knowledge of this area and glad to read you had a good trail run.

As Tom said you ended up on the Slott Way. The Slott Way is getting a lot of use and has become well worn whereas the Ahearn Track has become overgrown at this point. When heading out to Ahearns it is very easy to head off on the Slott Way by accident. When you get to the tree with the red triangular marker go right to head out to Ahearns.

Below photo shows the red triangular marker in the tree at the start of the Slott Way. Keep your eye out for it and as I said above go right to head out to Ahearn Lookout.
slottway1-small.JPG

Cheers,
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby Grabeach » Sat 10 Jun, 2017 1:11 pm

Easy to do. A year or two back wife and I were in the area and went without a map for a ‘make it up as you go along’ stroll. Eventually headed for Ahearns L/O. Against my better judgement, I was ‘persuaded’ by the ribbons to head left. I realised soon after that something was wrong, but by then decided to follow this track to see where it went. Ended up at quite a good lookout above what I later learned was the Slott Way.

On the way back we followed the Ahearns Track up to the first rocky high point. Returning, I was clearing the track as we went, but only to the point of throwing stuff off the track and removing obvious obstructing branches. The most overgrown part is unfortunately at the junction, though I was kicking myself for not realising that the underlying track formation clearly dictated the way we should have gone.
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