Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

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Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby tom_brennan » Fri 23 May, 2014 9:00 am

This is from two Fridays ago...
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Image
View over the Wild Dogs from Carlon Head

After hearing varying reports of their condition, I had been wanting for a while to check out the chains on Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders). I was going to be up in the mountains for the weekend, so left on Friday morning with my mountain bike in the car.

It was a still, fine, cool autumn day in the mountains. I don't go out to Glenraphael Drive that often, but the road seems to be in worse condition every time I drive it. Friday was no exception. It's OK to the bottom of the hill, but deteriorates pretty badly past there. At least the deepest potholes tend to be as wide as a car, so not so much of a problem. I do wonder how some of the small 2wd cars make it out to the Golden Stairs (or further).

There were a couple of cyclists at the car park who had just returned from the fire tower. I jumped on my bike and headed off, the first time I had been on a mountain bike for about a year. The hills were a lot more work than the last time I had ridden the fire trail in 2007. I had also been a bit ill for the past few months, so I partly blame that! The fire trail itself also seemed very loose, and I reckoned I would have struggled to ride up the steeper hills regardless. Or perhaps I was just a better mountain biker in 2007?!

Image
New toilet at Bushwalkers Hill

In any case, it's pretty easy going once past the second narrow neck. Flat riding on good quality fire trail for about 4km to the fire tower. There is a new (well, last 5 years) toilet at Bushwalkers Hill on the south side of the clearing.

I abandoned my bike behind a bush on the western edge of the clearing, and set off down what appeared to be the track. It petered out after a hundred metres or so. I figured that my trackfinding ability was a bit lacking (my wife Rachel usually does the routefinding, while I do the navigating), so I searched around nearby, with no luck. I then thought that maybe the track was getting so little use that it was overgrowing. I pulled out my map to have a look, which indicated that the ridge to follow may be further south. It probably would have been useful to have a compass (tied to my other map case in the car) and the Jenolan map (also in the car), but I didn't really expect to need a map at all! After a couple more attempts, I headed back to the clearing and followed the clearing edge around to the south. After following one more false lead, I spotted a bright yellow sign in the bush not far away. Bingo! The track actually leaves from the very southern edge of the clearing, behind the toilet. Once I had that, it was pretty easy going out to Carlon Head. The track is definitely indistinct in places, but not hard to follow or pick up again when you lose it.

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NPWS warning sign

There was another NPWS warning sign near the top of the first pitch. It says: "Warning! The historic bolts, chains and handholds on the Carlons (sic) Head Track are unsafe. Do not use for abseiling or rockclimbing. Remote area. Steep rugged terrain."

I checked out the chains, and carefully climbed down the several short drops that make up the top cliffline. With a little bit of spare time, I skirted around under the cliffs to the south on the ledge. Interestingly, after a bit of a wander, I found a couple of other places that it looked like you could easily walk up through the cliffline. Probably not much use given you still need to ascend the bottom two cliff bands, but you never know. I think that the top cliff would actually be the most difficult if the chains were removed.

Image
Top pitch of Carlon Head

For the middle cliffline, I decided to abseil so I could check things out more easily. I had brought a couple of 20m ropes - one was more than enough to reach the bottom from the very top. The middle cliffline consists of a ramp leading down to the left, of about 7m, followed by a vertical wall, also of about 7m.

Image
Looking down the middle pitch

There is a variety of rusty ironwork on the ramp, most of it fairly suspect. The chain looks relatively new and reliable, but the other bits are broken off or wobbly. There are also cut steps on this section, and if you are climbing from the bottom, the ramp section is pretty easy going.

Image
The middle pitch from the bottom - the rungs and spikes are hard to see

The vertical wall has three rungs near the top, and two spikes, the lowest of which is about half height. There were two more rungs nearer the bottom last time I had visited. These had been wobbly, and were now gone. A man I met in the car park afterwards said that one of them was lying in the dirt at the bottom of the pitch. The spikes seem pretty solid, if rusty, but the rungs I would say are a bit iffy.

I wandered down the ridge to the final chain, and climbed down this. It looked quite exposed from the top, but it's only really the top few metres that are tricky. This is by far the easiest of the pitches. I climbed back up without using the chain. It's not particularly hard. There were another couple of yellow NPWS warning signs.

Returning to the middle cliff, I climbed up using the chain. There are some good handholds and footholds in the rock (some natural, some cut), and the only spot I felt that I had to really weight the chain was a couple of metres below the top of the wall where there is a big gap between footholds. I tried to avoid putting too much weight on the rungs - they looked somewhat suspect.

Interestingly the top cliff is probably the most difficult, though as it consists of three short "steps", it feels less exposed. Without the spikes and chains I'm not sure I'd be able to climb it.

While I am not surprised that the NPWS has put up the warning signs, I'm guessing that they haven't actually tested the bolts, chains or handholds. I'm no expert, but the bolts and chains look in fairly good condition other than some rust on the chains where they run over the ironstone edges. It's hard to tell if they have been replaced in the past 7 years. From comparing photos, they look in very similar condition. The spikes are rusty, but seem superficially solid. It's always hard to tell what that sort of ironwork is like inside the rock. The rungs feel like they move, and I wouldn't be surprised if more of them are gone in the near future.

Image
On the Narrow Neck Fire Trail

Back at the top, I left behind the great views and headed back to the bike. The return trip was a bit of a slog, so I stopped for views in a few places along the way. A good afternoon.

More pictures are on my website
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby juxtaposer » Fri 23 May, 2014 9:43 am

Manson's Chains.
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby kanangra » Fri 23 May, 2014 2:19 pm

Gee that first photo is beautifully clear. Wonderful views.

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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby Grabeach » Fri 23 May, 2014 4:35 pm

For comparison, a scanned photo of the second pitch taken in 1987. This is the first photo I've posted, so I hope it comes out. I sorta remember this being the only part I considered impossible, for me anyway, without the hardwear. I remember noting one iron 'rung' had rusted down to a couple of mm, so I (easily) broke it off. Even then all the rungs and spike looked rusty, whereas the chains weren't too bad. Different materials, I guess. Don't think I've been there since.
PS: Shorts were a lot shorter back then!
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby kanangra » Fri 23 May, 2014 5:03 pm

And socks a lot longer. :lol:

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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby tom_brennan » Sat 24 May, 2014 10:41 am

juxtaposer wrote:Manson's Chains.


I assume you mean "Manson's Chains, not Mansons Ladders"? Any references?

The reference I have is from a report in the Sydney Bush Walker, August 1941, by someone in the party who installed them.
http://sbw.ozultimate.com/wiki/194108#d ... ns_ladders
Michael Keats/Brian Fox also refer to them as Mansons Ladders, but there is no reference.
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby juxtaposer » Wed 04 Jun, 2014 3:50 pm

That's interesting. But there never were ladders there, unlike at Taro's. I was introduced to them in the 70's as 'Carlon's Chains'. When I called them this to Wilf Hilder he was quick to correct me, so I haven't forgotten what Wilf called them. It' interesting when you take into account that when Craft and Mitchell replaced the original Taro's Ladders with the same sort of spikes that John Manson later used, the name 'ladders' continued to be applied, even though there were no longer any ladders there.
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby Allchin09 » Wed 04 Jun, 2014 4:12 pm

juxtaposer wrote:That's interesting. But there never were ladders there, unlike at Taro's.


I guess it depends on what you call a ladder? The one that was installed by Taro was definitely more like what we would traditionally call a ladder, but from reading the 1941 article Tom linked, the writer refers to what they were installing as a set of ladders (Eg calling it "Masons Ladders" and "Now to go back to the Ladders"). Maybe a set of pitons in the face of a wall could be called a ladder, it is something that you use to climb up after all?

juxtaposer wrote:I was introduced to them in the 70's as 'Carlon's Chains'. When I called them this to Wilf Hilder he was quick to correct me, so I haven't forgotten what Wilf called them.


Wilf calls them Masons Ladders in his Confed. Tracks and Access Report for 27th April 2007.

I'm not sure when the chains were installed, but I don't think they were there originally as no reference is made to them in the 1941 article. Names involving chains would then have come around at a later date, after they were installed.
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby DaveNoble » Wed 04 Jun, 2014 6:30 pm

When I started bushwalking - around 1972, they were widely known as "Carlons Chains" - I don't think any walkers thought that one of the Carlon family had put in the chains, but rather that they were on Carlon Head. I think the "Carlons Chains" name was very commonly used amongst bushwalkers. I can remember seeing the name published in magazines and probably in newspapers articles (There was a big helicopter rescue - probably one of the first helicopter rescues for a bushwalker, at Carlons Chains, when a walker fell and was injured).

Perhaps it was Wilf Hilder that popularised the name "Mansons Ladders". I just checked Wilf Hilder's book and he refer's to them as "Mansons Ladders" - so this was back in the late 60's/early 70's when his book was published.

Col Gibson in his excellent article "Narrow Neck Peninsula - A Bushwalkers' History" (VS&M Vol 13 1993) talks about early descents and ascents of Carlons Head and how on the Kings Birthday Long Weekend in June 1941, John Manson and Len Scotland, SBW, placed pitons and a chain on the 25 ft bluff - the main difficulty of the pass. Col says that "John, aided by Len, hung suspended over the cliff-face, cutting footholds and implanting pitons". This was on the Sunday. The next day they were assisted by Dot Butler.

According to Col, new chains were put in at various times, including by the Federation Tracks and Access Committee in 1972. Col refers to them as "Mansons Chains". I think that is probably a better name than "Mansons Ladders"

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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby Tortoise » Wed 04 Jun, 2014 6:54 pm

My second bushwalk, in 1979, ended up with me - being the smallest - going up first to test the ropes/chains. :shock: I must have been ok with heights and a bit crazy back then! I remember someone else on her first ever walk 'freezing' part way up, and it taking a very long time to talk her up.

The leader had planned some loop or other including the Coxs River. But somewhere along the line we lost the track, took ages, and decided we needed a plan B to get out on time and not have the SRS called. "Carlons Chains", said the leader, "that sounds interesting!" And so it was written on whatever map we were using then.
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby juxtaposer » Wed 04 Jun, 2014 7:02 pm

Looks like I'll have to accept that Wilf thought they should be called Manson's Ladders, on the basis, I suppose, of the 1941 article, which, incidentally,is very likely to have been written by Dot; it is so in her vein. I imagine she was simply following suit: first there were Taro's Ladders, and now there were Manson's. A silk pyjama to anyone who can find another reference to 'Ladders' (other than Wilf's).
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby tom_brennan » Thu 05 Jun, 2014 3:51 pm

Interesting thought that the 1941 article was written by Dot, Juxtaposer. I think it's unlikely though, for a few reasons:
1. Dot had already climbed Carlon Head by this point, whereas the article sounds like it was someone doing it for the first time
2. "The next morning John, Len and Dot too this time left early..." and "When we lazy ones arrived at lunch time we found our hard working pals ..." suggests that the writer wasn't one of John, Len or Dot - an earlier comment says it was one of the girls.
3. There are a few other comments in the article suggesting both a less experienced walker, and also that it was someone other than Dot

In the original article, the writer mentions that:
During the night I had been wishing that the numerous parcels of iron pitons, chains, picks and ropes which went to make up John's load for the weekend, could have been, by the wave of a magician's wand, transposed into eiderdowns, etc.

So there were chains available for installation as well as pitons.

http://sbw.ozultimate.com/1941/194107.pdf - At least one chain was installed by Manson, as the Federation minutes from June 1941 note:
John Manson of the SBW announced that the route from Narrow Neck Peninsula over Carlon Head to the Black Dog Track is now negotiable by walkers as he has placed pitons and a hand chain on the big rock which used to make it impassable to all but rock-climbers. The delegates present welcomed the news of the opening up of this fresh route and passed a hearty vote of thanks for the work done.


http://sbw.ozultimate.com/1941/194112.pdf - In November 1941, the chains were discussed at the SBW general meeting:
Once again Johnny Manson's pitons on Carlon's Head were discussed. Are they quite safe and “a good thing” as opening up a new route, or are they too difficult and dangerous for most people. The consensus of opinion was that the route, though awkward in one place, can be used by bushwalkers, but should not be known to tourists and, for their safety, the notices on the Clear Hill Track and the Black Dog Track which indicate the turn off to "Manson's Ladders" should be removed. It was resolved to ask the Federation to write to Johnny Manson and request him to remove the notices, since he erected them, and if he does not comply with the request, the Federation to get them removed.

It seems that John Manson himself was calling them Manson's Ladders.

http://sbw.ozultimate.com/1941/194112.pdf - And followed up at the November meeting of the Federation:
At the request of the S.B.W., Council of the Federation decided to write to Johnny Manson and ask him to remove the notices regarding “Mansons Ladders” which he had erected by the Clear Hill and Black Dog Tracks.


http://sbw.ozultimate.com/1941/194109.pdf - Interestingly, from the September 1941 edition:
John Manson has resigned from the Club. We understand there is no connection between this action, taken for purely personal reasons, and the mixed reception accorded by walkers to his recent piton placing at Carlon Head. Incidentally, we heard that he was out there again on August Bank Holiday Weekend.

Similar to the reception to Tarros Ladder, not everyone was happy with the modification and installation.

By 1972, they were definitely referred to as Carlons Chains. See for example, http://sbw.ozultimate.com/1972/197209.pdf. There are other references in the Federation notes around that time. This agrees with Dave's recollection.

I was referring to them as Carlons Chains on my first trip there in 2006, but I have no idea where that reference was from - possibly the Wild article on the Passes of Narrow Neck (April 1992).
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby juxtaposer » Thu 05 Jun, 2014 4:22 pm

You guys sure do know your bushwalking history. It's good to see. Wilf, who'd met John Manson, always maintained how devastated John was about the reception his chains/ladders got.
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby tom_brennan » Thu 05 Jun, 2014 6:52 pm

juxtaposer wrote:You guys sure do know your bushwalking history. It's good to see.

I know where there's a good trove of historical info online since I scanned it all, and I know how to search it! Not sure how much actual history I know yet! Other sources require more work to hunt down.

Given Frank Duncan's acerbic response to Tarros Ladders, it's not that surprising that there was a mixed response to Mansons Ladders. If it were done today, it would no doubt be deplored as vandalism, and I'm sure there were people back then that would have thought the same.

If anyone's interested, the SBW Magazine Project is ongoing to help finish the work that the OCRing started. Feel free to join in - http://sbw.ozultimate.com/wiki/

If anyone is interested in continuing the John Manson story: Feb 1942
About those signs on the Clear Hill and Black Dog Tracks which, it is feared, may beguile incompetent and unsuspecting tourists from those highways and involve them in the adventure of a trip over “Manson's Ladders” - Johnnie Manson's work keeps him in town these week-ends so any party of walkers that finds either of the two notices still in place is asked by Federation to remove it. Then no uninitiated person will be aware of the new route or be tempted to try it.


November 1942
More congratulations to Edith Findlay and Bill Watson who were recently married and Lola Bennett and John Manson who were married last Wednesday.

Presumably the same Lola mentioned on the June 1941 trip to install the pitons

January 1962
A feature of the "do" was the number of members from away back who turned up. Dorothy and Len Webb and son Alan, Flo (Allsworth) and David McKinnon, Lola and Jack Manson [John Manson] and Peter and Mrs Price came along and Tom and Jean Moppett were accompanied by daughters Nancy and Katherine.


September 1968
Under the heading of announcements Wilf Hilder mentioned a report that the Main Roads Dept. would build a footbridge over the Expressway near Cowan Station; that the Broken Bay Military Map seemed to have some glaring inaccuracies; and that onetime SBW member John Manson, who had originally discovered some of the caves on Church Creek had died recently.
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby Allchin09 » Thu 05 Jun, 2014 7:30 pm

tom_brennan wrote:September 1968
... and that onetime SBW member John Manson, who had originally discovered some of the caves on Church Creek had died recently.


Does that mean that there are multiple caves on Church Creek?
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby juxtaposer » Fri 06 Jun, 2014 9:38 am

And Alex is right about the broader use of the term 'ladders'. Myles Dunphy named a spur at the end of The Boyd Range 'Lannigans Ladder'. Not only are there no ladders there, but there are no spikes or chains either.
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby DaveNoble » Fri 06 Jun, 2014 9:56 am

Allchin09 wrote:
tom_brennan wrote:September 1968
... and that onetime SBW member John Manson, who had originally discovered some of the caves on Church Creek had died recently.


Does that mean that there are multiple caves on Church Creek?


Well the main cave is tagged "CC4". That suggests at least 4 caves. I think the main caves are the "Askin Cave" and the "Fyfe Cave" (Caves were named after politicians, because it was thought they would be less likely to destroy something named after them (e.g. "Fraser Cave" on the Lower Franklin River in Tassie). Wal Fyfe was a minister for mines in the Askin Government at the time of the Colong Caves battle.)

I think there are probably quite a few other caves at Church Ck as well. I can remember Myles Dunphy telling me about one there that he had seen - and that did not fit in with any I knew.

The Spelios have probably had a good look. There are quite a few caves nearby at Billys Creek as well (Church Ck and Billys Ck are parts of the same Colong Limestone)

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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby kanangra » Fri 06 Jun, 2014 10:15 am

I have never been able to find the entrances to Billy's Ck caves and have only found one in Church Ck, the entrance was not much bigger than a wombats burrow but there was quite a bit of stream passage inside and some nice coloured formations.

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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby juxtaposer » Wed 18 Jun, 2014 2:46 pm

Just back on Mansons 'Chainsladders' for a minute... though I readily admit the dusty old cobwebs of my brain are no match for the search engines, I have nonetheless been digging into it a bit further, and the first thing I found was 'Manson's Chains' marked on one of my old notebook sketch maps from March 1979. How that came about was from talking with one of the old hands who winced when I mentioned the name Carlon's Chains, which is the name everyone knew it by in those days, and possibly still do. He said the chains had nothing to do with the Carlon family, and that if they were anyone's chains they were John Mansons, and the rest of the story. He wasn't necessarily proposing they be called that, just setting me right on an historical point, but I took it upon myself to put the name 'Manson's Chains' on my notebook sketch map. I probaly hadn't seen the article by 'Piton' at that time. Subsequently I did have a conversation with Wilf Hilder about this, the outcome of which was that I thought I had convinced him to my way of thinking; maybe I had, but the evidence posted here suggests I had not.

As well, I point out that Myles Dunphy seems to have been one of those who did not think John Manson should have anything named after him, chains, ladders, or otherwise. If you look at his Gangerang and Wild Dogs map of 1953 you will see only the name 'Carlon Head Pass', which is probably the oldest name given that the use of the pass pre-dates Manson's Thingamybobs. Myles' reasoning is easy enough to follow: you only have to recall what happened to the name Duncan's Pass once Taro put up his ladders. Even today, when none of his handiwork remains, it will forever be known as Taro's. Myles and others didn't like people making improvements to old routes and having it named after them. As another example, how often do you hear the name of the Boyd Range track these days?, which is one of the oldest cattlemen's routes in the Blue Mountains, now popularly referred to as the 'Uni Rover Trail".

Finally, I would make this point re bushwalking nomenclature: though precedence is very important, it is not the only consideration. There is a case for reinstating quite a few old names, but when the precedent had never been picked up, or had but only in a very limited way, we should think hard before reimposing it over the top of a name that has. Who, for instance, thinks we should go back to calling Claustral Canyon The Black Hole of Calcutta? I assume everyone knows Mount Debert, which beforehand was known as Deberts Knob. Should we revert to that? Then again, before it was Deberts Knob it was known as Little Mountain. There are plenty of other examples.
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby juxtaposer » Wed 18 Jun, 2014 3:39 pm

Manson's Chains.jpg
Re imperial heights.: The metric maps for this area did not become available until the early 80's.
Manson's Chains.jpg (128.57 KiB) Viewed 19641 times
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Manson's%20Chains.jpg
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby Grabeach » Wed 18 Jun, 2014 3:46 pm

Myles Dunphy's view on not renaming things is interesting. I've been told that his maps contain a number of instances where an existing local name was dropped in favour of one of his own making.
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby DaveNoble » Wed 18 Jun, 2014 4:26 pm

Grabeach wrote:Myles Dunphy's view on not renaming things is interesting. I've been told that his maps contain a number of instances where an existing local name was dropped in favour of one of his own making.


This certainly seems to be the case with Mt Yellow Dog. An older, locally used name was "Mt Peter O'Reilly". This is discussed in Bernard O'Reilly's book "Cullenbenbong" (often included with his better known book "Green Mountains"). The author prefers the older name (which happened to be named after his father....) It is very likely that Myles would have known of the local name.

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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby juxtaposer » Wed 18 Jun, 2014 4:30 pm

Yes he did, and he had his reasons, though he wasn't always right, nor was he always aware of a precedent. Information was a lot harder to get hold of in the 20's and 30's, and this and that family had different ideas about what places were called. Many old local names only survive to this day because Myles bothered to record them. He was famously taken to task by Bernard O'Reilly (repeated by Bert Carlon) for 'renaming' the Peter O'Reilly Range', 'Yellow Dog Ridge'. Yet Myles and Alan Rigby interviewed Norbert Carlon (Bert's dad), at a time when the O'Reilly's had long since moved to Queensland. There is no evidence to suggest that Norbert ever used the name 'Peter O'Reilly Range' or objected to 'Yellow Dog Ridge'. In fact, Myles' idea for naming the Wild Dogs came from existing names White Dog and Black Dog. If Myles had known about Peter O'Reilly Range he had no reason to delete it. Myles probably first heard the name 'Peter O'Reilly Range' around the same time when everyone else did, when "Green Mountains" was published.
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby kanangra » Wed 18 Jun, 2014 4:57 pm

On a side note Green Mts and Cullenbenbong is in my humble opinion a classic of Australian literature. I recently lent my copy to one of my staff to read and he came back singing the books praises too.

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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby DaveNoble » Wed 18 Jun, 2014 5:07 pm

juxtaposer wrote:
Finally, I would make this point re bushwalking nomenclature: though precedence is very important, it is not the only consideration. There is a case for reinstating quite a few old names, but when the precedent had never been picked up, or had but only in a very limited way, we should think hard before reimposing it over the top of a name that has. Who, for instance, thinks we should go back to calling Claustral Canyon The Black Hole of Calcutta? I assume everyone knows Mount Debert, which beforehand was known as Deberts Knob. Should we revert to that? Then again, before it was Deberts Knob it was known as Little Mountain. There are plenty of other examples.


With the names "Claustral" - favoured by the members of the Kameruka Bushwalking Club, and "Calcutta" - favoured by UNSW Bushwalking Club. The KBC had visited the canyon on December 62 - but had not down a through trip (they went down two waterfalls, then climbed back up, later going up the canyon from Rainbow Ravine - all the way to the bottom of the third abseil). Then early in 1963 a UNSW party went all the way down the canyon - but not down the waterfalls. Then a bit later, another KBC party went all the way down the waterfalls (bolting the third drop). The eventual nomenclature was decided by a committee of the Federation of Bushwalking Clubs - which was "Claustral Canyon" and "Calcutta Falls". But I notice that Rick Higgins (who was in the UNSW party) still refers to the canyon as "Calcutta Canyon" when talking about it.

Some of Myles Dunphy's names were later changed to fit in with Geographical Names Board Guidelines, Eg "Rip, Rack Roar and Rumble" were changed to "Rip Knoll", "Rack Knoll" etc And they rejected (most of) his "Deeps" (He proposed 5 Deeps - Kanangra Deep, Whalania Deep, Tartarus Deep, Morong Deep and "Shemash Deep", but I think kept his "Pits" (e.g. "Pit of Serephos").

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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby DaveNoble » Wed 18 Jun, 2014 5:10 pm

kanangra wrote:On a side note Green Mts and Cullenbenbong is in my humble opinion a classic of Australian literature. I recently lent my copy to one of my staff to read and he came back singing the books praises too.

K.


Yes - I can remember reading about Cronje and the Gubba......

And snow in Megalong Valley during the summer one year (I think it may have been Xmas or New Year's Day)

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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby Alan Webb » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 1:40 pm

I read with interest the many comments made on Mansons Ladders at Carlon Head. John Manson and his wife Lola were my parents, Len and Dorothy Webb's best friends, and were members of the SBWs prior to WWII. My parents gave John (or uncle Jack as I knew him) assistance in the construction of the "ladders" in 1941. John was born in Geelong in 1899 and died in Mosman in 1968. Lola lived till about 1992. They had no children and were active members of the River Canoe Club at Tempe in the 50's. I only heard them refer to the spikes and chains as "the ladders" and as a child I was aware that there was some consternation over there construction. As far as I can recall, the last time John climbed the ladders was with me (as a 16 year old) in 1960. Another comment made in the Sept 1968 edition was John Manson's discovery of caves at Church Creek. This could be so as I heard him say that during the depression he spent much of his time prospecting on the Kowmung.
Can somebody help me? An entry from the Jan 1962 edition reads: 'A feature of the "do" was a number of members from way back who turned up. Some names mentioned were Dorothy and Len Webb and there son Alan (me), the Mansons and the Moppetts and there daughters. Can anyone tell me what that "do was that we attended?
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby tom_brennan » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 1:29 pm

Hi Alan and welcome. Thanks for the extra info on John Manson.

The "do" was the SBW Christmas Party in 1962 - see http://sbw.ozultimate.com/wiki/196201 for the rest of the story
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby Allchin09 » Wed 28 Mar, 2018 12:04 am

Sorry to reopen an old thread, but just read the entry in the recently published "Blue Mountains Geographical Encyclopedia" related to this thread.

It lists Carlons Chains and also Mason Ladders (note no 's'). It also seems to suggest that Bert Carlon was involved in their placement. Both the spelling and the inclusion of Bert don't seem to fit with the discussion of this thread so I thought it was of note. Also interesting to see what appears to be Alan Webb's forum post quoted as a reference.
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Re: Carlon Head (Mansons Ladders)

Postby tom_brennan » Wed 28 Mar, 2018 10:24 pm

The reference to Bert Carlon was a claim made by Jim Barrett in his book "Narrow Neck and the Birth of Katoomba". However, there's no reference for that claim, so it's hard to verify.

In particular, you'd think that if Bert Carlon were there, he would have at least been mentioned in the article by "Piton" - given the specific references to the other key people (John, Len and Dot).
http://sbw.ozultimate.com/wiki/194108#d ... ns_ladders

It's also interesting that Len isn't mentioned by last name - so it would be interesting to know where Jim Barrett got that it was Len Scotland. Could it have been Len Webb? He was welcomed as a new member in August 1940, so would not have been a member at the time of the placement of the original chains.
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