Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

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NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

Postby shaunarundell » Tue 10 May, 2022 8:34 am

I understand the entire road is out because of a fairly major landslide in March that dumped the entire road width into the valley.
How far along Narrow neck is the slide ?
Any ideas when this will be fixed - days, weeks, months, years, never ?
Is it safe/legal to walk ?
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Re: Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

Postby keithj » Tue 10 May, 2022 12:47 pm

See recent photo at https://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 65#p432584
The landslip is about 500m from Cliff Drive, and is the complete road width - apparently it is still geologically unstable. So neither safe nor legal to walk that section. (Today) the NPWS alerts page appears to allow access to unmaintained tracks (Grade 5 tracks & off-track), so access to Narrowneck by the dozen or so other routes may be allowed.

With all the rain, suitable geologists & engineers are currently in short supply, so even getting as assessment of the site is slow.

However, I understand that after a preliminary inspection this section is repairable, but as BMCC are responsible it may be years before it is fixed. BMCC is also responsible for the v. popular Charles Darwin Walk in Wenty - it's still closed 2.5 yrs after the floods.

I'd expect official access for walkers will be possible well before the road is fixed, either by an alternate foot track or via Golden Stairs.
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Re: Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

Postby ribuck » Tue 10 May, 2022 5:27 pm

It might be a good time to retire the road and re-wild Narrowneck. Before the road was built, the top of Narrowneck was a bushwalking destination in its own right. Now, with the road, it's usually just a way to get to some pass or other.

The road was built for firefighting purposes, and National Parks is required to keep it in trafficable condition for that purpose, but nowadays helicopters could take care of the firefighting needs of Narrowneck.
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Re: Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 10 May, 2022 6:34 pm

ribuck wrote:It might be a good time to retire the road and re-wild Narrowneck. Before the road was built, the top of Narrowneck was a bushwalking destination in its own right. Now, with the road, it's usually just a way to get to some pass or other.

The road was built for firefighting purposes, and National Parks is required to keep it in trafficable condition for that purpose, but nowadays helicopters could take care of the firefighting needs of Narrowneck.


Excellent idea.
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Re: Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

Postby michael_p » Tue 10 May, 2022 7:11 pm

ribuck wrote:It might be a good time to retire the road and re-wild Narrowneck.

I do like the re-wilding idea. Do they still use the fire tower? If yes, then vehicle access would probably still be required.
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Re: Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 11 May, 2022 7:33 am

I'm sure remote cameras on the tower could do 99% of the fire lookout job. Probably be better as they would be on station 24/7.

A constructed walking track could be used to service the tower and as a bonus used by walkers for recreation.

Parks need to ask themselves do they really need that road.. did that road stop any fires last time?
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Re: Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

Postby Allchin09 » Sat 14 May, 2022 8:24 pm

I agree with the re-wilding of Narrow Neck. You might be up against some opposition from the mountain bikers and trail runners though. Where do you have it start from? Current locked gate? Golden Staircase? Start of Glenraphael Drive? I'm not sure if there's a suitable carpark space at the start of Glenraphael.
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Re: Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

Postby JohnnoMcJohnno » Sun 15 May, 2022 3:23 pm

Re-wilding would be nice but . . .

My understanding is that the fire trails were built after bushfires devastated Blue Mountains townships in the late 1950's. The plan back then was to fight the fires when they got near the houses. That strategy didn't work in the 1950's because the fires built to the point where they got so big you couldn't fight them. It was all too late. The fire trails were then constructed to enable crews to get in and fight the fires closer to where they started and before they got too big. I can't see councils or National Parks or Emergency authorities giving up a road easily - there's too much history and too much perceived risk to the local communities.
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Re: Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

Postby Xplora » Mon 16 May, 2022 7:11 am

I just can't see anyone fighting a fire on Narrowneck in this day and age. One road with no escape. Good for mop up operations though.
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Re: Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

Postby Avidbushwalker » Wed 18 May, 2022 9:39 pm

Anyone had an insight into whether there's been discussion as to repairs to Narrowneck taking place in one month, a few months etc?

And also an overall plan to slowly reopen the BMNP??? Certain sections/walks to be opened such as the popular Giant Stairs???

Or when any walks into the Grosse may be reopened? Even if it's some not all of the possible routes ??

Thanks.
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Re: Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

Postby jonnosan » Sat 21 May, 2022 3:16 pm

I went for a stickybeak at the landslide this afternoon from Narrowneck lookout. It was too misty to see anything so I followed a faint footpad from the picnic area down the ridge that runs south. After 2 minutes I hit a 2m wide and seemingly brand new whipper-snippered track (on the western side of the ridge) that dropped me down on to Glenraphael drive just past the landslide section (which is fenced off on that side as well). I then followed it back up the ridge and it stops abruptly just out of sight of the fenced off area at at lookout. AFAIK I didnt cross into any area that is officially closed.
Anyway not sure exactly what it's all about - could be the start of a new 'walkers only' route I guess?
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Re: Narrow Neck closure - Glenraphael Drive landslide

Postby rcaffin » Sun 22 May, 2022 3:02 pm

I just can't see anyone fighting a fire on Narrowneck in this day and age.
Me, I can't see anyone even getting small flame on Narrowneck today . . .

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