Erskine Creek

NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion.
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Erskine Creek

Postby RobT » Sat 25 Jul, 2020 5:39 pm

Has anyone here walked the length of Erskine Creek from Kings Tableland (say coming in from Red Ridge) to near its confluence with the Nepean River (say Pisgah Rock or Jack Evans Track)? I have found plenty of info about the lower sections of Erskine Creek but not much upstream from Blands Pool.
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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby clarence » Sat 25 Jul, 2020 7:48 pm

I walked about 20 odd km of it years ago. As wild and untouched as any creek in the Blue Mtns- but pretty slow going generally- 6 km per day was pretty standard.

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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby Allchin09 » Sun 26 Jul, 2020 9:57 am

I know that in the past Erskine and Bedford Creeks were known to be slow going, but after the post-fire floods at the start of this year I believe they've really been cleaned out! A good time to get out and explore.
Tackling the unknown and the awesome one adventure at a time!

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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby wildwanderer » Sun 26 Jul, 2020 11:40 pm

Or you could be wading through and climbing over a forest of partly burnt and tangled bushes and logs. :lol:
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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby DavidB » Mon 27 Jul, 2020 11:47 am

The flooding earlier this year has dropped a lot of debris into Glenbrook Creek. So may well be the same for Erskine. Allow plenty of time.
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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby clarence » Tue 28 Jul, 2020 11:01 am

We came in from Kanuka Brrok then down near Aquila Point and exited on a rough track out to Woodford.

So it was actually Erskine and Bedford Creeks, not just Erskine Ck.

The section from Aquila Point to Woodford was three or four days.

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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby RobT » Tue 28 Jul, 2020 7:22 pm

Thanks Clarence.

Back in the early 90s (when I was a kid) I recall the very first time I walked to the Col on Mt Solitary. There was log book entry there written by someone who had walked from the Nepean River (can't recall his exact starting point) to The Col via Erskine Creek with his dog. He made the log entry on his 11th day.

If I end up doing it I'll report back on how fast (or slow) progress is. Aiming to walk it in the spring. But not the Bedford Ck section.
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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby kanangra » Wed 29 Jul, 2020 11:32 am

Isn't there a new book out on this area? I may even have it at home? I will check.

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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby johnw » Wed 29 Jul, 2020 1:07 pm

kanangra wrote:Isn't there a new book out on this area? I may even have it at home? I will check.

K.

New-ish, K. I've yet to read my own copy in full but I suspect you may be thinking about the 2014 second edition of Bruce Cameron's A History of the Blue Labyrinth, as described by Dave Noble here:
http://www.david-noble.net/blog/?p=5425. Some of Dave's photos feature in the book. There are 17 or 18 pages devoted to Erskine and Bedford Creeks.
A lovely book, I really need to read it in depth instead of thumbing through bits of immediate interest.
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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby kanangra » Wed 29 Jul, 2020 3:15 pm

Yes that's it. I think I have it at home. I'll have to check tonight.

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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby RobT » Wed 29 Jul, 2020 8:54 pm

Yes, I have ordered that book on inter-library loan. But I haven't heard back whether my library can obtain it yet.
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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby Warin » Wed 29 Jul, 2020 9:20 pm

RobT wrote:Yes, I have ordered that book on inter-library loan. But I haven't heard back whether my library can obtain it yet.


Interlibrary loans may be out due to covid? My local has it listed as available. But other libraries may not.
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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby clarence » Thu 30 Jul, 2020 9:56 am

For trips starting/finishing at the Nepean, we once did a four day trip from Rainbow Ravine (near Claustral) down the Grose to the Nepean. Incredible country there too.

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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby michael_p » Thu 30 Jul, 2020 10:55 am

RobT,

You can get good, up to date satellite photos from Sentinel Hub. Here is a link covering the Erskine Ck area from 23/7/2020: https://apps.sentinel-hub.com/sentinel- ... ates=false
The extent of the fire damage is still easily visible. It appears that the fire didn't penetrate down into the creek valleys. I think it would be safe to assume that the riparian vegetation would still be thick making progress along the creeks very slow.

Hope this is of some help,
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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby RobT » Thu 24 Sep, 2020 6:00 pm

Thanks all for your replies.

I got hold of Bruce Cameron's book "Blue Labyrinth" through inter-library loans, and have almost finished reading it. Would thoroughly recommend reading it if you are interested in the history of that part of the world.

I also did the trip. Started from the old Queen Victoria Hospital and walked to Glenbrook Train Station via Red Ridge, Erskine Creek, Pisgah Rock. The Erskine Creek section (including descent into the the gorge from the end of Red Ridge Fire Trail, and the ascent ending at Pisgah Rock) took me three days. The upper Erskine was slowest going - only did about 4 or 5 kms in one day (roughly 7 hours active). I found it got easier further downstream, and from about Pelham Creek I generally found the bank on the right-hand side (when facing downstream) to be the easier bank.

Most of Red Ridge was burnt out, but nothing burnt down at Erskine Creek, apart from a small section near the base of Mount Hall (and that didn't look too recent). Lots of flood debris to negotiate though... one night I camped on a sand bank that was 4 metres higher than what the current water level was!

Spectacular, rugged country and not a soul... So glad I did it. The early morning bird song at my last campsite was stunning.

Thanks to everyone who posted helpful information.
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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby wildwanderer » Fri 25 Sep, 2020 9:29 am

Great report.

Were there any nights where it was tough to find a spot to pitch a tent?
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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby RobT » Fri 25 Sep, 2020 12:24 pm

wildwanderer wrote:Were there any nights where it was tough to find a spot to pitch a tent?


There were flattish banks of sand every so often (not necessarily on the side of the creek I was on), and this is what I used for camping on the three nights I was in the gorge. First night along the creek (upper Erskine) it was almost 5pm and I was concerned enough about finding a good site for a one-person tent that I actually walked back to the last suitable site I had seen (thankfully the walk back was 3 times quicker because I knew the best way). Further downstream I encountered suitable sites more frequently (partly because I found my pace was quicker further downstream, partly because the gorge broadens out).

If I were doing it again, to be on the safe side, I would allow up to 1 hour walking to encounter a reasonable site for a 1 or 2 person tent along the upper Erskine, and about 40 minutes further downstream.
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Re: Erskine Creek

Postby RobT » Fri 25 Sep, 2020 12:30 pm

One extra thing to add about the descent into the Erskine Creek gorge. From the end of Red Ridge FT, I headed ESE along the main spur, which then bends around slightly so I was later heading roughly SE. At times I wondered if I could find a safe way down through the cliffs but there was always a way. I read an account elsewhere of a bushwalker who attempted to access the creek from a different spur (heading roughly S), and came up against impassable cliffs. I am not surprised given what I saw when I was in the ravine.
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