Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby marron » Tue 23 Apr, 2024 11:43 am

Just an update - Horse Track opened a few weeks back. The track maintenence crew have done the steeper pass section around the gate and are slowly making their way down the more gentle parts, but it's all been brushcut and is an easy walk, the steps they've done so far are top notch, too.

Speaking to people in the know recently - and I have been hearing the same for a few years - NPWS will basically make Horse Track the advertised way in and encourage people to use it as a main route to Acacia Flat. They are leaving the Williams track (from Govetts lookout to Junction rock via the base of the falls) alone for a good while due to landslide risk, although it's interesting to note that the new valley floor signage has directions, even though there is very clear "track closed" stuff up at Junction Rock. So it's "never say never" on that part. However the Rodriguez pass up Greaves Creek to the Grand Canyon will never re-open. In particular the section pictured at the top of the page has completely dropped away, leaving the cable rail floating in mid-air.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby johnw » Tue 23 Apr, 2024 1:28 pm

Interesting. Sounds like the Govetts track isn't 100% never.
Watch this space I guess. I'm keen to revisit the Horse track when I'm fitter health-wise. It has always been the least difficult route into the valley. Interested to see what they've done with it. Shame Rodriguez Pass is no more. My favourite short loop was Horse, Rodriguez, Grand Canyon. One of the most stunning walks in the mountains. I'll cherish my photos (and memories) even more now.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby marron » Tue 23 Apr, 2024 1:38 pm

Yep, it seems they are keen to open the Govetts descent eventually, but there was a rockfall scare not that long ago near workers so it's wait and see I guess.

Agreed on Rodriguez, a stunning one - all those falls. I assume people will still visit them, but I think it will be sketchier the further you go up the old track. I can remember just below Beauchamp it was always a little tricky to find your way through all the boulders and I'd imagine there's a fair few new ones in that bit.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby keithj » Tue 23 Apr, 2024 6:32 pm

[quote="Avidbushwalker"Thank you again for the update. Feel free to let me know when you notice any changes.[/quote]

Not much has changed since 2021...
Rodriguez is extremely unlikey to ever be reopened - extremely dangerous.
Horsetrack is re-opened & is now easily navigable - it will be the preferred way into that end of the valley. The track builders are still working there during the week (at least another 3 months work on the lower slopes)- they've done an excellent job soo far. It's a much better track than prior to 2020.
Govetts/Williams Track still has lots of unopened white bags of material, work was about to start before the last rain event, but that now has to wait a few weeks until things stabilise. There is a significant landslide halfway down that looks like it reaches the Jungle Track turnoff.

pMRb3MIwAlBYhzDAucgcsm47JhnEdHmIVMVCowYkDfY-2048x1536.jpg



I went down Horsetrack & up Perrys the day it reopened. It's nice not to see footprints until I met a couple of suprised rangers coming down Perrys.
The bit just past the gate is all steps - very narrow, steep for short sections, but solid.
MH1KKBraP8vRgIi0hy_z6QRcEGGZsALn2h-EbX4efRU-1536x2048.jpg


The Creek was down at normal levels, but there was plenty of evidence that is was 3m higher. This was maybe a week after the recent rains.

9_h0Iz2AoEo1_9EizB-kjmzYRlsFHGAM7ClE5L7O6qU-2048x1536.jpg


It had been way over the track level - there was a little erosion and some sinkholes. The whole track is slashed for meter either side - it's mostly runnable for those so inclined.

And there are a couple of new deviations downstream from Junction Rock, that climb 30m above the creek, avoiding the lowest lying and easily flooded & eroded sections.

So next time NPWS closes the park due to impending rains, just have a look at how high the debris can get :o

And as a bonus keep an eye for the 2m Diamond Python lurking on the level section halfway down Horsetrack.
z8SiXvZGzVsTuVzvaelnWjw_E0UlJ6IHse4zUoLlGks-2048x1536.jpg
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby marron » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 8:53 am

Nice, thanks Keith!

I also went down the day it opened haha. Took my son and we camped at...well... near... perhaps... Syncarpia :) Missed the python though!

Also spent a few days camping at Acacia Flat recently; yes, the water level had got pretty high in places - and has removed the log that crosses the creek to Shortridge/Lockleys from it's "new" position, pushing it to one side completety - gotta get your feet wet to cross now :)

And yes some deviations in that section from Junction to Acacia - the flood damage in 2021 was also pretty severe and had made those parts pretty unstable so the track goes up the slope further now.
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