Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

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Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby flatfoot » Sun 21 Aug, 2011 10:29 am

Rodriguez Pass recently reopened. I went down this track on a club walk yesterday morning. The track is quite rough in places and it is surprising that it is reasonably passable despite being closed for some time. This was my first time down this track so I am not familiar with it's condition before. I knew that there had been a landslide. The photo below shows the new cable-handrail. The cable runs for about 10-15 metres across the landslide.

IMGP0227.JPG
IMGP0227.JPG (235.21 KiB) Viewed 37690 times


We went back up the horse track. There are a couple of recent tree falls which are a bit of an obstacle for the less nimble but not too bad.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Packo » Sun 21 Aug, 2011 5:46 pm

Thanks heaps for letting us know. Now I know where I will be going next weekend. I have been hanging out to get back on that track. It would have to be one of my favourite day walk loops
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby ninjapuppet » Sun 21 Aug, 2011 9:51 pm

This is fantastic news flatfoot! Thanks for the update.

I did take a friend here many years ago before it was closed off and I remember, the path across only barely had enough room for half the length of your foot. It was really easy to slip off if you werent careful with your foot placing.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby johnw » Mon 22 Aug, 2011 12:03 pm

Thanks for posting the update and photo flatfoot. Likewise it's been years since I've been through there due to the closure. If memory serves, there used to be a series of very eroded old stone steps around there. Last time I used them some looked very dodgy and I was doubtful about how long they'd last. I wonder if that's where the landslip was.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby flatfoot » Tue 23 Aug, 2011 5:21 pm

johnw wrote:Thanks for posting the update and photo flatfoot. Likewise it's been years since I've been through there due to the closure. If memory serves, there used to be a series of very eroded old stone steps around there. Last time I used them some looked very dodgy and I was doubtful about how long they'd last. I wonder if that's where the landslip was.


The landslide is soon after the mouth of Grand Canyon opens out to reveal the valley below. It's probably at or just above 700m above sea level.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby DaveNoble » Tue 23 Aug, 2011 6:33 pm

The slip is next to Beauchamp Falls. If you look around you can find signs of a much older track - a bit below (10m?) the current one.

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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby johnw » Mon 29 Aug, 2011 9:22 am

I went and had a look for myself on Saturday. Did a circuit starting from Evans Lookout, down the Horse Track, up Rodriguez Pass, through the Grand Canyon to Neates Glen etc. The valley tracks are much as how I last remember them, but a bit more overgrown since my last visit to this section of the valley. Apart from the substantial landslide on Rodriguez Pass and the track re-routing there (you don't go next to Beauchamp Falls anymore), the most noticeable thing for me was the number of fallen trees on the Horse Track. Interesting that the Horse Track is now signposted as such at the top (with warnings), rather than the old "no through track" sign that used to be there. I didn't notice an equivalent sign at the bottom, just the one where someone scratched an arrow and "Horse Track" with a pen knife, or similar, below other signage.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby JoshT » Tue 30 Aug, 2011 3:53 pm

I wandered past the landslip on Sunday, we did the shorter loop walk from Evans to Neates Glen through Grand Canyon, but went out to Beauchamp Falls for lunch. I'm pretty sure we followed the Rodriguez Pass track, which went over the new cutting shown in the phot above, then came back underneath the same spot, and tracked through the loose rocks at the bottom of the slip, some of which had been turned into steps. The path went next to the small picnic spot next to Beauchamp Falls, and then continued on down beside the creek.

As others have said, loads of trees had come down in the previous weeks, but the rangers looked like they were right onto it and there weren't any obstacles where we walked.

Both the top of the horse track, and the track junction to Rodriguez Pass had yellow warning signs, with words along the lines of 'paths into the Grose Valley may be slippery and hard to find', mostly to try and stop people wandering off the Grand Canyon walk I assume.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Leppy » Mon 05 Sep, 2011 12:28 am

Hi guys, does anyone who is this walk is anywhere on the wildwalks website?
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby johnw » Mon 05 Sep, 2011 1:21 am

Leppy wrote:Hi guys, does anyone who is this walk is anywhere on the wildwalks website?

Rodriguez Pass? A couple of options:

http://www.wildwalks.com/bushwalking-and-hiking-in-nsw/blue-mountains-blackheath-/evans-lookout-horse-track-to-beauchamp-falls.html
(can be extended to include the Grand Canyon as I did last weekend)
Or
http://www.wildwalks.com/bushwalking-and-hiking-in-nsw/blue-mountains-blackheath-/evans-lookout-to-junction-rock.html

Quick trip to Beauchamp Falls (locality) and back only:
http://www.wildwalks.com/bushwalking-and-hiking-in-nsw/blue-mountains-blackheath-/beauchamp-falls.html

Note that the existing notes won't take the landslide variation into account.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby wildwalks » Mon 05 Sep, 2011 8:06 am

Oh and http://www.wildwalks.com/bushwalking-and-hiking-in-nsw/blue-mountains-blackheath-/station-to-blue-gum-forest-overnighter.html
a nice semi circuit walk with an overnighter near Blue Gum. But if you are doing this and have the time you can take walk through the Grand Canyon from 4.79km, a very worth detour.

Enjoy the walk

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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Avidbushwalker » Sat 18 Dec, 2021 10:35 pm

I understand this walk is currently closed again. Would anyone know how the repairs are going and when it might be reopened???? Thanks.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Avidbushwalker » Sun 19 Dec, 2021 6:33 pm

Also any recommendations of books/websites for history of the Rodriguez Pass and even on the last landslide that occurred?
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby johnw » Mon 20 Dec, 2021 9:39 am

Avidbushwalker wrote:Also any recommendations of books/websites for history of the Rodriguez Pass and even on the last landslide that occurred?

For history I'm not aware of a book that is dedicated to only the Rodriguez Pass, but Andy Macqueen's "Back to the Brink" covers it well.
It's also an excellent resource for the whole of the Grose Valley/Govett Gorge.
The most recent landslips that I'm aware of have happened in the last 10-15 years but I don't know if any recent books have covered those.
The locations are on the upper part of the track towards Beauchamp Falls.
Finding specific web sites on either topic is more of a challenge. I can't think of anything right now.
Also have a look in Lamdha books in Wentworth Falls. He has some fairly specialised/unique titles related to Blue Mountains bushwalking.
Megalong Books in Leura is also worth a look.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby keithj » Mon 20 Dec, 2021 10:46 am

Avidbushwalker wrote:I understand this walk is currently closed again. Would anyone know how the repairs are going and when it might be reopened???? Thanks.

Latest I heard from NPWS was that Rodriguez may never be reopened as a maintained track. The Horse Track is more likely to be the designated tourist route into the valley instead - it's safer, more easily maintained, more even grade, fewer steps, less likely to be impacted by future rock falls.

However, it is possible that Rodriguez will be reopened as a 'wild' route at some stage.

Govetts Leap descend into the valley is deemed higher priority than Rodriguez or Horse Track, and that's progressing slowly... so I wouldn't be holding my breath.

Both were still closed when I wandered past about an hour ago.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Avidbushwalker » Tue 21 Dec, 2021 10:01 am

keithj wrote:
Avidbushwalker wrote:I understand this walk is currently closed again. Would anyone know how the repairs are going and when it might be reopened???? Thanks.

Latest I heard from NPWS was that Rodriguez may never be reopened as a maintained track. The Horse Track is more likely to be the designated tourist route into the valley instead - it's safer, more easily maintained, more even grade, fewer steps, less likely to be impacted by future rock falls.

However, it is possible that Rodriguez will be reopened as a 'wild' route at some stage.

Govetts Leap descend into the valley is deemed higher priority than Rodriguez or Horse Track, and that's progressing slowly... so I wouldn't be holding my breath.

Both were still closed when I wandered past about an hour ago.


Wow, thank you for your response, most appreciated. So good to get an insight and more information as to the plan moving forward. (Instead of seeing it as just 'Closed' on the NPWS website)

Yes, that's understandable. From a couple of photos I've seen recently, the landslide crossing in the original photo above is no longer the 'path' shown. Instead its more of a route across where there has been further erosion/or perhaps mini land slide so would definitely like to do it as 'wild' route. And extra care would certainly need to be take it to cross it now.

Ah, I noticed the Hose Track turnoff recently when doing the Grand Canyon - I wondered if it would be a more frequented route into the valley moving forward. Thanks for giving your reasoning as to why this could be the case - Its on my to do list. The old passes are so interesting - I've done a few at Leura recently.

Yes, the progresss is so slow. I noticed the white bags dotting the track from Govetts Lookout a a month or so ago.

Thank you again for the update. Feel free to let me know when you notice any changes.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Avidbushwalker » Tue 21 Dec, 2021 10:07 am

johnw wrote:
Avidbushwalker wrote:Also any recommendations of books/websites for history of the Rodriguez Pass and even on the last landslide that occurred?

For history I'm not aware of a book that is dedicated to only the Rodriguez Pass, but Andy Macqueen's "Back to the Brink" covers it well.
It's also an excellent resource for the whole of the Grose Valley/Govett Gorge.
The most recent landslips that I'm aware of have happened in the last 10-15 years but I don't know if any recent books have covered those.
The locations are on the upper part of the track towards Beauchamp Falls.
Finding specific web sites on either topic is more of a challenge. I can't think of anything right now.
Also have a look in Lamdha books in Wentworth Falls. He has some fairly specialised/unique titles related to Blue Mountains bushwalking.
Megalong Books in Leura is also worth a look.


Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I'll try and obtain a copy of the 'Back to the Brink' book - Certainly sounds interesting and would provide an insight into the Gross.

From looking at the area, it's understandable why there have been so many landslides.

I'm guessing the two mentioned bookstores might have this in stock? I'll check them out.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby johnw » Tue 21 Dec, 2021 5:35 pm

Avidbushwalker wrote:Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I'll try and obtain a copy of the 'Back to the Brink' book - Certainly sounds interesting and would provide an insight into the Gross.

From looking at the area, it's understandable why there have been so many landslides.

I'm guessing the two mentioned bookstores might have this in stock? I'll check them out.

No worries. Yes much of the upper Blueys is very landslip prone.
Both Lamdha Books and Megalong Books appear to have the second edition in stock for $40-00 (latest version).

https://www.megalongbooks.com.au/p/blue-mountains-back-from-the-brink-blue-gum-forest-grose-wilderness?barcode=9780646476957&search_key=back+from+the+brin
https://www.lamdhabooks.com.au/

Lamdha had it on the shelf when I called in there last month. You could also try the NPWS visitor centre shop at Govetts Leap, they usually have it.
I only have the first edition but struggle with the idea of updating it unless there are major changes.
I believe the newer edition did add more information but probably not enough for me to part with another $40.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Avidbushwalker » Sun 26 Dec, 2021 1:59 pm

johnw wrote:
Avidbushwalker wrote:Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I'll try and obtain a copy of the 'Back to the Brink' book - Certainly sounds interesting and would provide an insight into the Gross.

From looking at the area, it's understandable why there have been so many landslides.

I'm guessing the two mentioned bookstores might have this in stock? I'll check them out.

No worries. Yes much of the upper Blueys is very landslip prone.
Both Lamdha Books and Megalong Books appear to have the second edition in stock for $40-00 (latest version).

https://www.megalongbooks.com.au/p/blue-mountains-back-from-the-brink-blue-gum-forest-grose-wilderness?barcode=9780646476957&search_key=back+from+the+brin
https://www.lamdhabooks.com.au/

Lamdha had it on the shelf when I called in there last month. You could also try the NPWS visitor centre shop at Govetts Leap, they usually have it.
I only have the first edition but struggle with the idea of updating it unless there are major changes.
I believe the newer edition did add more information but probably not enough for me to part with another $40.


Yes such a shame that it's prone to landslides as it's cooler than the lower areas and thus makes summer bushwalking easier.

Thank you for your multiple suggestions of where to purchase it. I ended up going past Megalong Books. I've started skim reading it and very interesting. And I'd agree with you- I doubt it has that much more information.

I also bought Jim Smith's book on Lindeman Pass. Have you done this from near the Bridal Veil Falls/Leura recently?? I've done part of it - Gladstone and Roberts Pass and also through to Wentworth Falls but want to do more of it.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby johnw » Sun 26 Dec, 2021 4:57 pm

Avidbushwalker wrote:Yes such a shame that it's prone to landslides as it's cooler than the lower areas and thus makes summer bushwalking easier.

Thank you for your multiple suggestions of where to purchase it. I ended up going past Megalong Books. I've started skim reading it and very interesting. And I'd agree with you- I doubt it has that much more information.

I also bought Jim Smith's book on Lindeman Pass. Have you done this from near the Bridal Veil Falls/Leura recently?? I've done part of it - Gladstone and Roberts Pass and also through to Wentworth Falls but want to do more of it.

Another great book. Sounds like you'd also enjoy his long out of print "How to See the Blue Mountains". Probably very hard to pick up second hand now.
Yes I have done the full traverse of the Lindeman Pass but not for many years. Well worth it but needs careful/confident navigation in parts. Probably even more landslips to negotiate now, and my aging dodgy knee is giving me some grief lately. I think there may be a partial closure/track work at the Leura Falls end at present? At various times we've also explored in from either end, and along Roberts Pass through to Valley of the Waters. I find all those old historic tracks fascinating and have rarely encountered anyone else on them.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Avidbushwalker » Sun 26 Dec, 2021 5:39 pm

That book sounds interesting. still have some decent reading to do with the two books I have, but will definitely be on the hunt for it. Could you give me an overview of it?

Ahh. That's a shame you have a dodgy knee. It would be extremely interesting to do Lindemans Pass from the one end to the other which is my next plan. Yes it has been showing some closures on the NPWS for many months. It didn't give too much information but I've checked it and it's not showing as closed now, updated December 24. It must be reopened?? There was a landslide between Gladstone and Roberts but quite easily passable compared to others I've encountered. And Roberts to Valley of the Waters was reasonably straight forward.

Would you mind if I sent you a dm/pm with a couple of other random questions I have? I'm getting off track here!!!

And too true. I've really been getting into the historic routes, so fascinating and much better than the overpopulated routes. I didn't see a soul from Roberts to Valley of the Waters!
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby johnw » Sun 26 Dec, 2021 8:18 pm

Avidbushwalker wrote:That book sounds interesting. still have some decent reading to do with the two books I have, but will definitely be on the hunt for it. Could you give me an overview of it?

Written circa early 80s, possibly a definitive work on almost all popular and obscure tracks around the Blue Mountains.
Short form track notes, related information and useful hand drawn annotated sketch maps. Bear in mind the date of publication as some things will have changed.
Good compact size to carry around and not heavy. Just don't drop into a creek like I did on one occasion! :roll:
The only copy I can find online is via Abebooks from a seller in Armidale. If interested I'd grab it, they are rarer than hen's teeth.
https://www.abebooks.com/9780909325527/See-Blue-Mountains-Jim-Smith-0909325529/plp

Avidbushwalker wrote:Ahh. That's a shame you have a dodgy knee. It would be extremely interesting to do Lindemans Pass from the one end to the other which is my next plan. Yes it has been showing some closures on the NPWS for many months. It didn't give too much information but I've checked it and it's not showing as closed now, updated December 24. It must be reopened?? There was a landslide between Gladstone and Roberts but quite easily passable compared to others I've encountered. And Roberts to Valley of the Waters was reasonably straight forward.

Unfortunately the result of getting older, and injury compounded as a hack endurance athlete running long distances on hard surfaces. Planning a knee replacement in the near future which might help with more difficult walks, but running is likely no more. Probably the track is open if no alert exists. Allow maybe 6 to 8 hours and take your time. I think we took around 7 but had to walk back to the start as we only had one car.

Avidbushwalker wrote:Would you mind if I sent you a dm/pm with a couple of other random questions I have? I'm getting off track here!!!

No worries, fire away. Yes getting a fair way OT from the Rodriguez Pass. Happy to help if my scrambled brain has the answers :).

Avidbushwalker wrote:And too true. I've really been getting into the historic routes, so fascinating and much better than the overpopulated routes. I didn't see a soul from Roberts to Valley of the Waters!

Is there still a bit of a mudfest around the middle?
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Avidbushwalker » Tue 28 Dec, 2021 1:07 pm

Thanks. One of my relatives may have that exact book. We are going to search for it.

Perfect. Just went to the start of it late this arvo... amazing to see the bottom of Leura Falls going really well. Keen to do it soon.

Yessss I'd temporarily forgotten. It is still very muddy!!!! I wasn't expecting it when I came across it!!
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Warin » Tue 28 Dec, 2021 8:19 pm

johnw wrote:
Avidbushwalker wrote:That book sounds interesting. still have some decent reading to do with the two books I have, but will definitely be on the hunt for it. Could you give me an overview of it?

Written circa early 80s, possibly a definitive work on almost all popular and obscure tracks around the Blue Mountains.
Short form track notes, related information and useful hand drawn annotated sketch maps. Bear in mind the date of publication as some things will have changed.
Good compact size to carry around and not heavy. Just don't drop into a creek like I did on one occasion! :roll:
The only copy I can find online is via Abebooks from a seller in Armidale. If interested I'd grab it, they are rarer than hen's teeth.
https://www.abebooks.com/9780909325527/See-Blue-Mountains-Jim-Smith-0909325529/plp


That book is gone. However it should be available by interlibrary loan .. at least with Australia.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Avidbushwalker » Tue 28 Dec, 2021 8:58 pm

Thanks Warin. Thankfully I managed to locate a copy that one or my relations had purchased many years ago. Very interesting to get an insight on how tracks have developed (and parts have disappeared) over the years
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Avidbushwalker » Fri 02 Feb, 2024 11:31 am

We are a couple years on... However, it looks like Rodriguez Pass is definitely closed permanently? And works are in progress on Horse Track?

Does anyone have any updates/insights into Govetts Leap Descent, Horse Track and/or Rodrigeuz Pass or are the NPWS keeping reasonably quiet about it?

Thank you for your help.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby skibug » Fri 09 Feb, 2024 3:33 pm

Avidbushwalker said:

"We are a couple years on... However, it looks like Rodriguez Pass is definitely closed permanently? And works are in progress on Horse Track?
Does anyone have any updates/insights into Govetts Leap Descent, Horse Track and/or Rodrigeuz Pass or are the NPWS keeping reasonably quiet about it?"


About a year ago I spoke to a couple of Rangers at Evans Lookout, they said that BMNP was despairing at spending precious funds on track repairs, which only last until the next landslide/major fire. One said he thought Rodriguez pass might never open again.

Last month I spoke to a Horse Track repair crew walking up to Evans, they said it was scheduled to open by Easter this year, but wouldn't be ready - perhaps sometime later in 2024. Don't know about Govett's leap, but again it has had a long history of problems and closures.


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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Avidbushwalker » Sun 11 Feb, 2024 12:28 pm

Thank you for the update Skibug. That's great to hear you've spoken to the rangers and NPWS workers... can't wait for the Horse Track to reopen.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Bron » Tue 27 Feb, 2024 11:45 am

I camped at Acacia Flat twice last year and met track workers on the Perrys Lookdown track both times. We had walked across from Neates Glen and my Son was very impressed at the level of track formation along the cliff tops (we usually walk in the Colo). The Track down to Blue Gum Forest seemed to be heading the same way in terms of track formation as the impression I got was that it will become the main access to the valley for campers.
There were gates at the top of Govetts Leap track but clearly walkers were climbing around them.
Horse Track was visible from the bottom if you were looking carefully.
I cant see Rodriguez Pass being reopen as below Beachamp Falls the shale seam comes to the surface at the base of the creek and there has been multiple large slips here.
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Re: Rodriguez Pass @ Blackheath now open

Postby Avidbushwalker » Fri 01 Mar, 2024 10:53 pm

Thanks heaps for your response. So you did Perrys but it looked like Govetts Leap Descent was still being used despite it being closed?

Bron wrote:I camped at Acacia Flat twice last year and met track workers on the Perrys Lookdown track both times. We had walked across from Neates Glen and my Son was very impressed at the level of track formation along the cliff tops (we usually walk in the Colo). The Track down to Blue Gum Forest seemed to be heading the same way in terms of track formation as the impression I got was that it will become the main access to the valley for campers.
There were gates at the top of Govetts Leap track but clearly walkers were climbing around them.
Horse Track was visible from the bottom if you were looking carefully.
I cant see Rodriguez Pass being reopen as below Beachamp Falls the shale seam comes to the surface at the base of the creek and there has been multiple large slips here.
Avidbushwalker
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