A tale of two plateaus....

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A tale of two plateaus....

Postby puredingo » Wed 24 Jun, 2020 6:11 pm

Not too long ago my well worn Salomon shoes had finally given up on me. So for my birthday my ever thoughtful and long suffering partner had surprised me with the same shoe but in boot form, so I immediately went about scheduling a walk that will put these new beauties to the test, meaning all terrains and some stretches of significance distance....this would be Salomon#2 initiation to hopefully it’s predecessors tireless standard. Big boots to fill.

It was about mid morning when I turned into the Greta Rd and parked up for the first part of this walk. It’s an easy amble along the Ettrema tops and evident that this place must have went up like the proverbial tinder box. Absolutely scorched! Roughly 10 klms along the track I came to the Jones Creek fork, you definitely need to pay attention here either count Kilometres or understand the topography because the track itself is nothing more than faint tyre ruts and the head of these has a clump of scrub disguising the start. I follow this track which essentially sidles the creek on its Eastern flank for a few more kilometres before seeing that the sides of the creek were on their way to becoming real cliff so found a entry place and dropped on in to the creek.

Making good time down this spectacular creek with its crystal clear waters with great flow I could see Thompson walls off in the distance. These walls shadowed my intended camp site for the night of Jones Cr and Ettrema Cr junction...But these walls weren’t all that far away and I was still really high up? Something had to give, and it did. Waterfall.

And what a waterfall! An awesome sight to behold, spilling water down a great height at a thunderous rate it was breathtaking and quite nerve testing to stand at the edge of and marvel. But I had to keep moving and get around this beautiful brute that barred my progress, the eastern walls were out of the question with pure vertical stone faces, and even the west, although furnished with some vegetation under the sandstone tops looked hit and miss...and if you missed, well, the consequences are unquestionably final. One thing for it! I surmised back up the creek a way then up a side crick to gain access the Western plateau.

Here I followed the plateau out to its head then dropped off the western rim before tracking back around under its nose to the North and following a steep and eastward bending ridge down to the confluence of both creeks. Note that midway down this ridge you hit a rocky outcrop, this part was spared from the fires and it seems for a moment you will be halted. Drop off to the east and it goes...trust me. Down at the destination camp spot it was still early enough to keep going but the new boots had done there stuff for the day and light was even beginning to throw long shadows at only 1 pm so I called it early and settled in for a calm and serene night.

Next morning up and at it and cruising at a leisurely rate made my way to the foot of transportation spur. Here I watered myself heavily and made sure I had enough of that oh-so drinkable water on board for the steep haul up and across the top to the Tolwong Rd. Up I went and steep it was, glancing back occasionally to lose myself in the always glorious and sometimes somewhat intimidating views of the Ettrema valleys. After some hunting around I found the pass that allowed me my passage up and onto Pardon Pt. Up on top it was an easy go across country and before long I had hit the Tolwong Rd. From here it was time to put the new boots through the arduous paces of the dreaded road bash Ouch!! Humped it along until Bullfrog creek was reached at the site of the “jumps”, found water, made camp and Bang...man down!

Next morning was much of the same, fire trail to the Tolwong Rd and Braidwood Rd intersection and then along the blacktop to the car...and peeled the new boots off my VERY weary feet. All in all a good little reintroduction after a long spell and perfect to back out amongst it.
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Re: A tale of two plateaus....

Postby michael_p » Wed 24 Jun, 2020 9:00 pm

Thanks Mr Dingo. Sounds like a good trip.
One foot in front of the other.
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Re: A tale of two plateaus....

Postby kanangra » Fri 03 Jul, 2020 11:41 am

Say that again it sounds great. A real adventure.

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Re: A tale of two plateaus....

Postby clarence » Fri 03 Jul, 2020 8:53 pm

In the days of the silver mine, there were ladders in the cliff on the E side, with a flying fox as well. Up until the 70s/80s, there was still a track that could be followed to the base of the falls from the cliffs under the flying fox.

In the 70s a chap named Doyle from Wollongong (who had the mine lease) had a caravan in the scrub on the south of Jones Creek on the plateau. He would drive his 2wd car out there along the track.

When we descended Jones Creek, we abseiled the W side of Tinga Falls using a few intermediate ledges. It is about 60m all up.

A spectacular wild waterfall indeed.

John Murray has heaps of photos and stories from multiple trips into the area- including a crossing of the gorge (Yalwal to Tallong) soon after Paddy Pallin in 1957.

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Re: A tale of two plateaus....

Postby kanangra » Mon 06 Jul, 2020 4:54 pm

Didn't happen to take any photos did you?

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Re: A tale of two plateaus....

Postby KateRock » Thu 13 Aug, 2020 9:48 am

I did a hike from Gretas road to the top of Jones creek overlooking Ettrema Gorge. This was after the fires and to my surprise the wooden ladders down the cliff were still in place. They look so hectic cant believe this is how they used to get down. For anyone interested I made a video of the area (i'm trying to capture the fire impacts) the ladders are at about the 11:35minute mark. https://youtu.be/JoNNj4nfFVc
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Re: A tale of two plateaus....

Postby Huntsman247 » Thu 13 Aug, 2020 10:24 am

Those ladders look like a good way to test out a plb... Are they still solid?
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Re: A tale of two plateaus....

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Fri 14 Aug, 2020 7:54 am

KateRock wrote:I did a hike from Gretas road to the top of Jones creek overlooking Ettrema Gorge. This was after the fires and to my surprise the wooden ladders down the cliff were still in place. They look so hectic cant believe this is how they used to get down. For anyone interested I made a video of the area (i'm trying to capture the fire impacts) the ladders are at about the 11:35minute mark. https://youtu.be/JoNNj4nfFVc
I've previously wondered about mtb'ing that trail as a day trip. Is it ridable all the way to the top of Jones ck or would I need to stash the bike and walk some (and if so how far roughly?)?

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Re: A tale of two plateaus....

Postby puredingo » Fri 14 Aug, 2020 10:51 am

From the Greta CP to the Jones Ck you could ride no problem. I wouldn’t bother to ride the track out to the ladders though, mostly over grown and now with those annoying 6 inch stumps sticking out the ground left from the fires. Too many steps if you tried to stick to the ledges above the creek and the track above the feeder creeks has collapsed....you would be pushing a lot.

Stashing a bike could also be a hassle, pretty sparse for scrub...maybe down in the creek itself
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Re: A tale of two plateaus....

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Fri 14 Aug, 2020 11:11 am

puredingo wrote:From the Greta CP to the Jones Ck you could ride no problem. I wouldn’t bother to ride the track out to the ladders though, mostly over grown and now with those annoying 6 inch stumps sticking out the ground left from the fires. Too many steps if you tried to stick to the ledges above the creek and the track above the feeder creeks has collapsed....you would be pushing a lot.

Stashing a bike could also be a hassle, pretty sparse for scrub...maybe down in the creek itself

Perfect thanks :)
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Re: A tale of two plateaus....

Postby KateRock » Fri 14 Aug, 2020 9:14 pm

Huntsman247 wrote:Those ladders look like a good way to test out a plb... Are they still solid?


Heck no i wasn't going anywhere near them. But I wouldn't have gone near them before the fires - i guess for what they are they are solid but just looking at them gave me vertigo
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