Murphys Crossing (Katoomba to Mittagong)

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Murphys Crossing (Katoomba to Mittagong)

Postby RobT » Sat 04 Jun, 2022 10:18 pm

I attempted Mittagong (Wattle Ridge) to Katoomba this week, but turned back at Murphys Crossing (Wollondilly River) because the current was too strong to ford the 50 odd metres safely, especially since I was alone. I'm about 186cm tall and attempted to cross with aid of a sturdy stick. There were no river stones visible and the water was too brown to see the bottom. Photos: https://www.strava.com/activities/7246743132

For reference, the nearest river height gauge is "Wollondilly R at Jooriland", with latest data accessible via the BoM:
http://www.bom.gov.au/fwo/IDN60233/IDN6 ... .tbl.shtml
The river height at this site was 1.6 metres when I attempted to cross on Tuesday 31 May.

Does anyone have a rough rule of thumb for what gauge reading corresponds to safe crossing conditions?

Posting here because the log book at Beloons Pass also had accounts from others who had to turn back at the river.

The Nattai River valley is gorgeous (shame about the feral pigs) and Beloons Pass is tough country (vines having a heyday with dead timber and regrowth) but beautiful all the same.
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Re: Murphys Crossing (Katoomba to Mittagong)

Postby keithj » Sun 05 Jun, 2022 8:29 am

RobT wrote:For reference, the nearest river height gauge is "Wollondilly R at Jooriland", with latest data accessible via the BoM:
http://www.bom.gov.au/fwo/IDN60233/IDN6 ... .tbl.shtml
The river height at this site was 1.6 metres when I attempted to cross on Tuesday 31 May.

Does anyone have a rough rule of thumb for what gauge reading corresponds to safe crossing conditions?

See https://www.whatworkedforme.com/blog/posts/RiverLevels/ for 'normal' river levels.
'Wollondilly R at Jooriland' after a few weeks of no rain is normally 0.55m.
So I'd say at >1m higher you made a good decision.
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Re: Murphys Crossing (Katoomba to Mittagong)

Postby RobT » Sun 05 Jun, 2022 5:22 pm

Thanks Keith, that's really helpful
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Re: Murphys Crossing (Katoomba to Mittagong)

Postby GregG » Sun 05 Jun, 2022 6:07 pm

RobT wrote:I attempted Mittagong (Wattle Ridge) to Katoomba this week, but turned back at Murphys Crossing (Wollondilly River) because the current was too strong to ford the 50 odd metres safely, especially since I was alone. I'm about 186cm tall and attempted to cross with aid of a sturdy

Congratulations on a good decision Rob, you chose wisely.
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Re: Murphys Crossing (Katoomba to Mittagong)

Postby pkohlhagen » Sun 05 Jun, 2022 8:32 pm

On a related topic, I'm in planning stages of a multiday Kanangra trip in July that would require a couple of crossings of the Kowmung. Does anyone know what a "normal" river height would be at Cedar Ford (http://www.bom.gov.au/fwo/IDN60233/IDN6 ... .tbl.shtml) and what height is likely to make the river uncrossable? Looking at needing to cross just downstream of Orange Bluff and also at the ford itself.

Cheers
Last edited by pkohlhagen on Mon 06 Jun, 2022 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Murphys Crossing (Katoomba to Mittagong)

Postby Warin » Sun 05 Jun, 2022 10:30 pm

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Re: Murphys Crossing (Katoomba to Mittagong)

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Tue 07 Jun, 2022 9:11 am

These questions come up periodically for the Woll, Kowmung, Cox, Shoalhaven etc. Not so much the Nattai as that tends to fall as quickly as it rises. There's been other threads on this site seeking to map heights of the Cox at Kelpie Point, for example, to crossability at the usual nearby crossing points. Would it be useful to have a sticky where recent visitors to different waterways could annotate how easy/difficult/impossible popular rivers were to cross against the nearest gauge recording at the time, to build up a bit of a knowledge base and help with planning? Just a thought.
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Re: Murphys Crossing (Katoomba to Mittagong)

Postby puredingo » Wed 08 Jun, 2022 3:06 pm

How was the going from Emmets down to, and over, Belloon.pass?
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