Dalpura, David Crevasse, Range Creek/Bowen’s Creek South.
Shane, Steve, Dug
Drove down on Friday morning, into Dalpura creek by 12:30. Overcast cool SE wind day. Very nice little creek a number of narrow cliffy sections but not all that tall. Despite rain on the past couple of days still not running much, only a few spots and splashes under the 5m waterfall. A number of wades, we could by-pass the swims. At the end we wandered around to the right to view the Gross from the lookout. Lots of wild flowers, bushes of white dots, little yellow or gold thimbles, crimson brushes, pale yellow wattle.
We then drove over to Sheep Dip so Shane could do it for the first time. The road to Galah Mountain has been taped off by NPs so we didn’t pass. We could have driven into the long paddock to camp but decided to camp at Mt Wilson instead and wander around in some of the creeks over that way.
Pleasant camp not many people only 3 or four canyon parties and a couple of long-term campers. Pleasant night a few showers after we were in bed, dry but misty in the morning.
Today's goal is David Crevasse, which we pulled out of doing a few weeks ago because of the too dry weather. With only one car a bit of a road bash to start but not too bad really. The traffic may have been a bother but the rocky terrain in the forest is well worth looking at. From the Mt Banks service road there are a number of lookouts to stop and admire the scene. Delightful, mists streaming from the valleys and veiling the hilltops to provide a constantly changing panorama, helping to promote that feeling of inner peace common in all mountains.
The David Crevasse is a short fairly steep slot into the Gross Valley. Very nice too, lots of deep green moss, that show that it isn’t walked all that often, although there is a vestige footpad. We hear many different birdcalls, parrots, gan gans, several sets of lyrebirds, bellbirds, kookaburras. In Australia we are very lucky to still have the wide variety of birds to enjoy. The range of different calls is amazing, and amusing when you think about it (birds that, laugh with you, mew like a cat, bark like a dog, tinkle like a bell, crack like a long whip, trill like a magpie, or damn well tell lies and pretend to be all of them) and their beautiful colours are stunning. Again the wonderful flowers are there to add their own perfection.
We pass a couple of short climb downs/abseils before coming to the three 20m plus abseils. These are very pretty and interesting, each in its own way, a couple trick starts but nothing to this crew. This is more a vertical gully than a creek or canyon but quite easy to negotiate. In the Gross Valley we sidle the steep scree slopes for a while and then drop down to the river at Blue Gum Forest. The fire has cleared much of the underbrush so walking is fairly easy. It is clear that a lot of effort has been put into preventing Blue Gum Forest itself from burning, we do wonder if that is a wise thing but in the end we hope that the managers really do know what they are doing. Lunch on a log beside the Gross, very pleasant, sunshine, bush sights, sounds, smell and serenity. Then we stroll on towards Pearce’s Pass, stopping for a cool off in a convenient pool on the way, at the car by 5pm to complete a very satisfying day. Unfortunately Shane is developing a knee problem.
It is great to see all the new growth sprouting to regenerate after the fire, I couldn’t help comparing the regrowth to that in the high mountains as the snow melts – both are a renewal for the short lived species and a revitalisation of the perennials. Life continues and renews in the natural sequence of such things. I used to dislike burnt areas (to some extent because I viewed it as destruction I suppose) but now see then differently and see a natural sequence for this bush type, in addition the burnt bush is quite beautiful in its own peculiar way with the blacks and tans and whites and yellows and reds. Does make a mess of your boots, clothes or skin where you touch anything though! In addition walking is much more delicate to avoid the fragile new growth. The change to the soil is interesting, much softer and prone to erosion but better for some types of plant growth.
Back at Mt Wilson we have an easy earlier tea and chat to some day-trippers who had just completed Serendipity. Another good night, much cooler, probably because of the clear skies.
No particular hurry today as were exploring Range Creek and the Bowen’s Creek South Branch. Shane decides his knee is too sore. So only Steve and I head down into the gully from where the Service trail leaves the Bell Line of Road. Entry into the main creek is a 10m long slippery slide complete with overhanging vegetation to slow your decent (rocks at the bottom - instead of a welcoming, fun, deep pool to plunge into). Pleasant walk down a creek constantly changing as we go along. Sometimes enclosed and narrow, sometimes more open V shaped valley, some scrubby, some pools to wade through up to our waist, some bolder jambs to clime: through, over, round, under, down, any which way. As we walk down the quiet creek bed, ahead is a still pool that reflects the cliff on each side in such a way that you seem to be looking down into the earth, at least the same depth as the cliffs above. At one place, just before the junction with Bowen’s Creek, we abseil down a short drop over a bolder jamb, first negotiating the log jamb, then crawling through the hole and then hopping over the cavity, before hooking on to the rope.
At the junction we backtrack Bowen’s Creek 300-400m. Very nice enclosed canyoney section, lots of moss, dark and mysterious. Where we walk 3-4m wide boulders drift wood and pools but 15m up we could have easily stepped across the narrow slot opening, we can see the sky, up there I wonder what you would see looking down? We choose an exit 200m or so down stream, on the right, beside where a gully enters on the left. A track zigzags through the cliff lines all the way up to the service road. We do make use of the 15m rope in place to help one scramble. Back to the car by 12:30 to drive home. As seems to becoming custom we stop for Falafel Roll at Richmond. A great walk with good company, thank you all! © Copyright 2002 Dug Floyd.