Leader: Kaye Birch
Blue Mountains NP: Castle Head, Redledge Pass, Devils Hole
Saturday 13 July 2019
An 80 leaders walk
Photos Bernie Hunt
See more of Bernie's photos from the walk
Kaye Birch, Bernie Hunt, Jacqui Hickson, Tony Hickson, Roslyn Croft, Robert Sterry, Adrian Jones, Julie Jones, Ewa Jazwinski, Brian Piper, Helen Zammit, Barry Wise, Liz La
From locked gate on Glenraphael Dr, optional side trip to Castle Head then down Redledge Pass along valley floor and up Devils Hole. Some fire trail, track, steep off-track and some exposure. This walk has great views. Car shuffle required. Map: Katoomba and Jamison
The day was freezing cold - maximum of 4 degrees without taking into consideration the wind chill, so the fact that anyone at all turned up to do this walk was a miracle. A late start allowed the Sydney train people to spend a little more time in their warm beds. Cars were needed at both ends - the locked gate on Narrow Neck, and the finish at Devils Hole but everyone was keen to get out of the wind so we got going promptly.
At the walk start, we didn't waste time with too many formalities in such conditions before we headed along Narrow Neck fire trail at a brisk pace. Castle Head walk was cut a little short due to the wind, but we enjoyed very clear views of The Castle, Mt Solitary, Warragamba and the distant Blue Breaks. After a brief morning-tea snack, we hit the fire trail again before taking our track towards Redledge Pass.
Heading down the pass is rather slippery with lots of leaves, then the narrow 'ledgey' bit, but with the usual group assistance we made it to a flat section before steeply descending a very rocky track. As we edged along the Pass, we again had expansive views into the Megalong Valley - at least the wind was good for that, though we were in shelter by then. Taking great care on this rocky track, we then started some serious downhill walking. It is trackless at this point, just guessing where there is a hint of a pad in order to find an easier route.
Eventually we hit the old tram track where we had lunch in a sheltered position. From here on we followed the old tram line which is quite indistinct in parts - it seems that not too many people walk this track, so fortunately the raised tramline is quite helpful at times. It's a shame that some of these lesser used tracks run the risk of 'falling off the radar' of walkers, then the track becomes a bit too hard.
Now the hard part began with the ascent of Devils Hole track where we sorted ourselves into the appropriate pecking order, with the faster walkers having to wait up for the less-speedy. The Devils Hole track might be hard work, but on a hot day it is lovely and well-shaded. The rocks that one has to clamber over seem to be getting larger with each year!
Thanks to all who ventured out in the cold, and to those who rendered assistance when needed.
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