The Pondage – April 2013

Baal Bone Gap > McLean’s Pass > Mt Jamison > The Pondage > and return

Every once in a while my family goes on one of my trips.  My son David, has come on walks to The Pondage with each of his kids when they’re old enough to carry a pack, and it was time for Bailey to be introduced to walking with his Nan.  The Pondage is one of my favourite walks.It’s a long drive to get to the start but the scenery is stunning, there’s a nice campsite and the walk in isn’t too long, definitely something that a child can do and the view from the Pagoda at sunset is definitely worth the effort of getting there.  You start at Baal Bone Gap, leave your car parked just down the fire trail and set off for McLean’s Pass.  This is about half-way and there is a huge cave at the Pass, I usually take people down to see it, because it’s so cool.  You could camp there but after only 2 hours of walking it’s not really worth carrying in a heavy pack!  On this day we just took a quick look then headed up the other side.

There are a few challenges along the way, not to difficult, one small chute that you climb down, cross the slot below and head back up the other side, climbing up tree roots.

You then come to what I like to call the moonscape, the rock platform is covered with ironstone, there was sandstone underneath it I think, and that’s worn away over the years and left behind the ironstone.  From here you can see Pantoney’s Crown in the distance and to the left of Pantoney’s is where we camp.Once you get to Mt Davidson, you have to go off track for about a k towards the campsite, there’s a bit “pimple” pagoda that you take a bearing on and that usually gets you to the campsite.  There’s a small canyon nearby that usually has water in it, and on this occasion we had water. 

Once everyone has set up camp we go over to the pimple pagoda for happy hour and watch the sun set over Pantoney’s Crown.  Then it’s back to camp for dinner and a good fire then off to bed (as it’s usually cold), and we’re then ready to do the trip in reverse.  Bailey had a great time on this trip and David enjoyed showing him around the Pagoda and the delights of “sausage on a stick”, David’s signature camping food.

David and Bailey in McLean's PassAll went well on this trip until we were an hour from the cars and Wendy tripped over something and face-planted, blood everywhere and she ended up with a broken nose.  I think she was having a great time up until this point!

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