WOLLANGAMBE – 16 -17 December 2021
Some years ago, Jeff, Trish and I did our epic trip down the Wollangambe River from The Centre of the Universe down to the Wollangambe 1 Entry track. Since then, I’ve had in mind to go back and camp on the bank of the Wollangambe at the end of an interesting looking unnamed creek. We’d passed this campsite on the epic trip. The plan was to walk all the way down this creek and see what the canyon sections were like.
Then we’d have a leisurely camp on the bank of the Wollangambe and then reverse 750m up the Wollangambe to the Crater campsite. The only iffy spot would be the 750m upstream section, and a possible waterfall to traverse around in the side creek.
I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy trip, but Anna, Ali and Steve R, offered to join me, couldn’t have done it without them!
Things didn’t start off well on the Thursday morning, I got up around 5am to drive up to Mt Wilson with Steve, and felt really “off”. Not well at all, but as I was the leader, I didn’t want to cancel the trip. Then I tried to get my garage door to open and it wouldn’t open, had to get Steve to open it manually! We’re not off to a good start. Nevertheless, after a couple of stops on the way up there, we all met up (albeit a little later than I would have liked to start).
Looking at the map, we’d travelled less than 1.5k and we had another 3+k to go to get to our campsite for the night. We were at an “exit point” and the next one was 2k away if we decided that we’d had enough. There was no guarantee that the creek was going to get any better, it’s name had been changed from “M’s Creek” to “Sh#t Creek”, that’s how bad it was. The post fire regrowth was horrible! So, we discussed our options and decided that exiting at this point and walking 2k to The Centre of the Universe and the tourist track was sounding like a good idea. We’d then walk down to the camp cave on the Wollangambe and spend a leisurely afternoon and evening there!
It was easier than expected and we were soon on the tourist track. At the junction to go to the Crater, Anna and I divested ourselves of some of our heavy stuff (dry bags, wet suits, extra thermals, helmets – anything to lessen the weight we were carrying).
We then headed off, it’s a fairly easy track to follow (expect for the one spot we lost it), but there’s lots of ups and downs, I had absolutely no energy and had a lot of rest stops. Finally we came to the last high point and I took us off track to get down to the camp cave. Approaching from this spot meant that we had to keep our eyes wide open to see the route back down to the river.
It took us longer than expected to walk back to the Centre of the Universe and pick up our gear, it was another really hot day and lots of rests were required. I was feeling better but still not 100%.
We had lunch down at the creek where we’d started this epic adventure, in the shade, and Steve boiled the billy for a cuppa. It was then a 1 hour walk (all up hill) back to the cars.
Ali and Anna went home and Steve and I went to Mt Wilson to camp, ready for the following day’s abseiling (would I be up for it, am I really this unfit?).
Thanks Steve, Ali and Anna for coming on the trip with me. I obviously didn’t put them off as much as I thought I did, especially Steve (who usually vows he’ll never go on another adventure with M). Both Steve and Ali were talking about how to do it next time (lol), we’ll see! As for me, I’m so unfit, off to join the gym!