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Dunphy's Camping Area.

Fire Trail with 'Walkers Only' sign.

Medlow Gap Notice Board.

Track through forest to Mobbs Soak.

Camps sites at Mobbs Soak.

Pass through Mt Dingo cliff line. 

Splendour Rock Memorial.

Sunset at Splendour Rock.

Sunlight fading over the Krungle Bungles.

Track Notes - Dunphy's Camping Area to Splendour Rock

Date:  15/2/2008

Maps:  LPI Jenolan 89303N

Route:  Dunphy's Camping Area, Medlow Gap, Mobbs Soak, Mt Dingo & Splendour Rock.  Distance: 17.1 kilometres.  Ascent: about 300m.

Gear:  Full Pack, Gaiters, Camera, EPIRB, Maps, Compass, GPS (set to WGS84), 4.5 litres water.

Party:  Peter Medbury and Geoff Fox

Notes:

This walk was a spur of the moment thing.  A Softball Tournament at Lismore cancelled because of rain presented an opportunity that couldn't be missed.

A phone call and Geoff was coming with me.  We had walked to Splendour Rock on a day walk from Dunphy's Camping Area in November 2006 to be caught in a violent thunder storm as we climbed the pass onto Mt Dingo.  Visibility at Splendour Rock had been limited very limited that day.  I'd camped on Mt Dingo in May 2007 on a Kanangra to Katoomba pack walk

We got away from Orange at 6:30am and reached Blackheath about 8:30am.  It took another 30 minute to reach the car park at Dunphy's Camping Area where we were going to leave the car.

Dunphy's Camping Area is located at the southern end of the Megalong Valley.  It used to be part of Pack Saddlers until the land was added to the Blue Mountains National Park a few years ago.  The location and the facilities make it an ideal base for day walks into the Wild Dogs or across Iron Pot Mountain to the Coxs River and beyond.

We set off about 9:30am on a lovely, clear morning.  With full packs we decided to take the longer but faster route along the fire trail to Medlow Gap and then head back west around the foot of Mt Warrigal to Mobbs Soak.  We planned to get extra water at Mobbs Soak before heading up to Mt Dingo and Splendour Rock.

It was bright and sunny and the temperature mild as we headed east up the fire trail to join the main fire trail to Medlow Gap.  For a lot of the way we were surrounded by butterflies.  They were everywhere, often landing in front of us and taking off  as we approached.  After the recent rains the vegetation all looked good and there were wild flowers everywhere.

It took us about 30 minutes to reach the junction with the fire trail to Medlow Gap.  Photography always slows us up a little.

It was almost 6 kilometres along the fire trail to Medlow Gap where we planned to have morning tea.  We had terrific views of Narrow Neck Plateau and Mt Mouin.  It was refreshing to see water covering the fire trail at the causeways, something I hadn't seen too much of recently.

Red Honey Myrtle was flowering in some of the damper places & the the red sepals of late flowering Christmas Bush was clearly visible in some of the darker areas of bush.  Butterflies were everywhere here along the fire trail too.

Geoff was using this walk to develop his compass navigation skills. A very strange thing happened with his compass that made it just a bit more challenging.  The polarity on his compass was reversed with the needle pointing South instead of North.  When placed on top of my compass Geoff's went back to normal.  When placed side by side the needles on each compass repelled each other.  Geoff assured me the last time he'd used him compass it had been working properly.  So for this walk Geoff's compass pointed South and he had to compensate.  As I said - very strange!  Good practice?  Definitely! (Even stranger, the compass was working normally the next day).

We reached Medlow Gap  After another 90 minutes of easy fire trial walking, very pleased to take off our packs and have a breather and a snack.  It had been a while since I'd carried a full pack and I was feeling it.  After a 25 minute break we were walking again.

Just after walking round the fence at Medlow Gap we found a group of Fringe Lillies in flower.  Easy to spot when flowering, you'd never know they were there when they weren't.

We reached the track to Mobbs Soak in 10 minutes.  The track goes round the western side of the Wild Dog Mountains to Mobbs Soak, passing side tracks to Black Horse Ridge,  Mt Warrigal and Blue Dog Ridge (Knights Deck).

The track is old and has been cut deep by years of walkers.  Many parts of the track were flooded after the recent rains.  Creeks were running that I'd always seen dry.  Quite amazing.  Water wasn't going to be a problem on this walk.  Geoff's waterproof boots kept his feet dry.  My trail shoes are not waterproof and in the end I gave up and walked in the water.  I'd dry out later.

Of course with all the water there were leeches, each wound easily dealt with easily with alcohol swabs and band aids.

A short way along the track and we stopped seeing butterflies.  Instead, we confronted with spider webs.  Webs and spiders were everywhere.  Whoever ws in front along the track had to use a stick to brush the webs out of the way.

It took almost 2 hours to reach the camping area at Mobbs Soak.  There are a couple of camping areas separated by a clearing and a large rock. The northern area is quite open, the southern area in a stand of she oaks.  I have never seen other parties when I've been out in the Wild Dogs but from the number of camp sites it obviously can get quite crowded att times.  We dropped out packs on the large rock and prepared and ate lunch.

After lunch we went down to the creek and filtered and purified water to take with us up to Mt Dingo for the night.  To be on the safe side I always filter water I collect.  The filter doesn't weigh much & I think it reduces the risk of illness.  Purifying tablets take about 30 minutes to finsh the job.  

We set off for Mt Dingo and Splendour Rock along the track to Mt Yellow Dog after quite a long and refreshing break.  The track shown on the map is not in right place.  The map suggests you head in a south-westerly direction through the second camping area.  In fact the track to Mt Yellow Dog (and Mt Dingo) heads off uphill to the southwest right above that large rock.

An hour later we reached the turn off to Mt Dingo and Splendour Rock.  This track is very steep climbing something like 180 metres in a bit less than 400 metres.  We had a short break before starting the climb up to Mt Dingo.  There were very few spider webs on this track, possibly because it is quite open.  There were a number of back moths at different places on teh track and occasionaly a very hairy caterpiller.

There is a pass through the cliffline to be negotiated.  There is an overhang on the pass that can provide useful shelter if necessary.  Geoff and I took shelter there on a previous trip to Splendour Rock when we were caught in a thunder storm while climbing the pass.

There were a number of black rock skinks on the rocks of the pass, basking in the sun.  They didn't even both moving away as we passed by.

There are a number of excellent camp site located near the centre of Mt Dingo and a couple closer to Splendour Rock.  I have never seen any other parties on Mt Dingo when I have been there but it looks like it could get quite crowded at times.  Regardless I usually choose one of the central camp sites and walk down to Splendour Rock.  

We took us an hour to reach our campsite.  We set up our tents and were at Splendour Rock in plenty of time to enjoy the sunset. The track to Splendour Rock was covered with spiderwebs that absolutely sparkled in the late afternoon sunlight.

When it was dark we returned to our camp and prepared dinner.  After a relaxing evening it was time bed.     

 

Times, Locations and Grid References
Time Location Grid Reference
09:30 Leave Dunphy's Camping Area GR 435 577
09:55 Junction with main Fire Trail GR 447 575
11:35 Medlow Gap GR 456 534
12:05 Start track to Mobbs Swamp GR 451 531
13:35 Mobb's Soak Camping Area GR 425 522
15:05 Start up track to Mt Yellow Dog GR 417 507
16:25 Start up track to Mt Dingo GR 417 507
17.25 Mt Dingo campsite GR 421 505
19:00 Splendour Rock GR 422 501  

 

Geoff's Campsite on Mt Dingo.


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