I remember collapsing onto hands and knees — fighting back the urge to vomit as the adrenaline surged through my body — before composing myself and pulling out my phone to call Michelle, just to let her know that I loved her.
In the beginning the Universe was created with Chantal, Jeremy-Vajj and Jiri in it. This made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move, since these intergalactic travelers would make many people feel inferior with their superior skiing skills.
Well, we met at Strathfield Station Saturday morning and drove up to Wentworth Falls for our customary stop at a Bakery/Patisserie. After indulging in too many calories we headed across to the Charles Darwin Walk. We walked the National Pass down to Conservation Hut where we stopped for a picnic lunch. After lunch we torpedoed along the Overcliff Track back to the town where we had left the cars.
After collecting the walkers in Sydney (and myself on the Central Coast), we then headed to Maitland for an overnight stay at Catherine’s parents’home, where we bedded down for the night in the loungeroom. In the process I discovered that I hadn’t packed my sleeping bag in my pack! Fortunately Catherine’s mother came up with an alternative, albeit more heavier than my down bag, but it worked well. Next morning, after breakfast and inspecting the resident chooks, we then set off along the New England and Golden Highways for an uneventful drive to Merriwa, where a stop was made for coffee and a few “extras”for the walk, such as chocolate. Then it was along the Golden Highway for another 8km then into Ringwood Road for the drive to Lee’s Pinch Lookout in Goulburn River NP. We arrived at Lee’s Pinch Lookout parking area and parked the 2 cars. We then set off SW along the road until reaching a small bypass loop (at approx point 215220 on Mt Misery Topo). Then it was a matter of just heading off into the bush. Goulburn River does have some easy entry points, but most are effectively blocked by private property. So generally entry invariably needs a bush-bash, as in this case. The walk plan for the two days was straightforward: enter the river gorge via a gully, walk along the river, where the going would be easy, although with a few river crossings, and exit back to Lee’s Pinch by another gully to the north, either the one explored on a SUBW trip by myself and Anthony Dunk in 2001, or another unexplored one a but closer to our entry point. I had also planned for enough time to allow a return via daylight following the Sandy Hollow Line via the very scenic Bylong Valley and the Upper Hunter Valley (including the northernmost part of Wollemi NP).
“….So, there we were, we had done the math. Emma added it all up and knew we would not make it in time for the next abseil (boars head). Chantal concluded that we would not be able to take Albert on his first abseiling journey. Astley thought he was gonna die there, totally alone. And that’s when this feeling came over us like a warm blanket…”