Trip report, Furbers Steps to Ruined Castle, 29th April 2012.
Walkers: Lilian, Ben P, Christopher Ferita, Barry Ching, Ashleigh, Zoe, Bruce (leader).
Four of us set out in Ben’s care for a trip up to Katoomba, where we
met up with Zoe and Ashleigh, and then collected Lilian off the train.
Then a short drive to the Victoria Lookout kiosk where we parked cars
and headed off to Furbers Steps and down into the Jamieson Valley.
There are great views en route (see photos).
Although the day started off perferctly clear, as soon as we got to
the walk start, the “mountain cloud” moved in and stayed there for the
rest of the day.
At the bottom of Furbers Steps (with photostops en route to view the
Three Sisters and Katoomba Falls), we made our way through the
touristy section at the Scenic Railway terminus, making sure we didn’t
miss the not-very-obvious turnout to the Landsline and the track to
The Landslide section was a rather rough crossing as usual, and we
reached the flat section which is the old tramway formation to Ruined
Castle. At the Mt Rennie tunnel we spoke briefly to some walkers (or should
that be “waders” who had just been through the tunnel, dressed
appropriately in wetsuits. We had gone only a few hundred more metres
when we noticed that Lilian, Barry and Christopher had fallen behind.
Then Christopher appeared to announce that Barry had sprained his
ankle and was coming along behind with Lilian.
We arrived at the junction of the track up to Ruined Castle, but found that Barry was not able to negotiate this steep track because of his
ankle. Lilian and Christopher stayed beind, and Ben, Zoe, Ashleigh and
myself went up the track (marked “experienced walkers only” by NPWS)
towards the “Castle”. Ben got ahead and went past the massive rock
which is the “castle” because he was looking for a real castle in ruins!
Anyway, we four clambered up the rock and had lunch. We admired the
view of the distant Kowmung peaks, and noted the low cloud descending
on Narrow Neck.
After lunch we retraced our steps down to the other three, and
returned back along the Federal Pass to the junction with Golden Stairs.
We decided that going up Golden Stairs was out of the question with
Barry’s sprained ankle (Golden Stairs is undergoing rehabilitation but
is still quite rough in places), so the decision was made to get him
to the Scenic Railway and get him out of the Valley that way. Even so,
it took Lilian and Barry an hour to traverse the 1 km Landslide
section of the track which is quite uneven. We made it to the Scenic
Railway at 4.20pm, just half an hour before the last train went. Barry
and I travelled up on the railway to the top and a Scenic World staff
mamber gave him some first aid in the form of a bandage to bind and
hold his ankle (which fortunately wasn’t swollen).
Meanwhile Zoe and Ashleigh had to go on ahead as they had a long drive back to the Central Coast. Ben, Christopher and Lilian walked back up
Eventually we all get back together at the Scenic World bus terminus
and got in Ben’s car for the trip home. We stopped off at Blaxland
Macca’s for some dinner.
At Strathfield we went our separate ways, with advice to Barry to get
those ankles stabilised before he comes on any more bushwalks.
This was a rather eventful day, and would have been even more eventful if we hadn’t had access to the Scenic Railway to get Barry out.
Otherwise we would have had to call emergency services to airlift him
out! Not a good look.