Davids Birthday Crevasse

«Edgeworth David Head was named after pre-eminent geologist and explorer Sir Tannant William Edeworth David.« Presumably the nearby abseiling trip: Davids Crevasse is the same David, though this is just postulation on my part…

I woke groggy. I’d stayed up too late writing notes on previous trips. Eating bites of breakfast whilst putting a small day pack together, including ropes and an additional harness for Bugs I seemed somewhat ready to go when the time came to leave. Filling up with fuel on the way to Lithgow, we met at Bugs’s place enjoying a bit of frozen cheese cake he’d made for my birthday (vegan of course). Lukas had gotten the time wrong so we waited around half an hour or so before he turned up. We piled into the car I was borrowing from a friend and headed up the Bells Line of Rd to the Mt Banks turnoff. The last time I’d been here was probably when I visited the Traverse of the Gods with UBMBC.
Parking at the the picnic area where a metal barrier has been constructed across the firetrail. We took our time, Bugs handstanding of various things on the way. The views out over the Grose were spectacular (you could also see the skyrise buildings of Sydney far in the distance). Reaching a distinct saddle mention in the canyoning guidebook we rested whilst Bugs ran back to the water tank to retrieve his phone.

Looking out over the Grose
Interesting spider on the firetrail (Red Headed Mouse Spider)
Bugs on the turtle rock

All morning the bush around us had been badly burnt. As we dropped into the gully however, we entered a different world of temperate rain forest.

Quickly we located the first anchor, a wrap-3-pull-2 around a solid looking tree. You could mostly scramble down, but we rigged a handline for the last couple of meters. In fact almost all the pitches were avoidable. Only the last two (the longest, both around 20m) looked hard (read impossible) to avoid.

At the bottom of the last pitch we admired some mini hoodoos soon continuing down the gully. We went a little far before realising our mistake and scrambled back up to take the Eastern gully which allows you to shorten the trip into a more respectable day (around 5-7hrs, rather than exiting via the Lockley Pylon or Pierces Pass)

We quickly located the fixed rope hanging down from a rebelay above. Bugs quickly zipped up the rope hand-over-handing it. Lukas soon followed. The others used mechanical ascenders whilst I climbed up the traditional route (much easier than it looks). I’ve included a photo from 1990; I’m not sure its the same place.

Bugs hand-over-handing it up the exit rope

An alternative route is to traverse west around the base of the cliffs and ascend the Gordon Smith Chimney. «The pass goes up between the Grose Walls and a tall separate block (to make the chimney). There may have been a rock fall [early 70s?] so that this pass is now far less easy than when discovered.»

Jimmy jugging up the fixed rope

The rest of the gully was straight forward (though Jimmy wasn’t happy to find yet another large rock in the side of his pack!) and we soon regained the saddle where we had left the rd earlier in the day. Again admiring the valley for a time, eventually we pressed on along the firetrail and the car.

Looking out over the Grose
Looking out at the Grose though the skeletal trees

Enjoying some more birthday cheesecake in Lithgow we soon headed our separate ways. Thanks for a great day out!

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