Pantoney’s Crown and Mount Stewart 3-day Hike

Keen for some nature and adventure over the long weekend, and also just to get out of Sydney for a few days, E and I set out for Pantoney’s Crown. This was my second attempt to organise this trip. Last time I was thwarted by the rain and ended up hiking out to Hundred Man Cave from Kanangra Walls instead (also a good hike). Armed with a lot of safety gear and food we were expecting the park to be fairly quiet. We started down the road, which was a pretty stretch of woods and soaring rocks.

IMG_4109       IMG_4123

We saw our first party (of 6) whilst filling up water at Baal Bone Gap. Shortly after we hit the infamous Boot Pagoda and then, as we reached Baal Bone Point, overtaking a group of ~8 and watching a group of 14 descend off the Point, we realised it wasn’t going to be such a quiet night after all!

IMG_4141       IMG_4159

We cooked on top of a pagoda on Pantoney’s with an amazing sunset view, celebrated a couple of birthdays with the group of 6 and then called it an early night. It had been a big week for both of us.

IMG_4167   IMG_4189

The sunrise on day 2 was spectacular, with a mist blanketing the valley and the sun turning the cliffs red.

IMG_4243          IMG_4283

Setting off we were hoping for a little more serenity and a few less people and we got just that. Whilst enjoying a good chin wag we managed to veer more north than east and soon found ourselves chatting to some lovely country folk and asking permission to cut through their land to right ourselves once more. They kindly agreed and offered up 6 litres of water to each of us, which saved us a hunt for water! Of note, their property has very, very, very amazing views!

We took the unorthodox route up Mount Stewart and, given how easy a route it turned out to be, it was a good navigational call. Then, concerned about impending sunset we were out for a way to get up on top asap. We made it more challenging for ourselves, a lot more than it needed to be, but were happily on top with a flat spot for our tent and views in both directions as the sun set and the stars and planets came into view. Another good camp dinner and the end of the baileys had us curling up at the late hour of 8pm.

IMG_4382    IMG_4412

With tea in hand we watched the reds and pinks cross the sky on the morning of Day 3. Soon after we’d packed up camp and were swearing our way through the scrub. There was another gorgeous vista off the Eastern side and before we headed back to negotiate Blue Gap. In short, Blue Gap was quite the adventure, with route finding galore and no real sign that others had been through here any time recently. (I don’t recommend this route unless you are experienced at route finding and have a hand line with you!)

IMG_4406        IMG_4437

We had lunch on top of one of the Exploded Pagodas and then made light work of McCleans Pass before getting back to the cars with big smiles on our faces. What a weekend. Shame about the traffic on the way back into Sydney.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s