What a fabulous four days we had! Our plans got switched around at the last minute, which meant we could leave Wednesday night rather than Friday noon, so quickly after a quick run around we had everything sorted at set off, with a quick stop in at Katoomba to drop off the trip intention form & pick up an EPIRB and get some delicious pizza from Rene Pizza Place. We didn’t end up reaching Green Gully until 10!
The walk down breakfast creek went quite well, despite the stinging nettles (we were prepared with long pants and gaiters, but they had grown allot since I was there last!). We eventually got into bed around 12:30am, took a little longer than we had planned and we missed the bottom of Black Horse Ridge which set us back about 15 minutes.
After a huge sleep in we set off at 11:00! Way past the original 8:00 schedule. Up the first challenging Black Horse Ridge. We made good time being passed by a few groups who were returning from Splendour Rock dawn service. After stopping for lunch at the top of Black Horse Ridge we headed off to the junction where we met another group, they were headed to Green Gully and wanted to confirm that the it was the Black Horse Ridge Track. It wasn’t long until we get to Mobbs Swamp, where we dropped our packs in the cave before heading up to Splendour Rock for sunset. A brisk walk and we made it to Splendour Rock just in time for the sunset, signed the log book, took a few photos before heading back to Mobbs under torchlight. We returned to Mobbs to find a tent still left in the cave, upon discovery it was full of empty bottles and looks like it was dumped some time ago (David Nobel mentioned it was there last year on his blog). It was dinner and then to bed at around 8 for Sarah and me.
We filtered some water before heading off towards Knights Deck, the track was quite well defined, except for the odd fallen tree covering the path. Lunch was at Knights Deck before heading off down the knee jarring Blue Dog Spur to Cox’s. This section was the least liked moment of the hike. We found a lovely campsite beside the cox’s and there were a few other people who had been down there for a few days fishing.
Sarah wasn’t looking forward to the climb up Ironmonger Hill after looking at it from Knights Deck, however she was practically running up it. About half way up in the distance we saw two wild dogs (one looked quite young), first time spotting any in the area so we were quite surprised, they stayed away and headed off in a western direction. The rest of the trip went really quickly, only short stops after reaching the top of Mount Ironmonger to admire the views and the aboriginal rock carvings.
All in all, a fantastic, tiring and very worthwhile trip which we are sure to complete again.