When men were Men

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Flynny
Posts: 47
Joined: 22 May 2018, 16:10
Full name: Craig Flynn
City: The 'Go
State: New South Wales

When men were Men

Post by Flynny » 10 Aug 2018, 19:14

And women were even more so.

Or sumfink

A long time ago dad told me about this timber chute up a slot that gave easy access to the cliff tops above the Wolgan. They use to slide logs down it, said he. It’s somewhere around here, it’s an easy road up to the base of it and you can sit on the cliff edge at the top and see the whole valley.

Now there were a few timber slides down gullys in The Wolgan used to get prime Yellow box down to the shale works but apparently this one was a bit special.

So I’d been looking for it on and off for years, well not really. I always hoped to come across it in my travels but hadn’t really done any detective work or set out with a goal to specifically go looking for it, just had it in the back of my mind that it would be cool to stumble across.

Once I found an old timber platform hanging over the Wolgan cliffs out past long swamp and thought maybe that was it, maybe dad had is spot mixed up and they accessed it from the top rather than from the valley. No, he said, it’s down past the pub somewhere. We went there with the Germans.

"The Germans" were two couples who were touring around Australia in the late 60s/early 70s. Apparently they were financing their travels by filming docos and sending them home. The story goes they turned up to spend two weeks in the Valley but liked it so much they built a shack stayed seven years, Dad's motley crew of Willies Jeep nuts befriended them, taking them down food and even helping one get a job in the mines near Lithgow to help with finances.
In return "the germans" shared their Goanna stews and amazig finds and adventures, including a jeep trip down to the Colo junction (Well not quite, they had to walk the last 2km)

Another mate's dad recalled the two worst jobs in a long life of back breaking job, One as a young man in the Timber chute where horse after horse went to slaughter. The other, much later, reclaiming the pipes from the Pipeline track...


Anyhoo

While flicking through an old climbing guide that I had read and read again back when we had first gotten into climbing, one that has been sitting in my draw for the last 20 years, Lo and behold there it was staring me in the face. “The Timber chute walls”. You eeejiot Flynny!

How had I missed that?

So I dragged Mandy out for a walk and we followed the bottom cliff lines around then down into a likely creek. But just up stream we were blocked by a small water fall. Our up and down route along the cliff had sucked up too much time and we needed to beat a retreat. Next time Gagdet.

12 months later I was keen as keen for another look.

This time we followed the old road up the gully before spearing off and making our way up to the cliff line. The lower cliff line here is more a jumble of broken slabs and each time we got into the creek we were stopped by another unclimbable waterfall so we traversed back and forward up through the scree and the occassional reminat opf a bullock track. Finally we reached the base of the upper cliff and from here it was an easy walk around into the canyon.

And what a little ripper it is.
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Timber chute-11.jpg
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Timber chute-11.jpg
Timber chute-11.jpg (1 MiB) Viewed 450 times
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T2
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Re: When men were Men

Post by T2 » 13 Aug 2018, 14:50

Craig, thanks so much for that extra bit of history. I stumbled on that slot a few years back -- it looked interesting from the aerial photos so I explored it from above. We were completely caught by surprise by the elaborate timber chute. The effort it would have taken to cut the holes into the canyon wall, cut timbers just the right length, then man-handle them into position, would have been extraordinary. We assumed it must have been to bring timber down for pit props, but it still seemed like a lot of effort. It is a beautiful little slot. Hopefully the people who toiled in it were able to pause and admire the nature beauty of the place.

Flynny
Posts: 47
Joined: 22 May 2018, 16:10
Full name: Craig Flynn
City: The 'Go
State: New South Wales

Re: When men were Men

Post by Flynny » 14 Aug 2018, 16:39

More for the coke ovens and heating or possibly infrastructure (bridges and poppet heads) than props. The immediate valley was logged out.

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