Cathedral Rock + Montague Thumbs + Wellington Falls loop

I walked up another (handful of small) mountains today; you can see the track (now with elevation profile!) here.  I think the time was reasonably quick; which is all the more surprising given that I got lost (and at other times just thought I might be lost) at least 3 times.  In fact, that started before I'd even commenced walking, so perhaps it was an omen: the directions just said to cross the bridge then park 20m after it.  There didn't seem to be any obvious parking (narrow gravel road), so eventually I pulled over in the widest bit.  Then I got out and started walking, and encountered a second bridge, with a handful of cars parked 20m after it (I took a calculated risk and didn't go back and move the car).  When I got back there were a couple of neighbours by the car, who explained that the first bridge I saw was just a log bridge until recently, so the guide authors presumably didn't count it.

I walked to Cathedral Rock and had lunch (the first panorama, and yes there is a photo looking down from it as well -- Dad, please don't point that out to Mum), then followed the ridge over to the "thumbs" (picture 5; picture 4 is Cathedral Rock from a slightly lower portion of it), then down and around, crossing over the river at the top of Wellington Falls before winding around to a lookout (where the second panorama is from, and where I again had lunch).  The last photo is of the thumbs again, from the other side of the gorge; Cathedral Rock is to the left of that, and apparently that photo didn't turn out properly.

As I said, I lost my way several times.  The path to Cathedral Rock is pretty clear, provided you know that you're looking for a cairn and a stake in the track to turn off to it.  The Falls lookout is really well maintained, as is the track that runs from it down to the Pipeline Track.  Outside of those sections... you need to know where you're going.  I had a guide book, and there were plenty of cairns and bits of ribbon tied to trees, but on several occasions they were a bit sparse or I missed one and wandered off in the wrong direction, before realising I was probably on the wrong path and heading back.  Also, I fortunately met a guy at the top of the falls coming from the way I was going, who told me the way down -- which was handy, as that bit of the journey didn't seem to mesh with the guidebook at all (I think there may have been a parallel track to the one down to the Pipeline that I actually took, and the track off the other side of the Pipeline wasn't marked as it was supposed to be).  All great fun though, and great

Mark Hepburn 23 October 2009
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