Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

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Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby LouisB » Tue 12 Jan, 2016 5:08 pm

Hi all,

A mate and I were hoping to get up to Lamington to do a walk from O'Reilly's down to the Lost World via Black Canyon. Our plan as it stands currently is to leave O'Reilly's in the morning, walk along the Border and Albert River Tracks down to Echo Point and camp there the first night, then on the second day following the track to the start of the canyon and dropping down into it, following the creek past Red Rock Cutting and then walking up to the Saddle camp site for the second night. Third day plan is to walk up the ridge and either get to the top of Mt Razorback and drop down into the Lost World and camp there for the third night, or if possible perhaps just keep going on and finish the walk in two nights- traverse through the Lost World and down the Western Ridge and then probably back out to the South to be picked up at Kerry Road or stay at the guesthouse.

A few questions:

Has anyone done this or a similar route and have any specific advice on it? How many creek crossings are to be expected in the Black Canyon, is this doable in the amount of time I've set out here, anything in particular we should be taking, etc.

What actually is the Red Rock Cutting and is it worth a visit? I've looked around but can't find any photos or information other than it's location.

Just how narrow and dangerous are the ridgelines on either end of the Lost World? I've seen a few photos and they look pretty hairy but would appreciate any personal advice or information.

What is the best time of year for doing this? At the moment around Easter looks likely, probably in those holidays or if it's not too cold maybe the mid year break.

Are the maps generated by QTOPO accurate enough for this kind of navigation? We've got the HEMA Lamington map already and will probably get a GPS too but having the QTOPO map if it's any use would be good too.


I've had a look around this site for similar walks and it looks to be great fun, albeit challenging.


Thanks for any help you can provide,

Louis
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The planned route as it currently stands- yellow is on track, red is off track.
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby cams » Mon 18 Jan, 2016 4:42 pm

Hi Louis. Sounds like an awesome trip. I've added some comments below to relevant sections.

LouisB wrote:Hi all,

A mate and I were hoping to get up to Lamington to do a walk from O'Reilly's down to the Lost World via Black Canyon. Our plan as it stands currently is to leave O'Reilly's in the morning, walk along the Border and Albert River Tracks down to Echo Point and camp there the first night, then on the second day following the track to the start of the canyon and dropping down into it,


Will you be taking ropes? Have you read up on notes for the walk to Black Canyon? The main feature that people visit in the canyon is Lightning and Thunder falls. You never actually see these falls from the Albert River track, but you get within earshot. The track meets the Albert river above these falls and criss-crosses its way to Echo Point. The usual route to Lightning and Thunder Falls heads off the Albert River track further downstream, drops down into the canyon and then heads upstream to meet them.

LouisB wrote:following the creek past Red Rock Cutting and then walking up to the Saddle camp site for the second night. Third day plan is to walk up the ridge and either get to the top of Mt Razorback and drop down into the Lost World


Not sure what you mean by drop down into Lost World. The standard route is to try and stick close to the Northern escarpment to avoid the jungle. There is a campsite near the creek on the North-West corner of the plateau.

LouisB wrote:and camp there for the third night, or if possible perhaps just keep going on and finish the walk in two nights- traverse through the Lost World and down the Western Ridge and then probably back out to the South to be picked up at Kerry Road or stay at the guesthouse.


The route off the Western end of Lost World doesn't follow the ridge exactly. This ends in a drop-off. You have to keep an eye out for a foot-pad heading down beside the last Western razorback that contours around. See below about dangers here.

LouisB wrote:
A few questions:

Has anyone done this or a similar route and have any specific advice on it? How many creek crossings are to be expected in the Black Canyon, is this doable in the amount of time I've set out here, anything in particular we should be taking, etc.

What actually is the Red Rock Cutting and is it worth a visit? I've looked around but can't find any photos or information other than it's location.

Just how narrow and dangerous are the ridgelines on either end of the Lost World? I've seen a few photos and they look pretty hairy but would appreciate any personal advice or information.


Heading up from the East has plenty of sections where falling would be very bad, but in general there is plenty of hand holds and some margin for error. The decent off the Western end doesn't seem exposed, but it has hidden dangers that most of the notes warn about. The razorback after this has some very narrow sections, but I don't remember thinking it was super exposed.

LouisB wrote:What is the best time of year for doing this? At the moment around Easter looks likely, probably in those holidays or if it's not too cold maybe the mid year break.

Are the maps generated by QTOPO accurate enough for this kind of navigation? We've got the HEMA Lamington map already and will probably get a GPS too but having the QTOPO map if it's any use would be good too.


I've had a look around this site for similar walks and it looks to be great fun, albeit challenging.


Thanks for any help you can provide,

Louis


That time of year sounds good. It will still be cool (be prepared for very cool), but shouldn't be super cold. The maps provide a good resource, but can't provide the resolution for how to bypass certain obstacles exactly. GPS will have difficulty under the rainforest cover and in the canyon. As usual, a combination of maps, GPS, notes and experience should get you through ok. From what you've written it seems like you need to find a few more notes on some of these areas though. Books like "Secrets of the Scenic Rim" have great notes, and "A Bushpeoples guide to Hiking in SE Qld" if you can find a copy.

There is a good thread on these forums about Black Canyon too.

Notes on O'reilly's to Lost World from my blog can be found here too: http://highandwide.com.au/2011/04/27/or ... ost-world/
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby LouisB » Mon 18 Jan, 2016 7:59 pm

Thanks for the reply, lots of helpful information.

cams wrote:
Will you be taking ropes? Have you read up on notes for the walk to Black Canyon? The main feature that people visit in the canyon is Lightning and Thunder falls. You never actually see these falls from the Albert River track, but you get within earshot. The track meets the Albert river above these falls and criss-crosses its way to Echo Point. The usual route to Lightning and Thunder Falls heads off the Albert River track further downstream, drops down into the canyon and then heads upstream to meet them.


If ropes are required to get from the Albert River track down the Canyon then we'll be taking them, but we don't intend to do anything more that would be out of our way that might require ropes if that makes sense.

Not sure what you mean by drop down into Lost World. The standard route is to try and stick close to the Northern escarpment to avoid the jungle. There is a campsite near the creek on the North-West corner of the plateau.


I believe I read a recount of a group who walked up the Eastern ridgeline and got to the summit of Mt Razorback (the highest point around the Lost World Area I believe) and then "dropped down" (not really a drop but still a lowering in altitude) onto the plateau itself and walked along the escarpment to the campsite you mentioned. If this is not possible or foolish/exceedingly difficult then that would be great to know. Otherwise I presume the route is to follow the northern side of the mountain and contour around along the escarpment to the campsite.

The route off the Western end of Lost World doesn't follow the ridge exactly. This ends in a drop-off. You have to keep an eye out for a foot-pad heading down beside the last Western razorback that contours around. See below about dangers here.


I'd thought it might be something like this, all the GPS routes on wikiloc I found of people ascending or descending via the Western ridge seemed to all turn off the Razorback at a similar point, I presume this is the foot-pad you are referring to.

Heading up from the East has plenty of sections where falling would be very bad, but in general there is plenty of hand holds and some margin for error. The decent off the Western end doesn't seem exposed, but it has hidden dangers that most of the notes warn about. The razorback after this has some very narrow sections, but I don't remember thinking it was super exposed.


That doesn't sound impossibly dangerous, which is good...
Would you recommend ropes for the two Razorbacks/would they be of much use anyway?

That time of year sounds good. It will still be cool (be prepared for very cool), but shouldn't be super cold. The maps provide a good resource, but can't provide the resolution for how to bypass certain obstacles exactly. GPS will have difficulty under the rainforest cover and in the canyon. As usual, a combination of maps, GPS, notes and experience should get you through ok. From what you've written it seems like you need to find a few more notes on some of these areas though. Books like "Secrets of the Scenic Rim" have great notes, and "A Bushpeoples guide to Hiking in SE Qld" if you can find a copy.

There is a good thread on these forums about Black Canyon too.

Notes on O'reilly's to Lost World from my blog can be found here too: http://highandwide.com.au/2011/04/27/or ... ost-world/


Does anything provide enough resolution on how to bypass the obstacles or is that only in the guides? My mate has a copy of the Bushpeople's guide which I've had a look through, and I can probably get a copy of Secrets too- any other good books I should be looking for?

Thanks again,
Louis
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby cams » Wed 20 Jan, 2016 9:53 am

LouisB wrote:Thanks for the reply, lots of helpful information.

If ropes are required to get from the Albert River track down the Canyon then we'll be taking them, but we don't intend to do anything more that would be out of our way that might require ropes if that makes sense.


I haven't done the route to Black Canyon (intend to sometime this summer), but there are others on the forums that have. From what I understand, heading straight down the canyon from where the track actually crosses the river on the way from Echo Point would be very difficult. You would have to abseil the falls, which from notes I've read in Secrets of the Scenic Rim is no easy task. Very cold, Multiple drop offs and potentially limited anchor options as you go. If you are into canyoning this would be a great adventure in its own right, but as part of a multi-day walk, possibly not feasible?

The walking route to follow would be to back track from echo point along the Albert River Circuit to past the Lightning cascades to where the Black Canyon route heads off. Once down in the canyon you would then need to decide whether to head up the canyon to visit the falls and then backtrack to the exit point towards Lost World saddle, or simply not visit the falls.

I believe I read a recount of a group who walked up the Eastern ridgeline and got to the summit of Mt Razorback (the highest point around the Lost World Area I believe) and then "dropped down" (not really a drop but still a lowering in altitude) onto the plateau itself and walked along the escarpment to the campsite you mentioned. If this is not possible or foolish/exceedingly difficult then that would be great to know. Otherwise I presume the route is to follow the northern side of the mountain and contour around along the escarpment to the campsite.


We headed too far down off the escarpment which got thicker and thicker and ended up in one of our party getting stung by a stinging tree before we decided to make a significant course change and head back to the northern side. I would avoid heading down onto the plateau too far. There is also a campsite at the summit.

I'd thought it might be something like this, all the GPS routes on wikiloc I found of people ascending or descending via the Western ridge seemed to all turn off the Razorback at a similar point, I presume this is the foot-pad you are referring to.


Just to clarify, I'm talking about two stages of the decent. What I'm talking about here is decending off the plateau itself down to the lower razorback ridge. If you just keep heading out along the plateau you get to a very narrow pinnacle which ends in a drop. If you hit this you know you've gone too far. Head back and contour around. Once down on the ridge there are a couple of smaller drop offs that need bypassing back and around too.

That doesn't sound impossibly dangerous, which is good...
Would you recommend ropes for the two Razorbacks/would they be of much use anyway?

Yeah, it is serious, but very doable. If anyone had a particularly bad head for heights they could struggle, but not technically difficult for someone with good scrambling experience. I'd say most people wouldn't use ropes. Not a lot to anchor to from what i can remember anyway, except grass trees and natural anchors. It would slow you down a lot.

Does anything provide enough resolution on how to bypass the obstacles or is that only in the guides? My mate has a copy of the Bushpeople's guide which I've had a look through, and I can probably get a copy of Secrets too- any other good books I should be looking for?

Thanks again,
Louis


These are the best two books probably. Notes are probably the best thing for this. They will say stuff like bypass the drop to the north. Apart from this, you'll just have to find your own exact route. Despite these areas being remote there are often still footpads and blazes to follow.
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby LouisB » Thu 21 Jan, 2016 9:19 pm

cams wrote:
LouisB wrote:Thanks for the reply, lots of helpful information.

If ropes are required to get from the Albert River track down the Canyon then we'll be taking them, but we don't intend to do anything more that would be out of our way that might require ropes if that makes sense.


I haven't done the route to Black Canyon (intend to sometime this summer), but there are others on the forums that have. From what I understand, heading straight down the canyon from where the track actually crosses the river on the way from Echo Point would be very difficult. You would have to abseil the falls, which from notes I've read in Secrets of the Scenic Rim is no easy task. Very cold, Multiple drop offs and potentially limited anchor options as you go. If you are into canyoning this would be a great adventure in its own right, but as part of a multi-day walk, possibly not feasible?

The walking route to follow would be to back track from echo point along the Albert River Circuit to past the Lightning cascades to where the Black Canyon route heads off. Once down in the canyon you would then need to decide whether to head up the canyon to visit the falls and then backtrack to the exit point towards Lost World saddle, or simply not visit...


Thanks again for the reply- not sure entirely what you mean by backtrack though-the route I have planned would have us coming from echo point and then turning off the track to get down to the canyon, on the walking track you mentioned (I have limited experience abseiling etc so we wouldn't be doing any canyoning). Do you know if the black canyon route off the Albert River Track is very clear (this is probably in the books but it would be good to have anecdotal evidence too, especially if it's somewhat more recent)?

Thanks so much for your input!
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby LouisB » Thu 21 Jan, 2016 9:20 pm

EDIT: THIS IS A DUPLICATE POST OF ABOVE

if someone could remove it that'd be great

cams wrote:
LouisB wrote:Thanks for the reply, lots of helpful information.

If ropes are required to get from the Albert River track down the Canyon then we'll be taking them, but we don't intend to do anything more that would be out of our way that might require ropes if that makes sense.


I haven't done the route to Black Canyon (intend to sometime this summer), but there are others on the forums that have. From what I understand, heading straight down the canyon from where the track actually crosses the river on the way from Echo Point would be very difficult. You would have to abseil the falls, which from notes I've read in Secrets of the Scenic Rim is no easy task. Very cold, Multiple drop offs and potentially limited anchor options as you go. If you are into canyoning this would be a great adventure in its own right, but as part of a multi-day walk, possibly not feasible?

The walking route to follow would be to back track from echo point along the Albert River Circuit to past the Lightning cascades to where the Black Canyon route heads off. Once down in the canyon you would then need to decide whether to head up the canyon to visit the falls and then backtrack to the exit point towards Lost World saddle, or simply not visit...


Thanks again for the reply- not sure entirely what you mean by backtrack though-the route I have planned would have us coming from echo point and then turning off the track to get down to the canyon, on the walking track you mentioned (I have limited experience abseiling etc so we wouldn't be doing any canyoning). Do you know if the black canyon route off the Albert River Track is very clear (this is probably in the books but it would be good to have anecdotal evidence too, especially if it's somewhat more recent)?

Thanks so much for your input!
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby cams » Fri 22 Jan, 2016 8:55 am

LouisB wrote:EDIT: THIS IS A DUPLICATE POST OF ABOVE

if someone could remove it that'd be great

cams wrote:
LouisB wrote:Thanks for the reply, lots of helpful information.

If ropes are required to get from the Albert River track down the Canyon then we'll be taking them, but we don't intend to do anything more that would be out of our way that might require ropes if that makes sense.


I haven't done the route to Black Canyon (intend to sometime this summer), but there are others on the forums that have. From what I understand, heading straight down the canyon from where the track actually crosses the river on the way from Echo Point would be very difficult. You would have to abseil the falls, which from notes I've read in Secrets of the Scenic Rim is no easy task. Very cold, Multiple drop offs and potentially limited anchor options as you go. If you are into canyoning this would be a great adventure in its own right, but as part of a multi-day walk, possibly not feasible?

The walking route to follow would be to back track from echo point along the Albert River Circuit to past the Lightning cascades to where the Black Canyon route heads off. Once down in the canyon you would then need to decide whether to head up the canyon to visit the falls and then backtrack to the exit point towards Lost World saddle, or simply not visit...


Thanks again for the reply- not sure entirely what you mean by backtrack though-the route I have planned would have us coming from echo point and then turning off the track to get down to the canyon, on the walking track you mentioned (I have limited experience abseiling etc so we wouldn't be doing any canyoning). Do you know if the black canyon route off the Albert River Track is very clear (this is probably in the books but it would be good to have anecdotal evidence too, especially if it's somewhat more recent)?

Thanks so much for your input!


Ah yes. If you come the other way round the Albert River Circuit to Echo Point you won't be doing any backtracking. With regards to more specific detail this is the limit of my knowledge for Black Canyon and something I'll also be looking into myself. This thread has some more info too: viewtopic.php?f=48&t=2427&p=212987&hilit=black+canyon#p212987
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby tomh » Mon 08 Feb, 2016 9:11 am

Brisbane Bushwalkers appear to be doing this walk on the 27th of this month. Found this here
http://brisbanebushwalkers.org.au/walks.html but have no more detail and you would have to be a member - you could join on the 10/2 or 24/2 meetings
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon

Postby mitchyditchyramarama » Mon 06 Apr, 2020 6:27 pm

Just wanted to drop some track notes for getting into black canyon from off the Albert River circuit.
Approx 1.5 to 2 km into the circuit you will reach a lesser bunch of track zig zags. There is a small rock cairn , blink and you’ll miss it. Following ribbons downhill, after 10 minutes the markers go left and right. Go left, the right markers lead down into an overgrown river covered in collapsed trees, wastes time. Left trail leads quickly down to the steep descent. It’s careful slow going in this section and most of the time you’ll hear a faint trickle from a waterfall that will be on your right hand side. At the base of the slope is another rock cairn and time to go upstream, left. This time of year was easy going, still got hammered by a knee high stinging tree. 40 minutes and behold the beautiful thunder and lightning falls. To get out, simply retrace your steps. Wikiloc has some trails to help but I personally concentrated on following the ribbons to get back up in 1 piece. Nows the part where you suddenly remember how *&%$#! steep the track in was, took me an hour with a light pack. Not a slope to dawdle on and was so relieved to reach the Albert river circuit again. Total 7 hours, 3 in. 4 out.
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby Equivocator » Wed 27 May, 2020 9:05 am

I did this Lost World Circuit, Nov last year: https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/l ... mt-5266933
You can read a bit more info about my trip here; https://equivocatorsadventures.blogspot ... world.html

I didn't go Black Canyon though sorry (I went over Mt Worendo)
From the Saddle up to Razorback Peak was pretty clear but down to Lost World Creek was quite a bit of bush wacking.
The Ridge after Lost World Creek is fantastic :) I didn't find either Ridge sketchy, but I've very light on my feet for that kind of stuff. The North-West side (after lost world creek) is definitely the more prominent ridge. There's a decent footpad for most of the South-East side and from Razorback Peak to the other side of lost world creek it's wide and flat.
Getting off the razor back has a scramble section, and a plate where someone unfortunately slipped and perished. This was coming up the eastern side, I'm not familiar with the western side.

I took the QTopo map and Phone GPS. Only area I went off track a bit (needing to check the GPS) was heading up to Mt Razorback from Lost world creek. Because there wasn't a real ridge to follow, and it was heavily overgrown. The "Jungle" Cams posted about. I was trying to walk around the worst of it and got a bit off line there. Heading down it the direction you're going might be a little easier.

It was a dry period when I went (Nov 2019) and Lost World Creek had a very good flow for water. I'd rely on it if I was to go out today.
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby Lyrebird » Wed 27 May, 2020 3:47 pm

Thanks for the info, all. Equivocator, loved your blog entry, particularly the part about the walkers with the Stinson map :lol: I wonder if they expected a bus pickup at the bottom? There's so many of them around these days that it's surprising more people don't get lost at Lamington.

Re the Razorback, I went for a reccy to the Lost World Section the other day and thought that a day walk from the end of the Kerry Road up the Right Branch of the Albert River, up to the saddle between the Lamington Plateau and the Razorback and then up the south-west ridge to the summit (facing Mount Worendo) and back might be feasible. I found a sketchy old trail with some seriously vintage tape that seemed to head in that direction.
What are your thoughts? I'm familiar with heading off the beaten track in southern Lamington (have the maps, gear, lawyer-vine scars, torn trousers etc) but not the Lost World valley section, so your educated opinion (and anyone else's for that matter :)) would be appreciated.
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby Equivocator » Wed 27 May, 2020 9:49 pm

Yeah, it was definitely a bit of a shock when they actually pulled out a printed version of that... They had enough gear to camp at Echo and seemed knowledgeable when we were first talking...

That sounds like a pretty feasible plan and the bit from the saddle to the summit definitely had a decent enough footpad the whole way. I have also gone from that saddle down the north side (to Left Branch) and the South side doesn't seem too much steeper than that on Qtopo. I liked the ridge on the western side of lost world better, from a 'I like heights and cliffs' perspective, so you could continue on and do the loop if you wanted. As I said though, I didn't drop down that side at all (coming up from the left branch myself) so I'm not sure what it's like. When I hit the start of the ridge the goat track from the Lost World Guest House direction was definitely more defined than the route I took. You'd still have to get past the scramble section, the trail of down to the Guest house would be past that. Lots of good handholds for it though.

This pic is looking from just above the saddle you mention South-West ish. Mt Widgee jutting out from the left.
Image

These are heading down from Mt Razorback peak down to that Saddle;
https://imgur.com/a/m8Lz2EJ
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby Lyrebird » Thu 28 May, 2020 4:44 pm

Many thanks for the pics and all the useful information. A scrambling I shall go!
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby dalehikes » Fri 29 May, 2020 12:38 pm

@Lyrebird:

Travel up the right branch poses no obstacles other than a log jam or two, one quite sizeable. Travel up to the saddle and along the eastern ridgeline is fastastic, very nice remote hiking. No views from the summit plateau unless you find your way out to the south escarpment.
If you are returning along the same route, definitely allow a full extra long day. Travel along the creek will take up a considerable chunk of time.

For anyone reading this thread, in particular the route through Black Canyon proposed by LouisB, know that it is not possible. Black Canyon is a deep crevice with multiple large drops inside it. "Scrambling down the side" of it is not an option. Access from the tracks is only possible via shooting creek route. Any other attempt at a shortcut is stupidly dangerous.
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby Lyrebird » Fri 29 May, 2020 3:54 pm

Cheers dalehikes, thanks very much. Sounds like a first light start! I'm always ruthless with setting and sticking to a very conservative turn back time (I've turned back 100m before a summit because it was turn-back time); unplanned nights in the scrub are not my idea of a good time and fortunately I've never had to experience one.

Re rockhopping, I found a sketchy track that ran parallel with the river about 50-100m away from the river following its course, on the Razorback side. Has anyone else come across it and if so, does it continue? I was really just moseying around so I only followed it for 20 minutes or so, but barring a few landslides it seemed navigable, and a lot faster than pirouetting over rocks up the river. There was a standard 'if you get lost it's not our problem' National Park sign at the start of it.

On a different note, does anyone know if the Lost World Guesthouse is still trading? Its website has completely disappeared and it seemed very deserted; I realise it would be closed for COVID but it had an abandoned look to it.
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby dalehikes » Sat 30 May, 2020 8:07 am

The parallel track ends pretty quickly and then it's all creek from there. Only lasts 500m or so.

I'm very strict on turn around times as well so early starts are always the go!

As for the guesthouse, I've seen people in there recently but whether they were guests or not I don't know. It certainly doesn't have an inviting look to it anymore..
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Re: Lamington NP- Black Canyon and the Lost World

Postby Lyrebird » Sat 30 May, 2020 8:14 am

Okay, cheers. I must have pretty much gotten to the end of it then. I was only ambling but didn't realise I was that slow! :D
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