Rudall River - Return to Camel Valley

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 00:00


Wednesday 23rd June, 2010
Darlsen Pinnacle
Rudall River National Park WA

It was great sleeping with the pinnacle in view in the full moonlight. The dingos intermittent howling during the night, echoed up the canyons giving a spine tingling effect to the moonlit vista. I awoke to see the suns rays hitting the pinnacle in and then dozed off again. Scrambled eggs for breakfast and then preparation for the days quad expedition. I have the back case off and the pillion seat on so that I can take Alan. MJ is staying in the area to do some walking.

Our days adventure began with us picking our way south along the valley floor and up into the rocky pass. Once over the saddle we negotiated the boulder strewn decent and then followed the creek out into the main valley. The mid morning light was much better than the fading light of our visit the previous day and the views were rewarding indeed. Heading off across the valley floor to the south west, I assumed a huge rift visible on the opposing side to be the chasm that was situated midway along camel valley. Unfortunately, on our arrival there it soon became apparent that I had gone too far west. Changing direction by 180 degrees, we followed the steep valley walls back, negotiating the many rills and gullies along the way and stopping on occasion to check any valley heading south into the range. It was only several kilometres before we came upon a wide valley mouth that opened into our valley. Crossing this entrance and heading into it was a well worn camel path. Following this track we soon found ourselves negotiating the ever barrowing confines of Camel Valley once again.

We managed to travel 600 metres or so along the narrow course of the valley before it became too narrow for the quads so parking the quads under shade, we headed off on foot. It was amazing to wander through this narrow high sided valley and imagine the camels lumbering cautiously along this rocky and often treacherous floor on their soft pads. Huge spider webs hung between the trees along the stream area. We made it to the top of the valley and then over the saddle and into the chasm beyond. Picking our way down to the rocky floor, we entered the chasm area finding deep, dry waterholes. This rift in the valley walls is steep and narrow, often not more than 20 metres. The floor is a jumble of huge boulders that one has to negotiate with care. Again no water so retracing our steps we climbed back up to the saddle and then up the last 20 metres or so to the top of the ridge and the fantastic views back to the north. Very rewarding indeed. This position also offers great views in either direction along Camel Valley being at a good height above the camel trail. After a time spent soaking up the scenery, we headed back down into the valley and headed down to the quads for lunch in the shade of the gums.

I climbed through another high pass adjacent to where had parked the quads breaking into a high spot with a clear view of the country and ranges to the south. This formed a pound area that was roughly circular and rimmed by high ramparts. It was largely open to the south east and reckon I could see fair to the country that supports Tjarra pool. Great views and in the tree in whose shade I stood to take some photos, a symmetrically immaculate web 1.5 metres across and the fattest Orb Weaver spider at its centre. Arriving back at the quads we mounted and picked our way through the rocks out to the main floor and then across the valley and west to find our entrance for home. We saw a healthy roo bounding off which is the second we’d seen in the area. We suffered one puncture on the way home (Scotty’s quad) which was easily and speedily fixed by our well oiled pit crew. We located the remains of our old 2008 camp on the way back pausing for a few photos of the pinnacle at yet another angle. Here we realised that Al had left his pack open losing the lunch box with the biscuits amongst other things.

We enjoyed the communal atmosphere of the shade tree in the late afternoon, watching the sun go down and the moon rise above the ramparts behind us. Dinner was a hearty feed of spag bog around the fire. In bed at 8:00 p.m., another great day of exploring under our belts.

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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