Monday 5 August 2019
Photos by Barry & Jill
Byangee Mountain is that mesa like Sydney sandstone plateau which sits between The Castle and Pigeonhouse Mountain in the Budawangs. It is regarded as the lesser sibling of the three only because it is one wedding cake layer lower than the other two which flank it.
But it is an impressive mountain in its own right, surrounded by an almost impenetrable 100 metre high cliffline. It is caterpillar shaped with a top area of 85 hectares and guards the exit of the Clyde River from its confines of the gorge into the broader valleys of Yadboro, Brooman and beyond.
Thankfully, the cliffline does have a chink in its armour and it was this one narrow broken slot in the rock which attracted the 13 Club (and guest) walkers to climb Byangee’s summit and admire the wonderful views. Although the route is reasonably straightforward, the total climb is a 350 metre lift from the Long Gully Car Park. Punching through the cliffline requires a degree of physical strength and reasonable balance, but for those who suffer vertigo it is not very exposed.
On top we enjoyed lunch with a magnificent 360 degree panorama without hindrance of vegetation – the seemingly endless broad Clyde valley in front, The Castle to the right, Pigeon House to the left, the Gorge behind.
The weather was excellent, the company exceptional and many thanks goes to Barry for organizing and leading this walk, one of a two day exploration in the area.
A foot track from the Long Gully car park, crosses the Yadboro River (currently not running it is so dry) and ascends the ridge east of The Castle Creek. At the base of The Castle, it follows the cliffline east to Castle Gap. Along the way, a visit to Cathedral Cave, a large slab of rock which leans closely to the cliffline, is worthwhile for a pleasant tree fern shaded rest.
From Castle Gap the track follows the base of Byangee Mountain cliffs on the north side for 600 metres where a cairn indicates the immediate climb up a steep broken, narrow gully. One chockstone in the defile requires some physical effort to overcome but a resident rope aids the task. After a fast lift of about 80 vertical metres the track goes east again for 50 metres on a wide ledge before popping up the last 10 metre lift onto the edge of the plateau. From there the full 85 hectares is available for wandering.
Except for the wettest years, there is no water available.