Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Good Times at Urbenville


Date: 8 - 9 June 2013

As local readers are well aware, the weather in the South-East Corner (and no-doubt beyond) hasn't been the best lately. Apart from short cold spells, Winter hasn't really hit yet and the rain has stayed well past its welcome for this time of year. This has made climbing and walking opportunities few and far between. We were determined to get out and do something over the recent long weekend though, and the destination was Urbenville just south of the border.


Tom and I got going by 6 on Saturday morning in his newly inherited Forester loaded with our quick getaway kit plus climbing gear. A good tip to help you get away to the bush for a weekend or a single night is to have a kit packed up most of the time ready to go. This makes the burden of packing and unpacking for a trip much easier to bear. I'll go into this further in an upcoming post.

The Crown near Urbenville
The route to Urbenville from Brisbane passes through Beaudesert, Rathdowney and Woodenbong and is a beautiful drive through mountain scenery past Mt. Barney, Mt. Lindsay and over the Border Ranges. We arrived at the Tooloom Falls campsite by about 8:30 and were pleasantly surprised with the grassy campsites and awesome location at the top of Tooloom Falls. Unfortunately the weather didn't look great.

Our campsite above the falls
There are two main climbing locations in the area. The first one being The Pines which is accessed from the campsite and the second being The Crown on the other side of town. After checking out the sketchy wade across the top of the waterfall to get to The Pines we thought we'd head back and check out the other crag. This is where things went down hill. On the way back to the main road the car konked out and wouldn't start again. Long story short, the car ended up back in Woodenbong waiting for a car trailer pickup the next day and we ended up back at the campsite at around 3:30 thanks to lifts from our friends Paul and Bridget who showed up just in time.
Photos of the corn fields surrounding us while waiting for the NRMA truck
Mossy fencepost
Old farm shed
Once back at the campsite Tom and I headed for The Pines crag to see if we could fit in one climb before dark. Crossing the top of the waterfall and turning right on the forestry roads, as per the climbing guide's instructions, led us to the crag in about 25 minutes where there was luckily a group of climbers finishing up who were able to point us to some climbs straight away without the usual task of orientating yourself on the wall.
The road to The Pines
The Pines crag
It's always interesting climbing somewhere new. The rock was a course conglomerate providing rough grippy bits combined with glass smooth (and in this case slimey) edges. The climbing style was slab and our Girraween techniques came in use. Repeat after me: trust the feet, trust the feet, trust the feet... It will be great to get back there with more time and better weather, but we still had a blast and thanks to our companions arrived back at camp to a nice warm fire.

Campfire in the rain
Campfire in the rain
We spent the evening trying to keep the fire going in the rain and adding a few new verses to Paul's climbing song. The rain continued for most of the night but the Scarp 2 kept us nice and dry. The next day was spent taking a few photos, retrieving the car and making a slow trip back to Brisbane at the car trailers max speed of 80km/h. Not quite how we pictured the weekend, but an adventure none-the-less. Can't wait to get back to this lovely part of the world.

The causeway at the top of the falls
Water over the causeway