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Thread: Mt. Airly, the it so hard part

  1. #1
    artheserenity Greg's Avatar
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    Mt. Airly, the it so hard part

    Sunday began with all 7 cars arriving on-time at our meeting point just North of Dubbo. With the temperature sitting on -1 degree, we quickly covered the introductions, general housekeeping and some convoy rules for all attending. It wasn’t long and we were through Mudgee and arriving at Capertee Rest Area on the Sydney Road, our turn off point to Mt Airly. The group was given a small brief on what to expect for the day as we aired down ready to hit the tracks.





    Driving into the property, we stopped off to see Col Ribaux, who has been “care taker” of this Mountain for 50+ years, mining Diamonds, Gold & Gems, to name a few. Unfortunately, Col was out at the time, so, we continued on past Col's house and got straight into it. It was at this point we engaging low range, as track climbs steeply up the face of Mt Airly with a few tight switchbacks to negotiate. Having all selected low range, the group made light work of the climb up.





    After the initial climb, we made a left turn towards the Diamond Mine and continued to climb to one of 3 lookouts in store for the day. Only a short walk from the cars an opening in the trees gave us 180 degree views back towards Capertee and the Glen Davis Road directly below.





    There was still quite a chill in the air, so it was back into the cars to continue along the track until we reached the tailings dam. A large hut sits above the tailings dam with a small hut and what looks like a mechanics workshop below the dam. With more to explore, we followed the track which eventually loops back onto itself, but not before going past our second lookout. This lookout opened up the Eastern side of Mt Airly, looking towards the Newnes Plateau.

    Back on the tracks we drove back past the tailings dam to our third lookout and to stop for Lunch. Though not much to look out, this is where the opening to the Diamond Mine is, pretty scary to think Col, his Father and a few mates mined this, I’m sure a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into cutting this shaft into the Mountain.





    Lunch over, we started our descent from the Diamond Mine and turned onto Genowlan Track. This track makes you feel like you have entered Jurassic Park, with large tree ferns towering above and an understory of ferns lining the track on both sides. Genowlan Track has some interesting sections along it, short, steep climbs and descents over slippery sandstone rock. This was slightly challenging for some of our less experienced members, who by the end, were gaining more confidence all the time, as the cars slipped and clawed their way up and over each section.



    The best part was, these sections would have to be negotiated in reverse on the way out. We continued along the track to the end, or (at least to the end of where our own &/or car's capabilities lie.) and walked a small section that would challenge any experienced 4WDer. The track beyond here eventually ends at a lookout, but for us, this would be for another day.



    Back in the cars we turned around and made our way through the ferns, climbing up and over those very sections we came in on. It showed how different the same piece of track can be when done in reverse and the different line you might take. It was mentally demanding but a challenge that everyone enjoyed. We stopped in at Col’s house on the way out, saying a quick hello and to thank him for allowing us access.



    It was a great day out, with all members enjoying the mental challenges Mt Airly had to offer, meeting new members, seeing an area that I think most of us had never visited before, and to finish with a Sunset that just kept on giving……. Just Awesome.
    Last edited by Greg; 22-07-17 at 07:22 AM.
    Taking the road less traveled
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  2. #2
    Junior Member Ditch's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing, great write up. Another spot to add to the list!
    "I would rather that my bones had been left to bleach in the desert than yielded an inch of ground I had gained at so much expence" - Charles Sturt 1845

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mick_C's Avatar
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    Definitely an awesome drive. I was lucky enough to drive it with Graham99 and Smokey2.8 as guides that day, with another fella who's name escapes me catching up with us through the day. This was followed by a little secret camp on the Turon. Digging through my archives that was waaaaay back in 2012!

    I'm sure the Mountain has changed alot since then, the views, scenery and rock formations still remain stunning. The technical bits were alot of fun too.

  4. #4
    Administrator Gary's Avatar
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    Great report and photos. Very nice, and sometimes challenging, area to explore.

  5. #5
    I think I can! Smokey2.8's Avatar
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    My Airly is certainly a challenge at best, especially if taken to the end. It used to be drivable by a well set up truck but not anymore.
    Thanks for sharing


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  6. #6
    artheserenity Greg's Avatar
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    Mt. Airly, the it so hard part

    I think a lot of people are put off by the YouTube videos, but there is still a good part of this to see and Col is only to willing too share.


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  7. #7
    Always somewhere in the Outback. Gavin's Avatar
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    Great report,
    So many great places to see, one more track to try when we get down that way.

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