Outing #3: Day 1 – No clue at all


So I’m at the bottom of the Giant Staircase, again, after heading out from town at approximately lunch. Didn’t seem so hard walking down the nine-hundred-odd steps this time.

I wasn’t too concerned about an early start because the plan for today was really just to get down the Staircase before dark: since the caves I’ll be sleeping in this Outing are all at the top of the mountain here, all I had to do was get to this area before sunset, which I have done.

For gear this time, I’ve brought the little 25Ltr day-pack (which is about the size of a typical schoolbag), two 1Ltr plastic bottles for water, and food.
I still haven’t seen anywhere to pitch a tent down around these hermetically sealed upper trails, so yet again I didn’t give a moments thought to bringing my tent.

I know at the very least, the escarpments and overhangs up here will keep me dry, though it certainly sucks a bit that I have to wait until all the tourists have finished for the day and gone back up before sneaking back to the cave just before dusk turns to darkness.

Hopefully, I’ll find a way out of these little tourist trails this time and get far enough away that my tent would be at least feasible for the next outing.

I’m pretty sure I caught a glimpse of another trail through the trees last time I was here, and I know for a fact there’s a trail on my topo maps (25K, Katoomba & Jamison), that looks like it runs down alongside Federal Pass. My Garmin Oregon 650 also has colour digital topo maps on it, and the trail is marked on those maps too. Have to just go-on down and have a look won’t we!


It’s dark, and I’ve been back at the cave for a bit over an hour now. This head-torch has a red light that’s pretty dim, but bright enough to write with, and doesn’t ruin my night-vision.

I walked down Federal Pass at around 3:00pm and had another eyeball around for this trail, and although the lighting wasn’t all that great by the time I got down there it still looks every bit as promising as it did last time I was down here. I have no idea how to get onto the trail; with a steep downhill slope, vines covering everything and such thick, thick vegetation all along that part of Federal Pass, but that’s my plan for tomorrow: to find a way to break free of these tourist-riddled upper-trails and find somewhere with some peace and quiet.

Anyhow, that’s tomorrow. For now, I best get sleeping so I can get moving nice and early, before all the “walkers” start filing past!

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