2015 February: One day climb to Mt Mouin & Blackhorse Mountain in Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
For reasons even I don't understand, despite living in Sydney, I have climbed more mountains outside NSW than within. And similarly climbed more mountains outside the greater-Sydney area than within ... perhaps the grass is greener on the other side of the fence syndrome :-)
Anyway, I'm making amends today ... go on a SBW (Sydney Bush Walkers Club) hike to Mt Mouin & Blackhorse Mountain in the Blue Mts.
Mt Mouin & Blackhorse Mountain
Mt Mouin is located in the Wild Dog Mountains of the Blue Mountains National Park. It has 2 peaks:
• Eastern peak is 945 meters
• Western peak is 930 meters
Nearby is Blackhorse Mountain, 865 meters.
Mt Mouin eastern peak has the best panoramic view over this part of the Blue Mountains.
5 Wild Dog Mountains
By the way, a year later, in 2016-02, I climbed the 5 Wild Dog Mountains (Mt Mouin, Blackhorse Mtn, Mt Warrigal, Mt Merrimerrigal & Mt Dingo) all in a day. Photos and a write up on the trip are in my blog: http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2016/02/5-wild-dog-mts-blue-mts-nsw-australia.html
• 1:100,000 Katoomba 8930
• 1:50,000 Blue Mountains South by Spatial Visions Innovation, 1st edition
• 1:25,000 Jenolan 8930-3N
GPS files & Route
The GPX file of our walk can be download from:
In summary (refer to Photo #5):
• Start at Dunphys Camping Area (near Green Gully).
• Head east to Bellbird Lookout Track junction.
• Take Bellbird Lookout Track to Bellbird lookout.
• Bushbash down Bellbird Ridge to Breakfast Creek.
• Climb up Faithful Hound Ridge to Mt Mouin summit.
• Travers ridge top to Blackhorse Mountain summit.
• Climb down to Blackhorse Gap.
• Traverse to the top of Cattle Dog Ridge.
• Climb down Cattle Dog Ridge to Breakfast Creek.
• Climb up a spur on west side of Carlon Creek to Ironpot Ridge.
• Walk on Ironpot Ridge Track back to Dunphys Camping Area.
The KML file to reach the Dunphys Camping Area from Bleakheath is in:
Timeline & Distance
09:20 0.0 km Start at Dunphys Camping Area
09:49 2.1 km at Bellbird lookout
09:56 2.1 km Leave Bellbird lookout
10:29 3.4 km at Breakfast Creek
10:33 3.5 km at junction of Breakfast Creek and Nortons Gully
10:53 4.3 km Stop at junction of Breakfast Creek & Faithful Hound Ridge
11:06 4.4 km Start climbing up Faithful Hound Ridge
11:54 5.0 km at a lookout on top of a cliff on Faithful Hound Ridge
12:23 5.1 km Leave top of a cliff on Faithful Hound Ridge
13:47 7.9 km at Mt Mouin eastern peak summit
14:35 8.1 km Leave Mt Mouin eastern peak summit
14:42 8.4 km at Mt Mouin western peak summit
14:55 8.9 km at Blackhorse Mountain summit
15:05 9.1 km at Blackhorse Gap
15:49 11.9 km at top of Cattle Dog Ridge
16:15 13.4 km at a lookout on top of a cliff on Cattle Dog Ridge
16:22 13.4 km Leave top of a cliff on Cattle Dog Ridge
17:08 15.2 km at Breakfast Creek
17:15 15.6 km Stop at a spot on Breakfast Creek just pass the junction of Black Horse Creek
17:34 15.7 km Start walking up stream of Breakfast Creek
17:42 16.0 km Start climbing up a spur on west side of Carlon Creek
18:54 17.7 km at Ironpot Ridge Track
Inadvertently go on the wrong direction
19:26 19.0 km back at same spot where we first reached the Ironpot Ridge Track at 18:54
20:00 21.2 km Finish at Dunphys Camping Area
Total: 10 hr 40 min
21.2 km Distance is from Google Earth
23.8 km From my Garmin GPS
Ascent/Decent: 1983 meters - from my Garmin GPS
Pictures - Dunphys Camping Area
1) We start walking from here at Dunphys Camping Area (near Green Gully) and head east, uphill, towards Bellbird Lookout Track.
To Bellbird Lookout
2) 13 minutes and 0.75 km later, we are at the start of Bellbird Lookout Track.
3) Typical trail on the way to Bellbird lookout
4) Bellbird lookout has a splendid 270 degree panoramic view. This photo is towards the north-west. The horizontal ridge in the foreground is Ironpot Ridge. The red arrow on the right side of the photo points to Dunphys Camping Area where we started walking 30 minutes ago.
5) Towards the south is the below photo of where we'll be climbing for the rest of the day.
Red arrows, from left to right, point to:
- 945 meters Mt Mouin eastern peak
- 930 meters Mt Mouin western peak
- 865 meters Blackhorse Mountain
- 970 meters Mt Warrigal - not today.
- 905 meters Mt Merrimerrigal - not today
- 935 meters Mt Dingo - not today
- We'll go down the Bellbird Ridge (blue line on the right), then a steep drop down to Breakfast Creek.
- Then go up Faithful Hound Ridge (blue line on the left) towards Mt Mouin.
- From Mt Mouin, follow ridge top to Blackhorse Mountain.
- Climb down to the base of Mt Warrigal.
- Traverse along base of Mt Warrigal towards top of Cattle Dog Ridge.
- Walk down Cattle Dog Ridge (top yellow line) to Breakfast Creek.
- Then climb up a spur (bottom yellow line) towards Ironpot Ridge.
(In between Faithful Hound Ridge and Cattle Dog Ridge is Black Horse Ridge.)
And a year later, in 2016-02, I'll climb the 5 Wild Dog Mountains (Mt Mouin, Blackhorse Mtn, Mt Warrigal, Mt Merrimerrigal & Mt Dingo) all in a day. Photos and a write up on the trip are in my blog: http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2016/02/5-wild-dog-mts-blue-mts-nsw-australia.html
6) In the previous photo, the blue & yellow lines mask out the ridges. In this un-annotated photo, you can see the ridge lines better.
To Breakfast Creek
7) Pernille climbing down Blellbird lookout ~~~
It is steep ... a foretaste of many more steep cliffs we'll encounter for the rest of the day.
8) Huw leading the descent down Bellbird Ridge towards Breakfast Creek
It is a long and steep descent. During the descent, I hurt a big toe nail.
Brings back memories of 4 months ago when a group of us explore roughly the same area ... start at Dunphys Camping Area, along Ironpot Ridge to Ironpot Mtn, Tinpot Mtn, Goolara Peak, Coxs River. On the way back, halfway up Goolara Gully, a guy ran out of energy and couldn't walk. We had to spend an unprepared night in the mountain - cold and unpleasant!
Will the toe nail hurt so much that we may need to spend a night in the mountain?
Luckily I had a pair of walking sticks. I find that the pain can be alleviated by putting more of my weight on the walking sticks and still walk effectively ... phew, what a relief !!!
9) At a point along Breakfast Creek where Faithful Hound Ridge starts.
10) A moss-covered fallen tree trunk
11) The water in Breakfast Creek looks brownish; but it is clean and unpolluted. We fill up our water bottles here.
12) Orange mushroom ~~~ If you know its name, please let me know.
After a rest, we leave Breakfast Creak and climb up Faithful Hound Ridge.
Faithful Hound Ridge
13) These 2 photos are taken on Faithful Hound Ridge, not too far up from Breakfast Creek. You can see we are approaching a cliff.
14) At the same spot as the previous photo and looking back at where we climbed up Faithful Hound Ridge.
15) This is the cliff mentioned in Photo #13. We'll climb up the gap between the 2 peaks ... see next photo.
16) Climbing up the gap mentioned in the previous photo ~~~
( I'll be climbing here along the Faithful Hound Ridge again 18 months later in 2016-08 ... destination - Mt Warrigal. Photos and trip report of the 2016-08 climb are in my blog:
17) We made it to the top of the cliff which is not too far up from Breakfast Creek.
There is nice a panoramic view:
- The red arrow points to Bellbird lookout.
- The long blue line is Bellbird Ridge where we walked down towards Breakfast Creek earlier on.
- The yellow line is a spur on the west side of Carlon Creek. We'll climb up the spur in the late afternoon to Ironpot Ridge (which is the horizontal ridge line between the yellow arrow and the red arrow.)
Climb Mt Mouin
The end of Faithful Hound Ridge is the base of Mt Mouin which we proceed to climb.
18) Here, the Mt Mouin eastern peak summit is in sight.
Mt Mouin eastern summit
19) Arrive at the summit of eastern peak of Mt Mouin, 945 m ~~~
I can't find a cairn at the top. Instead, there is a healthy stand of grass trees.
20) And there is this fantastic panoramic scene ... well worth all the effort to climb up here.
- The left arrow points to Lake Burragorang.
- The right arrow points to Mt Warrigal.
(Click on photo to enlarge it.)
21) Group photo at Mt Mouin eastern peak summit:
Left to right: Kelly, Pernille, me, Huw
Mt Mouin western summit
22) Now at the summit of western peak of Mt Mouin, 930 m, looking at Mt Warrigal 970 m ~~~
We won't be climbing Mt Warrigal today. I'll climb it a few weeks later. Photos and a write up of that climb is in my blog http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/04/warrigal-nsw-australia.html
To Blackhorse Mountain
23) Somewhere between western peak of Mt Mouin and Blackhorse Mountain is this interesting rock formation.
Blackhorse Mountain summit
24) At the summit of Blackhorse Mountain, 865 m, is this scene towards the long flat table top mountain range called Narrow Neck. On the right of the photo, behind a bunch of trees, is Mt Mouin where we just came from.
25) Also from the summit of Blackhorse Mountain, towards the west and behind the trees, is Mt Warrigal.
Cattle Dog Ridge
26) Halfway down Cattle Dog Ridge is a cliff top with another splendid panoramic view (Click on photo to enlarge it):
- The long flat table top mountain range on the right is Narrow Neck.
- The long blue line is Cattle Dog Ridge ... we'll walk on it down to Breakfast Creek.
- Of the 2 red arrows, the left red arrow points to the spur where we'll climb up later on towards Ironpot Ridge.
- The right red arrow points to Bellbird lookout. This morning we climbed down the Belllbird Ridge to Breakfast Creek.
- The large valley on the left side of the pic is where the Coxs River flows.
- The imposing mountain range, between the Coxs River and the red arrows, comprises of several peaks: Goolara Peak, Tinpot Mountain, Ironmonger Hill, Ironpot Mountain.
27) At the same cliff top, towards the south-east ~~~
From left to right, the arrows point to:
- Mt Mouin, eastern peak
- Mt Mouin, western peak
- Blackhorse Mountain
- Mt Warrigal
28) We just climbed down the cliff from whose top the previous 2 photos were taken (Photos #26 & #27).
29) We've climbed down Cattle Dog Ridge and is now at Breakfast Creek. We have a rest here and fill up our waterbottles - today is a rather hot day, by now we've drunk most of our water. From here to the Ironpot Ridge will be a tired 400 meters in elevation.
Spur west of Carlon Creek
We walk up stream a little bit to the spur west of Carlon Creek.
30) Here, we leave Breakfast Creek and start the climb ... not looking forward to the vertical 400 meters to climb up to Ironpot Ridge !
31) What looks like a hill top in front is only half way up towards Ironpot Ridge ... gives you an idea of the steep climb we are facing ... when we all have tired legs already !
Galong Farm, near Dunphys Camping Area
32) Almost at the end of our walk ~~~ we are passing Galong Farm; a horse comes to greet us :-) Time now is 7:45pm. You really have to admire at the perfect timing by our leader Huw, because by the time we reach our car, it will be 8pm ... just at the moment of becoming pitch dark as the sun has already set at 7:32pm.
Despite a hot tired day, a hurt toe nail, it is a rewarding day ... we successfully climbed Mt Mouin & Blackhorse Mountain !
Thanks to Huw for leading. And thanks to Kelly and Pernille for your company.
Post Script: Future trips to the Wild Dog Mountains
2016-08 Climb Mt Warrigal via Lyrebird Point and Faithful Hound Ridge; return via Medlow Gap Northwest Firetrail.
- Ascent point up the Mt Warrigal escarpment: East side of the mountain.
- Photos and trip report are in my blog:
2016-02 Climb the 5 Wild Dog Mountains (Mt Mouin, Blackhorse Mtn, Mt Warrigal, Mt Merrimerrigal & Mt Dingo) all in a day.
Photos and trip report are in my blog:
2015-04 Climb Mt Warrigal via Carlon Creek Track and Black Horse Ridge; return via Medlow Gap Northwest Firetrail.
- Ascent point up the Mt Warrigal escarpment: West side of the mountain.
- Photos and trip report are in my blog: