To Mount Dingo: Tarros Ladder

The time spent in the house on that morning was fairly brief.

It was a quick breakfast and one last check before Ewe’s mum was driving us to the start of Narrow Neck.

When we got there Ewe’s mum took a photo of us, then told us to call her once we were back so she could pick us up to save time before she headed back to her place.

Then the walk began.

We started at the first car park of Narrow Neck so we had a steep hill climb before we were walking on a fire trail.

It was a cold day with little wind and nice sun.
The air felt fresh and helped make the walk a little easier.

However, far we did not walk along Narrow Neck.

We did get a bit of the way ourselves but we probably weren’t used to the weight of our backpacks which was slowing us down in the early stages.

We did have a stop along the way to appreciate the area around us, but we did not walk the entirety of Narrow Neck.

As we were walking along a guy in a ute came along to check some of the animal traps set up to reduce fox, feral pig and feral cat spread. He asked Ewe where we were heading and, seeing as he was going most of the way, asked if we wanted a lift. We readily accepted.

It was an interesting and somewhat scary drive.

The guy was fine. We found out that he doesn’t normally work in the Blue Mountains and he works as a park assistant (or administrator, or something else; I can’t quite remember), which to me sounded like being some sort of intense gardener, which I thought was cool.
We talked a bit about the ups and downs of the job, as well as Katoomba and growing up in the Blue Mountains among other things.

What made it intense was how quickly he was moving along Narrow Neck, as well as how much time he spent facing us whilst talking and driving.

I have to respect the guy as he clearly knew the fire trail well, but due to how steep it is in parts, as well as some sudden turns, I thought we were going to go over the edge at some parts. I also thought that maybe he was going to drive off a side at one point and take us with him intentionally.

Overall it was a pretty good experience.

He reached his stop so we walked the last stretch. It was only about twenty minutes before we were at the end of Narrow Neck, so, in order to reward ourselves for our difficult walk so far, we had a break.

There was a bench and chairs where I had camped the previous year. It was a nice change.

The view was beautiful, giving a nice view of the expanse around us.

After our rest we began our descent to Tarros Ladder. We saw a sign on the way that advised not to do certain things, one of which was riding a horse.

It made sense as it would be difficult for a horse to make the descent.

It was slow going, but we reached Tarros Ladder with little difficulty.

Once there, the trek slowed significantly.

I’m afraid of heights. Sometimes I’m terrified. It turns out that Ewe is also afraid of heights, although he can handle them much better than I.
Tarros Ladder is not the worst thing to climb, but having to go down with only metal bars, rungs and some gaps in the cliff and no rope does not make things easy.

I was meant to buy rope. I forgot.

The plan was for Ewe to go part of the way first, then when he was part of the way down I would pass him the bags to which he would throw onto a ledge, then I would go down, then we’d repeat from the ledge.

It took me a while as I began to freak out.

I made it to the ledge after Ewe had started going down from it and got ready to pass the bags down again, which unfortunately at this point meant throwing them down.

Although I forgot to get rope, I did have twine.

I tied it to Ewes bag, and began lowering it down. The twine worked for about a minute before it snapped. Ewe’s bag broke at one of the straps.

Thankfully the twine was able to fix the issue as a makeshift strap.

My bag went down and it was okay.

Some of our water was lost.

I then began to descend from the ledge which I found a little bit easier as I was closer to the ground at that point.

Once I was down, we hugged, I flipped off Tarros Ladder and we had another quick break to gather everything and calm down.

I had heard that there was a way around Tarros Ladder that started near it which I had discussed with Ewe. I thought I saw its start whilst we were heading to Tarros Ladder, but we didn’t pursue it as we weren’t sure.

I had a quick look whilst we were resting and saw a path that seemed to connect to where we had earlier seen so we decided that it might be best to go along that instead of climbing up Tarros Ladder when we were making our return trip.

About Stupidity Hole

I'm some guy that does stuff. Hoping to one day fill the internet with enough insane ramblings to impress a cannibal rat ship. I do more than I probably should. I have a page called MS Paint Masterpieces that you may be interested in checking out. I also co-run Culture Eater, an online zine for covering the arts among other things. We're on Patreon!
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