Other Projects - New Pass - Lockleys Pylon
Since moving to Blackheath in 2016 I have spent many hours gazing out from Govetts Leap lookout. As I gazed out I wondered if there were any undiscovered / undocumented passes out there into the valley. I knew that Michael Keats had already produced a comprehensive book on all the walks in the valley, so I dismissed what I saw as a possible route down from Lockleys Pylon to Govetts Creek.
Later whilst walking home, from the Mt Hay Rd via Lockleys Pylon, Blue Gum Forrest and Govetts Leap, I took a detour down what I have now named Lockleys Chute. The first section, although steep, was easy enough. It brought me to the bottom of the first cliff line. I continued down the chute climbing down past the second cliff line. At this point I decided that I wouldn't attempt the third as I was alone and without rope. When I got home I consulted a copy of Michael Keat's book and couldn't find even a mention of where I had been.
Because my goal was to find a walking route I abandoned the idea of climbing down the difficult 2nd cliff line and more difficult 3rd. So I went back to restudying the cliffline this time from from Govetts Leap Lookout and then from Evans Lookout using my telephoto lens. I discovered what looked like a navigable tree covered ledge heading back under Lockleys Pylon. I planned an exploration with my son David. We found that the ledge was indeed navigable and gave access (though rather steeply onto a spur that could take us down to Govetts Creek.
On further consultation with Michael Keats, Graeme Holbeech, Brian Fox and John Cooper we discovered that the route had never been documented.
So here are the track notes...
From Lockleys Pylon head out on the track towards Du Faurs Head. After descending into the gully and over its other side a large slot opens up on your left through which you can see down into the valley (549 762). This is Lockleys Chute. Descend this, rock hopping through the scrub on the right hand side (it is a little clearer) until you get down to the bottom of the cliff line. When you come to a simple climb down (on the left side of the chute) descend it. Then go up and over the small ridge on the left. this will bring you onto the tree lined ledge, now named Rob's Ledge.
Follow this ledge keeping as high as you can. There is considerable exposure if you stay too low. Continue for about 600m (to 546 760). The way off the ledge is after you go around the buttress that sticks out in the top cliff line. You can go either just before the small gully or after. Both take you onto a ridge that then leads back towards the bottom of the original chute.
The photos below are from the first (ever) walk of the pass all the way to Govetts Creek.