Bob and myself decided to have a look at the shale ledge between The Three Brothers at Medlow Bath and Blacks Ladders on the Radiata Plateau. The only information we had about this walk was firstly a note marked on one of the maps in Jim Smith’s book – “How To See The Blue Mountains”. It was near the Three Brothers and had an arrow pointing east and said – “shale ledge to Radiata Plateau”. The second bit of information was something I had seen online about another bushwalker traversing the half way ledge from Medlow Bath to near Back Creek.
So, we set out from Bellevue Crescent at Medlow Bath and then along the firetrail to The Three Brothers and the Flying Fox. We turned off on The Three Brothers Track, and were soon there. Before finding our ledge, we walked out to a nice lookout nearby. This did provide us with a view of part of our ledge. From what we could see, it looked like a continuous ledge at least until close to Blacks Ladders.
We dropped down a short way from The Three Brothers (on their left as you look at them), to the ledge. This was not far down, but it is still the “half way ledge” – its just that here the top cliffline is not very high.
We assumed there would be a fair bit of scrub on the ledge, but it turned out to be surprisingly easy and open walking. Most of the way there was a shale ledge with an overhang above. We followed a rough pad a lot of the way – perhaps a man made trail or perhaps an animal pad? But in some places we spotted human footprints – so we knew others had been this way.
Indeed, we soon came across a climbing area. Later looking online it appears to be DG’s Crag. There was also a track that went up through a gap back on to the tops.
We continued on. More easy walking and we soon arrived at the two major tributaries of Back Creek. It was a little scrubby crossing them, but still not hard. Not far past the second one, we found a nice sunny cave to have lunch in.
It would have been easy to climb out from near here via a variety of routes, and the map indicated there were some trails above on top of the cliffs. But we were keen to continue on, and see if we could get to Blacks Ladders.
Further along our ledge, we arrived at another climbing area – The Nest. All the footprints around indicted that the ledge did continue further, although perhaps not all the way.
As we continued, the ledge did become thinner, but it was still quite easy walking.
Around a point, we were stopped by a creek. We thought this was where Blacks Ladders were – but on the far side of the creek. We left the climbers track and found a way down to the creekbed, and then climbed up the other side and soon found ourselves on what looked like the Blacks Ladders track. We followed it down a short way and soon arrived at the spikes and ladder that make up Blacks Ladders.
We intended to sign the logbook there, which is in a tiny crack. We found the book OK, but there was strangely no pen, so we could not make our entry. We then walked back up the track. on the way we saw a track coming in on our left – probably the climbers track we had been on? We soon arrived at the firetrails of Radiata Plateau and after some road walking we reached the Grand Clifftop Walk – which we followed back to Medlow Bath.
This was an interesting and new walk to both of us. More photos are online on my website here.