The Blue Mountains are situated about 60-kilometres west from Sydney. The highest peak towers at 1,094 meters while the surrounding national park covers a vast area. The dramatic landscape is dominated by thick rainforests, sandstone cliffs, deep valleys and gorges, number of caves, rivers and many other natural wonders. Its rugged beauty offers one of the most inhospitable and impenetrable terrains in Australia.

Our first expedition into the Blue Mountains was conducted in September 2002. We began training 12 months prior in order to be physically attuned and physiologically prepared for whatever we may encounter.

After a long hike with heavy packs we set up base camp at the far edge of Narrow Neck Plateau, which overlooks the Jamison Valley. Our vantage point was perfect. Our view, however, was somewhat obstructed by spreading bushfires. At the time it posed no threat.

The following day we left base camp to explore the valley. By the time we reached Wild Dog Mountains the fires were already raging. We had to leave immediately and return to base camp. We spent the entire evening and night in a cover of smoke with very little visibility.

The next day was no better yet we persevered. But after four days our luck had run out and the expedition had to come to an end. Despite our fruitless venture plans were already in place for our next Blue Mountains expedition in 2003.

The following year we began our next expedition in early August with two 4WDs. Somewhere between Hampton and Jenolan Caves we took a fire trail and headed towards the mountains. The area was isolated and after a tough drive through rugged trails we arrived at a place that seemed to offer a decent view.

To put it simply, the entire 2003 expedition was a disaster. At night fall out tents were battered and torn by hail. When the storm passed the night skies cleared up. The moon lit trees threw their shadows across base camp. This was the break we were waiting for. Quickly equipped we scurried up to our vantage point and began scanning the skies and the horizon towards Jamison Valley. Yet again we found the elements turning against us - gale force winds with sub-zero chill factor ripped through the exposed areas. Most of the members found the conditions unbearable and thus we abandoned our post.

Virtually frozen and saturated we left camp the following day and continued near Hill End. The next expedition was scheduled for September 2004.

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