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Mark's Mudmap Series.
This is a project I have been working on to make some rough mudmaps to show the places I have been. I started in Norseman some years ago. The aim was to show some of the exciting places around there that were not on ordinary maps. I produced some line tracings from the NatMap series.
As the years have gone by I have found better ways to provide the Mudmaps. It has become easier to make a map onto an .ecw or .jpg file with the corresponding .map for Oziexplorer. I am gradually changing all my maps to this format. I am including a .jpg file that will allow the map to be viewed on a web browser.
If you are not able to make these maps work for yourself, then don't use them. I only offer these as a guide for people. Anyone using these maps does so entirely at their own risk. I shouldn't have to say that, but that's a sign of the times in which we live. Remember if you can't manage being in the bush and looking after yourself, then stay home and hire a 4WD video!
What is a mudmap?
Many years ago, when I was about 10 (I feel that was about 3 weeks after Noah landed his boat back on shore) we were visiting my Uncle on Trilbar Station out of Meekatharra. Dad was going to take us to a pool, and he asked Uncle Ross for a mudmap. Uncle Ross spat on the ground and mixed the spit with the red earth and said "Well there's the mud!" while he draw a quick map on the dirt with a stick. I don't know that I have ever seen the spit part since, but there have been numerous times where I have either received or passed on information using a stick and the ground.
The map calibration files (.map) are included to allow the Norseman maps to work with OziExplorer. You will need to download both the .ecw and .map files and store them on your computer in an appropriate directory for Oziexplorer. When you run OziExplorer you will need to locate the map in the normal way.
I was inspired to produce this early stage of mudmaps by my mates at Western 4WDriver magazine, Nick Underwood and Ian Elliot. My travels with these gentlemen have been truly enjoyable and very memorable experiences. I continue to encourage every serious Western Australian 4WDriver to invest in a subscription to this magazine, as it is the best publication in Australia relating to this great past time.
Ian's dedication to the cause was shown one Easter after the death of his close mate and travelling companion, Martin (Birdman) Waller. Even though deeply upset at this loss, Ian still made the effort to rendezvous with a group of us waiting at McDermid Rock. Our plan was to find a path to Alice Rock. During this trip we found a small rocky outcrop around lunch time, and at our evening camp at Alice Rock, Ian suggested the name Waller Rock for our lunch time stop. The authorities have since approved this name.
The Alice Rock Map now shows this location, and we hope every one who uses this map, will stop and enjoy this special place.
I have expanded this project to include many other places I have visited. Sometimes the maps are made years ago, and as is always the case conditions change. Please check, and be prepared for all eventualities.
It is interesting to note that some tracks I re-opened have now been plotted and are displayed on other web sites!
To download the files, right click on your selection and select "save target as" and then save the file to a suitable place on your computer.T
The dribble is over so here they are:
Map name. Click to View and right click to download. Some of these files are pretty large and may take a few seconds to download with broadband.
Oziexplorer plot files without images (right click and "save target as". These are now being replaced as .ecw files which will need only the map file to load into Oziexplorer. Files marked * are ecw files for Oziexplorer, the others are plt files.
|NORSEMAN AREA MAP IMAGES|
|Alice Rock||.map||Alice Rock-Taylor Rock-Scamp Rock*
|Dunn's Track||.map||Dunn's Track*|
|Telegraph Line||.map||Telegraph Line*
|Detailed Woodlines map (4MB)|
|PILBARA MAP IMAGES|
|Bee Gorge by car||.map|
|Bee Gorge by Quad Bike See Note 3||.map|
|DME Hill Wittenoom See Note 1||.map|
|Marble Bar Shay Gap||.map|
|Marble Bar Railway North See Note 2||.map|
|Marble Bar Railway South||.map|
|Marble Bar Road Old||.map|
|Range Gorge by Quad Bike See Note 3||.map|
|Calcup Hill and Yeargarup Dunes See Note 4||.map|
Note 1 on DME HILL: I visited DME Hill again in late 2009 and the track was reasonably passable with only a couple of tougher sections. There will be scratch damage to vehicles. Remember the track to this site is dependent on wet weather that may occur at any time.
The view is spectacular from the top of DME Hill. The DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) was a navigation aid for the Wittenoom airport, and the site was also VHF radio outlet for the Department of Aviation (now Air Services Australia) as well as a Telecom site for phones into the old town. But at some stage it has caught fire and been completely destroyed. Townsfolk at Wittenoom depended on this site for their telephones years ago, but Telstra stopped maintaining the site due to asbestos contamination.
The site was onced accessed via Wittenoom Gorge up the notorious (or infamous) "CatWalk", a steep winding track that was dozed up the gorge face and was so dangerous that locked gates were at top and bottom to prevent unauthorised use. This track has not been maintained for a decade or more and is only a series of large boulders now. It is not possible to use this track any more and only the extremely foolish would try it, prior to their death!
Some of the tracks through here lead to tracks that ascend the gorge face via old catwalks. These are extremely dangerous, see note 3 below. Take this as a warning, you are more likely to die doing these catwalks than of asbestos related diseases!!!!
I won't make any comments regarding asbestos in the Wittenoom area, it is simply there, everywhere.
Note 2: The first section of the railway line is very overgrown. We used quad bikes to locate the track.
Note 3: The Bee Gorge route is via the western catwalk. This is still fairly hairy and the track may not last many more wet seasons. Extreme care and caution is required. The Eastern catwalk should not be undertaken. This is bloody dangerous and the risk of death here is high! The western route was last travelled in 2009 and may have deteriorated since then.
The Range Gorge decent is best tackled by going up Bee Gorge then down Range Gorge. It is very overgrown and the are some wet patches with many reeds. We rode back to the car parked at Bee Gorge via a road at the base of the ranges. The track was around 45km and took 7 hours to complete.
Do not undertake either these two trips lightly!
Note 4: Calcup and Yeargarup beaches both have very steep dunes and they are the only way in and out. If you are not 100% sure of being able to get back up, do not go down! You need very low tyre pressures, around 10psi, if you have higher pressures you won't get up, and it really pisses the locals off when people chew up the track or have dozens of goes (before they accept the inevitable and lower tyre pressures). There are many old logging bridges and they are not maintained. The original bridge on Calcup road collapsed long ago. Another one has collapsed in the meantime. Just follow the DEC signs and bypass them, it doesn't add too much time. Trying to be a hero and crossing these bridges just makes you a wanker and runs the risk of having access closed, do the right thing.
Note 5: Mining in the Pilbara will probably see many of these beautiful areas closed off to the public. Plans are already underway for massive expansion of all iron ore deposits. Get in there now and see them before it is too late.
As is always the case, you take responsibility for your own actions in the bush. If you can't manage it, don't go; if you aren't prepared, don't go; or if you are just too bloody stupid, stay home and watch the footy!