Underneath Apollo Rocks

Thursday 22 June: Honeysuckle Creek area – S/R. A trip for those interested in finding geocaches and do not mind a bit of scrub. South of the Apollo Road is a ridge with lots of granite. Propose to walk up to this ridge and look for two geocaches amongst ‘Apollo Rocks’. Two other geocaches will be searched for nearby. Steep climb and scrub involved. Ascent about 300 metres, around 4km walk. Maps: Corin Dam and Williamsdale. Leader: Roger E. Transport: ~$20 per car. Limit: 8.

Further Information

Last here on 24 Aug 13 and, before that, I wimped out on the final climb on 29 Jul 08.

Summary

Distance: 2.6km | Climb: 345m | Time: 11.10am – 3.00pm (3hrs 50mins), including 1hr 5mins for the Apollo Rocks internal climb, frustrating caching time and descent, plus 15 mins of breaks | Grading: S/R; M(9++)

Photographs

Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slideshow.

Video

Waypoint and Track Files

Download the .gpx file. (Right click, Save Link As…, Save – if you want to use it.)
To use in Google Earth, do File, Open… and select Gps or All files as the File Type.

Track Notes

This would have to have been one of the most frustrating walks I’ve enjoyed in a long time. But more of that later ….

A late start to fit my schedule, thanks Roger. Always good to go caching with him as he’s a great finder.

On the way out we stopped at GC6QX6M Sunshine makes me CHIRPy. First time I’ve tried a chirp. I got the data at 25% and then it stalled to my Garmin Oregon 650 GPSr, whilst Roger got the lot to the Geocaching app on his phone. We did the calculations, then drove on to Honeysuckle Creek.

We treated ourselves first to information gathering at the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station site for GC75TYN Moon TV and duly walked and drove to find it. Logged. Then drove back along the road to below ‘Apollo Rocks’, to head up to GC2GAJN King of the Castle.

The first few tens of metres were ok. Then my clothes, body and pack started to blacken from controlled burn debris. Then the hard, burnt shrubs started to stick into me and, when we got above the burnt area, the long, sharp Bursaria thorns did the sticking. It was a cool, but sunny day, and I soon got too hot before taking a layer or two off. It was very steep. I’m crook at the moment and breathing and sniffling cannot be done simultaneously. I must have been a great walking companion.

It took us 1 hour to climb the 880m across the ground and 320 vertical metres  to the base of ‘Apollo Rocks’.

Now I’m not much good with heights and exposure and rock scrambling, so it was a slow inch-by-inch up the internal passage. (Reminder to self – once in, a back push up a curved slab to a landing; right foot on the top of a sharp sliver of granite and pull up on the chock stone; then nearly a 180º turn and a wiggle on your back; another 180º turn up through a large crack and you’re there). Huge views from the flat top, but cache hunting was the reason for the visit. I was up first, but without GPSr or spoiler pic. Surely I could find a level 2 difficulty cache? Nope! The spoiler pic and Marmaduke Rothschild arrived, so my confidence increased. Nope! Had left phone at home, so Roger’s phone rang Gay to get the cache owner’s number. Surely we could remember the number after it was repeated 3 times? Nope! A second call and the number written down in the description field of a waypoint on Roger’s Montana. Surely the cache owner will answer his mobile and give us a hint? Nope! Gave up both in disgust and in trepidation of having to return. (If my goal is to grab every Namadgi trad cache, this will be the last.)

I took the time to grab a video and some snaps. Fantastic views!

A slow descent. All in all, the climb up inside ‘Apollo Rocks’, futile cache searching and the descent, took us 1hr 5mins.

We slunk away in disgrace and went over to find and log GC2GAJV Dirty Rascal.

And to top it off, our route back down to the car via lunch was through atrociously scratchy bush. At one stage we were sliding down wombat trails on our rears, as it was too difficult to break through the scrub at head height. Something to be said for returning the same way you came in. We both had turns leading, so we had no one to blame but ourselves.

To soothe sensitive feelings, we found and logged the final GZ of GC6QX6M Sunshine makes me CHIRPy on the way back home and I logged GC6Y6XF Gurgling Gudgenby.

Track Map

(no giveaway of final GZs)
Track

Party

2 walkers – Roger E (leader), me.

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... bushwalking in the ACT and nearby NSW. I began my love affair with the ACT bush in 2004 after completing the Canberra Bushwalking Club's annual Navigation Refresher. Seven sessions of navigation and bushcraft shared by living legends had me hooked. It's grown from a passion to an obsession. With other responsibilities it's hard to get away overnight, so I usually only day walk. I like gadgets and technobabble. Information on this blog is shared in the hope that it might encourage others to get out and breathe a bit of fresh air.