Phil overlooks Blowering Dam and Chimney Rock
Tuesday 26 September: Chimney Rock atop Blowering Cliffs – M/M,X. A long drive (500km return) via the Hume Highway to Tumut, then south to near the Log Bridge picnic area. Using a local guide from the Tumut and District Bushwalkers, we’ll climb 3km and 630 vertical metres to Chimney Rock. Huge views over Blowering Dam. A couple of geocaches. Map: Blowering. Leader: John Evans 0417 436 877 firstname.lastname@example.org . Transport: ∼$48. Limit: 8.
Let’s make me the facilitator and Phil the leader. We followed him every step of the way.
Distance: 6.1+5.3=11.4km | Climb: 640+280=920m | Time: 9.45am – 1.30pm (1hr 50mins up, 1hr 35mins down) (3hrs 45mins), including 20 mins on top; 1.35pm-2.55pm (1hr 20mins) | Grading: L/M; H(12)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slideshow.
Waypoint and Track Files
The last 4 trips, my GPSr has been having a spak attack. The gpx file below consists of today’s waypoints, Phil’s ascent track only from some months ago and my Blowering Cliffs Track from today.
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.
Walk 1: Chimney Rock via a new track
I had been eyeing off the Blowering Cliffs Walk and mention of Chimney Rock in John and Lyn Daly’s book Take a Walk in Kosciuszko National Park. Photos of the view from Chimney Rock on the interweb were fantastic. Then Phil Crane, from Tumut and District Bushwalkers and also CBC, contacted me and mentioned a new route that their club was wanting to promote. Bingo.
We picked a cracker of a day. Leaving my old folks home in Canberra’s deep south at 5.45am and via a couple of suburban pickups, we arrived in Tumut at around 8.30am. Just an hour early to meet Phil 😳 . But we put the time to use – excellent coffee and sausage roll the the local Bakery in the main street, then on to the Visitor Information Centre where Mike arranged with them to stock Angela’s and his latest book on paddling the rivers Murray-Darling Journeys: Two hundred years of significant rowing and paddling journeys on the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin: 1817 to 2016.
We met up with Phil, then drove another 15-20mins south along the Snowy Mountains Highway to just after crossing the Ryans Creek bridge. Did a u-ie and parked on the verge of the Highway.
Some ruts up the low embankment on the east side of the road was the start of the route. This has been developed by the local walking club and is not the same as the walk indicated in the Daly’s book (ie. the Blowering Cliffs Track, then off-track).
We passed along the edge of a revegetated area and passed two or three substantial metal corner posts, all that remains of the fence protecting the area. Passing under the powerlines, we left the last post then ran into the beginning of the taped route. I waypointed the first couple. A (dry at the moment) creek crossing, then into light timber.
By the time the climb really started, we’d covered 1.1km to the 500m contour. The route, better than a footpad and nearly a bush track, was heavily taped. Although we were following Phil, I reckon even I could do it on my own.
From 500-600m was another 470m across the ground. Then the real slog began.
Steeper than Stockyard Spur to the helipad, the last 1.4km rose a further 440 vertical metres. That’s steep! Quite a few stops for the elder statesmen in the party to catch up. The younger two talked as they climbed. But a well taped and cairned, very good (if near vertical) footpad all the way.
Rounding the top, we first went to behind Chimney (Pot) Rock. A log to sign and a nearby geocache GCKQCQ Fireplace to find and log. Great views down over Blowering Dam.
But the better views were from uphill a little, on the jaggered rocks. Spectacular! Check out the video. I spent most of our morning tea (or was it lunch?) taking photos, so bolted down a little sustenance.
I’d asked Phil on the way up how come the route was so well defined, since relatively few people had signed the Chimney Rock log since it had been established. I soon found out – the slips and slides on the descent scarred the track well, better than any upward step. The quads got a very good workout on the descent.
Down at the bottom, we turned to view the route up the spur. An excellent bush track.
Walk 2: Blowering Cliffs Track
With Phil and I being sort-of geocachers, we took the opportunity to do the Blowering Cliffs Track for me to find and log the geocache GCKQCT I tried for the Fireplace but…. A brown snake on the side of the track. As one does, near the cache we came across a couple playing badminton in the open green space. Phil said he hadn’t been to the bottom of the cliffs for a while, so we pressed on to there. Had a drink from Ryans Creek at the bottom of the Blowering Cliffs.
Returning, the badminton players and the snake had gone.
We returned to Tumut where Phil introduced Mike at Tom’s Outdoors – another book stocking opportunity. Looks like a quality, technical gear shop.
An uneventful drive back to Canberra.
A wonderful day. Huge thanks Phil. And to Mike and Max.
4 walkers – Mike B, Phil C, Max S, me.
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