|13 September 2004
|Camel Hump, Johns Peak and Tidbinbilla Peak
|Maps: Tidbinbilla 8627-2S Second Edition 1:25000
Drove to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (gates open 9am-6pm and 9am-8pm daylight savings). Then on to the back 'trails' carpark. The area is certainly pretty bleak after the Jan 03 fires, but there's lots of restoration activity - both natural and human.
This walk includes number 3 in Graeme Barrow's Exploring Namadgi & Tidbinbilla: Day walks in Canberra's high country. Set off up the fire trail at around 10 past 9 after signing the walk register. There was a touch of snow about on the higher peaks. The fire trail is pretty uninspiring, but certainly a quicker way to get to the main ridge line than straight up through the scrub. The ridges at the back of the nature reserve tower above. The trail crosses a lovely little waterway at around GR717760. Eventually got to the Camel Hump sign and turn off after around 70 minutes of solid walking. The view all around is absolutely fantastic - this is certainly God's country!
The climb up Camel Hump is along a short, sharp south to north ridge. I don't like heights at the best of times - and this was not the best of times. The view, particularly to the SW, was awesome! The ridge gets a bit narrow and, for me, was not the time to look down but to crouch low and keep going. There's a little cairn at the top and huge views.
I then walked down the north ridge of Camel Hump back to the fire trail at GR672755, then on to the base of Pierce Hill. This was just to connect up to the southern point of a previous walk.
Back round the fire trail to the southern base of Camel Hump and I then decided to walk a bit of the spectacular main ridge line. The first checkpoint was a radio tower, looking a bit worse for wear since the fires. It was pretty easy walking, with views of Johns Peak and Tidbinbilla Peak opening up at spot height 1322.
About half way up the ridge to Johns Peak I though I could go no further. Again, the view back from where I'd come was superb. Canberra was to the NE. I stopped for lunch for around 35 minutes. But there was a way on and I eventually reached Tidbinbilla Peak at 10 past 1.Having run out of 'film', the day getting on and Tidbinbilla Mountain a way off, I headed down the spur to the SE and eventually hit the fire trail at GR714755. The saddest part of the walk was the fern gully I'd just crossed - choked with blackberries and horribly stinging thistles.
Back to the car at 2.20pm.
Distance: 13.7km Time: 9.10am-2.20pm, with 35 minutes of stops.
|1 Camel Hump from Johns Peak
|2 Looking out from lunch spot
|3 Burnt trig and cairn on Tidbinbilla Peak