|5 February 2005
|Yankee Hat North and Yankee Hat South
|Maps: Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S Second Edition 1:25000, Yaouk 8626-2N Second Edition 1:25000
Drive from Weston Creek via the southern suburbs to Tharwa (24km). Continue along the Naas Road, which becomes the Boboyan Road. Pass the Apollo Road turnoff at 34.5km. Pass the Orroral Road turnoff at 41.7km. Cross the Gudgenby River bridge then immediately turn right at 54.2km (if you reach the end of the sealed road, you've gone too far). It's signposted Old Boboyan Rd Yankee Hat Carpark No Through Rd. The carpark is a further 3.2km along the dirt road. Mind the kangaroos on the road early and late, particularly after you've entered the Namadgi National Park. A total of 57.4km and about 1 hour's drive.
This walk covered the areas as for number 11-12 in Graeme Barrow's Exploring Namadgi & Tidbinbilla: Day walks in Canberra's high country. This was a great walk in an area I'd enjoyed before, but I wanted a bit more challenge. I did this walk solo. I left home at 6.45am and was walking by 7.45am.
The first part was a little warm up wander along the Yankee Hat Trail to the aboriginal rock art. This took around 40 minutes. Always pretty. The light was interesting, with cloud to the west but sunlight in the east. I signed in at the register and spoke with a couple of walkers already at the rock art.
I popped my gaiters on and returned a 100 metres or so to the big boulder by the track, which I'd chosen as the start/finish point for my navigation legs. It's interesting to analyse how I feel at the start of a solo walk - apprehension, which makes the adrenaline pump a little; a reminder to be extra careful so as to not have to pull the tag on my EPIRB; but looking forward to the challenge of new country and different things to see.
The first leg took me 0.64 km on 223°M to the south-east spur of Yankee Hat North. Fairly open eucalypt forest, with a bit of a footpad in places.
The second leg took me 1.18km on 301°M to the saddle between the 2 Yankee Hat features. I kept high above the gully on the north-east side. Steep walking through bushfire recovering trees and scrub. Although there were some sheer rock features on view on the side of Yankee Hat South, this gully approach is certainly more benign than the usual steep view of Yankee Hat North and the high cliffs on the south-west side of Yankee Hat South.
From the saddle, my next 2 planned legs took me to the north-west spur of YHN and then to the top. It looked best from the map but, as I found out, this ridge was narrow and rocky. The best approach would have been straight to the top from the saddle, the reverse of the way I came down. I reached the top at 9.50am and spent 10 minutes up there. Great views down to the cleared valley, to YHS and to the higher peaks of the Bimberi Wilderness.
Next I headed the 300 metres straight back down to the saddle and began the climb to Yankee Hat South. First to a little bump just to the east of north of YHS and, although I'd planned a leg to the north-west of YHS, by reading the ground it was not necessary and straight forward enough to head directly to the top. A reasonably tough climb, not only the height but the scrub re-establishing. There was a band of more than head-high eucalypt suckers just short of the top which had to be pressed through.
The top of Yankee Hat South is a large, open, flattish area and I arrived at 11am. I didn't get close to the south-west side, so saw nothing of the cliffs. Large 'rock pools' of water at the top. Incredible views to the cleared valley below, back to the lower YHN and a wonderful panoramic view to the Bimberi Wilderness peaks. Mount Gudgenby towered nearby. Across to the WNW was the feature I'd climbed to on 5 Dec 04. I spent 10 minutes taking photos. When I walk solo I don't like to stop for very long, until I get back.
I returned to the saddle, then back down the gully, and back to my starting boulder which I reached at 12.10pm. I was a bit black and shins knocked about from the scrub bashing.
Then the stroll back to the car park. I ate lunch and made a cup of coffee. I was pleasantly surprised to find a note on the windscreen from the mate I'd walked with on 24 Nov 04 - he'd brought his wife out to experience the walk to the rock art and they'd seen me signed in on the register. I called in to thank them on the way home and enjoyed a cup of coffee with them.
I left my sun glasses somewhere up there - finders returners!
Distance: 11.9km Time: 7.45am-12.45pm, with 20 minutes of stops.
|1 Yankee Hat South and North
|2 Yankee Hat North
|3 Mount Gudgenby from Yankee Hat South