|28 June 2006
|Mt Herlt via Nursery Creek and Rendezvous Creek
|Maps: Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S 1:25000
I left home before 6am, so it was still dark when I got to the Nursery Swamp car park and I had to wait for 10 minutes for the light to make it walkable.
But away by 6.50am to the sun touching the hills above (pic 1). Behind me, the southern part of the Ridge of Stone on the other side of the Orroral Valley was still dark. There was a Lyrebird down in the gully to the N of the Nursery Swamp Track which made for pleasant listening. A mite frosty. Made it to the turnoff from the track by 7.25am (1.8km and 35min to here).
I was a bit high as I wandered along the NW arm of Nursery Creek. The ground crunched in the frost. I hit the taped track about 250m E of the saddle, quickly following it down to Rendezvous Creek. The creek was gurgling with plenty of water (4.5km and 1hr 15mins).
Last time here I thought the tape stopped, but a footpad was marked across the creek. A well used fireplace immediately appeared, along with a disused vehicle track which headed SSE in the direction I was going. So I followed it for a kilometre, until the creek flats opened up (pic 2). Still frosty as the sun hadn't reached down here yet (5.5km and 1hr 40mins).
The huge granite slab to the N of Mt Herlt caught the sun as I turned SW and started to climb, first through gently sloping open woodland, but soon the contour lines closed up. A few bands of regrowth. Thank goodness I was alone as I couldn't muster the breath to talk. Up through wonderful granite boulders. Turned more to the S and, finally, the gradient relaxed. Some huge granite and a scrubby, slow top to the area. Indeed, as marked on some maps, 'steep broken rocks'. I couldn't really tell where the top was, except for my GPS and the memory of the rabbit ears rocks on the edge of the ridge which I'd seen from Middle Creek on the way back from Big Creamy Flats. Finally reached the back of the 2 granite pillars at 10.20am (8.3km and 3hr 30mins).
I walked through the gap to one of the most spectacular Namadgi panoramas I've seen to date. It was all the more exciting because I've walked a lot of what I could see and could identify it all. As well as many individual snaps, I took a panorama from E through S to W. To the E was the lower Mavis ridge, with the open grasslands of the Rendezvous Creek mouth visible. In the background there was a good view of Booth Hill and, further around, Hospital Hill. Then, closer to home, the two Yankee Hats over the arms of Middle Creek and the Yankee Hat ridge (must try that). Further back was Mt Gudgenby. Closer, the spur to Mt Burbidge, Mt Kelly at the back of Rotten Swamp and Mt Namadgi. To the W was the upper Mavis ridge with SH 1539 and Mt Mavis (SH 1711) itself (pic 3). A sea of grey, burnt, dead trees rolled down the ridge in front of me and there was not one cloud in the blue sky. A truly huge vista!
It was cool on top and I put all my layers back on and my beanie. Lunch for 20 minutes.
I had no idea as to whether I'd make this objective, so it was pleasing to do so. I had thoughts of pushing up the ridge to Mt Mavis, but will leave that for another time and better company. The return journey was a reverse of the outward leg, except that I kept a little W of my inward leg across the top of the Mt Herlt area and found it a little quicker going. I was back down to the old vehicle track at Rendezvous Creek by 12.05pm (11km and 5hr 15mins). Then up the track, across the creek, up to the saddle. I did a better job of following the taped footpad on the return, not loosing the tape until right into the Nursery Creek flats. Back to the Nursery Swamp Track and down to the car, the morning's Lyrebird still calling. At the car by 1.35pm.
A most satisfying walk and spectacular views.
Distance: 16.2km Climb: 950m. Time: 6.50am - 1.35pm (6.75hrs) with 30 minutes of stops.
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 Sunrise on the hill beside the Nursery Swamp Track
|2 Frosty Rendezvous Creek flats
|3 Mt Burbidge, Mt Kelly, Mt Namadgi and upper Mavis ridge from Mt Herlt