|29 August 2006
|Yankee Hat Ridge
|Maps: Yaouk 8626-2N 1:25000; Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S 1:25000
If any of the old hands saw the plans for this walk, they would have laughed. It was tough up there and we achieved about ⅓ of what I'd hoped and around ½ of what was probably possible! Certainly the toughest walking along the ridge I've done, the fallen timber, scrub and granite making progress very slow. We managed 1km between 11.50 and 12.50.
We set off at 7.55am down the Old Boboyan Road, then to the SW across the old pine plantation area. 2 abortive attempts to cross the Bogong Swamp - one due to non-existent navigation and the second due to the 1st edition map bridge not being there. I eventually found the ford across the swamp and we used the old vehicle tracks to approach the creek coming down between the two Yankee Hats. We headed bush at 8.55am (3.843km and 1hr to here).
The next leg took us up the gully between Yankee Hat North and Yankee Hat South (most people call them Yankee Hat 1 and 2, but if you don't know them, does that nomenclature tell you which is which?). A steady climb of around 350m to the saddle for a short break to apply jellybeans to the tail (5.577km and 2hr 10 mins).
On up another 150m to near the top of Yankee Hat South. I lost us a bit here, due to a mutinous suggestion to depart from my planned route (6.067km and 2hr 55mins). But excellent views across to Mt Gudgenby.
By 11.30am we were on the ridge and had a magnificent view (see pic 1). To the SW under the clear blue sky was Mt Gudgenby, with the Scabby Range ridge extending N on the far side of Bogong Creek. Closer at hand was the way ahead along the ridge we were tackling. On the skyline was SH1733 (my laughable objective), Mt Burbidge and Mt Namadgi to the N with a little snow. Then, over the arms of Middle Creek, the Mavis Ridge. Mt Mavis and Mt Herlt were clearly identifiable. To the E, the Gudgenby grasslands were visible on the left of Yankee Hat North. What a vista!
We continued slowly along the ridge, impossible to keep on the crest as we scouted on the SW side of the granite cliffs (see pic 2). Plenty of fallen saplings. We managed 1km/hr. But a trio of magnificent Mountain Ash, untouched by the fire (see pic 3). We reached SH1526 at 1pm (8.167km and 5hr 5mins).
We needed luncheon energy and Max found a huge granite slab with an even huger view, a hundred metres NW of SH1526. We were all grateful for a 30 minute break.
The ridge ahead to SH1582 enticed, but we made the correct call to exit at this point. Away at 1.30pm, we tracked N then E steeply down off the ridge to the more manageable area S of the S arm of Middle Creek. We continued to traverse down and hit the open at 2.50pm, 200m S of the Middle Creek junction (11.053km and 6hr 55mins).
Out across the grasslands and through the roos. An eagle soaring. Heading towards the granite on the Hospital Hill ridge, above the car park, our new walking companion pointed out that it looks like a sour-faced 'moon baby face' - eyes, nose and a pouting, drawn mouth! Three dead roos, with ears pulled off - dogs?
Back at the car by 3.45pm, glad that we hadn't continued along the ridge and gotten back at 5.30pm.
A tough walk, worth the great views. Now I know what's up there! Thanks Max and Judy.
Distance: 14.9km Climb: 600m. Time: 7.55am - 3.45pm (call it 7.75hrs), with 1hr of breaks.
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 View SW to E from near Yankee Hat South
|2 The way ahead along the Yankee Hat ridge
|3 Granite and Mountain Ash on the Yankee Hat ridge