23 September 2006 Mt Mavis via Rendezvous Creek Photos
Map: Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S 1:25000
Getting There
3 of us left town at 6am and drove, via Point Hut Crossing as the Tharwa Bridge has been closed, to the Nursery Swamp Carpark.

Description:  Saturday 23 September: Mt Mavis and Mt Herlt via Rendezvous Creek (L/R,X) A long and strenuous day to Mt Mavis and Mt Herlt (SH 1711 and SH 1612 on the ridge between Rendezvous Creek and Big Creamy Flats/Middle Creek).  From the Nursery Swamp car park we’ll head up the track to NS Creek, then west along the taped footpad and down to Rendezvous Creek.  Then straight up the spur to the rocky ridge (new country for me), climbing 600m in 3km to Mt Mavis.  Expect panoramic views!  If time and energy allow, we’ll then head SE along the ridge through SH 1539 to Mt Herlt.  Around 18km and 1200m climb.  An early start.  Limit of 8. Map: Rendezvous Creek 1:25 000. Leader: John Evans – (h) 6288 7235. jevans@pcug.org.au Transport:~ $11. Further details at www.pcug.org.au/~jevans

Further Description:  These places have fascinated me for some time, after Rob H first mentioned them to me.  I tracked down the derivation of the local names.  I got to Mt Herlt on 28 Jun 06 and have gazed up along the ridge from Middle Creek and from the Rendezvous Creek area many times to these objectives.  Recently, Peter W described to me a day walk to Mt Namadgi a year or so after the fires, passing 500m to the NW of Mt Mavis.  So that enthused me to try to at least get to Mt Mavis in a day.  But at 17.6km and 1200m climb, it will no doubt be a tough day, yet the views should be spectacular - they were from Mt Herlt.  I'll leave town at 6am.  That should put us walking by 7am; previously I've made RV Creek in 1.25hrs and come out (+ 1km) in 1.75hrs; so all but 3hrs can be spent on going up, along and down the ridge.  Timing will be of interest - to see if there is the possibility of old legs returning and continuing on to Mt Namadgi in a day.

The previous day had been blustery, with gale force winds above 1200m.  But we were fortunate today, with the wind moderating during the day, the sky blue and the temperature tempered by the breeze.

With the early start we were walking by 6.55am.  We dispatched the Nursery Swamp Walking Track to the turnoff 1.9km in 31 mins and, quickly picking up the track tape, the 2.7km of foot pad across to the saddle and down to Rendezvous Creek in 48 mins (4.6km and 1hr 19min to here).  Hardenbergia, Indigofera and grevillea starting to flower.  Time to disrobe, put on gaiters and, for me, to gaze in awe and the day's first objective wondering if, again, I'd bitten off more than I could chew.  My walking companions were most encouraging.

We crossed the creek and set out at 217°M.  It was soon constantly up through regrowth scrub.  A lot of wattle.  We paused at 9am at around the 1330m contour, having covered 1.7km in 49 mins.  So not bad going.

The next leg to morning tea was 1km, taking us 1 hr - a little steeper and a little slower.  Huge views opened up to the other side of Rendezvous Creek, directly back to Mt Orroral and Thunder Bluff and, to the N, the back of Split Rock and the distant Dutchies Peak.  A well deserved 10 mins.

The last 300m brought us the last 100m up to the ridge top and along to Mt Mavis, taking 45 mins.  Absolutely stupendous views (see pic 1)!  To the SE the Yankee Hats were identifiable, then the Burbidge spur and Mt Burbidge, the bulk of Mt Namadgi with Big Creamy Flats below (our camping spot next Saturday night) and onto the bulb of Namadgi.  The summit was marked with a small pile of rocks (see pic 2).  To the NE and running S was Rendezvous Creek with the features on the far ridge clearly visible.  Close at hand to the SE lay the way ahead to my second objective, Mt Herlt (see photo 3).  An acquaintance in Spain suggested that Job 38.1-42.6 would be a good passage of scripture to celebrate this high point and I'd brought a Bible, but I was so awed by the view, I forgot.

The way ahead was very slow - a few false leads amongst the granite and, when down on the vegetation terraces, extremely slow.  A slender ridge - without moving my feet, views left to Rendezvous Crrek and right to Mt Namadgi, with plenty of huge granite rock piles to be circumnavigated.  Another 1 hr to cover 600m heading SE down the ridge and, at midday, the consensus decision was to stop for lunch, then head straight down NE to Rendezvous Creek.  25mins for lunch.

We crashed straight down the bowl of the valley, negotiating granite and scrub and regrowth and feeder drainage lines.  A lyrebird glided away in front of us, his long tail streaming behind.  Kept the main creek on our right till around two thirds of the way down, then crossed and continued out to where it joined Rendezvous Creek and I knew there was an old vehicle track.  1hr 40mins to cover 2.5km and drop 530m.

A 900m stroll up the track to cross Rendezvous Creek.  Our return leg from here took 1hr 25mins, only a couple of minutes slower than the walk in.

I had a third objective for the day, and that was to be at a friend's birthday celebration at Belconnen by 6.30pm.  My wife and I made that, so two out of three ain't bad!

Could we have made Mt Herlt with extra time and increased party speed?  Don't know and I won't try it.  Would I try a day walk to Mt Namadgi?  Ask me after visiting there next weekend - maybe I will.

Thanks Ian and Alan.  Great to have a party of experienced and confident walkers.  Magic views!

Distance: 16.4km  Climb: 1050m.  Time: 6.55am - 3.50pm (call it 9hrs), with 45 mins of breaks.

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 Yankee Hats, Mt Burbidge and Mt Namadgi from Mt Mavis
2 Mt Mavis
3 Mt Herlt from Mt Mavis