|14 August 2007
|Lower Mavis Ridge to Mt Herlt
|Map: Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S 1:25000
This walk was organised and led by me as an irregular Tuesday walk:
(Tuesday 14 August - Lower Mavis Ridge - L/R,X. Walk the Gudgenby grasslands from the Rendezvous Creek carpark to near Pheasants Creek. Up onto the lower Mavis Ridge, passing near SH1411 on the way to SH1506. If time and conditions allow, continue NW to SH1612 (Mt Herlt) and views over Middle Creek to Mt Namadgi and Mt Burbidge. Return via the Rendezvous Creek rock art and Rowleys Rendezvous Creek Hut site. Around 18km and 700m total climb. Strenuous walking for a fit and experienced party. Map: Rendezvous Creek 1:25000. Limit of 8. Leader: John Evans – firstname.lastname@example.org, (h) 6288 7235. Transport: ~$15. Further details at members.pcug.org.au/~jevans.).
8 of us met and drove in 2 cars to the Rendezvous Creek little car park, just off the Boboyan Road before the Gudgenby Homestead track.
I've visited parts of the lower Mavis Ridge on 5 Dec 04, 28 Jun 06 and 10 Apr 07. Reminded of the area by Mike S's Wednesday walk on 30 May 07 (which I could not get to), it would be excellent to visit/revisit the Ridge from Mt Herlt to the SE. Similar to Mike's plan, walk as much of the ridge as time/conditions allow, dropping back down to Rendezvous Creek when exiting demands.
Mike S let me know that it's pretty slow (regrowth and fallen timber) up along the ridge so, like his Wednesday 30 May, we may not reach the planned extent of the walk. However, we'll certainly return via the rock art.
Walking along the vehicle track heading up Rendezvous Creek by 7.55am. A mite chilly, with snow spotted on the higher hills. A lone eagle soared close by and the kangaroos were in mobs as thick as sheep. We spied the track junction and turned on the planned compass bearing to hit the fence line. No one but me knew that we got it spot on; everyone knew that my navigation for most of the rest of the day left something to be desired!
The next leg involved a 320m climb up onto the ridge. The going (plenty of regrowth in places) demanded a curve towards the S and to come up the nose of the ridge. A slow 1.5kph.
From SH1411 to SH1506, the climb was 100m, but through regrowth, scrub and fallen timber. It reminded us of the game match-sticks, except here the sticks were saplings and trees. In places, we could walk for tens of metres over the crisscross of timber without touching the ground. We reached the cairn on SH1506 at 10.50am and had a well deserved break. Great views ahead up the ridge to a snow dusted top (see pic 1), steeply down into Rendezvous Creek and, to the NW, across to Mts Burbidge, Kelly and Namadgi.
Sleety-snow as we pressed on after morning tea towards our objective. The going was no better and I reckon the name Mad Max ought to stick - he'd been up here recently and was willing to come back. Chris had been this way before, too. Easy enough to follow the twists and turns in the ridge line, but I was glad that the snow clouds generally broke up as they came nearer. Towards the objective some lovely long runs of granite in amongst the scrub. Another 100m climb on this leg. Finally to where the first edition map reckons SH1612 (Mt Herlt) is, then a couple of hundred metres SSW and between two 'teeth' of granite to the lovely viewing spot I'd visited previously.
Cool in the breeze, but worth it for the view. The three hills (Burbidge, Kelly and Namadgi) were a little closer (see pic 2) over the rolling tops of dead trees dusted with snow. To the SE we could see the ridge we'd battled down to SH1506 (see pic 3). Rotten Swamp could be glimpsed between the swells of Burbidge and Namadgi and at the foot of Kelly. To the NW, looking deceptively close and easy to reach, was the rock pile of Mt Mavis (the saddle in between was hidden). This middle section of the Mavis Ridge will just have to wait till next autumn.
After our 30 minute lunch (well, maybe 28mins), there was talk of tackling the wonderful granite slabs to the NE of the Mt Herlt area which overlook Rendezvous Creek, but I decided to stick to my original plan. This was to sidle on 100°M down the 500m to near the aboriginal rock art (note that this area is currently closed). Things didn't quite work as they should. It was certainly easier going than the horrendous ridge (if I was to return to Mt Herlt I'd come up this way), but as the sidle wore on, so did a couple of sets of knees. With 20/20 hindsight, it may have been better to swing more to the E and hit the open Rendezvous Creek area sooner, then wander down it. The second issue was that my GPS waypoint for the rock art (this area is closed for visiting at the moment) was around 480m out (operator error, no doubt). I eventually recognised a couple of rocks down in the open, which led us to near the rock art site (this area is closed for visiting at the moment).
With the wind whistling up the valley, most donned beanies and gloves for the final 4km sprint back to the car.
This was a tough walk, made a little less palatable by my decisions and navigation. I'm responsible for both - the former I wouldn't change because we went where I wanted to go; the latter needs heaps of work. In disgust, I'll hang up my boots for 6 weeks!
Thanks Bob, Chris, David and Meredith, John, Max and Mike. A party of strong walkers got me to Mt Herlt through scrub and fallen timber I won't visit again ... till next time. See you soon on the Upper Mavis Ridge.
Distance: 18.8km Climb: 850m. Time: 7.55am - 4.55pm (9hrs), with 50mins of stops
KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Lower Mavis Ridge to Mt Herlt
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 Mt Herlt from morning tea on SH1506
|2 Mts Burbidge, Kelly and Namadgi from lunch on Mt Herlt
|3 View back down the ridge to SH1506 from Mt Herlt
I've always wondered what the distinct line in the vegetation is, across the lower Mavis ridge on the flanks of SH1411, clearly visible from the Yankee Hat car park. The explanation from Martin C in the NPA Bulletin Vol 47 No 2 June 2010 - regrowth in a previously ringbarked area.