|10 November 2007
|Mt Namadgi via Middle Creek
|Maps: Yaouk 8626-2N 1:25000 and Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S 1:25000
This walk was organised and led by me as a CBC walk:
(Saturday 10 November - Mt Namadgi via Middle Creek - L/R,X. You are invited to a champagne lunch on Mt Namadgi to celebrate my birthday. You bring your lunch, I'll bring the champagne. Around 22km and 800m total climb. Strenuous walking for a fit and experienced party. Maps: Yaouk and Rendezvous Creek 1:25000. Limit of 8. Leader: John Evans – firstname.lastname@example.org, (h) 6288 7235. Transport: ~$12. Further details at members.pcug.org.au/~jevans.).
5 of us drove to the Yankee Hat car park. An early start leaving town at 6am.
I scheduled this walk on a Saturday hoping to attract some legends, as I've probably bitten off nearly too much to chew. Leave town at 6am.
Civil twilight: 0525 - 2009
An absolute cracker of a day was starting as we dodged the kangaroos on the way in. After the rain of the last few days, the place was fresh and moist and green. The Gudgenby grasslands looked a picture as we set of at 7.15am (see pic 1).
The first leg took us across the grasslands to Middle Creek, first to the bridge across a running Bogong Creek, then on 288°M to see if I could hit the old fencing junction. We did and dutifully walked through the open gate rather than step over the fence (it was on the ground). Crossed Middle Creek at 7.55am (this leg 3.4km in 40mins - I'd allowed 1hr in my planning).
The next leg saw us following Middle Creek on its NE side up to the junction area at GR736465 (GDA94) Rendezvous Creek map. Lovely walking through open forest with soft grasses under after all the rain. We crossed the fence line which goes down across Middle Creek after around 1.2km (this leg 4.3km in 1hr 20mins with 200m climb - I'd allowed 2hrs in my planning).
I'd discussed the approaches to Mt Namadgi last Sunday with Rob H. I remember he said one was horrible and the other ok. We found them both, but I chose to go up the horrible one! On the map, the spur from the Middle Creek junction to the summit of Mt Namadgi looks quite inviting and, indeed, it starts of as such. Gentle slope up, open forest. But it soon turns into a giant's game of pickup-sticks with fallen saplings strewn across the ground. One is either climbing over or bobbing under, or walking along them a metre off the ground. Add an ever increasing climb and I was sure I chose the wrong way up (I should have remembered from a disastrous weekend trip back from Rotten Swamp 3 Jan 06). We paused for morning tea when I couldn't go any further (see pic 2), enjoying huge views to the side of Mt Burbidge in one direction and Mt Herlt and Mt Mavis on the Mavis ridge in the other. But at last the open, sub alpine top of Mt Namadgi was reached and we covered the last few hundred metres with glee. Pools of water about after the welcome rain. (This leg 3.2km in 2hrs 25mins with 600m climb - I'd allowed 3hrs in my planning.)
The uninterrupted, 360° view was staggering! It provides a tremendous view of many of the features of the Namadgi National Park and the peaks at its centre. To the SE were the two Yankee Hats, Mt Burbidge and, in the distance, Mt Gudgenby (see pic 3). Turning clockwise, we knew Rotten Swamp (as Rupert B once said, it's neither rotten nor a swamp!) was beneath us but couldn't see it, but Mt Kelly towered over it. Mt Scabby was over Kelly's left side. Then, close in, the Kelly Spur with Mt Morgan, Mt Murray and Bimberi Peak at the back. Looking down the cut of Licking Hole Creek we could see the Cotter Hut, where our CBC mates were slaving away clearing broom. The Brindabella peaks (Mts Gingera, Ginini, etc) marched to the N. A great view down the Namadgi ridge, with Coronet Peak poking up. Then the cut of Creamy Flats Creek with the Mavis ridge over it. Close at hand we had an excellent perspective on the local features. The Tinderrys were on the horizon in this direction and we could just glimpse the Gudgenby grasslands where we'd started. An awesome view!
After taking it in and snapping a few pics, it was time to pop the cork. It made quite a height after the shakeup of the walk up. We shared just half the bottle, not wanting to be the first to be DUI on Mt Namadgi. Mike kindly had carried in two birthday cakes for us to share (and John gave me a little b'day prezzo in a bottle when we returned to town), so I felt very honoured. It was a spectacular venue for a birthday luncheon and we enjoyed ourselves for 45mins.
Cork back in place and bottle upright in my pack, we tried an alterative exit, down and along the Namadgi ridge for a little way, then a right turn down to Big Creamy Flats. This was the easier route! Must have been plenty of rain in the area, as the creek draining to the NNE was flowing noisily when we crossed it at the 1550m contour. SE up Big Creamy Flats to enjoy a watershed moment at the saddle between Mt Namadgi and Mt Mavis (this leg 2km in 50mins). (I'd still like to daywalk to Mt Namadgi via Mt Mavis, but the pull back up to the ridge from here would be a killer in the arvo!)
I initially chose to keep high out of Middle Creek as we followed it down, but took a little wiggle and crossed it over then back at some flats at GR725479. We were about 200m NE of the top junction area by 2.30pm (this leg 3.1km in 1hr 15mins).
Our return leg following Middle Creek down to the bottom junction seemed slower than in the morning, not because we were a little weary but because I was 100m or so higher up away from the creek. It did make a difference and the going was more scrubby and there was a patch of fallen timber. We visited a nearby signed feature. (This leg 3.8km in 1hr 15mins.)
A final 4.1km in 55mins saw us back at the car to polish off the warm and gassy champers and to share a couple of cans of Coke John had brought.
Thank you very much Mike B, David E, David L and John H for your company and presents. This was a bit of an iconic walk and a fabulous birthday luncheon venue. All the best for Nepal, John.
Distance: 24.0km Climb: 850m. Time: 7.15am - 4.40pm call it 9.5hrs, with 65mins of stops.
KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Mt Namadgi via Middle Creek
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 Gudgenby grasslands with Mt Namadgi fogged out
|2 Fallen timber to be negotiated on the SE spur to Mt Namadgi
|3 Yankee Hats, Mt Burbidge and Mt Gudgenby from Mt Namadgi