|17 June 2008
|Map: Rendezvous Creek 1:25000
This walk was organised and led by me as a private Tuesday walk:
Tuesday 17 June - Mt Mavis - L/R. The Mavis Ridge runs NW between Rendezvous Creek and Middle and Creamy Flats Creeks. Its high point, SH1711 (aka Mt Mavis), is composed of huge granite tors and offers staggering views across to the main peaks of the Bimberi Wilderness and back to Mt Orroral. A direct in and out crossing Rendezvous Creek to check out the regrowth and to see if the approach is still just as steep and the views just as spectacular. Around 14km and 950m total climb. Strenuous walking for a fit and experienced party. Will be physically demanding, with possible delays and diversions from the intended route. Map: Rendezvous Creek 1:25000. Limit of 8. Leader: John Evans – firstname.lastname@example.org, (h) 6288 7235. Transport: ~$15. Further details at http://jevans.pcug.org.au.
5 of us drove in two cars to the Nursery Swamp car park in the Orroral Valley. After nearly collecting a roo or two coming down Athlon Drive at 6.30am, I kindly let Mike go first as a roo shooer after we met him at Point Hut Crossing. But extraordinary good navigation by me to pick up one walker in Mawson.
Civil twilight: 0643 - 1726, so leave town at 6am. And we'll only go if it's fine (I'm not a wimp, but I want views for all the effort).
This is a tough walk on a short day, so I'll need to be selective with proposed participants. If the weather forecast is looking no good on Sunday evening, the above walk will be cancelled.
We hit the track at 7am, with low cloud hanging around the hill tops in the early morning. An uneventful 1.9km in just over 30mins to the spot where we leave the track and head down across the main arm of Nursery Creek. Pig rootings and pink pig control flags much in evidence. I always head down and across Nursery Creek to the old pig trap/cage just over the S side of the creek, then around the corner of the vegetation and angle across the flats to find the taped and blue painted recommencement of the old bridle trail/footpad across to the saddle and down to Rendezvous Creek. Further practice is needed by me on this trail, although I only lost the way 3 times this morning. Lyrebirds calling away all along here, quite pretty in the damp and misty morning. Reached Rendezvous Creek at 8.20am, so a quite respectable 1hr 20mins for this leg of 4.7km from the start. The cloud was trying to lift and we caught glimpses of the rocky tops of the Mavis Ridge.
Mike had driven out to give himself the option to return at this point, as he was not 100%. But he pushed on for a while longer, so we all set off on 210°M, first crossing through the blackberry infested little creek flowing down from the Mavis Ridge. (Crossing it again on our return slightly lower down, I realised that with a detour of a few tens of metres, one could cross it via the old vehicle tracks which parallel Rendezvous Creek in this area!) Alas, after another 15mins or so, Mike decided that he'd turn back. It was reasonable under the circumstances (he's a living legend = super experienced bushman, map and compass and GPS equipped, not too far up from RV Ck) for him to return alone.
We continued up through increasingly steep terrain with some belts of regrowth and with much puffing on my account. We stopped for morning tea at 9.30am, having passed some marvelous granite blocks and towers. From RV Ck to morning tea was 1.7km in 1hr 10mins. A pair of stick insects blended in perfectly with their grey branch perch (see pic 1).
A good belt of regrowth greeted our freshly revived bodies after morning tea. The final leg to the top of the ridge also involved a few climbs up vegetation lines through granite boulders. Nearly all of us were involved in some close inspections and we left a little blood about. One party member head-butted a limb and came off a poor second best with a scalp gash and I found that granite is tougher than skin. A little dodging and searching for a way up onto the final tor stacks at the top. This leg from morning tea to lunch 1km in 1hr 15mins.
However the objective was worth the pain, even mine with a swift slip on a snowy/iced sheet of granite on the SE side of our lunch spot (broken lunch box, unbroken camera, hurt pride). The sky was cloudless over us, although fingers of cloud could still be seen SE over towards the Nursery Hill direction. Remnant patches of snow in the shade. After plodding up the hill, the views to the west were spectacular. Mt Mavis is directly above the saddle between Middle Creek and Creamy Flats Creek. Looking down over the former we spied the two Yankee Hats, the spur up to and Mt Burbidge, Mt Namadgi directly across the saddle in front of us, the Namadgi ridge down to the bulbous granite nose over Big Creamy Flats, the wave of grey burnt tree coming up the SW side of the Mavis Ridge and granite piles further along the ridge (see pic 2). In the distance was the round top of Bimberi Peak and the more defined Mt Murray. I spent some time having a look around, as this walk was a sort of recce for further walks in Spring from around here - one to head right up along the Mavis Ridge to Rock Flats, another to head left down the ridge to Mt Herlt and the third to head straight to Mt Namadgi. A magnificent lunch spot for an hour.
Away at 5 to 12 to reverse out. A slow and careful descent - I'm realising that most people would prefer to walk up a hill than down. Great views to the NE side of Rendezvous Creek, including the Nursery Hill area, the saddle and cut the track comes down and left to Thunder Bluff. Mt Orroral at the back provides a handy aiming point. We passed the head-banged limb - one could nearly imagine the blood still dripping off it. Later examination of the GPS track showed that we pretty much went out the in, but in one place (near morning tea on the up leg) we were a fraction SE and found an area of dead saplings (giant pick up sticks) which had to be negotiated. Came down through a magnificent granite pile in one place. Later hit the twin towers we'd seen on the upward leg and recorded them for posterity (see pic 3). Back to Rendezvous Creek at 2.30pm, covering the 3km in 2.5hrs.
A plod up, along and down to return to the car. I equaled the inward journey record of 3 losses of the taped footpad coming up from RV Ck and across the saddle. This leg 4.7km in a bit less than 1.5hrs.
Excellent views on a great day. Thanks so much to Eric P, Karen C, Madeleine H and Mike B.
A useful recce. Tiring, but not overly challenging, except right at the top. Nursery Swamp car park - Rendezvous Creek: in 1hr 20mins/out 1hr 25mins. Rendezvous Creek - Mt Mavis: in 2.5hrs/out 2.5hrs. So that's around 4hrs in and 4hrs out. Plus mt and (short) lunch needed. We'll need to be a tad quicker in Spring and use all of 13.5hrs of daylight.
Distance: 15.0km Climb: 1000m. Time: 7am - 3.50pm (call it 9hrs), with 1hr 15mins of stops.
KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Mt Mavis
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 Stick insects on the way to Mt Mavis
|2 Granite stack near Mt Mavis and views up the Mavis Ridge
|3 Twin towers of granite at 1230m contour between Rendezvous Creek and Mt Mavis