2 May 2009 Burbidge Ridge


Maps: Yaouk and Rendezvous Creek 1:25000
Getting There

This walk was organised and led by Max S as an FBI walk:

Sat 2 May – MOUNT BURBIDGE – 17km Hard (13). Leader: Max S From Old Boboyan Rd car park walk to Middle Creek and up to Burbidge for possible excellent views from this icon. Return via Bogong Gap and the west arm of Middle Creek. All off track from easy to difficult with rock hopping. Expect a long day. Climb: 800m. Cars 110km ($13). Maps: Yaouk and Rendezvous Creek. Meet at K at 7.00am. *** .

6 of us met and drove to the Yankee Hat car park. The dirt road in from the Boboyan Road has been regraded and Max's car glided over the spoon drain which has had its profile made less severe.


Many things conspired against us and prevented us making the Mt Burbidge high point on the NW end of the ridge. The worst was the dense regrowth on the 1600m terrace of the Burbidge spur, but also fallen saplings, diminishing daylight hours, sprains (trust not broken) and pains and a little snow around the top. (Unfortunately the following days brought to light a broken finger for one and a cracked rib for another.)

A pair of magnificent wedge-tailed eagles rose from road kill as we drove out, another as we crossed the Gudgenby grasslands. Arriving at the car park we were greeted by the howls of wild dogs. As someone said, there is something in our psyche that reacts to the calls. Always hear them out here. They are becoming bolder - a couple in sight as we prepared to take off, one quite close.

Kangaroos parted left and right as we walked the track to the bridge across Bogong Creek and across the grasslands into the mouth of Middle Creek. As usual, Kelly, Burbidge and Namadgi look imposing above it and you cannot help being challenged by the objective as it serves as a perfect aiming point. I carefully walked through the gate at the fence line t-intersection and had a scout around for the nearby yards marked on the 1st edn map. We dropped down towards and paralleled Middle Creek and picked up the old vehicle track. I don't think I've ever followed it so far to its end, where it's just a hop across Middle Creek to the site there.

We crossed back to the S side of Middle Creek, then almost immediately crossed the S arm very near the junction. This put us at the bottom of the spur to Burbidge. Dogs were still howling across Middle Creek, from somewhere around the bottom of the Mavis ridge. We crossed the old fence, passed very near SH1107and enjoyed the little climb through the 1100 and 1200m contours. Easy walking through relatively open forest here. At around 1250m and 9.40am we found morning tea. A lovely blue-sky day at this stage and already the view back down to the grasslands was opening up, framed by the Mavis ridge on the left and Yankee Hat North and the Yankee Hat ridge on the right.

A gentle climb to 1300m, then another steeper climb from 1300m to 1400m. At around the 1490m knoll I found (later at about 1650m) that my over-cycled rechargeable batteries had died in my GPS. That was a real pity, because at about this stage we began to run into fallen Mountain Ash saplings which slowed our progress dramatically. Max headed a little more towards the N to try to get us out of it. We enjoyed some views across the N arm of Middle Creek to Mt Mavis and Mt Herlt (that area has still beaten me!), then scrambled back up to the ridge.

Here was our next joy - very vigorous regrowth (see pic 1), quite astounding since my last visit on 19 Nov 05. With time ticking by, we knew we wouldn't make the NW high point, but we pressed on, climbed up the buttress and 4 of us went on up a snowy lead to the ridge top. A good spot for lunch (see pic 2), as we ran out of time to go further. The late morning had clouded over a little, but there were still cracker views: to the snow flecked SW face of Mt Namadgi, the Mavis ridge with Mt Orroral over the back of the dip between Mavis and Herlt, the N arm of Middle Creek way down below us, straight back down the spur to the Gudgenby grasslands, round to Yankee Hat North and Yankee Hat South, the Yankee Hat ridge over the S arm of Middle Creek, just near us in the SW the top of the huge granite bulb off the side of the Burbidge ridge and over to the 1700m feature SE of Mt Kelly, Mt Kelly itself with Mt Morgan over its left shoulder and, of course, the way ahead (but not for today) NW along the ridge to Mt Burbidge. A wonderful 360° view!

The party regrouped and we came off the ridge a little W of S, down to the flats visible on the S arm of Middle Creek below Bogong Gap (see pic 3). Our route took us down the snowy lead on one side of the granite bulb, an iced patch requiring care and resulting in wet bottoms. Although only around 500m distance, there was thick regrowth beneath the fire ravaged gums. At last out on the flats and we crossed the creek at the 1490m contour.

A win for the day was the route down the S arm of Middle Creek from here. After enjoying middle to back position on the inward leg (very nice to have others to force and clear the way) I found myself heading off first. Asking for advice, I received "keep the creek on your left, stay up out of it above the grass-on-the-ground level". Very good advice it was, producing a relatively quick 2.3km in 1hr to arvo tea (which included the very-fast-becoming-famous Eric chocolate). Having passed the test, I was happy for someone else to lead and the great route continued. The trick for this was that we were a lot closer to the creek than on previous occasions.

Eventually crossed the fence line again, out into more open forest with plenty of animal tracks and human pads to take us out into the open.

Had another scout for the yard site and I reckon I found it a few tens of metres to the SW of the map marked location. Plenty of wire, a couple of burnt posts and the door from a fuel stove identified the area.

Dogs (still) howling as we trundled across the grasslands, heading a little left of the Hospital Hill 'Smiley Face'.

A very pleasant FBI-style après walk cuppa in the lovely still and surprisingly warmish air back at the cars. Chris - that was a beautiful cake! Make more for Max's walks!!

A great walk thanks Max. Excellent company from Eric, Mac, Madeleine and Prue. We all left a little blood behind today. But we'll have to go back in Spring - can't let it beat us.

Distance: 18.1km  Climb: 750m.  Time: 7.50am - 4.50pm (9hrs), with 45mins of stops.

 Grading: L/R; H(13)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Burbidge Ridge

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 Regrowth on the 1600m terrace with the SE buttress of Burbidge above
2 Lunch views to Mt Kelly and Mt Morgan
3 Our route down the SW face to flats on Middle Creek S arm