|19 September 2009
|CBC Annual Worn Boot Bash #8 - Mt Kelly
|Maps: Rendezvous Creek and Yaouk 1:25000
This walk was organised and led by Jenny and Rob H as a CBC walk:
Saturday 19 September: Worn Boot Bash #8 – L/R Boboyan car park– Sams Creek– Mt Kelly– Bogong Gap– Burbidge Ridge– Middle Creek– car park ~27 km plus a few hills. Maps: Rendezvous Creek, Yaouk 1:25,000 Leaders: Jenny and Rob H Transport: ~64k each way, $46 per car, $11.50–$15 per person.
2 happy campers enjoyed the night and the early morning howls of wild dogs at the Foresters Hut. 8 of us got up early and drove out through the fog and kangaroos to meet at the Yankee Hat car park at 6am.
See the history of the CBC Worn Boot Bash here.
Re the distance - "Parameters are variables that function notionally as constants for a given consideration; if need be we can make them plastic and it'll be interesting to see what a bread-crumb measure will be." (quote from the walk leader).
It was a little cooler than in town, making us happy to walk quickly to warm up. Down the Old Boboyan Road, right turn onto the fire trail (marked on the 1st edn Yaouk map, but not on the 2nd edn) and down to cross the causeway over Bogong Creek. Up along the NW bank of the creek and through the open area to the tapes at the top marking the start of the footpad to the Gudgenby Saddle. (This route is slightly different to the one I'm used to, staying on the fire trails on the SE bank of the creek until the bend in the road at the old fence line, then down across the creek flats. But one ends up at the same point.) A useful point to know, an old yellow tape and a new blue one at UTM 55H 675386-6039280 (GDA94).
From here we followed the footpad. As it became braided and unclear, we picked up the new blue marker tapes, adding a few more pink ones (colour for the girls). We got it a fraction wrong just before picking up the footpad that climbs the gully to the saddle, so one of our party offered to go back to correct the tapes (actually, they strained a calf muscle and, being a strong and experienced walker, did not want to delay the party so returned to the cars). Our fearless leader called morning tea number one.
Next down to cross the Naas Creek where some of us topped up on water. Lovely to have the creeks running strongly. Across to join the Sams Creek fire trail, at this point fairly indistinct. Marked by a new double blue marker tape and another useful point to know UTM 55H 672344-6038251 (GDA94). From here we followed the overgrown and no longer maintained fire trail up onto the ridge containing SH1373. This area used to confuse me, until I realised at this point Naas Creek is to the E and it rises in the saddle to the N of Mt Gudgenby, and Sams Creek is to the W and it drains to the SW to become Yaouk Creek. Crossing to the W side of Sams Creek, we followed the fire trail/footpad on up near the happy sounding creek, crossing a feeder side creek draining from the W Scabby range (again confusing, as here the Scabby Range is both to the W and to the E, the arms meeting at Mt Kelly), and then back to the E side of Sams Creek. Huge views up to 'the other side' of Mt Gudgenby. Morning tea number two was taken at around the 1390m contour and right on the 42 northing line at the top of the Yaouk map.
Our gentle climb continued, crossing then recrossing Sams Creek. I take my hat off to Rob, as I've struggled to the left and struggled to the right on previous trips in here. Never as easy as today, more often than not being able to identify and use the alignment of the old fire trail. He shared his secret with me - choose the best line which, hopefully, the original track would have taken. We gained the upper creek flats around 11.20am, with great views to SH1733 (marked as such on the 1st edn Rendezvous Creek map) above them (see pic 1). The best line up to the Kelly Saddle, first on the E then crossing to the W of the creek, took us up through the scrubby regrowth to morning tea number 3.
If there's one thing that will make me go "woot woot!", it's finding another border marker. I had a waypoint in my GPS (in fact, for the southern-most one in the data currently released to me by ACTPLA), but had no idea what it would look like as the original description is 'Cement mark'. Got excited as our route from the saddle to the top of Kelly took us closer and closer. In the end, the lockspit was very obvious (see pic 2), pointing the way along the border down to the saddle and on up to SH1733 and presiding over a glorious view. We gained the top of Mt Kelly at 12.50pm, a new destination for many in the party. A celebratory snap clustered around the cairn. Sadly, the log book, even in plastic cover and metal tin, was wet.
It's been nearly two years since I last visited and the views are still just as amazing! For me, my gaze is first drawn to the NE, with Mt Namadgi over Rotten Swamp (the 'cricket pitch' hessian covers are gone, so hopefully that means that the sphagnum is recovering). Next, clockwise, is the rocky Mt Burbidge. Then the arm of Middle Creek that held our homeward leg falls from Bogong Gap to the bright green of the Gudgenby grasslands (see pic 3). Rotating further, you see the top of Mt Kelly that brought us to the summit. Sweeping from the S through the W you see the Scabby Range, the spur that takes the border from Kelly to it, the dip down and up to the beginning of the Kelly Spur and Mt Morgan, Mt Murray and Bimberi Peak. From Bimberi, the Brindabella Range stretches to the N. Nearly directly to the north, completing the 360° view, is Coronet Peak. Truly magnificent on this wonderful Spring day.
Lunch was enjoyed looking out over Rotten Swamp to Mt Namadgi and Mt Burbidge, not only for the view but to keep us warm out of the breeze. I took a poke around afterwards, snapping the cairn on the 4th highest hill in the ACT at 1829m, from below (see pic 4).
At 1.30pm it was time to go. I'd discussed the relatively easy track we'd taken on 2 May 09 down the S side of the arm of Middle Creek from Bogong Gap and Rob was happy to try it. His planned route was to cross to the N side of the creek around 1.5km down from Bogong Gap, then contour onto the spur to Mt Burbidge hitting the crest of the spur at the 1400m contour. We took Rob's route and it provided an interesting comparison. Crossing the creek was quite slow and scrubby but, once out of that, the going was just as easy as on the other side. Two good routes to know. Afternoon tea was taken at the 1400m contour on the Burbidge spur at 4pm.
We broke into the clear at 5.20pm and wandered out of the mouth of Middle Creek across to the boardwalk and bridge over Bogong Creek. A very pleasant finish to a satisfying day.
2 slow moving black snakes spotted during the day, so they've woken up.
I don't believe that many day walks deserve the description of epic, but this one would have to approach it. A wonderful day, thanks Rob. And thanks to Brigitte, Daniel, Jenny, Kerrie, Mike, Peter, Todd and Victoria.
Distance: 27.8km Climb: 900m Time: 6.10am - 6.07pm (we'll call that 12hrs), with 1hr 25mins of breaks.
KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: WBB - Mt Kelly
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 SH1733 above Sams Creek
|2 Border Marker S81
|3 Mt Namadgi, Rotten Swamp, Mavis Ridge, Mt Burbidge, Gudgenby grasslands and Yankee Hats from Mt Kelly
|4 Mt Kelly