Maps: Mount Kosciusko 8525-II&III, or Perisher Valley 8525-2S & Gehi Dam 8525-2N 1:25,000
This walk was organised and led by Karen C as an irregular CBC Tuesday walk:
Tuesday 8 December: The Rolling Ground & East Tate Ridge via Guthega Trig – M-L/M. A view of the alpine flora in bloom. Departing from the Guthega ski resort, we’ll ascend to Guthega Trig and then The Rolling Ground. Depending on the weather and the party we may extend the time we spend on The Rolling Ground and travel on to The Granite Peaks. Returning to Consett Stephen Pass, we’ll then ascend Mt Tate to enjoy the 360 degree views of the Main Range and descend East Tate Ridge to the suspension foot bridge that crosses the Snowy River, returning along a fire trail to the cars. Mostly off track, 17 to 21 km depending on whether we do the extended walk to The Granite Peaks, with a total ascent of approximately 550m. 6AM start from Kambah shops. Maps: Mount Kosciusko 8525-II&III, or Perisher Valley 8525-2S & Gehi Dam 8525-2N 1:25,000. Leader: Karen C 6272 5181(w), firstname.lastname@example.org Transport $150 per car, Park entry $16 per car. Further details at http://jevans.pcug.org.au Limit: 8.
11 of us drove in 3 cars to Guthega. With a stop for coffee in Jindabyne, it took 3 hours.
2009 12 08 The Rolling Ground and East Tate Ridge via Guthega Trig - Route Card
Grid Ref GDA MGRS
Depart Kambah Shops 6AM
Arrive Guthega 8:30AM
Car Park 55HFV22970 73050
Ascend 250m to Guthega Trig
Heading 7 GN
Short section on bridge, foot track up ridge
Ascend 130m to high point just East of Consett Stephen Pass (aka “Sheila’s Summit” at SH 1993) Heading 348 GN
Walk onto The Rolling Ground
Heading 354 GN
Depending on the party & conditions walk further to the extended point of return at The Granite Peaks
The Granite Peaks
Return heading south to Consett Stephen Pass (1910m)
Consett Stephen Pass 55HFV22712 77496
Head south west, ascending Mt Tate (2069m)
Descend East Tate Ridge line to 40m long foot suspension bridge
Return along fire trail to car park
Access all primary pics here. All thumbnails in the walk report are active - click for a larger picture.
A first for me in this part of KNP, so every eye-full was new and exciting. We sorted ourselves out and wandered down from the car park to the walkway over the dam holding back the Guthega Pondage. A turn half right and we climbed the spur via a well defined footpad. Already we could see patches of snow, dirty sand coloured from the dust storms of previous months. The spur runs N between the Guthega River and Falls Creek. Several knolls to explore, but we missed seeing the Guthega trig (maybe there is no marker - we passed through the expected location but saw nothing). To the W we had grand views to the East Tate Ridge, our return leg.
Views S-W-N to Tate East Ridge from the spur N up from Guthega
A little further on, just up from the source of Falls Creek, we came across one of the dirty snow drifts. A heavy duty black plastic bag I was using as a pack liner made and impromptu slide and Karen was kind enough to capture my amateur efforts on video. That's the closest I'll ever get to skiing. See the YouTube clip below:
A spot for snow drift play on the side of the spur N up from Guthega
Continuing up the spur, grand alpine views were to be had. Morning tea came and went around 11am and we continued NW along the ridge towards SH1993 - Sheilas Summit. Nice views opened up to the SW across to Mt Tate.
View from about 1900m contour continuing up the spur N from Guthega
Mt Tate and grazing remains near SH1993
From here, the rolling ridge took us further N onto The Rolling Ground. Continuing alpine walking on snow grass to the N, with wonderful vistas back to the Main Range to the S.
Views from N of SH1993
Watsons Crags from N of SH1993
For the moment the weather was perfect and the scenery spectacular.
Knolls on The Rolling Ground
View N along The Rolling Ground
At 12.20pm we reached the first of The Granite Peaks, SMA0691. It featured a 3m marker pole. Again, spectacular views all round, including E onto The Rolling Ground and S along our track in and to the Main Range in the distance. A few metres to the E in the lee and out of the breeze was a perfect place for lunch.
1 View E onto The Rolling Ground from SMA0691 (one of The Granite Peaks)
View S from SMA0691
View S to the Main Range from SMA0691
Having reached the extent of the day's walk we turned about and headed S. Mt Tate and further S looked spectacular.
Approaching Mt Tate from the N
Approaching Mt Tate from the N
Karen navigated to split the difference between Sheilas Summit and Consett Stephen Pass, which gave us a fabulous view down onto the Pass as we turned W down to it. From the W side of the Pass we turned S up the relatively gentle spur towards Mt Tate.
Consett Stephen Pass
2 Mt Tate with Watsons Crags in the distance
We gained Mt Tait at 2.30pm and drank in the view, particularly SW to Mt Anderson and Mt Anton.
View SW from Mt Tate
The next leg was 5.4km in 1hr 30mins S down the Tate East Ridge. Through Gills Knobs the weather finally caught up with us and we were accompanied by showers and gentle rain for the rest of the day. Some lovely alpine flowers on the lower section of the ridge (although not in their glory till around January). Views through to Illawong Hut (a private establishment), Spencer Creek and the Snowy River dropping down, and up to Mt Anton and Mt Anderson. We crossed Pounds Creek, which was flowing strongly, in several places (that is, the party split into several groups to cross - the brave and bold where we arrived, other with aplomb a little further upstream, and me, with my dislike for water, at a safe and narrow point even further upstream).
3 Alpine flowers on the Tate East Ridge
View from Illawong to Mt Anton and Mt Anderson from the lower Tate East Ridge
Now on the left bank of the Snowy River, we went a further 500m upstream to a grand suspension bridge (probably built a little way away from where it's marked on the map). A lovely waterfall tumbling into the river on the other bank.
Waterfall into the Snowy River
Suspension bridge over the Snowy River
The early crossers wandered up to have a squiz at Illawong Hut, we regrouped, then trundled back 2.5km in the rain along the footpad to the car. Blue Cow Creek had a (low) flying fox, but we successfully stepped across its waters.
The drive back to Canberra was sensibly punctuated with a coffee stop at Jindabyne and a driver change at Cooma.
An excellent day, thank you Karen, and Brendan K, Chris F, Eric G, Erick McP, Jenny H, Mark B, Max S, Mike B and Roger E. A fraction over 15 hours door-to-door, but worth every minute of it, especially when chauffeured every km of it!
Distance: 20.4km Climb: 700m. Time: 9.15am - 5.15pm (8hrs), with 45mins of stops. Grading: L/M; H(12)