1-2 June 2010 Pretty Plain Hut

Map: Khancoban 1:50000

Getting There

This walk was organised and led by Max S as an adhoc 'Tuesday' walk:

IF the weather looks OK (it does at the moment) – ie no snow or heavy rain, the proposal is to walk from Tooma pondage off Cabramurra-Khancoban Rd to the re-built Pretty Plain Hut – about 20 km each way mostly on track except for about 8 km. Some ups and downs with the walk varying between 1300 and 1650 m. We will use the Dargals FT to a point west of the Hut before descending to the valley and then return the next day via Pretty Plain and FT’s. Could anyone interested let me know - the final decision will be made early Monday when weather reports available. If this walk does not eventuate then Tuesday proposal is to visit the Tinderrys from the West finding a slightly different route to Twin Tinderry – this is likely to be rated Hard. Further detail to be provided if required.

3 of us drove via Cooma and Adaminaby to the Snakey Plain fire trail entrance on the Tooma Road. Around 6.30 - 9.30am, including a quick stop for petrol in Cooma and a take away coffee at Adaminaby.

Further Information


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Track overview Pretty Plain Hut Track a Pretty Plain Hut Track b Pretty Plain Hut Track c Pretty Plain Hut Track d Pretty Plain Hut

Day 1

Away around 9.45am, having to leave the car on the side of the Tooma Road, as the fire trail gate is right on the road. You can see from the Track a and Track b map segments that the Snakey Plain fire trail has been realigned. A pleasant 4km puff up the ridge of the Jagumba Range through Wolseleys Gap, climbing 260m to the SMA1009 trig. A marker with a bit of character and views down NE to the Tooma Reservoir and across to Round Mountain. Gang-gangs in a nearby tree.

The fire trail then descended to Snakey Plain Creek, a very pleasant little area. The creek was flowing well after recent rain and a great view out the E end of Snakey Plain to Mt Jagungal.

Over the creek the fire trail turned at right angles and Snakey Plain ft became Wheelers Hut ft. The former had a brand new sign and the latter a weathered sign half collapsed. A pleasant wander across the NE flank of Big Dargal Mountain had us arriving at Wheelers Hut for lunch at 12.10pm, having completed 9km of our journey.

Only time for a 15min stop for lunch at Wheelers Hut. I had a quick peek inside and noticed an article on the Toolong diggings placed there by Graham S. No time to read it, but I contacted him on return and it can be found on the KHA website here. These guys do a huge job!

1 SMA1009 Gang-gang near SMA1009 Mt Jagungal over Snakey Plain Creek

Our next 2.1km leg after lunch took us generally E, across Dargals Creek and through the Toolong gold diggings, across Broadway Creek and up to join the Dargals fire trail. Turning S, another 300m climb up onto the Broadway Top. Pleasant areas of eucalypt forest where fires had not reached. This leg 5.3km in 1hr50mins. By now it was 3pm and starting to get cool, especially in the shade. I think the maximum day time temperature would have been around 10degC.

2 Toolong gold diggings on Dargals Creek below Wheelers Hut Dargals fire trail on Broadway Top Dargals fire trail on Broadway Top

The final leg for the day was to descend from the Tops to Pretty Plain Hut. Arcing SE then E, the going was at first easy, then a little slippery down the E facing slope, a contour round a steep section of a feeder creek to Pretty Plain Creek and so, finally out into the open. A 280m descent. Crossing Preety Plain Creek we spied a taped vehicle track heading NE over the ridge to Bulls Head Creek and Pretty Plain Hut, so gladly followed it. Meandering up the ridge, in places it turned nearly 180deg away from our destination, but it and we finally crested, wandered down and arrived at the wonderfully reconstructed hut. A real credit to all those involved. 4.6km in 1hr45mins, arriving at 4.50pm. Some interesting displays in the hut.

A pleasant, but cold night, with a fire to keep us up till maybe 7pm.

3 Pretty Plain Hut Pretty Plain Hut horse skull

Day 2

Frosty morning at Pretty Plain Hut

A cold night with a thick frost the next morning, but the sky was clear. Away by 8.20am, heading down a footpad on the flats along Bulls Head Creek. After around 1.7km Pretty Plain Creek came in on our left and a further 700m N we crossed it. The creeks joined the Tooma River and a further 4km N in 1hr we came to the Hell Hole Creek fire trail and had a bite of morning tea.

4 Frosty morning view from Pretty Plain Hut down Bulls Head Creek to Pretty Plain 5 Frosty Bulls Head Creek

Turning W onto Hell Hole Creek fire trail we trudged along it for 2.4km to meet the Dargals fire trail. The Tooma River was flowing strongly beside it. Right (NE) onto Dargals fire trail and 1km down to the ford. Max took the lead because he was the leader and we waded across. A hole near the far back had us into our thighs. A little ice on the edge of the river, so it was best to keep walking to warm up again. A further 2.2km N we came to the intersection with the Wheelers Hut fire trail. Frost still in the ground where the sun had not yet reached.

Tooma River beside Hell Hole Creek fire trail Frost still in the shade at 11.30am on the Dargals fire trail 6 Intersection of Dargals and Wheelers Hut fire trails

Continuing N on the Dargals fire trail for another 5.1km, we reached Patons Hut at 1.15pm for lunch. Patons Hut is obviously not quite where the map says it is.

All that remained was 2.7km back to the Tooma Dam, Max leaving us towards the end to hurry a further 4km along the road to pick up the car - servant leader to the end. I had a wander around the Tooma Dam.

Tooma Dam

Thanks again Max, and Eric for your company. I won the old man's bladder control test - last to have to get up and go out in the frost!

Distance: 43km Climb: 1000m. Time: 2 days
Grading: L/M; H(12)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Pretty Plain Hut

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This page last updated 19Aug22