9 October 2012 Prairie Dog Creek Granite Outcrops

Ian holds up a chock stone on 'Owl Rocks' ridge

Maps: Corin Dam, Rendezvous Creek 1:25000

Getting There

This walk was organised and led by Ian W as an irregular CBC Tuesday walk:

Tuesday 9 October - Prairie Dog Creek, Granite Outcrops - L/R,ptX. From the former Orroral Tracking Station site we will follow the Granite Tops Walking track (the old road to the Lunar Laser Observatory) for 3 km then spend the day on a meandering route off track to the west & north in the headwaters of Prairie Dog & Sawpit Creeks. We will eventually join the Alpine Walking Track near the Cotter Hut road and follow the road 6 km back to the cars. We will visit a couple of granite features the leader has seen on a previous reconnaissance, as well as a few new ones if time and scrub allow. There are some small areas of Alpine Ash & Mountain Gum forest that survived the 2003 fires. About 16 km with approx. 550 m of ascent. Expect slow scrub. The walk will be postponed if it is raining. Maps: Corin Dam, Rendezvous Creek Leader: Ian W. Limit: 8 Transport: Approx. 100 km return.

3 of us met and drove (unfortunately over a young kangaroo) to the Orroral Tracking Station car park.

Walk - Photographs

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Walk - Track Notes

Hats off again to Ian the granite hunter. Another most interesting trip to Google Earth found granite tors. You never know what is up there in the bush!

A quick leg up the Granite Tops Walking Track (which has been repaired) to the U-bend by James Creek. Down over the creek and up the other side, heading generally W (but a more northerly route to 21 Jun 08 and 30 Sep 05) through fairly heavy regrowth/shrubs.

This brought us to a SE-NW ridge above Prairie Dog Creek, at about the 1450-1470m contour, which Ian had dubbed 'Owl Rocks' ridge as he'd disturbed an owl on a previous visit. The SE end of the granite is at UTM 55H 673746-6055517 (MGA94) and the tor-ed ridge extends around 560m NW to UTM 55H 673286-6055830 (MGA94). We had morning tea at its start, was able to ring home. A wonderful ridge, with block upon tor of granite. A great enclosed area at one point, surrounded by granite walls. We crossed and re-crossed from side to side, both to find leads through the granite and to enjoy the different views. From the NE side, down to the Orroral Valley; from the SW side, across to Split Rock. Much Oxylobium ellipticum (Common Shaggy-pea) between the granite on the ridge.

We reached the NW end of the ridge around 11am, then headed SW across Prairie Dog Creek, then W to granite above Sawpit Creek for lunch. The morning's going, apart from the Granite Tops Walking Track, was hard going - plenty of regrowth shrubs and, of course, climbing through the granite.

After lunch we headed N to various granite features that Ian had discovered. The afternoon's going was a little more open than the morning's. A nice open saddle just S of SH1313, where Peter loudly called "FROG" to see if any corroboree frogs answered. A little regenerating sphagnum.

Turning W, we visited a large granite slot, then the last block for the day.

Ian kindly trended left as we descended to the AAWT, as I wanted to see as much of the widening as I could. We hit it about 2km W of the junction with the Cotter Hut Road. Very nicely done - you could now walk this with a torch at night time.

We headed warily along the Cotter Hut Road, as there were road works in progress. Came upon a work party moving a huge boulder, which made the end of the digger rear up as the bucket tried to get under it. We were kindly received and made our way through the bush above the place of work. As soon as we could, we got out of the way by heading down to the Orroral Valley and so back to the car.

Thanks Ian W for another rocky trip and to Peter C.

Distance: 17.4km Climb: 650m. Time: 8.00am - 4.00pm (8hrs), including 30mins of breaks.
Grading: L/R; H(13)

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This page last updated 1Sep22