Friday-Saturday 14-15 December 2012 Aussie top 10 Peaks
Renamed: Ten Top Hills, but not the Aussie Top Ten Hills

Club Lake and the Main Range Track from near Carruthers Peak

Maps: Perisher Valley and Youngal 1:25000

Getting There

This walk was organised and led by me as a CBC walk:

Friday-Saturday 14-15 December - Aussie Top 10 Peaks - L/M,ptX. You can do a commercial trip to the Aussie top 10 peaks for around $2K. Mine will be rougher, but less expensive. A 2-day wander to Mt Kosciuszko 2229 m, Mt Townsend 2209m, Mt Twynam 2195 m, Rams Head 2190 m, Unnamed peak on Etheridge Ridge 2180 m, Rams Head North 2177m, Alice Rawson Peak 2160 m, SH2159– Unnamed Peak SW of Abbott Peak 2159 m, Abbott Peak 2145 m, Carruthers Peak 2145 m. We’ll also throw in: Knoll NNE of Rams Head 2180+ m, Knoll WSW of Rams Head North 2160+ m, SH2136 – Unnamed Peak (Mt Dubious?) W of Mt Twynam 2136m, Mt Northcote 2131 m. Around 46km and 2000m climb. Maps: Chimneys Ridge, Perisher Valley and Youngal. Limit: 8. Leader: John Evans -, 0417 436 877. Transport: TBA per person + park entry.

2 starters went up Thursday. A good plan - the other 3 of us went up Friday morning and I hit a kangaroo - expensive.

Further Information

Hills to be bagged include:

Mt Kosciuszko 2229m, Mt Townsend 2209m, Mt Twynam 2195m, Rams Head 2190m, Unnamed peak on Etheridge Ridge 2180m, Rams Head North 2177m, Alice Rawson Peak 2160m, SH2159 - Unnamed Peak SW of Abbott Peak 2159m, Abbott Peak 2145m, Carruthers Peak 2145m.

We'll also throw in:

Knoll NNE of Rams Head 2180+m, Knoll WSW of Rams Head North 2160+m, SH2136 - Unnamed Peak (Mt Dubious?; Adam L says it's called Tenison Woods Knoll) W of Mt Twynam 2136m, Mt Northcote 2131m.

Great to hear that Tony B did this trip in Jan 11. His route was:

I did this walk a few weeks ago with my regular walking friend Dave, a great walk. We travelled up to Dead Horse gap late Friday afternoon and bagged Rams Head late in the day just before sunset, we camped on the ridge at the base of Rams head 2150m one of the best camps sites I have ever camped at, we where originally going to do the other 9 peaks over the next 2 days finishing with Mt K as the last peak, but the weather was closing in so we decided to do the rest on Saturday, this ended up being a 33k day.

From Rams head we walked to North Rams head bagging an unnamed peak on the way, which is higher than North Rams head, we then aimed for the unnamed peak on Etheridge Ridge just behind the Rawson Pass toilet, the next peak we headed for was Mt Kosciuszko, after Kosci we made a bit of a mistake that nearly ended our trip, we decided to go straight to Abbots peak  from Kosci, this was harder than expected and Dave badly stubbed his toe, the walk down the side of Kosci was quite steep and scrubby in places and if I was going to do the walk again I would go down via the main range track and follow the track on the side of Muellers peak to Mt Townsend and walk to the to Abbots Peak and the other Byatts Camp peak then do Alice Rawson and then Townsend, this would be a much easier and probably quicker option.

After lunch and Dave treating his sore toe in a cold stream we then headed over Muellers Peak, well worth the trip, from Muellers we headed down the Ridge to Mt Northcote, this is easy walking but the legs where starting to get tired, we then headed off along the main range track to Carruthers Peak and then to Mt Twynam, we left our packs at the intersection of the main range Track and did the old road up Twynam, this could be done as round trip if willing to go down the eastern side of Twynam but our legs where getting very tired and chose to stick to better tracks, on the way to Twynam there is a unnamed peak to the west which is called Mt Dubious, we decide it was to late in the day. We picked up our packs and dropped down to the Snowy River crossing near Charlottes Pass, set up our tents ate and crashed.

The next day the fog rolled in and visibility was a few meters so our decision to do a hard Saturday paid off, we headed off up the kosci road with plans to do the short cut from the kosci road/Snowy river bridge to near the top eagles nest station but the fog was still to thick so we ended up walking the road to Rawson Pass down the metal track and back down to DHG. I think around 55k all up.

A shorter way of doing the ten is to start at Charlottes pass and do Twynam up the eastern side, this would be easier at the start then to Mt Dubious, Carruthers Peak, Mt Northcote,  Mueller Peak, then to saddle below Townsend do Alice Rawson, Townsend, the two Abbots peaks then camp in the Wilkinson creek valley or if weather is OK stay on top of the ridge near Townsend. Then do the rest of the peaks in chosen order with an easy walk back to the car at Charlottes pass either via the shortcut to the Snowy/Kosci road or the metal walkway and road.

On 14 Dec 12, civil sunrise is 5.12am, sunrise is 5.43am, sunset is 8.20pm, civil sunset is 8.50pm.

My proposed route would be Tony's 'shorter way':

Day 1 - Drive to park at Charlotte Pass. Walk the Main Range Track to the crest, do Mt Twynam and Tenison Woods Knoll. Return to the Main Range Track and walk it to Mt Carruthers, (maybe do Mt Lee), off-track at Northcote Pass to do Mt Northcote. Back down to cross the Main Range Track and do Muellers Peak, across to Abbott Ridge and N to Alice Rawson Peak, then generally along the ridge to Mt Townsend, Abbott Peak and the unnamed peak SW of Abbott Peak. Down to camp near Wilkinsons Creek. ~24km.

Day 2 - Up to rejoin the Main Range Track at Muellers Pass. Walk the Main Range Track and Kosciuszko Walk to Mt Kosciuszko. Down to Rawson Pass and off-track to unnamed peak on Etheridge Ridge. Down to join the Kosciuszko Walk and follow it S to Kosciuszko Lookout. Off-track to Rams Head North, unnamed knoll WSW of Rams Head North, unnamed knoll NNE of Rams Head and Rams Head. Return to the Kosciuszko Walk. N to Rawson Pass. Summit Walk to Charlotte Pass (which could be done in the dark). Drive home. ~25km.

I have sought advice from my snowmen and snow bunny friends, so it should work (grin). Thanks to Kaz who told me about the Muellers Pass - Townsend foot track and to Tony B who gave me details of the Kosciuszko Walk to Snowy River Bridge track.

If the Snowy River crossing below Charlotte Pass is too deep, we'll go from Dead Horse Gap.

3 hours drive from Canberra to Charlotte Pass (including a quick stop at Jindabyne). Can park overnight at Charlotte Pass, on the road verge at least 20m back down from the turning circle.

1hr 30mins for the 5.1km from Charlotte Pass to the Main Range crest on the Main Range Track (on 12 Mar 11 with day packs). We'd then do Mt Twynam and SH2136. 1hr 15mins for the 4.3km on the Main Range Track from the crest NE of Carruthers Peak to E of Muellers Peak (on 12 Mar 11 with day packs) - we'd have to detour to do Mt Lee and Mt Northcote.

Walk - Photographs

Click here to access all walk photographs.

Walk - Track Maps

Track maps: thumbnails are active - click for a larger picture

Track overview

Track 1

Track 2

Track 3

Track 4

Track 5

Walk - Google Earth

Click here to display the walk in Google Earth.

Walk - Track Notes

Weather report said Charlotte Pass had 55mm of rain. I can believe that. A white out, wind gusts to 50km/hr and the rain drove us out on day 2. Unfinished business. My 200th led walk for CBC.

One of the party members told me that I was unprofessionally dressed.

On the way at 7.55am. Weather clear but threatening. 1hr 10mins for the 5km to the crest, trying hard not to slip to our death crossing a snow drift just before the major creek crossing below the Blue Lake Walk turn off, and meeting Peter and Linda above that point.

We dropped our packs by the little knob of rocks that looks out to the Sentinel and did a 7.1km Y-shaped trip in 1hr 40mins to Mt Twynam and SH2136 (which is at the top of the spur to Watsons Crags). Morning tea when we returned.

Along the Main Range Track through Carruthers Peak (coats on in the cold) and S above Club Lake, then up the gentle spur to Mt Lee. Back down onto the Main Range Track for a short while then, at Northcote Pass above Albina Lake, up to Mt Northcote. 4km in 1hr from morning tea, topping Mt Northcote at 12 noon.

Next, down to cross the Main Range Track and sidle up to the SE spur of Muellers Peak and so to the top of Muellers Peak. A rocky descent, then NW to join the Townsend footpad. A few hundred metres on, at a delightful little creek, we stopped for lunch. Rang home (Telstra service). Water from the creek.

Back on the Townsend footpad, we followed it to the E of Mt Townsend, dropped our packs and wandered up onto the Abbott Ridge. A beautiful area. Along to Alice Rawson Peak, with great views S to Mt Townsend and spectacular view N. The sky grew more threatening and the showers came.

We walked back S along the Ridge and climbed Mt Townsend, then followed the footpad back to pick up our packs. Next, SW paralleling the ridge. Plenty of water about and a large snow drift on the flanks of Townsend. A large rock cave provided the perfect spot to drop out packs again and we ascended to Abbott Peak and along to SH2159. Back to the cave. So the Abbott Ridge caper took from 1.30pm to 3.40pm (2hrs 10mins) and was 5.6km.

Constant showers now. We wandered down an arm of Wilkinsons Creek and set up camp near the snow depth poles, arriving at 4.10pm.

Most anti-social camping conditions with fuel stoves and the rain, so we each retired to our own tents. Someone noticed tents over down from Muellers Pass, so I wandered the couple of km round journey to say hello. It was a group of girls doing their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award hike. I wished them Happy Christmas and flashed at them - my shell revealing my Santa suit, of course.

Between showers, I took my tea on the little crest above our nestled tents. Back Country honey soy chicken augmented by Mediterranean couscous.

A long night, with increasing wind and rain. I'd brought side guys for my Tarptent Moment - even with them the sides blew in on my sleeping bag. A little spray inside, but not too bad. One boot must have been poking out, as it was half full of water in the morning. Some heavy rain.

A whiteout in the morning and still wet. I guess we wouldn't have seen much from the remaining hills, so the obvious decision was to go home. I spent some time getting the leg back to Muellers Pass right. Left at 7.30am in the rain. In the end Peter took us out. He sure can confidently navigate in difficult circumstances! We heard voices from the other camp as we passed above them.

Here the options were to track home via a climb up the Main Range Track to Rawson Pass, then down Summit Walk; or to take a more direct route cross country. Peter took us on the second option - again superb navigation in whiteout conditions and fierce wind driving the rain. Nothing like a final bit of excitement. After leaving the bend in this arm of the Snowy River, we picked up an old vehicle track and footpad which took us to Seamans Hut.

A brief morning tea, then out in the wind and rain to plod back to Charlotte Pass. Changed in the toilets. Drove home via a stop in the Jindabyne Bakery.

Never happy to have my walk objective thwarted. A day trip return to be planned to knock off the rest. This happened on 14 Dec 13.

Thanks to Tony B, Peter C and Linda G, and Jaime L. Enjoyed your company and appreciated your hand holding.

Distance: 37.2km Climb: 1100m. Time: 1 and a 1/2 days
Grading: L/M,ptX; H(12)

Back to Walks Index

This page last updated 1Sep22