19 February 2013 A Circuit To The West of Orroral Hill

Orroral Hill from the SW after lunch

Map: Rendezvous Creek 1:25000

Getting There

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

Tuesday 19 February: A Circuit To The West of Orroral Hill - L/R,X. Another partly exploratory trip to look at some of the granite slabs & tors to the west of Orroral Hill. We passed through this area on the Thunder Bluff walk on 18/12/2012; it was slow going but the slabs & tors were interesting. This trip visits different features. Start at the Orroral Tracking Station site and follow the Granite Tops Walking track for 3 km before heading off track for the day. We will link up a number of prominent slabs & tors and pass to the south of Orroral Hill before continuing east and descending steeply to the Orroral Valley Road. The following grid references give an approximate guide to the route: 749554, 739550, 734543, 738539, 749536, 761532, 772531. Minimum Distance: 15 km with approx. 700 m of ascent & 9 km of scrub. Map: Rendezvous Creek Leader: Ian W. Limit: 8 Transport: Approx. 90 km return.

8 of us drove from Canberra in 2 vehicles and parked at the Orroral Tracking Station site car park.

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Walk - Track Notes

Once again, I dips me lid and tugs me forelock to Ian (the granite hunter) W - a tremendous trip with great granite, superb views and constant, thick scrub! A near-perfect party too (with two new Tuesday walkers (Ian H and Chris M)), moving at a good pace and maintaining excellent cohesion.

Up the Granite Tops Walking Track, Eric took on the lead and went like a rocket. He said he was feeling good today (I hope I'm walking like that in another 7 years). 45mins to walk the 2.9km and 300m climb to the point where we went bush. A brief stop down at James Creek. Plenty of Dianella (Purple Flax Lily (Dianella revoluta)) about here and during the day. The edible purple berries were not nice at all.

So we were into the scrub for the day. A 1.5km leg climbing 200m in 1hr 10mins to a great set of granite terraces that Ian named (as is his wont) 'Zen Rocks'. UTM 55H 673936-6054989 (MGA94). Morning tea with views over the green top of a drainage line to the Orroral Hill ridge in the SSE.

The next leg took us SW down around 70m, a short S contour, then SE up 120m over a distance of 2km in 1hr 30mins to 'Big03' - pair giant boulders (this was Ian's waypoint name and we thought it sounded good). UTM 55H 673744-6053898 (MGA94). Some granite runway slabs as we neared it. Great views from 'the other side' to the Orroral Hill ridge. A couple of new pink tapes about - possibly where a quick response firefighting team got put in, as there was a small, freshly burnt area just over a little crest.

From this location there was a small tor-ed ridge running along at around the 1500m contour, heading in the direction of Orroral Hill. We began with a little scramble up and a crawl through a slot, but it was impossible to stay on the crest with its huge tors. We battled along the N side of the ridge. Turning to the SE, we climbed 70m up to very near the top (UTM 55H 674570-6053342 (MGA94)) of the knoll to the SW of Orroral Hill. Again, open granite slabs for the final approach. This leg 1.4km in 1hr 15mins. Slow and hard going.

Lunch, with huge views all round. Rang home.

Thankfully it was all pretty much downhill from here, although the going remained hard. We went E-ish across the S flank of Orroral Hill to Ian's final granite for the day, named on a previous trip 'Guillotine Cluster'. UTM 55H 676068-6053231 (MGA94). This leg 1.9km in 1hr 15mins. 'Guillotine Cluster' is a fine slot which we inspected from high and low.

Next, down to the Orroral Road, 1.6km dropping 340m in 50mins. The bush didn't relent till the edge of the road.

Finally, down to the Orroral Homestead and back to the cars via the Orroral Heritage Trail. 2km in 20mins.

Thanks Ian W - a great and tough walk. Company from Mark B, Roger E, Eric G, Ian H, Stewart J and Chris M.

Distance: 13.8km Climb: 700m. Time: 8.00am - 4.00pm (8 hrs), with 45mins of breaks.
Grading: L/R

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This page last updated 2Sep22