21 May 2013 High Swamp on East Side of Mavis Ridge


High Swamp on East Side of Mavis Ridge

Map: Rendezvous Creek 1:25000

Walk Description

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

Tuesday 21 May: High Swamp on East Side of Mavis Ridge - L/R,X. Start at the Nursery Swamp carpark & follow tracks 5 km to Rendezvous Creek, via Nursery Swamp. We then follow a spur to the remote swamp high on Mavis Ridge at grid reference 712 513, which we will reach via the granite outcrop at Spot Height 1406 m (Ref: 725 518). From the swamp it is another 500 metres to Mavis Ridge if time allows. We will then head east to Rendezvous Creek via the shortest route and head back to the cars via the Nursery Swamp track. Most of the day is exploratory for the leader, but it will be a long day and scrubby and slow off track. Minimum Distance: 20 km with 750 metres of ascent. Maps: Rendezvous Creek Leader: Ian W. Limit: 8 Transport: Approx. 90 km return.

4 of us drove from Canberra to the Nursery Swamp car park.

Track Maps

Track map: thumbnail is active - click for a larger picture



Track Notes

Once again I dips me lid and pulls me forelock to Ian. A great walk - plenty of variety, great scenery, fallen timber, tough going and pick-up-sticks ... what more could my aching legs want.

Similar accolades to John T, who weathered his baptism of fire on Tuesday walks - still upright and smiling at the end.

Things weren't too good, with showers during the night in Canberra and a black sky at 6.30am when we met. But as we drove S the clouds cleared and, as it turned out, the dreaded pea regrowth was not at all wet and the day was relatively mild.

Ian handed out a bit of extra safety gear at the start - the party carried a sleeping bag, emergency bivvy bag, a mat and a fly. Wise precautions a few days away from winter and us going to 1400m.

40mins for the 2.5km to the 'Rob H turn off' on the Nursery Swamp Walking Track. This is a civilised approach to the daub of blue paint marking the start of the footpad to Rendezvous Creek, as you cross Nursery Creek via the bridge. It involves a couple of hundred metres through the bush, finishing in a band of shrubs, but feet remain dry.

40mins for the 2.6km of the footpad, ending at the fireplace on the W side of Rendezvous Creek. Some new pink tapes have been hung (2 are a bit misleading), generally very useful to augment the daubs of blue paint. However, even with all that, I managed to lose the footpad twice - don't ever follow me.

From here, generally WNW heading towards the S of SH1406. Relatively easy going at first through a 90m climb onto a more gentle spur. But soon the going closed in.

Although we were heading to a swamp, what would you expect on an Ian (the granite hunter) led walk? Soon massive granite tors appeared on the SE of SH1406 and we began scrambling towards morning tea. 1hr 5mins to do 1.6km, with the majority of the time spent bashing the minority of the distance. The morning tea location was chosen because energy needed recharging, but it was in a granite slot which funneled the cold breeze onto us.

As we next found, there was no better spot to stop. The going across the S of SH1406 was the worst I've experienced in a while - and I positioned myself as 'tail end Charlie'! Dense regrowth, fallen large timber and pick-up-sticks. 40mins to do 500m. To compensate, more huge tors and great views to the 'white cliffs' atop the Mavis Ridge.

But at last the going eased, the climb more gentle and we headed NW towards the swamp. 1hr for 1.8km. We traversed the delightful top of a feeder line to a feeder creek to Rendezvous Creek, then on to our main objective. We were within 500m of my track doing the upper Mavis Ridge on 11 Oct 08, but there was no time to get to the Mavis Ridge or any of the other granite features Ian had sussed out.

A European Wasp was highly interested in my bacon and peach and ginger chutney sandwich, needing shooing away before I could take a bite. A lovely lunch spot.

We began our return at 12.20pm, a prudent decision since we'd been at it for 5 hours. Generally E through modest going - 45mins for 1.5km - to the 1350m contour above Rendezvous Creek.

Then a bit of a 200m plunge down to Rendezvous Creek, steep at first. Great views across to Thunder Bluff and the Orroral Hill ridge.

1hr for 2.1km hand railing Rendezvous Creek back to the fire place. A bit shrubby, but plenty of animal pads to pick up.

1hr 25mins for the 5.0km return (via the pig trap and a step across Nursery Creek) to the car.

I reckon anyone who misses Ian's Tuesday walks is missing out big time. A great walk!


Distance: 19.3km Climb: 750m. Time: 7.25am - 4.15pm (8hrs 50 mins), with 45mins of breaks.

Grading: L/R; H(14)

Walk Participants

4 walkers - Eric G, John T, Ian W (leader), me.

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This page last updated 2Sep22