I know, I know, a week has gone by and I still haven’t written up last Wednesday’s walk. A very poor show, especially after those lovely ladies, Shirley and Alison, sent me Al’s photos. And now here we are, on the eve of another Wednesday walk. Shame! Shame!
But first, a couple of photos to show you the beautiful area in which we were walking.
Well, last Wednesday dawned a stunning Canberra spring morning: cloudless, deep blue sky, not even the sigh of breeze, and the sharp, energising feel of frosty air. A mountain morning, usually common in Canberra but this year we have been plagued by a lot of rain.
24 of us met at Kambah Village Shops where we car-pooled and drove out to the Yankee Hat Carpark in the Gudgenby Valley of Namadgi National Park . This is a wonderful place to be, surrounded by blue mountains and a valley that is still vivid green. Gum trees were catching the light, parrots flitting between them, birds were calling , and kangaroos were grazing nearby. We are so lucky to still have wilderness surrounding us and so close to the National Capital.
Very soon we were on our way, walking along the Old Boboyan Road, now a fire trail, Yankee Hat South on our right and massive Mt Gudgenby at the head of the valley. Soon we were at the historic Frank and Jacks Hut and shortly after that we left the track for the bush, going over a saddle to the north of SH 1218.
Frank and Jacks Hut.
Once off track the party was extremely slow. A large party will always be slower than a small one, but it also seemed to me that half the group were fit and adept at off track walking while the other half was not . Often there was a large gap in the party and stops were necessary to allow “catch-ups”
Going down from SH 1218 the party had quite a long wait at the bottom of the hill when one lady at the back of the group spied an exotic pine tree and decided that it needed to be cut down. To my surprise she had in her day pack a small folding saw and some plant poison and proceeded to destroy the 3 metre high tree. It took a little while. I was “tail end Charlie” and every now and again a shout would float up from the valley floor “can we go yet”?
The Pine Tree dealt with, we were on our way, across the valley to where the hard work of the day began: the ascent of the mountain to the south-west of Frank and Jacks Hut, SH 1488. From the grasslands in the valley we went up the long and twisting north-east ridge. It was scrubby, but could have been worse. However, as we gained height the scrub eased and we were eventually in fairly open forest and granite rocks.
Not far from the summit the leader called a stop for lunch amongst some wonderful granite outcrops. After consulting with me she decided that in view of the time she would shorten the walk. So instead of going further to the summit and also to some additional ones, she called it a day and we descended steeply down the more northern face of the mountain. On the way we went to a large granite slab which offered a wonderful view of Mt Gudgenby across the valley.
The joy of it all! Mt Gudgenby in the background
The descent was very steep, not too scrubby, and went between a number of immense and most impressive boulders. An interesting way down. However, the line taken by Jenny and Terrylea was excellent.
View down the Gudgenby Valley
Looking back on the way down
Back in the valley it was a pleasant stroll along firetrails to the cars.