Saturday 12 July: Long-time Walkabout – L/M. Something for everyone: southern Namadgi views; indigenous and European sites; border markers and blaze trees; up to 12 hours walking; night walking under a full moon to bay at. From the Yankee Hat car park, insert via fire trail and footpad to the south-east Gudgenby saddle, then through some regrowth down to join the Sams Creek Fire Trail. Easy walking down the Naas Creek valley to Lutons crutching shed. Exit over the Naas Creek ford and north along the Old Boboyan Road. 26km and 660m climb – led by Cynthia C. From the fire trail junction near Lutons, the walk can be extended around the Grassy Creek and Bulls Flat Fire Trails. This makes the day 34km and 820m climb. The full walk is extended to include the Grassy Creek Fire Trail to Waterhole Hut and return via Waterhole and Bulls Flat Fire Trails. A day of 40km and 950m. An additional co-leader required if a sub-group wants to do the 34km circuit. Map: Yaouk. Leaders: John Evans – firstname.lastname@example.org, 0417 436 877 and Cynthia C. Transport: ∼$15 per person. Further details at www.johnevans.id.au. Emergency contact details must be registered/provided to book. Book by 2pm Thursday.
9 of us drove in 3 cars to the Yankee Hat car park.
Distance: 41.4km | Climb: 950m | Time: 8.25am-7.10pm (10hrs 45mins), with 55 mins of breaks | Grading: L/E-M; H(14-)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slide show.
Download the Google Earth .kmz file here.
An overcast day, with a little snow on the Yankee Hats and a lot on Mt Gudgenby when it came out from the cloud.
We made a good pace down along the Old Boboyan Rd and fire trails, past Frank and Jacks Hut and the nearby sheep dip, then further to the spot where I leave for the Gudgenby Saddle footpad. An eagle soaring. 4.6km in 55mins.
Then a most inelegant route to the top of the open space where the footpad starts. Mainly to keep our feet dry, but the loop was a bit excessive and we approached the objective from the side. 0.8km in 20mins.
We followed the footpad up to the SE Gudgenby Saddle. I only lost the way 4 times. A stop to remove a few layers, as we generated some heat as we climbed. The first snow appeared as we reached the saddle. 2.5km in 1hr 10mins. Morning tea was most welcome.
We descended from 1310m at the saddle to 1240m to cross Naas Creek. 1.1km in 25mins.
Then a long leg down to Lutons for lunch. Trackless for a few hundred metres, then I spotted the pink tapes seen last Saturday and we were on the Sams Creek Fire Trail – here just a vague footpad. Another inelegant loop down towards the swamp, but then climbed to pick up the benched old Sams Creek FT. As far as navigation went, it was all over bar the shouting from here. The track became more and more distinct until we reached the junction with the Maurice Luton Fire Trail. Sams Creek FT then becomes a drivable (but not in the wet) vehicle track. Very soon we were out of the trees and traversing the high (drier) side of the Naas Creek valley. Noted the two huge dead trees that stand as sentinels down in the boggy wide creek. Passed the now disused bridge over a feeder creek; views to the fork fencing across on the NE side of the creek; a brief stop to explain Richard Brayshaws Hut site; a short detour to see the Crawford Homestead site and orchard; and finally to lunch in Lutons. 6.4km in 1hr 35mins.
We were glad for the slightly smelly shelter, as the showers increased a bit as we sat eating. However, nothing can keep a keen cacher at bay, so I nipped across 50m to log GC1GP4K A Very Naas Shed.
Off again at 1.30pm, with the showers easing. Back down on the Sams Creek FT, we headed for the junction with Grassy Creek FT where our groups were to go their separate ways. It appeared that heavy rain was quickly coming towards us – but it turned out to be snow. What fun!
At the fire trail junction the gentlemen gave three cheers for the ladies and the ladies reciprocated. They headed off along Sams Creek FT in the snow, soon disappearing from view. They went down to meet the Old Boboyan Rd, skipped across the Naas Creek ford and returned north to their cars. I was relieved to receive a text from Cynthia as we trudged back to our vehicle some 5 hours later, that they had got back at 4.15pm and were safely home.
As we lads headed SW along Grassy Creek Fire Trail the snow fall increased and, by the time we were near the Lone Pine Homestead site, it was quite covering the ground. Not to miss a cache, we doubled back a 50m (having gone too far) and headed SE up a clearing to find and log GC4X0H8 Kids at home(stead) 2. I left the travel bug TB54FX9 Workers of the World Unite, given to me on Thursday by cacher sealcomm.
Back on the fire trail, with the snow continuing to fall, we wandered along the Grassy Creek FT, past the junction with the Bulls Flat FT and so to the elbow at the entrance to the Scabby Range Nature Reserve. We were here just last Tuesday, but how different it was today! The snow added a magical touch to the bush, softening it and (even with all the white) highlighting colours of the trees. I captured a photo of a couple of tree elves just after we turned the corner. At the junction of the new and old Grassy Creek FTs we took the old and headed down and out onto the open Grassy Creek valley. Very pretty.
I am in constant trouble for my geocaching etiquette, so all I’ll say is that somewhere before we arrived at Waterhole Hut, I successfully found WP5 for GC2JX02 Wander back in time. I will definitely not publish the location on my track maps. I’d gathered the clues for this location last Tuesday, but we’d visited Waterhole Hut and Westermans Homestead in the wrong order. Today, in the snow and cold and pressed for time, all I could do was photograph the evidence. So I’ll have to return a third time to log the final GZ.
Waterhole Hut was a welcome respite and very pretty in the snow. So different from last Tuesday. We took a 20 minute break to boil the billy for a hot drink and a bit of food. From leaving the ladies to Waterhole Hut was 10.4km in 2hrs 15mins.
Fortified, we picked up the Waterhole Fire Trail and walked it north to the junction with Bulls Flat Fire Trail, then followed the latter to skip across the Naas Creek ford. First time ever we’ve been serenaded in French on a walk! This leg 4.9km in just less than 1 hour.
The Old Boboyan Road took us back to the car. Lovely night walking. The moon eventually came out from behind the clouds and cast a strong light. Very pretty about opposite Yankee Hat South – the moonlight lit the bush to the left of the road and the mountain peaks brooded dark further beyond that. I had a couple of half-hearted bays at the moon.This last leg 9.6km in 1hr 50mins, finishing at 7.10pm.
A slow drive home, watching for roos. We saw 3 wombats out for a nighttime stroll and had to brake hard for an owl sitting slap-bang in the middle of the road.
Thanks lassies and lads. Hope you enjoyed it. I had a ball.
9 walkers – Cynthia C (team girls leader), Jenni C, Etienne D, Eric G, Lucy L, Sally P, Alexia V, Ian W, me (lad’s leader).