Tuesday 14 January: Orroral Hill Ridges, Namadgi National Park – L/R,ptX. A partly exploratory trip to look at some of the granite slabs and tors in the vicinity of Orroral Hill. Starting at the Orroral Tracking Station site we 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 and tors northwest of Orroral Hill and visit Orroral Hill Trig before descending to the Lunar Laser site. If time allows we may then visit an outcrop 1 km along the ridge to the northwest of the Lunar Laser Site. It will be slow going in scrub for most of the day, with some steep rock scrambles. The walk may be shortened or postponed if the weather is too hot. Minimum Distance: 14 km with approx. 800 m of ascent. Maps: Rendezvous Creek Leader: Ian W. Limit: 8 Transport: Approx. 90 km return.
5 of us drove from Canberra to the Orroral Tracking Station car park.
Distance: 12.8km | Climb: 770m | Time: 7.10am-2.00pm (6hrs 5 mins), with 45mins of breaks | Grading: L/R; H(13)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slide show.
Download the Google Earth .kmz file here.
This walk proved that summer walking in high temperatures can be enjoyed, provided care is taken. It was forecast 37°C for Canberra and it was 35°C when we got back to the cars. We each had ~3 litres of water; early start; up in the cooler part of the day and down in the hotter part of the day; a leader with plenty of options and prepared to consult and turn around if necessary; a strong and cohesive party.
The walk also proved that I can’t be a bushwalker and geocacher at the same time – at least on a walk led by someone else.
In terms of caching, it got off to a fine start. One of my passengers had to go back home from the meet point to get his boots, so I pulled out the Geocaching app on my phone and there was a cache within a couple of hundred metres in the Lanyon Shopping Village car park. So Roger and I bagged GC1AYYK ‘Southside Drive By’.
Out at the Orroral Valley Tracking Station car park, we were walking by 7.10am and covered the 4km of the Granite Tors Walking Track to the geodetic observatory in 1hr. Bagged NmC 106 trig.
1.4km in 1hr climbing 280m from the observatory to Orroral Hill. We reckoned that the regrowth may be thinning marginally.
We spent 30mins exploring around Mt Orroral, including climbing to the trig pipe (only 1 more trig to go to make 87) and a couple of us crawling around through the granite looking for geocache GCT0D4 ‘Between a rock and a high place’. I got within 10m by crawling SW from the spot to go up to the trig, but no closer. Thanks to Ian for allowing us time to look.
Exiting the top area to the NW, the way we came in, I spied the area in the spoiler photos, but there was not time to complete the search.
We continued via granite terraces and slabs with tight regrowth in between NW to the rabbit ear rocks. Roger and I bagged GC2042F ‘Wonderland #1 – Rabbit Ear Rocks’.
Continuing NW, we tackled the saddle and climbed through the scrub to the next knoll. A brief stop for morning tea, particularly for the geocachers who didn’t take sustenance at Orroral Hill. Back home, I found we were at GC2042N ‘Wonderland #2 – On Top of the World’, but I didn’t have the geocache info with me.
Happy news via a phone call to my wife – our pregnant daughter and her hubby are having a son! What a spectacular place to hear good news!
Still some granite runs as we left morning tea, but they soon ran out and we had to leave the crest of the Ridge. Very slow going down in the tight scrub, 45mins to do 800m till we bent away N to Ian’s Zen Terraces. A lovely spot in the shade under a huge boulder with a slight breeze for lunch.
A leg of around 1.3km in 55mins back to the track, then a stroll down (as the temperature increased) to the cars.
5 walkers – Roger E, Ian H, Stewart J, Ian W (leader), me.