Tuesday 14 October: Mundoonen Nature Reserve – L/R. Starting from the Old Hume Highway under Mt Mundoonen, south and east through the NR via spurs and gullies through mainly dry sclerophyll woodland. 20+km. Map: Gunning 1:50000. Leader: Ian W.
3 of us drove via the Barton and Hume Highways to Sheldricks Lane (the Old Hume Highway) underneath Mt Mundoonen.
A replacement for the advertised Yankee Hat Slabs and Bogong Creek, as it was too wet to be prancing around on granite slabs.
Distance: 20.2km | Climb: 790m | Time: 8.10am-3.40pm (7hrs 30mins), with 25 mins of breaks | Grading: L/R; H(12)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slide show.
Download the Google Earth .kmz file here.
A wet night and a wetter forecast. A flurry of early emails with one starter preferring the comfort of home. Was he to be proved correct? Our courageous leader would not bow, so three of us met with our winter and wet gear. Courtesy of the digital age, we were able to email a photo of the edge of the clouds from the road near Yass to the comfort seeker, but it more bravado as the rain pelted down. Yet we were smiled upon (if only briefly) and were able to kit up in the dry off the side of the Old Hume Highway at the entrances to Mundoonen Nature Reserve.
A long route had been set by Ian to get us to the SE corner of the NR, so we unashamedly inserted via the Swamp Gully Trail after crossing under the highway via one of the underpasses. A dam had caught his attention on Google Earth, but it was hardly big enough to give Elvis (the fire fighting helicopter) one suck.
It started to drizzle and shower, so it was coats on plus a few layers, as it was not warm (forecast 14ºC for Yass). The Trail took us under the 330kV powerlines. Magnificent Grass Trees (which I love).
Out of the cleared area and back in the dry sclerophyll woodland, we continued via mainly spurs and ridges (everything looks flat on a 1:50000 map!) across the top of Caldwells Creek to Gap Range trig.
Standing in the showers having morning tea, we were discussing our absent friend. On cue, and as if to punctuate his point of view, the wind blew a rain storm of water out of the trees above us.
I must say that the wild flowers were magnificent. Small, yes, and without my glasses on I cannot really see what I’m photographing, plus I don’t know many types or names, but a real show in the grasses underfoot and seemingly accentuated by the showers.
Continuing SE along the general line of the Mundoonen Range, we stopped at the fence corner to check direction and found an old survey blaze on a tree beside us. We continued on to the SE, to very near the extent of the NR in that direction.
Turning west, we headed generally along the NR border to lunch. It actually stopped raining, but the coolth kept our stop to a minimum.
We continued westward, the ups before the downs contributing significantly to the cumulative climb for the day. But still easy walking through the open woodland – the only thing that slowed us was the slippery underfoot and necessity to wear wet weather gear.
Back up to the powerlines, then north of west to the Argyle Apple stand I’d last visited on 26 Nov 08.
From there, north to meet a fire trail, then NE paralleling the highway until we came to another exit tunnel.
It must have been time to finish, as the rain pelted down as we walked the final few hundred metres to the car.
A coffee in the Murrumbateman pub to celebrate Stewart’s return from walking in Japan.
Lovely flowers. Strong choice by Ian to go today to an area very appropriate for the conditions.
Thanks to Ian for the actual trip technobabble. After trying to use my GPSr in Sydney for vehicle guidance, it didn’t take kindly to being back in the bush (= operator error).
3 walkers – Stewart J, Ian W (leader), me.
Next Tuesday Walk
Tuesday 21 October: Geocaches near Coronet Peak L/R,ptX. An aptly named cache In the Middle of @%#$&* Nowhere lies 500m south of Coronet Peak. There s another 40m west which has to be approached from below. I need a fast and cohesive party to find them. Around 30km and 1290m climb, so a long day. Maps: Rendezvous Creek and Corin Dam. Leader: John Evans 0417 436 877 email@example.com . Transport: $15 per person. Emergency contact details must be registered/provided to book. Book by 2pm the prior Sunday.
(Ian and Stewart are also planning to walk in and do Split Rock. Contact Ian if that’s for you next Tuesday.)
Bear with me … the blog is half broken, with all of the widgets busted. That includes email notification of new posts. I guess if you are interested, check back each Wednesday and Sunday. Sorry.