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 firstname.lastname@example.org . Transport: $15 per person. Emergency contact details must be registered/provided to book. Book by 2pm the prior Sunday.
3 of us drove to the Orroral Tracking Station site car park.
Great to have 2 walks available on a Tuesday. Ian W and Stewart J drove out in another vehicle and walked in to below Split Rock with us. They then spent the day visiting granite in the Cotter Rocks area.
Distance: 30.9km | Climb: 1330m | Time: 7.10am-5.10pm (10hrs), with 45 mins of breaks and 25mins looking for a cache which was not found on the trip in | Grading: L/R,ptX; H(15–)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slide show.
Download the Google Earth .kmz file here.
A grey and overcast day as we left Canberra. Signs of more precipitation the further south we drove.
The 5 of us were away at 7.10am and a respectable 5.7km in 1hr 5mins to the AAWT footpad turnoff from Cotter Hut Road. We immediately noticed that the bush was wet and, with no sun, wondered how damp we’d get once we had to push through it. A further 3.4km in 45mins to Cotter Gap. A few hundred metres later, down in the open and looking up to Split Rock, Ian and Stewart left us for their day amongst the granite of Cotter Rocks. The 3 of us wandered on to the Pond Creek crossing and ducked in to the Pond Creek camp site for morning tea. From Cotter Gap to here 3.2km in 40mins.
The day remained cool and overcast. We walked the few hundred metres further along the AAWT to the ant hill and small cairn marking the beginning of the old road alignment to Little Creamy Flats. Mercifully, the bush had dried out and we had a good distance along the road alignment before having to veer off to begin the climb towards Coronet Peak. A relatively easy climb to the first geocache site, the scrub being modest. Morning tea to the cache was 1.5km in 35mins.
Here the rot set in. With the GPSr taking some time to settle and me looking for GC1KD5K Junior split rock using the spoiler photo, we visited a few close-by sites. Finally settling on the GZ, we were still puzzled, so sat down to gain a new perspective on the whole situation. Still no find after spending 25mins looking. I was most despondent (that’s putting it mildly), but decided we’d spent enough time.
We left just before 11am and continued on up the spur on the usual route to the ‘neck’ where one approaches Coronet Peak. But instead of heading to the dome, we continued south and south-west to gain the crest of the ridge going south from Coronet Peak. I was expecting granite tors and knolls but, just on the east side of the ridge, the going was relatively mild and very pleasant. At last we rounded some granite and arrived at the GZ of GC1Q2W0 The Middle of Frickin’ Nowhere. From cache to cache was 1.3km in 50mins.
We reasonably quickly lined up the spoiler photo and, based on previous experiences, I made the find. Took a trackable. I felt a little better.
We then headed north along the ridge, keeping to the east of any granite. Again, pleasant walking through medium scrub. I had two options in mind – a third cache on the west side below the granite dome of Coronet Peak, or the top (as neither Meredith or Jenni had been up there). Glancing at my GPSr I realised we’d passed the ‘veer left’ point, so the die was cast and we continued on towards Coronet Peak. Faffed around at the first possible ascent point, then backed down. Around the next large block of granite we found the usual easy way up. A couple of small cairns mark the way. From the southern cache to the top of Coronet Peak was 0.7km in 35mins.
Even with a grey sky and Bimberi Peak with its head in the clouds, the views are great. Have a squiz at the photos and video. We waved to Ian and Stewart across on Cotter Rocks. I took the opportunity to check out the west side of the dome, as GC1M554 The Princess of Namadgi was only 40m from the top. I could maybe see the cleft which the cache description says is the way from below to the top. Not at all disappointed at missing this cache this time – a good excuse to return some time and not far to duck round to the south of the Peak and come up the west side of the dome.
We left at 1.10pm and headed down north-east then north. Arriving back at GC1KD5K Junior split rock I thought we could give it another go. I was reading out the geocache description and mentioned the AKA. Meredith immediately twigged and got me a find! Fully satisfied!!
Back down to the AAWT. The descent from Coronet Peak to the AAWT was 2.1km in 1hr 15mins.
Gaiters off, it was all over bar the shouting. The ladies showed me two pairs of clean heels on the way out and, with much appreciated understanding, left me in my silent introverted world as they happily chattered along. The leg home was 12.5km in 2hrs 30mins.
Thank you for your excellent company, ladies. And the lads on the way in.
3 walkers – Jenni C, Meredith H, me.
Next Tuesday Walk
Tuesday 28 October: Upper Coolumburra Creek M/R/part X. A circuit in Morton National park, all off-track. From Rolfes Gap (376E 149N AGD 1966) head East, initially around the base of the cliff-line past a camping cave then up a straightforward pass at 389E 150N. North east along a rock slab balcony, then find a pass to descend to explore the upper tributaries of Coolumburra Creek. Return via the tops to Pagoda Pass at 385E 143N followed by more cliff-top views. Spring flowers, rough but scenic terrain, scrub ranging from light to thick, some rock scrambling. Probably 5-6 hours actual walking, 10 km and 250 metres of climbing – unless we decide to expand the circuit. 1 hr 45 min drive from Queanbeyan. Map: Nerriga. Leader: Linda G. Transport: $80 per car. Limit: 8.