(Sunday 22), Monday 23 – Wednesday 25 April: KNP 2100+m Hills – L/R. Joint CBC/CWBC trip. Leave Canberra Sunday evening, stay in Jindabyne overnight. On Monday depart from Charlottes Pass and top as many 2100 m+ peaks as the group can manage, and weather allows. Camp at Wilkinsons Creek 1st night, and at Cootapatamba Hut 2nd night. ANZAC day dawn breakfast at Cootapatamba Hut. Traverse Ramshead Range and Etheridge ranges before returning to cars Wednesday pm for drive home. Route will vary based on weather and group. In 2017, we topped them all – let’s see if we can do it again! Leader: Rowan P.
Distance: 54.0km | Climb: 2460m | Time: 3 days | Grading: L/M-R; H(13)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slideshow.
Waypoint and Track Files
Download the .gpx file. (Right click, Save Link As…, Save – if you want to use it.)
To use in Google Earth, do File, Open… and select Gps or All files as the File Type.
The rules of Rowan’s roam were simple – 2100+m, 5, 50. That’s hills above 2100 metres, a 5 metre clear prominence above the surrounds and 50 metre separation.
I was picked up from the door of my old folks home villa and whisked in comfort to Jindabyne. Let’s hope the roo only had a headache; no panel damage to the car. A little rain on the edge of a violet thunderstorm to the south as we passed through Berridale.
Wonderful hospitality for us at Jindabyne – a room each for us, beds only needing pillowcase and sleeping bag and, thanks to Terrylea’s wonderful shopping in Cooma and Rowan’s masterful outdoor barbecue cheffing, sumptuous pre-dinner nibbles and a great meal. Two excellent bottles of red and the white and rose looked good too (there were others present!).
Seriously dressed for action and packs at the ready, we drove to Charlotte Pass on Monday morning. Rowan’s brother and sister-in-law joined us for a day walk. Our car arrived early, so I took the opportunity to stroll the Snow Gums Boardwalk:
Amble Day 1
Day 1 – Distance: 17.6km | Climb: 850m | Time: 8.00am – 5.10pm | Grading: L/M-R; H(13)
A cracker of a day! Away at 8.05am and down the Main Range Track to cross the Snowy River and Club Lake Creek:
A few hundred metres further up the track, we turned into the alpine herb fields. Slow going as the vegetation became springier. WE crossed the quaintly named Soil Con Creek (the name took on meaning as we walked the soil contours where it rises later in the day) and Blue Lake Creek. Morning tea overlooking Hedley Tarn. The 2.9km from leaving the Main Range Track to morning tea took 2 hours, but quicker than gaining the crest via the track and arcing north to our first peaks.
We walked up Crummer Spur, with views down into Blue Lake:
Towards the top of the Spur I mistook our first qualifying unnamed knoll above 2100m for Little Twynam. So began my mis-counting of the knolls. I got all 14 named peaks correct on the map segments and in the gpx file, but will have to go back next year to mark all the 27 unnamed knolls.
We topped Little Twynam and Mt Twynam, the crest of the Great Diving Range providing wonderful views to the west:
After lunch, we continued down the Mt Twynam track, dropped our packs and walked out to the prominent SH2136 (which I’ve heard called Tenison Woods Knoll or Mt Dubious) on the route to Watsons Crags. Further towards the intersection with the Main Range Track, the lower but rugged Mt Sentinel with the northern peaks of the Abbott Ridge came into view:
We joined the Main Range Track at 2.30pm:
following it through Carruthers Peak and a diversion to Mt Lee:
Between the two we had views down into Club Lake and, after Mt Lee, to Lake Albina:
We passed other groups doing the Main Range loop. Some younger family members were doing well; others, we wondered if they’d reach the Snowy River Crossing below Charlotte Pass before dark.
Not wanting to arrive at our camp site on Wilkinsons Creek after dark, Rowan left a couple of peaks till tomorrow and we walked through Mueller Pass and down to Wilkinsons Creek to arrive at 5.10pm. A few other campers. The usual drill to set up tents, get water and have tea. I appreciated my chair that I’d brought. A brilliantly clear sky with dazzling stars. A bit frosty, maybe -2 or 3ºC.
Track day 1
Videos day 1
Amble Day 2
Day 2 – Distance: 19.9km | Climb: 1050m | Time: 6.45am – 4.50pm | Grading: L/M-R; H(13+)
An early and crisp start to the day, as we had two peaks to make up:
We left camp with day packs at 6.45am, climbed the track to Muellers Pass and walked back to top Mt Clarke and Mt Northcote:
Then back across the Main Range Track, were our party split and three of us went on to climb Muellers Peak and associated unnamed knolls.
From here we walked NW towards the Abbott Ridge, spying some of the local nasties:
We gained the crest of Abbott Ridge, bagged Alice Rawson Peak, then Mt Townsend:
As you can see, another perfect day. We continued SW along the Ridge, through Abbott Peak and SH2159 above Byatts Camp:
From here we returned down to the SE and our camp site. The morning’s roam was 13.1km and took 6 hours 30 minutes.
Lunch was taken, we packed up, lugged our overnight bags back up the track to Muellers Pass and continued south up the Main Range Track to Mt Kosciuszko. Of course, there has to be one fool:
And five satisfied walkers, along with all the other groups there:
We left the top at 3.15pm and walked south to yet another qualifying unnamed knoll (although ‘Kosciuszko South’ is eminently suitable):
From there, Rowan (the master of the area, as he is a volunteer ski patroller in winter) took us to the Evan Hayes memorial:
Our destination for day 2’s camp was Cootapatamba Hut, were we set up on the opposite side of the Swampy Plain River.
Video day 2
Track day 2
Amble Day 3
Day 3 – Distance: 16.5km | Climb: 560m | Time: 7.20am – 3.40pm | Grading: L/M-R; H(12)
Day 3 was Anzac Day 25 April. So after breakfast, we went over to the hut, where Rowan wrote the beginning of The Ode of Remembrance in the log book, we reflected on the sacrifice of all who have fallen to keep Australia free and enjoyed Anzac biscuits cooked by my dear wife:
Returned, packed up, then endured the big climb up from Cootapatamba Hut to the Rams Head Range.
Many of the Range’s peaks and knolls we were able to climb without packs, dropping them every now and again. As I said, I’d lost count of the unnamed knolls, but we first topped Rams Head:
There was a visitation of snow angels at one stage:
The next major peak was Rams Head North, where we managed to get to the cairn on the northern portion of the peak:
We then headed north, via a couple of unnamed knolls, to join the Kosciuszko Walk at 12.15pm.
Leaving it a couple of hundred metres later at Cootapatamba Lookout (I think the location is incorrectly placed on my digital maps), we walked the fabulous Etheridge Ridge. We lunched on the high point which, although unnamed, Rowan included in his list of named peaks. After lunch, we descended via a series of five qualifying knolls. I at last had the presence of mind to mark them:
At last down onto the Summit Road and Seamans Hut:
The story of the ill-fated journey is on the wall:
Finally, a slog down Summit Road to Charlotte Pass. I was urged to walk quickly by the urgent need to …. Plenty of walkers – my heart went out to a family pushing their 9 year old son in a carriage, They’d made Seamans Hut and return – the boy has cerebral palsy. But they were all out breathing fresh air – good on them!
As the trip began, so it finished, with the beautiful Snow Gums near Charlotte Pass:
Video day 3
Track day 3
Drove back to Jindy, packed our gear and cleaned up, drove via Cooma where we stopped for monster pizzas. I was delivered home, a more than satisfied man.
HUGE thanks to Rowan for such a fabulous trip. Glorious weather (he did it in cloud and mist last year). But I’ll have to go again to waypoint those unnamed knolls!
5 walkers – Liz K, Rowan P (leader), Lisa Q, Terrylea R, me.