Saturday 25 July: Coronet Peak geocaches – L/R,ptX. Provided the weather is suitable, insert via the Australian Alps Walking Track from Orroral, then off-track up towards Coronet Peak. A cache on the way and another 500m to the south, if party members are interested. Return towards the granite cap and sidle west round its base to GC1M554 The Princess of Namadgi. Dinner with Rob and Jenny’s party at Pond Creek. Walk home in the dark. A long day at around 30km, 1300m climb and 10 hours walking. Maps: Rendezvous Creek and Corin Dam. Leader: John Evans 0417 436 877 email@example.com . Transport: ∼$12 per person.
2 of us drove to the Orroral Valley Tracking Station car park.
Matthew Higgins provides the interesting historical comment: “this summit is also shown as King Rock on some early maps. An 1870s grazier on the upper Cotter was Robert King, which makes you wonder about the changes in nomenclature over the years”.
Distance: 29.8km | Climb: 1280m | Time: 7.50am-6.00pm (10hrs 10mins), including 65 mins of breaks | Grading: L/R,ptX; H(14)
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Waypoint and Track Files
A couple of light showers on the way out and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as we took off. Windy (35-50kph forecast for the ACT). I very soon found that John, training to do Kokoda, is a very quick walker. I spent a lot of the day panting after him, especially up to Cotter Gap from Sawpit Creek in the morning and up the Pond Creek cut coming out. We were perhaps about equal in sore right knees, but the 13 year age difference was the killer.
From the start, on the Cotter Hut Road, to the AAWT footpad junction was 5.6km in 1hr 5mins.
The AAWT footpad to the Pond Creek camp site for morning tea was 6.5km in 1hr 25mins. I used my poles on this leg and they do make a difference. John enjoyed his first view up to Split Rock. Hung a bag containing billy and stove up in a tree.
From morning tea to the crest south of the Coronet Peak dome was 2.5km in 1hr 35mins. A good run in along the old vehicle track alignment to Little Creamy Flats until we had to leave it. Medium scrub to GC1KD5K Junior split rock which we retrieved. But I’d already logged it on 21 Oct 14. The wind was howling in places, but fortunately the approach to Coronet Peak was in the lee from the NW-W wind. A little thicker on the second part of this leg.
We then spent a frustrating 40mins covering just 345m in three aborted attempts to approach GC1M554 The Princess of Namadgi from the south and west. There’s some big granite round that side and the closest we got to the cache was about 55m. Gave up, headed round up the east side and soon found the little cairns near the ascent. Easy compared with what we’d just been attempting.
The wind was truly howling on the top! Wind chill extreme. Hard to hold steady to snap some quick photos and a 360º video. SOS reception only up there today, so couldn’t send you a ‘suffer in your jocks’ photo, Sean. Snow on the Bimberi and Brindabella Ranges, to the south on Murray and Morgan, and way down south on Scabby. We could see the tents of Rob’s party set up at the Pond Creek camp site. Ducked down out of the wind for lunch.
A slow descent from Coronet Peak back to the Pond Creek camp site. 2.6km in 1hr 30mins, only 5mins quicker than our ascent. My knee is certainly a lot worse going down, particularly when my foot catches and drags through the regrowth. The lights were on but nobody was home when we arrived – 7 tents up, but no one there. I boiled some water and had a cup of soup. We heard voices and Rob, Meg, Jacqui, Mark, David, Leanne and Melinda arrived, having walked down to the Cotter Flats.
We left at 3.20pm and it took 2hrs 40mins to return the 12.2km back to the car.
So it looks like I need to contact the cache owner for an approach clue and go back some time.
Many thanks John, for your company and dishing it out to me.
2 walkers – John F, me.