Wednesday 3 April: Orroral Hill Ridge – M/M-R. MEDIUM/HARD WEDNESDAY WALK – 3 APRIL 2019 – ORRORAL HILL RIDGE. Leader: Prue D. This is another walk recognising the 50th anniversary this year of the moon landing and the role played by the various ACT Tracking Stations in the space activity. From the Orroral Tracking Station car park, we climb on the Granite Tops Walking Track up to the lunar laser ranging station for morning tea. We turn to SW and climb off-track almost to the top of Orroral Hill. This is a demanding climb with some steep sections, thick scrub and rock scrambling. We then turn to NW and follow the ridge to two massive boulders for lunch. This section has low, thick and scratchy bushes. There is a heritage reflector on one of the boulders that was used for calibration. Good views. Wear long pants and/or gaiters. Bring gloves, glasses for eye protection and plenty of water. We return the same way. Note that the climb is challenging so please contact the leader if you are not sure about it. Distance: 10 km, Climb: 700 m. BBC level: Medium (11). Map: Rendezvous Creek. Cars: 100 km ($12 per passenger). Meet at Kambah Village shops (opposite petrol station), leaving at 8.30am. Weather forecast for Canberra: Min 9, Max 25, partly cloudy, unlikely to rain. (Those doing their first Wednesday walk and prospective walkers who are not members of the BBC, NPA or CBC must contact the leader to discuss the level of difficulty of the walk.)
G’day to heaps of new blog subscribers since Tim the Yowie Man’s generous article last Saturday. I hope there is something for you in these posts.
If you’re new to walking, drive out to the Orroral Valley Tracking Station site car park and walk the Granite Tors Walking Track, as described in this post. A great introduction to wandering around in Namadgi National Park. A drive all on sealed roads (watch the roos) and walk on track, albeit a bit steep in places.
Three bushwalking clubs based in Canberra – Brindabella Bushwalking Club, Canberra Bushwalking Club, National Parks Association ACT Branch – run an Easy-Medium and a Medium-Hard walks every Wednesday. Contact the clubs if you’re interested in joining in.
The plan was to do a few geocaches in off Sunshine Road on the way home.
Distance: 11.4km+4.7km=16.1km | Climb: 740m | Time: 9.30am – 6.10pm (8hrs 40mins), including 50 mins of breaks and drive between walks | Grading: L/M-H; H(13)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slideshow.
Waypoint and Track Files
Download the gpx file for this trip (if your browser does not automatically download the file, it will open the gpx file in a new window and you can then save it). To use in Google Earth, do File, Open… and select Gps or All files as the File Type.
It takes around an hour to drive from Canberra south through Tharwa down the Naas/Boboyan Rd, right onto Orroral Rd, past the Orroral Camping Ground to the parking area and track head at the Orroral Tracking Station site. All sealed road.
Gear on, we walked up the Granite Tors Walking Track. It’s an old vehicle track and steep in places, but take your time and it’s achievable. It climbs around 380 vertical metres over 4km. A bit boring, but the ends certainly justify the means – the Geodetic Observatory (always open, make sure you securely close the door on leaving), huge views over the Orroral Valley from the nearby vantage point at trig point NmC106 and the lovely return leg of the Granite Tors Walking Track which runs back along the ridge wending its way through the granite till it rejoins the up track.
We had morning tea and took in the views.
Retreating a few tens of metres, Prue led the way into the davisia and our off-track climb began. An excellent line was held and we ascended through relatively light forest and regrowth, a few scrambles up boulders and through bands of thick regrowth. The crest was protected by a (thankfully) narrow band of eucalypt regrowth.
The 1.5km, 260vm ascent took 1hr 25mins. Great views from the top, where we took lunch.
Sustained, we moved down and across a little and explored around the rabbit-ear rocks.
Our descent to the Geodetic Observatory was the reverse. Arriving, we took the return leg of the GTWT. It’s a lovely stroll!
Then back down the old road, careful not to slip on the gravel surface.
I left the car park in a hurry and drove back towards Canberra, then east on Sunshine Rd to the Gudgenby River.
A pleasant walk down the Gudgenby in an area I’ve not previously visited. Very proud of myself for finding all 9 geocaches, as none had a hint. I usually cache with someone else as I’m hopeless at finding the blighters.