Saturday 31 March: Bimberi Peak – L/M. Depart early from Canberra and Drive via Snowy Mountains Highway, Tantangara Rd and Pockets Saddle Rd to the gate at Gurrangorambla Creek. We will stop for a coffee and breakfast at Adaminaby. Walk the AAWT via Oldfields Hut to Murrays Gap and ascend Bimberi. Return the same. Around 22km and 800m climb. For fit and reasonably quick walkers only. Leader: Phillip S.
Distance: 21.6km | Climb: 950m | Time: 10.20am – 6.00pm (7hrs 40mins), including 45 mins of breaks | Grading: L/M; H(13)
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A perfect walking day and great leadership from Phillip S, herding a mixed bunch of walkers. He provided the opportunity for several to make their first summit of the ACT’s highest hill. Many others enjoying the hill, including a few who had recently made contact with me.
Not a good start for the day (or actually good), as I was chased by a police car coming out of Cooma. Being innocent of any wrong doing, I took a while to pull over. It was an RBT stop.
We stopped at Adaminaby for refreshments at the bakery and found the town setting up for an Easter carnival, with plenty of stalls. I took the opportunity to call in at Steve Brayshaw’s shop to have a chat with him. Further along the Snowy Mountains Highway we stopped where Boundary Trail crosses, to check out the parking for Phillip’s next Thursday walk. The ubiquitous mob of feral horses along the beginning of Tantangara Road and, as is also usual, the Dam hidden by fog as we drove along Pockets Saddle Road. The road has some bad corrugations climbing out of the Murrumbidgee River bridge. We eventually arrived at the Gurrangorambla Creek car park, having eaten Phillip’s dust all the way from the sealed road (then, again, I guess Stephen ate ours).
We left Calwell a few minutes after 6.30am and had a longish stop in Adaminaby (thanks for the cap and whistle from the Maritime Safety stall Ming (‘You’re the Skipper; You’re Responsible’)), arriving around 10.10am.
We shook out and set off up the 1.4km in 15mins to the Murrays Gap Trail intersection. From here it was 2km in 30mins to Oldfields Hut. A regroup here and poke about; some tents and other walkers/mountain bikers about.
A leg of 4.4km in 1hr to Murrays Gap. Plenty of flowing water in the Goodradigbee River and Dunns Flat Creek. Also in the feeder to Dunns Flat Creek and the next crossing of same. Saw Wade’s tent at Murrays Gap and met him for a chat as we ascended the footpad to Bimberi. We arrived at the north side of Murrays Gap by the cairn for the ascent and, as there was a couple of walkers over by the Murrays Gap sign, I wandered over for a chat. Surprised to find S&S, whom we’d met on Tidbinbilla Peak on 24 Jun 17.
A leg of 1hr 30mins for the 3km ascent to Bimberi Peak. I appreciated Phillip’s unerring leadership, as I always embarrass myself by losing the footpad multiple times on this ascent. A bit more fallen timber across the pad in places since my last visit.
As always, glorious views from the trig, although a little hazy today. Not a cloud in the sky. Rang home and Gay’s mobile, but she was out enjoying a village lunch at our old folks home. An opportunity to squirt off a Facebook photo – we were top dogs (along with the others up there) in the ACT today. The video is pretty noisy, not that there was that much wind, just poor camera microphone. One party member cavorted with the old trig circles.
Phillip called us to leave at tooth-hurty, so we know it would be a late arrival back in Canberra. The same time to descend as to ascend, but it could have been my fault as I recounted the border marking story where we crossed good old G75.
2hrs for the 7.8km leg back to the cars, including a break at Oldfields Hut. A few people camping there – so good to see the area used by so many on a glorious Easter break.
We were out onto the sealed Snowy Mountains Highway by sun down. We ate Phillip’s dust but didn’t see a roo; he cleared around 20 ahead of him.
A glorious Easter full moon accompanied us on the drive back. A stop at Cooma Maccas for a coffee and refreshments.
Thanks Loz for the esky to keep my driver’s coke cold. And huge thanks to Phillip for an excellent walk. I’m sure he has contacts to produce such glorious weather.
And thanks to new and old walking and travelling companions. A great day! 15+ hours door-to-door.
12 walkers – Caroline A, Mark C, Igor F, Katrina H, Ming L, Stephen M, Lauren O, Matthew O, Phillip S, (leader), Steven S, Grant W, me.