Wednesday 9 March 2022: Smiley-baby face on Hospital Hill – S/R,ptX. There is a rock formation on the flank of Hospital Hill that makes a handy aiming point when walking out of Middle Creek. I see in it a smiley or baby face, yet many fellow walkers don’t believe me. But it’s been identified that way back as far as the 1970s. Let’s see if we can have a look. Walk the Yerrabi Track to Boboyan trig and the wonderful granite slabs with views into the heart of Namadgi National Park. Continue off-track north to Hospital Hill and further north along the ridge. As the spur starts to descend, turn NW to see if we can reach the top of the granite formation. Return the same. Around 9km and 470vm.
Distance: 7.0km | Climb: 360m | Time: 3hrs 45mins including 5mins of breaks | Grading: S/R,ptX; M(10).
Download the gpx file recorded via my GPSr and input into AllTrails here (in AllTrails, activate …, Download Route, Select the file format GPX Track, OK).
Another trip with random phone activations whilst in my pack, causing AllTrails recording to pause. Note to self – put the thing in a phone cover to prevent this!
Our unrealised objective was the top of the Smiley/Baby Face on the side of the spur north of Hospital Hill.
The weather forecast was for a cloudy day with a max of 22°C, but with high winds. I’m sure it was nowhere near that temperature, combined with the wind chill, during our walk. This was after a couple of days of rain in this unseasonably wet Summer and now Autumn. Combined with the massive amount of regrowth, it made for a miserably wet trip which failed to meet its objective. I may have lost two walking buddies.
We motored in my town car down the Boboyan Road and onto a few kilometres of dirt in quite good condition, except for a couple of holes and a branch down across half the road. Pulled into the Yerrabi Track car park, chose the spot with the least amount of overhang to park. Shook out and away.
Even though burnt, the Yerrabi Track was quite pleasant. Down to cross Little Dry Creek, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen running.
Then across the main Little Dry Creek.
Then up the shale track (not granite on this side of the hill) to Boboyan Hill and the trig. A while since I’ve been here.
From here, there’s 300m more of track that descends to the viewing slabs and signage.
We needed the signage photo today as all ‘the wild heart of Namadgi’ was clouded in. We could just make out Yankee Hat South and North.
We returned to the crest of Boboyan Hill and turned north across a little encouraging open going (top photo).
It didn’t last for long and we descended, then ascended, through wet and cold regrowth …
… which deteriorated into dense over head-high wattle and eucalypt regrowth.
The southern spur of Hospital Hill is more gentle than the northern spur of Boboyan Hill and so makes for a poorer visual aiming point, especially in the obscuring regrowth. I had a little whoopsie as we headed up to Hospital Hill, as you can see in the track below. Changing direction from east back to north (!), we finally made some open patches on the west side of Hospital Hill.
The top to the right was not worth going to.
We went a hundred metres further north to sus out the rest of the planned route. We were still 1.3 km away from the drop off point to the top of the Smiley Face formation and the going looked just as bad as that which we’d endured. So the decision was made to retreat.
It seemed a slightly easier return leg. A couple of times we skirted a little to the west (as Phillip had suggested) and that got us a few better clearways. In addition, Boboyan Hill with its steeper northern side made an easier aiming point.
A short break on the way back, then a puff for me up the hill, with a few stops.
I was wet and cold, so popped my coat on before we hit the wind on Boboyan Hill. A quick (as I can) trip back down the Yerrabi Track.
Back in town, the sun showed itself a little more in the afternoon.
The track we went.
The objective we missed.
Brian S, Phillip S, me.
If anyone wanted to go, I’d suggest a better weather day. But don’t leave it too long – the regrowth will continue to flare.