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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sphinx Cousin

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Chimney Johnsons ruin
Some years ago, I climbed on to the top of a sandstone monolith just below Sphinx Rock, which I am dubbing Sphinx Cousin as there are a lot of similarities. Anyway, I was there again a few weeks ago, and thought it would be good to return to re-explore the spot.
The walk went up the Cascade track to the spot where a creek joined Guy Fawkes Rivulet.  There is a rough but clearly visible track ending here, but I could not locate it and we eventually ended up on Main Fire Trail.  On revisiting the map, I discovered that the correct route did start at the crossing but turned up more to the right, rather than go uphill left.

Middle Track was used, going past old hut ruins to the Lenah Valley Track; quite a continuous uphill climb. Once at Sphinx Cousin I lead the way up a little gully to top out in thick scrub. The small open area was eventually reached and a good lunch spot is was too.  Neville suggested returning via the quite short bit of bush to the base of Sphinx Rock; a mere 15 metres and easy going at that.
On "Sphinx Cousin"

The return leg was down the Lower Sawmill, along the fire trail and then down a new track that was made mainly for bikes, to the track which I dub as Jubilee to join the Cascade again for the last few hundred metres.

The walk was 12.6k, took 5 ¼ hours and ascended close to 600 metres.

Eucalypt fkowers

On the rock photo from Greg Bell

Ascent profile 105m to 684m

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Lakes Perry and Osborne

Superb Waratahs

Monday 19 December 2016

The weather was good the forecast not so for later days that week, so the 19th was it. 

The Waratah were at peak flowering and as good as I have ever seen;  a real delight.
Waratah near Lake Perry

It was a shortish morning walk although the track from Osborne to Perry is not high class, in fact I heard of someone recently not being able to find it. Some prior GPS readings helped locate the old and very muddy old track between Osborne and Perry.

On returning a  BBQ lunch was enjoyed  at Waratah Shelter in the sun

A photo album is online

Gravel beach at Lake Perry

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Yellow Cliffs 2017

Spectacular Cliffs

Tuesday 31 January 2017
Our most pressing matter before departing was locating the key to close Nigel’s back car window, which fortunately Neville found in the grass. A little over an hour later we arrived at Glen Dhu Rivulet and after a break started the Yellow Cliffs leg.
Yellow Cliffs central section

Initially we found ourselves too high, although this did provide very good views of Yellow Cliffs. On descending stinging nettles provided an unpleasant effect to the unwary; I could still feel the effects from touching against them at 5PM; perhaps I am a bit sensitive to nettles nowadays. Once underneath it was spectacular walking with constant views of the huge cliffs, overhangs and various rock features.

Surprisingly there were occasional tapes marking route for part of the way. After some 450 metres a point was reached that presented a few difficulties and lunch was called. Although it seemed feasible to access the next level up, we decided it best to return by the inward route. It had taken a bit over an hour to get to our far point and return was about 45 minutes.   The length of the remaining cliff was some 1k and would have taken quite a time to reach.
Cliff face
Yellow Cliffs features

Once back at the car a second search was undertaken for the again lost key, but it was found where Nigel had left it.

What we did see was most satisfying.  Distance for the day was 8.5k and with the two breaks took 5 ½ hours.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Yellow cliffs 2015

Wrote this after the walk in 2015 but forgot to post at the time

Tuesday 8 September 2015
Several years ago when a trip to Yellow Cliffs was discussed there was a suggestion of tackling it from Glen Dhu Road, but the conventional approach from Myrtle Forest was chosen. On that trip we actually missed the cliffs because we found a good way up and then realised we had bypassed the cliffs. The plan was to go out via the plateau, Gumtop Ridge and Ringwood fire trail and that part of the walk was achieved.
Today a drizzle persisted in the early morning but it was better up Glen Dhu Road, but what confronted us was a short steep descent to the rivulet followed by a very steep ascent to the cliff line about 300m above. The last part of the road became narrow and slippery and we decided to drive to the end to turn round. A timber residence was perched up the slope and it was decided to knock on the door to seek permission to cross the land; however it seemed no one was home.
Further back at the only possible parking spot, we peered down to the rivulet and took in the effort it would take to get up the slope to the cliffs on other side. The result was plan B, which was hatched up on the spot, and was an attempt to find the road off Collins Cap Road leading to the now closed Glen Dhu fire trail. I could not remember the road name, but the possible ones were not signposted anyway.  The first ended in a locked gate and as we emerged back on the main road, a woman walked past and informed us that it was Nicholls Road that we were after and it was the next one.
Up here it was still drizzling and not encouraging but nevertheless we got the wet weather gear on and set off to investigate .Initially a farm track was followed, but when it turned and headed in the wrong direction, we veered off along a fence line and discovered the track we wanted and this soon lead into bushland.  It was mostly level, quite mossy and with lots of fallen limbs. The previously used access track down to Glen Dhu Rivulet was met after about  ?? and  this had a number of tapes marking the route.  Fire from 2011 ? had had an impact on some parts of the walk but had not got into the wetter section near the rivulet.

The rivulet had a good flow of water and would have been a wet crossing, this plus the time lost dissuaded any attempt to explore even the start of the cliffs.  Instead we had lunch with the ferns protecting us from the light shower now falling and then headed back.  A return this way is now planned for another occasion in the not too distant future and this should give plenty of time for exploring Yellow Cliffs.

Walk in   1:20 in and out 3 k
Glen Dhu Rivulet

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mount Hull Loop

Tuesday 24 January

Pink Mountain Berry

Most of the walk was on fire trails, until turning off for the section up and over Mount Hull. It was debated whether we ascend Hull from the northern side and descend to the saddle on the southern end.  The only advantage to that way would be if it was decided to continue the prominent knoll further south, involving an addition 500 metres of walking each way.
Party on the Mount Hull summit

The decision was to tackle Hull from the south and that may have given us the advantage of seeing what is known as Leamans Knob. By going the reverse could easily have meant that it was bypassed without being noticed.

The route up that we took had several cairns and sometimes tape and was reasonable walking terrain. The summit plateau has several flat rocky areas that make attractive gaps in the bush, one of which we had lunch on.  Unfortunately, one of these also had a lot of healthy Erica, most of which got pulled out, but a few big ones remain.
Rocky torn known as Leamans Knob

We walked a bit over 1k looking for the rock tor, known as Leamans Knob, without success. Whilst descending by the much rougher northern face we managed to spot our search rock, about 300 metres from the summit.

In all the distance, including the over 1k searching about, was 14.7k and the time taken was 7 ½ hours.

More photos here

Route including search track points

Close up of the GPS track with the search included.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mount Wellington - Pinnacle & Sawmill Circuit

Pleasant morning with plenty of Christmas Bush (Prostanthera lasianthos) and Cheeseberry (Cyathodes glauca) on display. Went down Sawmill to the large sandstone monolith below Sphinx Rock and also walked under the cliffs of the latter. Took 3 ½ hours with morning break and lunch

Photo album

Prostanthera lasianthos on  Pinnacle Track
Organ Pipes viewed through the trees
Senecio Sawmill Track

Cyathodes glauca Cheeseberry

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Monash Valley 2016

Fabulous Scoparia in flower this year

Thursday 29 December 2016

Apart from the timber track for the 350 metres the walk was off track over country where animal pads are the only sign of wear.  The day was quite misty making navigation harder, but having a GPS made a big difference it allowed certainty as to the direction we needed to go.

Richea scoparia in a variety of colours

The Richea scoparia at our destination was superb and has not looked any better.  The approach over Wombat Moor was colourful, particularly the Epacris  serpyllifolia  and Boronia citriodora. 

The walk was 6.2k with actual walking time 2:30 for the day.

Boronia citriodora

Epacris  serpyllifolia  

Photo album

Monash Valley 2016

Route taken