Summit: Mt Tennent
Date Completed: 7 December 2013
Transport: Drive along the Tuggeranong Parkway to Tharwa. Pass Tharwa and continue to the Namadgi NP Visitors Centre carpark. Park outside of the Visitor Centre gates, to be safe.
Accompanied by: BW
Notes: Another mate had put up his hand to join me on a backyard summit and i was happy to oblige. BW has a great appreciation for the outdoors having recently toured parts of Pacific North West, USA and completing the famous ‘W’ circuit in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia. I knew he would make a strong backyard summit companion and Mt Tennent was the clear choice given that he wouldn’t be arriving in Canberra until a little later in the morning and Tennent is one of the most quickly accessible summits on my list.
The walk to Mt Tennent also happens to be the start (or finish) of the Australian Alps Walking Track so i’m always really excited to be in this part of the world. My imagination runs wild when i set foot on a path which could take me all the way to Walhalla, VIC (near enough to Melbourne) via the Snowy Mountains and Victorian High Country. One day i’ll go the distance!
This walk doesn’t waste any time going up and up as it winds through pretty dense scrub on well maintained single-track. We marched through an army of Cicadas which were so loud that we couldn’t hear each other talk before reaching the first milestone (Cyprus Pines lookout) with great views back towards the Visitor Centre and Tuggeranong.
Continuing up some serious rock steps we reached a junction which directed us left towards Mt Tennent summit (where right continues along the AAWT to Orroral Valley). From here the track eased up, the worst was behind us and the altitude had clearly changed as the characteristics of the scrub had changed and the air was slightly cooler.
Eventually we converged with the fire trail which allows 4WD vehicles up to the summit to man the bushfire watch tower. The fire trail rises steadily for the final summit push and we were both relieved to spot the fire tower which represented the end of a really tough climb.
The views from the summit are well worth the effort (despite the fire tower which spoils the summit slightly, although it is absolutely a neccesity and serves a very worthy purpose). Looking SW you can sit and enjoy humbling views of the Southern end of the Brindibellas along to Tidbinbilla on your right, then turn around and you can see all of Canberra including tiny Mt Taylor, Black Mountain and Mt Ainslie.
It was another perfectly clear day so we relaxed for a while, let the sweat dry off and enjoyed a CLIF bar before racing back to the car with lunch on our minds.
Cyprus Pine Lookout
Track Junction to Tennent Summit
Final Summit Push
What’s it all about?