Summit: Bimberi Peak (Bimberi Wilderness)
Date Completed: 27 October 2013
Transport: Drive from Canberra to Cooma, right on to Snowy Mountains Hwy (drive for 70km), right on to Tantangara Rd to Pockets Saddle Rd (drive for 30km). Park at the locked gate at Gurrangorambla Creek. Approximately 3hr drive. 30km dirt section is high grade which the Subaru Outback loved but i wouldn’t go out there with anything less.
Accompanied by: BH
Difficulty: 5/5 (Bimberi being the hundredth percentile walk, so far)
Notes: I had penciled the Bimberi summit in a while back to be done with a good mate from school – Brendan – who was back in the country visiting from his current home in Nevada, USA.
Brendan and I (along with others) have done alot of backpacking in the past in the Budawangs, the Overland Track in Tasmania and more recently to the summit of Mauna Loa in Hawai’i… a seriously epic 80km trek up to 4,100m on arguably the most unforgiving terrain on the planet!
Brendan is by far the toughest bloke i know, particularly when it comes to physical endurance and pushing the limits… i’m pretty sure his life motto would be ‘reach for the stars… and when you get there push on for another 20km while there’s still daylight’.
Bimberi is the highest peak in the ACT at 1.913m and we were both keen to add to our list of the highest peaks in each state after summiting Mt Ossa back in 2009.
We hit the road at 5am for the 3hr drive into Kosciuszko National Park, arriving at the Gurrangorambla Creek gate we were greeted by clear blue skies and crisp mountain air! We hit the trail, connecting with the Australian Alps Walking Track/Bicentennial National Trail up and over a few tough passes before arriving at an open valley with Oldfields Hut and great views towards Bimberi. We stopped for a while do rehydrate before pushing on towards Murrays Gap.
At the junction, we left the Bicentennial National Trail and followed the Alps track into the Bimberi Wilderness where the bush is more dense and the track, which follows the Goodradigbee River, is less defined.
At Murrays Gap we took a hard left turn and began the push to the summit, scrub bashing the whole way and guided only by rock cairns and scattered ribbon markers. We marked waypoints with the GPS to avoid any navigational disasters on our descent!
It was a perfect day at the top of Bimberi… outstanding views towards Canberra, out to Tinderry as well as the (still) snow capped mountains of the Main Range… awesome. Corin Dam was looking full of water and we could even see Black Mountain tower in the far off distance (seriously!).
We sat around for about an hour in the very rare stillness, naming all the peaks we could spot (we’re experts and there was no one up there to disagree), drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and eating bagels and scroggin before heading back into the scrub for the tough descent.
We arrived back at the car after about 7 hours (including breaks) and home by about 7pm… a 14 hour day, all things considered… it was a huge effort but well worth it for the reward of a dead calm day at the summit of the highest peak in the ACT, catching up with an old mate.
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Mt Ossa Summit 2009