Tag Archives: 5

Mt Domain

Summit: Mt Domain

Date Completed: 18 April 2014

Mode: Walk

Transport: Drive to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Car shuffle between Mountain Creek car park (start) and Fishing Gap car park (finish).

Accompanied by: GD, DB, BS

Difficulty: 5/5

Notes: GD was planning to lead this walk for the Canberra Bushwalking Club in a few weeks time so I volunteered myself and a couple of mates (DB & BS) to accompany him on a quick recce up to the summit of Mt Domain. GD is a supremely experienced bushwalker, having covered a huge amount of the local trails as well as some of the more imagination capturing mountains around the globe such as the European Alps, Patagonia, the Canadian Rockies and even the Indian Himalaya. GD is a human bucket list, with an endless list of adventures in the pipeline and a real joie de vivre which is infectious.

DB and BS, both good mates and great athletes in their own right, are new to the Project but were both keen to get involved. They both lived to tell the tale but I don’t think either of them (nor me) knew what they were in for on this cool Autumn day.

We arrived at Mountain Creek car park early and after a quick assessment of the map and getting our bearings we headed up the trail towards Camels Hump. It wasn’t long before GD halted, turned about face and headed straight up the side of the mountain, completely bushwhacking through pretty dense forest.

He assured us that after the ascent we would reach Snowy Corner where the trail would reveal itself and it would be a steady ramble along the ridgeline with views worth the effort.

We ascended for about 2 hours and about 500m of gain before arriving at the Snowy Corner clearing for a quick rest and a snack. The air was cooler up around 1,300m and the wind was whipping around. We clipped up our packs and headed south, along the ridge in search of a trail. Unfortunately, due to the fires in 2003 the regrowth out the back of Tidbinbilla is still in its relative infancy which means that thousands of young eucalypt are fighting for the sun and the forest is… dense!

The track was overgrown, at best, and the going was tough… I’ve been throwing out the statistic of 8km in 8hrs and I don’t think that is an exaggeration!

We struggled through the scrub, along the ridge, scrambling along some precarious sections and swinging from tree to tree for support. The scrub was so dense that it was like pushing through a thick hedge… for hours… Cuts and grazes appeared on arms and necks and all the uneven terrain made my unconditioned feet really sing.

Pausing at a clearing just shy of the Mt Domain summit, we were rewarded for our efforts. Views to the west included Bimberi and Gingera and a 180 degree spin brought the entire Canberra landscape into view. I proudly pointed out Bimberi to DB and BS as well as Black Mountain and Mt Ainslie to give the lads a bit of perspective on where we were.

Continuing south to Domain and after a quick, steep scramble we found the large cairn which indicated the summit, although the views from here were mostly obstructed by the scrub.

Heading back down towards the Fishing Gap car park was no easier as we attacked the descent along slippery rocks and roots with morale fading rapidly for the group. We were all beaten and battered (with the exception of GD) and we were happy to reach the fire trail for a quick march on even terrain towards our car.

Overall it was an extremely rewarding day in the mountains and unique for me as I had never spent so much time off-trail. It was great to experience something like that with an experienced navigator (GD) and I will be lining up for more as soon as I can!

GPS

https://share.delorme.com/LUKEBeveridge#

Photography

BS checking our status on his GPS watch

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DB happy with our progress. Canberra in the background

IMG_2050 Approaching the Mt Domain summit  IMG_2076

Some serious scrambling with sharp drops to the left

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The lads at the summit cairn

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Bimberi Peak

Summit: Bimberi Peak (Bimberi Wilderness)

Date Completed: 27 October 2013

Mode: Walk

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.

Photography

Oldfields Hut

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Murrays Gap

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Pabst Blue Ribbon

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Summit Poser

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Mt Ossa Summit 2009

Overland Track 128

GPS Data

https://share.delorme.com/LUKEBeveridge