Monday, April 7, 2014

Kosciuszko & Townsend & Twynam & Carruthers & Little Twynam, NSW, Australia


2014 April: One day climb of
  - Little Twynam
  - Mt Twynam
  - Carruthers Peak
  - Mt Townsend
  - Mt Kosciuszko
from Charlotte Pass - NSW, Australia


Prolog - A2K peaks, the 33 highest peaks in Australia

Australia doesn't have high mountains. Nonetheless there are many ways to challenge ourselves ... like climbing the x-number of highest peaks in y-number of days.

I have compiled a list of all the peaks in Australia that are 2000 meters or higher. There are 33 of them, all bunched together in Kosciuszko National Park. I am calling the list  Paul Ma's A2K peaks   :-)

Rank Name                 Elev   Grid Ref
   1 Mt Kosciuszko       2228 m  132 647
   2 Mt Townsend         2209 m  128 684
   3 Mt Twynam           2196 m  179 716
   4 Rams Head           2190 m  128 608
   5 Etheridge Ridge     2180 m  140 644

   6 Rams Head North     2177 m  137 618
   7 Alice Rawson Peak   2167 m  132 692
   8 Byatts Camp         2159 m  118 676
   9 Abbott Peak         2145 m  122 678
  10 Carruthers Peak     2145 m  157 698

  11 Tenison Woods Knoll 2136 m  166 719
  12 Mt Northcote        2131 m  146 676
  13 Little Twynam       2130 m  185 711
  14 Muellers Peak       2125 m  138 673
  15 Mt Lee              2105 m  152 688

  16 Mt Clarke           2110 m  154 672
  17 Kangaroo Ridge      2077 m  182 644
  18 Mt Tate             2068 m  214 760
  19 Gungartan           2068 m  258 835
  20 Mt Jagungal         2062 m  248 987

  21 Mt Perisher         2054 m  243 697
  22 Mt Stilwell         2054 m  187 659
  23 South Rams Head     2052 m  116 588
  24 Kerries Ridge       2050 m  262 851
  25 Little Stilwell     2030 m  190 657

  26 Merritts Spur       2030 m  160 626
  27 Toolong Range       2025 m  258 988
  28 Watsons Crags       2021 m  161 733
  29 Back Perisher Mtn   2014 m  247 708
  30 Mt Anton            2010 m  191 727

  31 The Foxhole         2010 m  198 661
  32 Mann Bluff          2005 m  208 754
  33 Dicky Cooper Bogong 2003 m  232 832


How the list is compiled:
   - If a peak has a name, and is 2000 meters or higher, then include the peak in the list.
   - If a range/ridge/spur has a name, and its highest point is 2000 meters plus, then include the highest point.

For more information on the list, including data source, please click on this link:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/p/paul-mas-a2k-peaks.html

Well, I don't intend to climb all these peaks in a set number of days. I'll just climb them when I have time.


Today's climb: 3 highest peaks + Carruthers & Little Twynam

But first, let me tick off an ambition of mine for sometime ... to climb the 3 highest peaks, Kosciuszko Townsend Twynam, in one day. This is achieved today with David. As a bonus, along the way, we pass over
  - Carruthers Peak, rank #10
  - Little Twynam, rank #14
making it 5 peaks in one day.

David and I had planned this trip more than a month earlier. But every weekend it rained ... in fact, it rained almost every day during this period. Whatever happens to global warming which is supposed to cause the middle section of Australia to become dryer???

Today is really lucky. For most of the day, clouds surround the area we are walking but not drift over to engulf us ... wish I have this type of good fortune in lottery!


Other A2K climbing trips

Scroll forward to the end of this trip report. There is a list, with links, to other A2K climbing trips that I have done.


Paper maps

- 1:100,000 8525 Kosciuszko
- 1:50,000 Kosciuszko Alpine Area map, 1st edition, by Spatial Vision Innovations Pty Ltd
- 1:25,000 8525-2S Perisher Valley


Interactive map

In the following interactive map, you can click on the icons to obtain a description of the place. You can also zoom in to see more details (click on the small "+" icon a few times).

View Kosciuszko, Townsend, Twynam, Carruthers, Little Twynam in a larger map


GPS tracklog files & route

Our KML & GPX tracklog files can be downloaded from:
  KML file: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B877-h5SCJaSVmtQOTZiRlp2TlU/edit?usp=sharing
  GPX file: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B877-h5SCJaSeGp0dFRJZ3ZfSzg/view?usp=sharing

In summary: It is a circuit walk ...
- Park car at Charlotte Pass.
- Walk on Main Range Track, then Blue Lake Walk to Blue Lake which is north of Charlotte Pass.
- Cross Blue Lake Creek at south-eastern tip of Blue Lake.
- Then off-track climb to Little Twynam.
- Then off-track climb to Mt Twynam.
- Then walk on track to Carruthers Peak which is south west of Mt Twynam.
- Then walk on Main Range Track to Muellers Pass (saddle point between Muellers Peak & Mt Kosciuszko).
- Take a narrow goat trail to Mt Townsend.
- Return by the same goat trail to Muellers Pass.
- Walk on Main Range Track, then Kosciuszko Walk to Mt Kosciuszko.
- To Rawson Pass.
- Follow Summit Walk back to car at Charlotte Pass.


Timeline & Distance

05:50   0.0km  Leave Charlotte Pass
07:19   5.1km  Arrive at Blue Lake Creek

07:24   5.1km  Crossed Blue Lake Creek
08:07   6.3km  Arrive at Little Twynam

08:20   6.3km  Leave Little Twynam
08:48   7.0km  Arrive at Mt Twynam

09:05   7.0km  Leave Mt Twynam
10:10  10.9km  Arrive at Carruthers Peak

10:18  10.9km  Leave Carruthers Peak
11:32  15.0km  Muellers Pass
12:47  17.5km  Arrive at Mt Townsend

Lunch - 43 minutes

13:30  17.5km  Leave Mt Townsend
15:10  22.7km  Arrive at Mt kosciuszko

15:24  22.7km  Leave Mt Kosciuszko
15:47  24.3km  Arrive at Rawson Pass

16:01  24.3km  Leave Rawson Pass
17:40  32.0km  Arrive at Charlotte Pass

Total: 32km  in  11hr 50min

David had a blister on his foot, otherwise we could have completed the trip around 11 hrs. But if Ricky is walking (Ricky is the guy who climbed most of the Australian State-8 peaks with me), he can easily do it in less than 9 hrs.


Description
As it will be a long day and we intend to return to Sydney for the night, hence we are up early. At 5:50am, we start walking at Charlotte Pass along Main Range Track towards Blue Lake. It is still dark then - the sun won't rise till 6:30am

1)  06:03 Crossing the Snowy River near Charlotte Pass ~~ Usually the water level is lower and you can get across by stepping on the stones. But with the recent incessant rain in this region, the water level is quite high now. We need to summon all our acrobatic skills to get across without getting our feet wet, or worse, like slipping into the river.



2)  06:36 We are on the Main Range Track walking towards Blue Lake. The sun has just poked its head out of the horizon. Everything is bathed in this golden hue.

There are more photos of the scenery around Main Range Track ... see my blog on my climb to Mt Sentinel:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/sentinel-nsw-australia.html


3)  07:03 Blue Lake ~~ It is one of only five glacial tarns in mainland Australia. (The other four are Lake Cootapatamba, Lake Albina, Club Lake and Hedley Tarn.) When the sun is higher and shines directly on the lake, the colour of the water is beautifully blue, but not right now.

In the above pic, the large broad shaped mountain on the left side is Mt Twynam. Immediately to it right, the small pyramid-shaped mountain in Little Twynam - we are heading there next.


4)  07:24 Crossing Blue Lake Creek at the south-eastern tip of Blue Lake ~~ Just like crossing the Snowy River earlier on, a fair amount of deftness is required to get across without getting our feet wet, or slipping into the creek.



5)  The lake in the photo is the beautiful Blue Lake; and we are climbing in a roughly north-east direction up the slope of Little Twynam. It is steep and tires us out quickly.

(In retrospect, to make life easier, after crossing Blue Lake Creek, we could have headed directly east until we reach the top of Crummer Spur, then turn northwest and follow the ridge line to the Little Twynam peak ... less steep that way.)


6)  At the end of the steep climb, Little Twynam is in sight - it is the pile of rocks at the centre of this photo.



7)  08:12 I'm at the top of Little Twynam - Australia's 14th highest peak at 2120 meters. The mountain behind me is Mt Twynam. we are heading there next.



8)  Not long after we come down Little Twynam and head for Mt Twynam, I look back to take this photo of Little Twynam.



9)  Mt Twynam peak is in front.



10)  08:49 David and I at the top of Mt Twynam - Australia's 3rd highest peak at 2196 meters.



11)  Looking back at Little Twynam



09:05 We leave Mt Twynam and head for Carruthers Peak.

12)  Weather-wise, we are very lucky. After coming down Mt Twynam, there is this cloud in the photo which quickly covers the mountain. The cloud is always behind us, never catches up to engulf us ... really have to thank the gods for looking after us.



13)  We are now on the Main Range Track heading to Carruthers Peak, which is at the centre of this photo.  Mt Townsend is the small pyramid-shaped mountain immediately to the right of Carruthers Peak.



14)  A few of these red mushrooms are found in the mountain range. Does anyone know the name?



15)  10:12 David and I at the top of Carruthers Peak - Australia's 10th highest peak at 2142 meters.



16)  Not a bad view towards the north from Carruthers Peak.
The nearest mountain a bit to the right of the centre of the pic is Mt Sentinel. I climbed it a year later. It is a very interesting mountain ... photos and write up of the trip is in my blog: http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/sentinel-nsw-australia.html



17)  Next target is Mt Townsend which is the small pyramid shaped mountain in the centre of the photo - it is a long way to there.



18)  We come down Carruthers Peak (the mountain not in the cloud on the right side of the photo.) The cloud is the same one as in photo #12 ... threatening to catch up with us.



19)  10:33 On the way to Mt Townsend, we pass Club Lake. As you can see, the clouds are all around us but not coming over to cover us up.



20)  10:58 We are walking on the Main Range Track, passing Lake Albina.

My original plan was to get off the Main Range Track around here; head towards the northern tip (right side of the above photo) of Lake Albina; cross the creek; then climb up the steep slope and head west towards Mt Townsend. Given the difficulty of crossing the Snowy River (photo #1) and Blue Lake Creek (Photo #4), I suddently have cold feet ... maybe it will not be easy to cross this creek. So I shelved this plan. Instead, we keep walking south-west on the Main Range Track towards Muellers Pass (the saddle between Mt Kosciuszko and Muellers Peak); then turn north, follow a narrow goat trail towards the western slope of Muellers Peak and then to Mt Townsend.

To anyone reading this blog:
- Is it easy to cross the creek that comes off the northern tip of Lake Albina without getting one's feet wet?
- Once you cross the creek, how difficult is it to climb up the slope on the west side of the creek? It looks steep from the Main Range Track. But may be it isn't that bad.


21)  After rounding Muellers Pass, we are now on a narrow goat trail to Mt Townsend. At some places, the trail is hard to find. Not to worry, there are cairns similar to the one in this photo to lead the way. Mt Townsend is near the centre of the photo.



22)  Very close to Mt Townsend now.



23)  12:39 This is the signature rock formation near the Mt Townsend peak. When climbing down from its summit, you can easily lose your way. But if you keep an eye out for this rock formation, it will help to guide you down.



24)  There is a rock scramble for the final ascend to the Mt Townsend summit. The photos don't show it ... it is steep, almost vertical - 90 degrees, not for the faint-hearted ... but not too hard ... well, if we can do it, so can you.



25)  12:45 Almost there.



26)  12:48 David and I at the top of Mt Townsend - Australia's 2nd highest peak at 2209 meters. 4 down - just one more mountain to climb for the day.



27)  From Mt Townsend looking towards Mt Kosciuszko which is the highest peak in the left half of the photo.



We have lunch and a well earned rest at Mt Townsend. At 13:30, we climb down the mountain and head for Mt Kosciuszko, the last of the 5 peaks for the day.


28)  On our way to Mt Kosciuszko which is near the centre of the photo.



29)  The clouds ~~ they have this strange straight line base ... and they look ominously close. Fortunately they keep their distance from us.



30)  We are close to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko.



31)  15:08 The cairn marking the Kosciuszko summit is in front.



32)  15:12 We make it to the top of Mt Kosciuszko, roof of Australia - 2228 meters.



33)  From Mt Kosciuszko summit looking back at Mt Townsend - it is the highest peak in the photo (near the centre).



34)  Coming down Mt Kosciuszko and heading towards Rawson Pass where, in the middle of the photo, is Australia's highest toilet.



35)  On the road called Summit Walk back to our car at Charlotte Pass ~~ It is very pleasing to see, at the centre of the photo, Mt Twynam and Little Twynam (on its right) ... the 2 peaks we climbed early this morning. It is a long day and we've walked a long way !



Other A2K climbing trips

2016 December with AB & DN
Rank Name                 Elev   Grid Ref
  17 Kangaroo Ridge      2077 m  182 644
  22 Mt Stilwell         2054 m  187 659
  25 Little Stilwell     2030 m  190 657
  31 The Foxhole         2010 m  198 661

Photos and trip report are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2016/12/mt-stilwell-and-kangaroo-ridge.html


2015 October with RZ
Rank Name                 Elev   Grid Ref
  33 Dicky Cooper Bogong 2003 m  232 832

Photos and trip report are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/dicky-cooper-bogong-granite-peaks-nsw.html


2015 March with AB, DN & Saf
Rank Name                 Elev   Grid Ref
  19 Gungartan           2068 m  258 835
  24 Kerries Ridge       2050 m  262 851

Photos and trip report are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/gungartan-kerries-ridge-nsw-australia.html


2014 December with AB & DN
Rank Name                 Elev   Grid Ref  Comment
   1 Mt Kosciuszko       2228 m  132 647
   2 Mt Townsend         2209 m  128 684   Abbott Range
   7 Alice Rawson Peak   2167 m  132 692   Abbott Range
   8 Byatts Camp         2159 m  118 676   Abbott Range
   9 Abbott Peak         2145 m  122 678   Abbott Range

  10 Carruthers Peak     2145 m  157 698
  12 Mt Northcote        2131 m  146 676
     wrong Byatts Camp   2110 m  116 671   Abbott Range
  15 Mt Lee              2105 m  152 688
  16 Mt Clarke           2110 m  154 672

Photos and trip report are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/lee-northcote-clarke-abbott-range.html


2014 November with AB & DN
Rank Name                 Elev   Grid Ref
   1 Mt Kosciuszko       2228 m  132 647
   4 Rams Head           2193 m  128 608
   5 Etheridge Ridge     2180 m  140 644
   6 Rams Head North     2177 m  137 618
  23 South Rams Head     2052 m  116 588

Photos and trip report are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/etheridge-ridge-kosciuszko-rams-head.html


2014 April with DH
Today's trip  :-)


2011 April with RE
Rank Name                 Elev   Grid Ref
   1 Mt Kosciuszko       2228 m  132 647
   2 Mt Townsend         2209 m  128 684
  14 Muellers Peak       2125 m  138 673

Photos and trip report are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/kosciuszo-muellers-peak-townsend-nsw.html


4 comments:

  1. I did this yesterday minus little Twynam. It was my goal to climb the 3 highest in a day as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great commentary and pics. Stay safe when walking!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great information. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello!
    Interesting and staggering facts about Mount Kosciuszko & P.E.Strzelecki. Interesting Facts About Mount Kosciuszko
    I invite you also to the English version of this mtkosciuszko.org.au website. There related messages are a lot of information about the conquest of Mt Kosciuszko the highest peak of Australia, and about Paul Edmund Strzelecki the explorer who gave the mountain its name.
    Check the text sitemap page to see all the titles.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete