Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mt Foxlow & Harrisons Peak, NSW, Australia


2015 January: One day climb to Mt Foxlow & Harrisons Peak from Beverly Hill Trail, NSW, Australia

Mt Foxlow & Harrisons Peak

Today, Adam, Daniel and I are meant to climb more A2K (above 2000m) peaks in the Kosciuszko National Park. Uncertainty over weather conditions there means climbing Mt Foxlow instead. At 1220m, it is the highest mountain in Yanununbeyan National Park & Conservation Area and the surrounding Captains Flat district.

And since we are there, we climb Harrisons Peak too, 1173 m, just a few kilometers south of Mt Foxlow.

Mt Foxlow turns out to be a bit of a disappointment as there is no view from the summit - too many trees.

But Harrisons Peak has a splendid 180 degree view - from the southwest to the northeast. One would have thought that with such a view, there should be plenty of entries on the internet with positive reviews from climbers. But no, the internet has no useful entry on this peak and nothing about the view from the summit ... very strange! Seems that not many people know about this little gem !

Starting point - Beverley Hill Trail trailhead

Our starting point is the Beverley Hill Trail off Captains Flat Road just before entering the township of Captains Flat from the north. But note that much of the National Park & Conservation Area is surrounded by private properties. The only public entry point is via Woolcara Lane off the Captains Flat Road further north. Hence if you intend to walk on the Beverley Hill Trail like the way we did, I'm not sure whether you need to contact the landholder first.

Map

I only have 1:100,000 scaled 8726 Michelago

GPS files & Route

The GPX files of our walk can be download from:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B877-h5SCJaSU3RyMXVBcFhHVGc/view?usp=sharing

In summary:
•  Start at Beverley Hill Trail off Captains Flat Rd just before entering Captains Flat from the north.
•  Walk on Beverley Hill Trail.
•  Turn into Foxlow Trail and walk to Mt Foxlow summit.

•  In the return trip, retrace steps.
•  Detour to climb Harrisons Peak.
•  Then retrace steps back to car.

Timeline & Distance

07:17   0.0 km  Beverly Hill Trail trailhead
07:45   1.8 km  at start of detour to dam

07:58   2.3 km  back on Beverly Hill Trail
08:38   4.3 km  enter Yanununbeyan National Park
09:05   5.6 km  at junction of Beverly Hill Trail & Foxlow Trail
09:12   6.1 km  at junction of Foxlow Trail & Camelot Trail
09:45   7.9 km  at Mt Foxlow summit

lunch

10:20   8.0 km  leave Mt Foxlow summit
10:59   9.9 km  at junction of Foxlow Trail & Camelot Trail
11:02  10.0 km  at start of short detour to see a ruin

11:12  10.3 km  back on Foxlow Trail
11:15  10.5 km  at junction of Foxlow Trail & Beverly Hill Trail
11:40  11.8 km  leave Yanununbeyan National Park
11:58  12.6 km  start to bushbash to Harrisons Peak
12:16  13.0 km  at Harrisons Peak summit

13:00  13.2 km  leave Harrisons Peak summit
13:21  13.8 km  back on Beverly Hill Trail
13:59  16.3 km  finish at Beverly Hill Trail trailhead

Total:  6 hr 42 min;  16.3 km;  distance is from Google Earth

Pictures

1)  At the trailhead of Beverly Hill Trail is this interesting letter box !
As there is a letter box, it suggests we are entering a private property. However, there is no "No Entry" nor "No Trespass" sign anywhere. Hence we assume the public are allowed access on the trail ... Apology to the landowner if we are trespassing.



2)  A short detour to check out this man-made dam.



3)  The entry to Yanununbeyan National Park is about 3.5 km from the trailhead.



4)  There is a fire trail all the way to Mt Foxlow.



5)  Passing a billabong



6)  Mt Foxlow is flat as a pancake. The summit is a short distance inside the woods.



7)  At Mt Foxlow summit ~~~
Unfortunately there is no view ... too many trees.
In the pic, on the left is a rusted antenna-looking pole.
On the right is a cairn. Why would anyone want to build such a big cairn here? ... Too much spare time with nothing to do !



8)  A mandatory photo at the summit of Mt Foxlow



9)  Adam and Daniel



10)  The wooden pole on top of the cairn seems to be covered with a kind of mould ... after holding onto the pole, our palms turn into orange colour.



11)  Daniel is having fun on the rusted antenna pole. I was going to climb it too, but decide not to after noticing the rust covering Daniel's clothes  :-)



12)  Just as we are all thinking that a summit without a view is a bit boring, we notice these interesting Plague Soldier Beetle, Chauliognathus lugubris.
In the upper pic, the black blobs are actually the beetles crowded together. Here, they stay put even if slightly disturbed.
They are at Harrisons Peak too - on the grass and on tree leaves. There, if you shake the leaves, the beetles rain down on your head ! Fortunately they don't bite.



13)  We have lunch at Mt Foxlow summit, then it is retracing our steps down the summit. Shortly after we are on our way down, a gap through the trail gives us a glimpse of Tinderry Peak on the left and Tinderry Twin on the right. Adam and I climbed Tinderry Peak in October 2014.



14)  A huge ant



15)  A clearing created by a farm which is now abandoned



16)  From the clearing, we can see Harrisons Peak (red arrow). We are going to climb it.



17)  Closer to Harrisons Peak now (at the centre of this pic) ~~~
We'll walk on the trail towards the right of the pic, then bushbash on the ridge towards its summit.



18)  Bushbashing up Harrisons Peak ~~~
It is light bush, not like the thick ones on the way to Mt Kelly which I climbed about 2 weeks ago.
By the way, the Mt Kelly climb is interesting. Photos and write up on that trip is in my blog: http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/kelly-burbidge-nsw-australia.html



19)  It looks like that the summit is just in front. But no, the real summit is behind the pile of rocks.



20)  The real summit is in front (after passing the pile of rocks in the previous photo).



21)  We are now at the top of Harrisons Peak, 1173 m.  This summit is truly is a little gem!  The 180 degree view from southwest to northeast is splendid.  Amazingly there is no mention of this place on the internet !
This view is towards the southwest ... in the centre is the twin pyramid peaks of Tinderry Peak (left) and Tinderry Twin (right).



Adam and I climbed Tinderry Peak in October 2014. Photos and write up on that trip is in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/tinderry-peak-act-australia.html

I haven't climbed Tinderry Twin yet ... intend to do so one day.

22)  Towards the north and north east ~~~
- The left arrow points to Mt Foxlow which we have just climbed.
- The middle arrow points to an unnamed peak which is higher than Harrisons Peak (unnamed in the 1:100,000 scale map).
- The right blue arrow points to Lake George - you can only see a teeny-weeny bit of it.
- The valley on the right is where the Molonglo River is. The Molonglo flows towards Canberra, into its Lake Burkey Griffin.



23)  Zooming onto Mt Foxlow ~~~
The arrow points to a big pine tree which is the same pine tree on the right side of Photo #16. The clearing around the pine tree is the clearing in Photo #15 & #16.



24)  Just to prove I am at Harrisons Peak  :-)



25) Adam & Daniel



26)  The trig pole is bent and fallen at the summit ... but ...



27)  ... but Adam and Daniel hoisted up the trig pole. I'm skinny, so my contribution to the effort is to take a photograph of our accomplishment.



28)  On the way down Harrisons Peak, we encounter this baby goat. The mother goat should be nearby, but we can't see her.



Flora

29)  Dianella caerulea, commonly known as the Paroo or blue flax lily - photo taken on the slope of Harrisons Peak.



30)  Cassinia, maybe Cassinia aculeata (Dogwood or Common Cassinia) ... not sure ~~~
All Cassinia look the same to me, hence not sure which species it is  :-)



31)  If you know the name of this little flower, please let me know.



32)  Plenty of these little yellow-orange-coloured flower.



33)  Close up view of the little yellow-orange-coloured flower of the previous pic ~~~
If you know its name, please let me know.



34)  There are a few of these purple Silybum marianum along the trail. It has many common names, Milk Thistle for example. Originating near the coast of southeast England, it has since been distributed widely all over the world. Many countries, including Australia, consider it as an invasive weed. However extracts from it are supposed to be good for liver, kidney and gall bladder problems.



35)  If you know the name of this little flower, please let me know.



36)  Bidgee Widgee (Acaena novae-zelandiae) growing close to the ground ~~~
This plant is native to Australia. And for once, it is a successful export by Australia to other countries  :-)  ... because it is considered as a noxious weed in some areas, such as Hawaii and California  :-)



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