Friday, March 13, 2015

Gungartan & Kerries Ridge, NSW, Australia


2015 March: One day climb to Gungartan & Kerries Ridge in NSW, Australia

Prolog - 27 highest peaks in Australia - called A2K Peaks

Here is a list of 27 highest peaks in Australia that are above 2000 meters, called A2K peaks, compiled by Simon Bignold. (Data from 1:50,000 scaled Kosciuszko Alpine Area map, 1st edition, by Spatial Vision Innovations Pty Ltd.)

Rank Name               Elev  Easting Northing
   1 Mt Kosciuszko     2228 m 613205  5964733
   2 Mt Townsend       2209 m 612840  5968410
   3 Mt Twynam         2196 m 617925  5971630
   4 Rams Head         2193 m 612825  5960825
   5 Etheridge Ridge   2180 m 614050  5964450

   6 North Rams Head   2177 m 613790  5961810
   7 Alice Rawson Peak 2167 m 613280  5969210
   8 Byatts Camp       2159 m 611830  5967680
   9 Abbott Peak       2145 m 612295  5967800
  10 Carruthers Peak   2142 m 615750  5969800

  11 Mt Dubious        2136 m 616650  5971910
  12 Mt Northcote      2131 m 614670  5967650
  13 Muellers Peak     2125 m 613810  5967325
  14 Little Twynam     2120 m 618500  5971140
  15 Mt Lee            2105 m 615280  5968825

  16 Mt Clarke         2100 m 615475  5967280
  17 Rams Head Range   2077 m 618220  5964470
  18 Mt Tate           2068 m 621475  5976000
  19 Gungartan         2068 m 625850  5983580
  20 Mt Jagungal       2061 m 624840  5998725

  21 Mt Perisher       2054 m 624330  5969780
  22 Mt Stilwell       2054 m 618730  5965900
  23 South Rams Head   2052 m 611675  5958790
  24 Kerries Ridge     2040 m 626250  5985190
  25 Watsons Crags     2023 m 616150  5973325

  26 Back Perisher Mtn 2014 m 624760  5970840
  27 Mt Anton          2010 m 619190  5972750


Today's climb: Gungartan & Kerries Ridge

Continuing my effort to climb all these A2K peaks ... Today's climb with Adam, Daniel & Saf is to:

Rank Name               Elev  Easting Northing
  19 Gungartan         2068 m 625850  5983580
  24 Kerries Ridge     2040 m 626250  5985190


After today, there is only 9 more peaks to be ticked off:
  - 2136 m, Mt Dubious
  - 2077 m, Rams Head Range
  - 2068 m, Mt Tate
  - 2061 m, Mt Jagungal
  - 2054 m, Mt Perisher
  - 2054 m, Mt Stilwell
  - 2023 m, Watsons Crags
  - 2014 m, Back Perisher Mtn
  - 2010 m, Mt Anton

4 more trips to the Kosciuszko National Park should do it.

Other A2K climbing trips

2014 December with Adam & Daniel
Rank Name               Elev  Easting Northing Comment
   1 Mt Kosciuszko     2228 m 613205  5964733
   2 Mt Townsend       2209 m 612840  5968410  Abbott Range
   7 Alice Rawson Peak 2167 m 613280  5969210  Abbott Range
   8 Byatts Camp       2159 m 611830  5967680  Abbott Range
   9 Abbott Peak       2145 m 612295  5967800  Abbott Range

  10 Carruthers Peak   2142 m 615750  5969800
  12 Mt Northcote      2131 m 614670  5967650
     wrong Byatts Camp 2110 m 611650  5967150  Abbott Range
  15 Mt Lee            2105 m 615280  5968825
  16 Mt Clarke         2100 m 615475  5967280

Photos and write up of this climb are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/lee-northcote-clarke-abbott-range.html

2014 November with Adam & Daniel
Rank Name               Elev  Easting Northing
   1 Mt Kosciuszko     2228 m 613205  5964733
   4 Rams Head         2193 m 612825  5960825
   5 Etheridge Ridge   2180 m 614050  5964450
   6 North Rams Head   2177 m 613790  5961810
  23 South Rams Head   2052 m 611675  5958790

Photos and write up of this climb are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/etheridge-ridge-kosciuszko-rams-head.html

2014 April with David
Rank Name               Elev  Easting Northing
   1 Mt Kosciuszko     2228 m 613205  5964733
   2 Mt Townsend       2209 m 612840  5968410
   3 Mt Twynam         2196 m 617925  5971630
  10 Carruthers Peak   2142 m 615750  5969800
  14 Little Twynam     2120 m 618500  5971140

and incidentally bagging 3 highest peaks of Australia in one day. Photos and write up of this climb are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/kosciuszko-townsend-twynam-carruthers.html

2011 April with Ricky
Rank Name               Elev  Easting Northing
   1 Mt Kosciuszko     2228 m 613205  5964733
   2 Mt Townsend       2209 m 612840  5968410
  13 Muellers Peak     2125 m 613810  5967325

Photos and write up of this climb are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/kosciuszo-muellers-peak-townsend-nsw.html

Maps for Gungartan & Kerries Ridge

1:100,000 8525 Kosciuszko
1:50,000 Kosciuszko Alpine Area map, 1st edition, by Spatial Vision Innovations Pty Ltd
1:25,000 8525-2N Geehi Dam

The relevant part of the 1:25,000 scaled map can be downloaded from:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B877-h5SCJaSSTZndlVVem9aQ1U/view?usp=sharing

GPS tracklog file & Route

Our GPX tracklog file can be downloaded from:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B877-h5SCJaSSVhEbWZBdGRfUEk/view?usp=sharing

The 1:25,000 scaled map with our tracklog superimposed on it can be downloaded from:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B877-h5SCJaSYWZIOEIzbjV2bDg/view?usp=sharing

For what it is worth, I have put the map here. But you are better off to download the map from the above link.
- Our tracklog is in brown colour.
- The upper red arrow points to Schlink Hilton Hut.
- The middle red arrow points to Whites River Hut.
- The lower red arrow points to Horse Camp Hut.

In summary, our route is:
- Park car at Guthega Power Station.
- Walk on Schlink Pass Road to Horse Camp Hut.
- To Whites River Hut.
- To Schlink Hilton Hut.
- Go off track eastward to Kerries Ridge north peak.
- To Kerries Ridge main summit.
- To Kerries Ridge south peak.
- To Gungartan summit.
- To Gungartan twin peak.
- Go westward to Schlink Pass Road.
- Take Disappointment Spur Trail to Disappoint Spur Hut.
- Continue on Disappointment Spur Tail back to the car at Guthega Power Station.

Timeline & Distance

08:15   0.0 km  Start at Guthega Power Station
09:41   4.3 km  at Horse Camp Hut

09:45   4.4 km  leave Horse Camp Hut
10:44   7.8 km  at junction of Schlink Pass Road & Disappointment Spur Trail
11:15   9.3 km  at Whites River Hut

Morning Tea

11:44   9.7 km  leave Whites River Hut
12:33  12.8 km  at Schlink Hilton Hut

12:43  12.9 km  leave Schlink Hilton Hut
13:50  15.0 km  at Kerries Ridge north peak

14:00  15.0 km  leave Kerries Ridge north peak
14:07  15.3 km  at Kerries Ridge main summit

14:15  15.3 km  leave Kerries Ridge main summit
14:20  15.4 km  at Kerries Ridge south peak

14:23  15.4 km  leave Kerries Ridge south peak
14:55  17.0 km  at Gungartan summit

Lunch

15:23  17.1 km  leave Gungartan summit
15:28  17.2 km  at Gungartan twin peak

15:39  17.2 km  leave Gungartan twin peak
16:31  18.8 km  at Schlink Pass Road
17:13  21.8 km  at junction of Schlink Pass Road & Disappointment Spur Trail
17:54  24.6 km  at Disappoiment Spur Hut

17:58  24.7 km  leave Disappointment Spur Hut
19:01  28.7 km  Finish at Guthega Power Station
===================================

Total: 9 hr 46 min;
          28.7 km - Distance is from Google Earth.
          31.6 km - Distance is from Garmin GPS.

Total Ascent/Descent: 2137 meters - From Gramin GPS

Pictures

1)  Guthega Power Station ~~~
We park our car at where I'm standing in the pic - the near side of the bridge.
The start of the Schlink Pass Road where we'll be walking, is across the bridge and behind the building on the right side of the pic.



2)  Walking up Schlink Pass Road and looking back at Guthega Power Station



3)  Schlink Pass Road ~~~
Don't even think about it ... Ordinary folks like us are not allowed to drive on it. It is blocked at the Guthega Power Station   :-(
The mountain at the centre of the pic is Gungartan. We can't see its summit yet.



4)  A detour to check out Horse Camp Hut - an emergency shelter.



5)  Around this time, I look up at the sky and couldn't believe my eyes ... WOW !!! ... an iridescent cloud ... Love this !!!
It is an uncommon phenomenon, the result of diffraction ... small droplets of water or small crystals of ice individually scattering light.
If the small droplets/crystals are of similar size, their cumulative effect is seen as iridescent colours. The cloud must be optically thin, so that most rays encounter only a single droplet. Iridescence is therefore mostly seen at cloud edges or in semi-transparent clouds.



6)  Munyang River ~~~
The mountain on the right side of the pic is Gungartan. We can't see its summit yet.



7)  Looking back down the valley where Munyang River flows towards Guthega Power Station ~~~
Is the red arrow pointing to Mt Blue Cow ?



8)  On Schlink Pass Road, passing a boulder field



9)  An eerie scene of dead trees and the moon ~~~
The trees are dead due to a devastating bushfire in 2003.



10)  Nice scenery ... but all the trees are dead from a 2003 bushfire, hence the grey colour on the entire slope of the mountain.



11)  There are plenty of Acripeza reticulata (Mountain Katydid, also known as Mountain Grasshopper). The one on left and also the one on top right of the pic is a female. When its wings are folded, it looks like a small lump of dirt and is not easy to be spotted. But when its wings are spread out, you can see the beautiful red, blue & black bands on its body.
The male is much skinnier - bottom right.

To be able to snap this beautiful insect and also the iridescent cloud (photo #5) is one of the many reasons why hiking is such a wonderful pursuit. You never know what incredible images nature will reveal to you.


12)  Saf finds this big Wolf Spider which scares the shit out of him   :-)



13)  A detour to check out another emergency shelter ~~~
This one is Whites River Hut.



14)  Finally, after 4 hrs on the Schlink Pass Road, we can see Gungartan summit - the red arrow on the left.
The arrow on the right points to its twin peak, one or two meters lower than the main summit.



We are not climbing Gungartan yet. We'll walk north for another kilometer to check out Schlink Hilton Hut; then go off track eastward to climb Kerries Ridge before tackling Gungartan.


15)  Beautiful setting of yellow alpine flowers and white (dead) tree trunks. Hey Daniel, you are spoiling the scene !
Does anyone know how to photoshop him out the the picture and perhaps insert a beautiful girl instead?



16)  ... Nevermind, I get rid of Daniel now   :-)



17)  Some of the flowers in the previous photo is Xerochrysum bracteatum (??? not sure) commonly known as Golden Everlasting or Strawflower.



18)  I think this is Microseris lanceolata (Murnong or Yam Daisy) - correct me if I'm wrong. The flower ripens to a ball of fluffy seeds to be dispsersed by the wind.



19)  A visit to Schlink Hilton Hut ~~~ No wonder it is called Hilton ... for a start, it is large by the standard of emergency shelters. And secondly, all beds have mattresses ... plus cushioned chairs ... what a treat !



20)  From Schlink Hilton Hut, we go off track eastward to climb Kerries Ridge.



21)  Looking back at Schlink Hilton Hut ~~~
- The highest peak above the hut is Dicky Cooper Bogong, 2003 meters.
- To the left of Dicky Cooper Bogong is an unnamed peak of 1976 meters.
- Further to the left are the twin peaks of The Granite Peaks.
- The entire mountain range to the left of Dicky Cooper Bogong is called The Rolling Ground.

7 months later, in 2015-10, I climbed Dicky Cooper Bogong and the north peak of The Granite Peaks. Photos and a write up of that climb is in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/dicky-cooper-bogong-granite-peaks-nsw.html


22)  Kerries Ridge is in sight. We'll walk along the ridge top:
- Start from the left, the north peak;
- to the main summit 2040 m at the centre;
- then to the south peak on the right.
It doesn't look like it from the photo, but the main summit at the centre is the highest point of Kerries Ridge ... see next photo.



23)  (Click on the pic to enlarge it.)
We are now closer to Kerries Ridge.  From left to right, the red arrows point to:
  - north peak of Kerries Ridge (we are heading there first)
  - main summit 2040 m at the centre
  - south peak
  - Gungartan
To the right of Gungartan, very faint on the horizon, is Main Range and Abbott Range.



24)  Multi-coloured carpet on the slope of Kerries Ridge. The peak on the top-left corner is the north peak. We are heading there now.



25)  The highest pile of rocks in the pic is the north peak of Kerries Ridge.



26)  Daniel at the top of the north peak



27)  We are now at top of north peak, and looking towards the south:
- The peak at the centre of the photo is the main summit of Kerries Ridge - we'll be heading there next.
- The red arrow points to Gungartan.
- The horizontal bar is Main Range and Abbott Range.



28)  We've climbed down from the north peak and is close to the main summit which is the pile of large boulders at the centre of the pic.



29)  At Kerries Ridge main summit, 2040 m ~~~
Clockwise: Paul, Daniel, Saf, Adam



30)  Needless to say, there is a 360 panoramic view from the main summit. Here, to the north is Mt Jagungal, 2061 m (red arrow), one of the A2K peaks yet to be climbed ... watch this blog   :-)



31)  To the south is:
- Gungartan (left arrow), we'll be heading there.
- Main Range and Abbott Range (horizontal bar)
- Dicky Cooper Bogong (right arrow)



32)  We are climbing down the south face of the main summit.



33)  Heading towards the south peak of Kerries Ridge (red arrow)



34)  Now at the top of the south peak, looking back at the main summit.



Ok, that is Kerries Ridge completed and ticked off the A2K list   :-)   ... now heading to Gungartan.


35)  We've come down from Kerries Ridge and looking back at it ~~~
The 3 arrows point to, from left to right:
- north peak
- main summit
- south peak (we just came from there.)
In the foreground are some rocks forming a cute hole which can be handy as a shelter.



36)  Heading towards Gungartan (red arrow) ~~~ The bottom photo is taken closer to the mountain.



37)  Looking back at where we came from ... the arrows point to, from left to right:
- Mt Jagungal
- north peak of Kerries Ridge
- main summit
- south peak (we just came from there.)



38)  Gungartan summit is just in front - where the trig is.



39)  Gungartan summit



40)  At Gungartan summit, 2068 m ~~~
Clockwise: Paul, Daniel, Saf, Adam



41)  At the Gungartan summit, there is also a splendid 360 degree panoramic view.
Towards the north, the red arrows point to:
- Mt Jagungal
(The next 3 are peaks on Kerries Ridge which we have just climbed.)
- north peak
- main summit, 2040 m
- south peak



42)  Towards the south is Gungartan's nearby twin peak, only a meter or two lower. We'll climb it next.
The red horizontal bar is the Main Range and Abbott Range ... see next photo.



43)  Zooming onto Main Range & Abbott Range (both are in Kosciuszko National Park) ~~~
The 4 red arrows point to peaks in the Main Range. From left to right:
   - Little Twynam
   - Etheridge Ridge
   - Mt Twynam
   - Unnamed 2136 meter peak to the west of Mt Twynam, half way between Mt Twynam and Mt Sentinel
The 4 blue arrows point to peaks in the Abbott Range. From left to right:
   - Byatts Camp
   - Abbott Peak
   - Mt Townsend
   - Alice Rawson Peak
Glad to see these old friends as I have climbed them all.
We can't see Mt Kosciuszko as it is behind Mt Twynam.



44)  We've come down from Gungartan summit and is now climbing up its nearby twin peak.



45)  At Gungartan's nearby twin peak now, and looking back towards the north at the main summit with a trig on top.
The red arrow points to Mt Jagungal.



46)  After all the climbing, Saf is still energetic. He climbs up to the top of a nearby rocky outcrop.



47)  In this photo, we've just climbed down from Gungartan and are heading directly westward towards Schlink Pass Road.
The red arrow points to the main summit. Immediately to its right is its twin peak.



48)  On the slope of Gungartan, alpine flowers are abound ... don't you just love them !



49)  I've been searching this flower for quite a while. Finally, today, I find it !
It is Chionogentias muelleriana susp alpestris (Mountain Gentian); exists only in Kosciuszko National Park. The delicate cup-shaped flower displays distinctive purple lines inside the petals.



50)  Looking back at Gungartan ~~~
- The left arrow points to its main summit.
- The right arrow points to its twin peak.



51)  Schlink Pass Road is in front. The mountain we are facing is Dicky Cooper Bogong.



52)  We are now on Schlink Pass Road, and looking back with satisfaction at Gungartan.
- The arrow on the left points to its main summit.
- The arrow on the right points to its twin peak.

The above Photo #52 and an earlier photo #14 are taken at the same spot. The colours are different because the earlier photo was taken in the morning, with the camera facing towards the sun. The later photo was taken in the afternoon with the sun away from the camera lens.


53)  Walking back to our car at Guthega Power Station ~~~
This morning, we came from Schlink Pass Road on the right. Now, we take the Disappoinment Spur Trail on the left. As the name suggests, it goes along the Disappoinment Spur ... but why would anyone want to name a spur as Disappoinment Spur?



54)  Along the trail, whenever there is a creek flowing towards the trail, there is one of these contraption. Not sure what they are. Seems to be a channel to capture the water and perhaps to feed the water to an underground pipe to Guthega Power Station ???



55)  Passing Disappointment Spur Hut ~~~
This one is small, a bit of a disappointment compared to the other 3 huts we visited today.



56)  On Disappointment Spur Trail, looking down the valley where the Munyang River flows towards Guthega Power Station ~~~
Wonder whether the large mountain in the back ground is Mt Blue Cow ?



It is a wonderful day!  In addition to climbing Kerries Ridge and Gungartan, we visited:
  - Horse Camp Hut
  - Whites River Hut
  - Schlink Hilton Hut
  - Disappointment Spur Hut
4 huts in a day must be a record   :-)   Has anyone visited more than 4 huts in a day?

And snapped wonderful pictures of an iridescent cloud (Photo #5) and the colourful body of a Mountain Katydid (Photo #11).

Thanks for the company of Adam, Daniel and Saf.

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