Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Yaouk Peak, NSW, Australia


2015 May: One day climb to Yaouk Peak in Yaouk Nature Reserve, NSW, Australia

Yaouk Peak

Yaouk Peak, 1726 meters, is the highest mountain in Yaouk Nature Reserve, NSW, just outside the south western tip of ACT. The reserve is surrounded on all sides by private properties. Hence to cross their land, permission is required.

There is a boulder at the summit ... don't worry, it is not high, easy to climb up. Once you are at the top, the 360 degree panoramic view is superb. For example, to the north and north-east, you can see:
  - Half Moon Peak
  - Mt Morgan
  - Mt Murray
  - Bimberi Peak
  - Mt Scabby
  - Mt Kelly
  - Mt Gudgenby
  - Sentry Box

Of these, I've been to:
  - Bimberi Peakhttp://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/bimberi-act-australia-east-approach.html
  - Mt Kellyhttp://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/kelly-burbidge-nsw-australia.html
  - Sentry Boxhttp://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/sentry-box-act-australia.html
Will climb the rest one day  :-)   Contact me if you wish to do so too.

This trip

When John Evans of the Canberra Bushwalking Club announced a climbing trip to there, I jump on the opportunity to join his party. If I were to climb Yaouk Peak myself, I would need to go through the hoop of locating the land owner and seeking permission. All these are now done by John.

The 8 of us on this trip are:
- Chris R
- Cynthia B
- Eric G
- Ian W
- Jenny H
- John Evans
- Max S
- and me

Being a Tuesday walk, most of them are retired public servants (I think).  But they are all pretty fit, including Eric who is around 72 years old, amazing !

Maps

•  8626-2N Yaouk  1:25,000
•  Rooftop's "Namadgi - ACT South Activities Map"  2011 edition;  1:50,000
•  8626 Tantangara  1:100,000

The below map with commentaries is from the Rooftop's Namadgi map.


GPS tracklog files & Route

•  Drive to Nalyappa Homestead:
We all meet at Kambah Shopping Village; take 2 cars and drive for 1 hr 30 minutes (about 90 km) to Nalyappa Homestead on Yaouk Road. The KML tracklog file of the route can be downloaded from:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B877-h5SCJaScjJGaVVIV3hjMVU/view?usp=sharing

•  The walk:
The KML tracklog file of our walk can be downloaded from:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B877-h5SCJaSR2xxTVh3blBHNlU/view?usp=sharing

In summary (see also Photo #1):
- Park our cars at Nalyappa Homestead.
- Walk southward on Nalyappa Trail.
- Turn east into Yaouk Bill Trail.
- Climb to the summit of Yaouk Peak.

- On the return trip, climb down Yaouk Peak by retracing steps for about 600 meters.
- Bushbash along a ridge heading roughly north, then northwest, back to Nalyappa Homestead.

Timeline & Distance

08:11   0.0 km  Start walking at Nalyappa Homestead
08:14   0.3 km  Turn around (we went on the wrong track)
08:17   0.5 km  On the right track
08:56   3.5 km  At junction of Nalyappa Trail and Yaouk Bill Trail
10:01   6.4 km  At a point about 600 meters from Yaouk Peak summit
10:19   7.0 km  At Yaouk Peak summit

Morning Tea

10:40   7.1 km  Leave summit
10:59   7.7 km  At a point about 600 meters from Yaouk Peak summit (as at 10:01)
12:17   9.4 km  Stop for Lunch

Lunch

12:44   9.5 km  Start Walking
14:54  13.7 km  At Nalyappa Homestead

==============================================

Total:  6 hr 43 min
        13.7 km  Distance is from Google Earth
        15.5 km  from my Garmin GPS

Pictures

1)  We start from Nalyappa Homestead, north of Yaouk Peak.
- The Yaouk Peak summit is about 600 meters behind the red arrow and can't be seen from here.
- On the way up, we first walk on the Nalyappa Trail.
- Then turn east into Yaouk Bill Trail which is along the top of the ridge marked by the 3 yellow arrows on the right.
- The way down is by bushbashing ... 2 yellow arrows on the left.



2)  Nalyappa Trail ~~~
Ian is on the left. John is on the right.



3)  Junction of Nalyappa Trail & Yaouk Bill Trail



4)  On Yaouk Bill Trail ~~~
Left to right: Max, Eric, Cynthia, Ian, Chris



5)  Climbing up a slab ~~~
Left to right: Eric, Ian, Jenny, Max, Chris, John



6)  Yaouk Peak summit is in front ... but to get there isn't straight forward as the Yaouk Bill Trail peters out and disappears around here ... see next photo ...



7)  ... need to bushbash down to a gully first. The vegetation is quite thick here.



8)  Finally, the summit is in sight ... where John (the guy with red shorts) is heading.
Left to right: Jenny, John, Eric



9)  The top of this boulder is the summit.
John is near the top, followed by Chris, Eric and Max



10)  At Yaouk Peak summit, 1726 m, with a splendid 360 degree panoramic view ~~~
The below view is towards the west & north. (Click on the pic to enlarge it.)
•  From here, we can't see Nalyappa Homestead, blocked by the knoll in the middle of the pic (which is the top of the slab in Photo #5).
•  There is a portion of a rainbow on the left edge ... normally one sees a much larger arc, not such a small portion, hence quite unusual.
•  The yellow arrow is where we climbed up to the knoll. (From there, we climbed down a gully, then to the summit.)
•  The turquoise arrow is where we'll descend later on.
•  The red arrows point to (from left to right):
    - Half Moon Peak
    - Mt Morgan
    - Mt Murray
    - Bimberi Peak
    - Mt Scabby
    - Mt Kelly

I've been to Mt Kelly & Bimberi Peak ... will climb the rest one day  :-)


11)  At the summit, towards the north ~~~
From left to right, the 5 red arrows point to:
- Mt Scabby
- Mt Kelly
- Mt Gudgenby
- Sentry Box Rock
- Eastern peak and also the highest peak in Sentry Box Complex (The peak halfway between Sentry Box Rock and this highest peak is the western peak of the complex.)
In the pic, Cynthia is climbing up. On her right is Jenny, then Eric.



12)  At the summit ~~~ The view below is towards the south - quite flat there.
- There is a portion of a rainbow in the distance (also see next photo).
- It is extremely windy at the top ... we are literally almost being blown off. Hence we only stayed at the top for a few seconds. Chris (on the left edge) is on his way down. Max and I are the last two to leave.



13)  Part rainbow in the distance



14)  As it is too windy at the top of the boulder, so my summit photo is taken here instead. You can see the round pane of the summit trig above my raised thumb.



15)  We have morning tea at the base of the boulder before leaving. The 3 people on the left are John, Jenny, Cynthia



16)  Leaving the summit now and heading towards the top of the knoll in this pic ... the same knoll as the one mentioned in Photo #10
Ian is the guy with a red backpack. Eric is in front of him.



17)  The part rainbow we saw earlier has developed into a full-blown beautiful arc. You can just make out a secondary rainbow in the upper pic.



18)  We are now at the top of the knoll mentioned in Photo #16 ... the same as the top of the slab in photo #5.
•  The blue arrow points to 2 small clouds ... see next few photos for their development ...
•  The valley running across the pic is Yaouk Valley ... what else do you expect its name to be  :-)
•  Whilst we can't see Nalyappa Homestead at the summit (refer to Photo #10), we can see it here ... pointed at by the green arrow.
The red arrows point to (from left to right):
    - Half Moon Peak
    - Mt Morgan
    - Mt Murray
    - Bimberi Peak
    - Mt Scabby
    - Mt Kelly



19)  (Still at the top of the knoll mentioned in Photo #16)
•  The 2 small dark clouds of the previous photo have joined up (blue arrow) ... also see next 2 photos.
•  The yellow arrows show how we intend to return to our cars.
•  The 9 red arrows point to (from left to right):
    - Half Moon Peak
    - Mt Morgan
    - Mt Murray
    - Bimberi Peak
    - Mt Scabby
    - Mt Kelly
    - Mt Gudgenby
    - Sentry Box Rock
    - Eastern peak and also the highest peak in the Sentry Box Complex (The peak halfway between Sentry Box Rock and this highest peak is the western peak of the complex.)
•  The 2 people on the left are Jenny & John.

By the way, you can click on the above image to enlarge it.


20)  ... zooming in on the previous pic ... In the centre of the pic is one cloud under another cloud, an unusual phenomenon by itself. Even more unusual is that the small dark cloud looks like a UFO ... also see next photo ...



21)  ... zooming in ... this is the first time I encounter such an amazing cloud !



22)  Unfortunately, I didn't keep my eye on the UFO cloud. 2 minutes later and it is gone ... compare this photo with photo #20.
Where did it go? Bucketed down as rain? ... all within 2 minutes !?!?!? ... a real bizarre phenomenon. May be it is a real UFO !!!   :-)
Left to right, the people are: Chris, Jenny, Eric, John, Cynthia



23)  Descending ~~~
By the way, most of the time we are bushbashing ... not such an easy stroll as in this pic. But it is easier to take a photograph of us when there is no scrub ... like here and in the next pic ...



24)  All of us are here (minus me taking the photo) ~~~
From left to right: Chris, Max, Jenny, Eric, John, Cynthia, Ian



25)  Like I said, most of the time we are bushbashing like this. (Eric is in front of me.)



26)  The 6 red arrows point to, from left to right:
- Half Moon Peak
- Mt Morgan
- Mt Murray
- Bimberi Peak
- Mt Scabby
- Mt Gudgenby
The blue arrow on the left edge of the photo points to Nalyappa Homestead where our cars are parked.
The yellow arrow to the right of the Homestead indicates how we intend to climb down.



27)  Nalyappa Homestead (where our cars are parked) is near the middle of the pic.
The yellow arrows indicate how we intend to climb down.



28)  There are a few tricky rock scrambles, like here.
Ian is helping Cynthia to get down.


29)  An interesting passage through the boulders.



30)  We are heading to the top of this nearby hill. (It is the same hill as in Photo #27 ... there, it was pointed at by the yellow arrow on the right.)



31)  We are at the top of the hill mentioned in the previous photo and looking back at Yaouk Peak.



32)  Nalyappa Homestead where our cars are parked.



33)  End of bushbashing and heading to Nalyappa Homestead.



34)  This is an electrified fence. Fortunately for today, the electricity is not turned on  :-)
From left to right: John, Chris, Cynthia, Eric
By the way, Eric is around 72 years old and is as fit as any one of us ... an amazing guy !



35)  Cross this stream and we'll soon be back to our cars.


It is an interesting day with a friendly bunch of Canberrans.

We saw rainbows, UFO cloud ... what more do you want in a day!!! Yaouk Peak is definitely worth climbing.

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