Date(s) - 21 Jan 2021 until 26 Jan 2021
- Grade 5 Hard
- Leader: David G
- Phone: 0432 632 142 after 8pm
- Co-leader: Bernadette
- Participant numbers:8
- Final booking date: 10/01/21
Geehi reservoir start. About 75km and 2,300 elevation gain.
Day 1, 21st Jan Thursday afternoon
We’ll drive (leaving mid-afternoon) to the Geehi flats campground and car camp for the night.
Note that we will have to stop along the way and buy national parks permits at Khancoban ($68/car for 5 days park entry which will be divided with fuel costs).
Day 2, 22nd Jan Friday, 18km / 870m elevation gain
We’ll get up and drive 30km back up the hill to the Geehi Reservoir. It’s 27km from the turnoff to the dam and takes a good half hour to drive.
We then start by walking up Schlink Pass Rd to Schlink Hilton Hut. This is a steady gradient on a well-maintained fire trail. Not particularly exciting, but easy walking and the changing vegetation is interesting (the native trees are pretty incredible, and lots of ferns, and it tracks the Geehi river (?) as we head up). While it’s a long-ish day, it is all on track.
We’ll have a good morning tea at the water crossing (bridge) a bit over an hour in. There is not reliable (flowing) water again until an hour or so before the hut.
Day 3, 23rd Jan Saturday, approx. 12km, 350m elevation, mostly off-track.
We start today by following the ‘main road’ up to Schlink pass, before going off track with a steep climb to the summit of the Gungarton, 2068 m. We’ll have a bit of scrub (likely at least knee height) to start with.
From here we head down to Gungarten pass and then follow a clear (un-scrubby) ridge line across the Kerries ridgeline and down to Mawson’s hut where we camp for the night. While off-track, in good weather this is easy walking. If bad weather, we’ll take the ‘low route’ via Valentines hut.
Being a ridge-line, the only water is likely to be standing pools.
Day 4, 24th Jan Sunday approx. approx. 17km / it won’t be flat, mostly off-track. Exploratory. About 450 elevation gain?
From Mawsons Hut we make our way past Tarn Bluff, skirt to the west-side of the Bull’s peaks, McAlister Saddle, and Jagungal Saddle to the summit of Mt Jagungal.
I would like to try to find Bluff Tarn on the way as I’ve heard it is one of the prettiest places ‘off track’ in the Jagungal area. Between Mawsons and Jagungal is ‘exploratory’ for me and I’ll be relying on a combination of other people’s notes and map/gps.
Following the ~12km to Jagungal summit, we’ll head down a clear footpad to the north-west and then a final 2km of fire trail over to Derschko’s hut (some people may wish to camp on the ridge behind) for the night.
We’ll try to pick the best routes through the valleys and any scrub we encounter, but it could be ‘interesting’ in sections and there will be a number of stream crossings and possible bog sections.
Day 5, 25th Jan Monday, 10km on-track, 185m elevation gain.
Today is an easy day following the grey mare track south to Grey Mare hut.
In the afternoon there’s the option of going for a wander down the valley and having a splash in the river. Alternately, if we make good time and anyone is really energetic, it’s about 10km return (with day pack, mainly off-track) to Valentine’s falls, or 8km return to a really cute little valley half-way to Valentines.
Day 6, 26th Jan Tuesday, 18.5km 450 elevation gain, 880 elevation loss.
On our last day we follow Grey mare trail past Grey Hill back to the cars.
The first hour or so is uphill onto the Grey Mare range, walking on exposed 4WD track. The next 10km or so are on grassed-over 4WD track along the top of the range, and is really pleasant walking with great views across to Jagungal and the Kosi main range. The last 5.5km are steeply downhill on initially well-graded 4wd track, which becomes more grassy and shady as we lose height.
Note that this day is quite sun-exposed and there isn’t any flowing water until two stream crossings 1km before the end.
We’ll try to find a café or something in Corryong for a quite bite on the way home, but best to have some spare snacks in the cars as well.