Date(s) - 1 Aug 2021
- Grade 4 Medium-Hard
- Leader: David G
- Participant numbers:
- Final booking date:
I’m postponing this walk due to uncertainty whether the walk would be able to go ahead with COVID lockdown. I’m also concerned about the amount of rain over the past two weeks, and forecast the week leading up to the walk – meaning a chance of getting cars bogged at the starting point, much of the walk is on soft dirt which will be muddy, and there is an off-track component traversing a steep slope which I don’t want to lead a group on after it’s been so wet.
We’ll meet in Beechworth and convoy to the starting point of the walk. The first five kilometres are easy walking (relatively flattish) on a well-maintained but quiet 4WD track with the Beechworth historic park (forest) on one side and open farmland on the other. We then leave the track and head into the forest to the cave, which is part of a large rock outcropping overlooking Woolshed valley.
We won’t be following a proper track for this part – instead we’ll be pushing through the scrub for roughly 500m. The cave is on a steep slope which is likely to have slippery rock and loose dirt/vegetation.
After morning tea we’ll head back through the scrub up the slope to rejoin the track and retrace most of the way back toward the cars. I’m thinking we’ll take another ‘detour’ into the forest, perhaps by one of the small streams, at an appropriate time for lunch.
We then take a different approach and start heading ‘down’, initially on Nieoff’s road, before leaving the road and making our way down a gulley. Initially the gulley is a small creek, but starts to open up, culminating in one large gorge, before another (Barry falls) 100m further on. This section of the walk is off-track, and will again be quite slippery in places. From here, we’ll follow Nieoff’s road back up to the cars (about 250m height gain). There is a chance of some cars on this road, but there is plenty of room for us to move aside.
Most of this walk is on good 4WD/unsealed road. But we will have to go slow and take care on the off-track sections, particularly when we are near the slopes/gorges.
And while it is ‘close to home’, we will need to keep moving to ensure we cover the ground with the shorter days.
(For future reference, splitting this walk would make for two nice ‘medium’ walks).