I went to Potato Point with the Scouts for a weekend wide game. Very nice location, apart from the ticks!
Exploring the Jagungal
Peter Thomas kindly arranged for a variety of ACT Scout leaders to take a tour of the Jagungal portion of Kosciuszko National Park under the guidance of Robert Green. Robert is very experienced with this area, and has recently written a book. Five leaders from the Macarthur Scout Group decided to go along on this tour and take a look at our hiking options in the area.
The first challenge is getting to the area. The campsite we used for the first day is only accessible to four wheel drive vehicles — the slope down to the camp site from Nimmo Plain is quite rocky and has some loose sections. That said, the Landcruiser I was in had no trouble making the trip, and the group managed to get two car style four wheel drives into the area without problems as well. The route to Nimmo Plain from the south of Canberra is as follows:
We explored two areas which are both a short drive from Nimmo Plain. We in fact didn’t explore anything at Nimmo Plain itself, but as the intermediate point where the road forks it makes sense to show that bit of route first. From Nimmo Plain, it you turn left you end up where we camped for the first day, which is a lovely NWPS camp site with fire pits, a pit toilet, and trout in the river.
The route to that camp site is like this:
From this campsite we did a 14km loop walk, which took in a series of huts and ruins along relatively flat and easy terrain. There are certainly good walking options here for Scouts, especially those which don’t particularly like hills. The route for the first day was like this:
Its a fantastic area, very scenic without being difficult terrain…
As you can see from the pictures, life around the camp fire that evening was pretty hard. One note on the weather though — even at the start of April we’re already starting to see very cool overnight weather in this area, with a definite frost on the tents and cars in the morning. I wouldn’t want to be hiking in this area much later in the season than this without being prepared for serious cold weather.
The next day we drove back to Nimmo Plain and turned right. You then proceed down a dirt road that is marked as private property, but has a public right of way through to the national park. At the border of the park you can leave the car again and go for another walk. The route to this second entrance to the park is like this:
This drive on the second morning involved a couple of river crossings, with some representative pictures below. Why does the red Landcruiser get to do the crossing three times? Well that’s what happens when you forget to shut the gate…
Following that we did a short 5km return walk to Cesjack’s Hut, which again wasn’t scenic at all…
Ok, so now that I’ve rediscovered walking to trigs while pursuing my hobby of trying to kill Mr Carden, I am enthused to do some more urban walking.
The only urban trig I haven’t been to is YA-90 on Isaacs Ridge. There are also three geocaches along the way I’d like to collect to. I propose we stage a walk from Isaacs as there’s plenty of parking and do this one some evening when its cooler.
Total distance should be about 4km return, with about 150 meters of vertical ascent. It should take about an hour.
We did this walk on a warm afternoon on new year’s day. The walk is pleasant, with plenty of shade for most of the way. In the end we only collected two of the geocaches, as following the ridge line to the third was considered an exercise for another day. A very pleasant walk. A 4.2km walk with 169 meters of ascent.
A year of being more active
A little over a year ago I helped host a panel session at the Paris OpenStack summit. The panel was three telco people talking about NFV, but that’s not the bit I really remember. The bit that really stuck with me was how fat I looked in photos from the event.
I weighed just over 110 kilos (240 lbs). I decided something had to change — I have a new daughter, and I want to be around to see her well into her life. So, I joined a gym and started bush walking. My first walk was documented here as a walk up Tuggeranong hill. That rapidly became an obsession with climbing hills to survey markers, which then started to include finding geocaches.
I can’t give you a full list of the tangents that one photo from Paris has caused, because the list isn’t complete yet and may never be. I now run, swim, ride my bike, and generally sweat on things. Its all fun and has had the unexpected side effect that its helped me cope with work stress much more than I expected.
I’ve lost about 15 kilos (30 lbs) so far. Weight loss isn’t really the main goal now, but its something I continue to track.
I thought it would be interesting to list all the places I’ve walked in Canberra this year, but a simple bullet point list is too long. So instead, here’s an interactive map.
There are a lot more walks I want to do around here. Its just a case of finding the time.
Ok, so I want to do Mount Tennent from the “wrong” side (Apollo Road up the fire trail). The reason for this is that there is a series of 20 something geocaches along the route that I’d like to tick off as well as walking to Tennent.
I think the total route should be about 13kms, with about 800m of ascent. I propose we leave at least one car at the Apollo Road car park, and then drive the rest to the start point at the Namadgi visitor centre. We can then do the walk, and send one car back to collect the others while we wait under a tree (or something like that).
Naismith’s rule says this walk should take about 5 hours.
I’ve been meaning to do this one for ages, but finally got around to doing the walk with a few friends. We went up Tennent from the Namadgi visitor’s center, but walked back down on the far side of Tennent which seems less common. The far side is less scenic, but less steep as well I think. Along the way we collected 23 geocaches along the way, and a lovely walk was had by all.
Just over 1,000 meters vertically, and around 16km horizontally.
I went street orienteering for the first time with my little brother the other day. It was super fun, and a good way to get a run in as well. We even came first in our division (team b grade)!
Mount Stranger one last time
This is the last walk in this series, which was just a pass through now that the rain has stopped to make sure that we hadn’t left any markers or trash lying around after the Scout orienteering a week ago. This area has really grown on me — I think most people stick to the path down by the river, whereas this whole area has nice terrain, plenty of gates through fences and is just fun to explore. I’m so lucky to have this so close to home.
A walk in the Orroral Valley
Last weekend was a walk in the Orroral Valley with a group of scout leaders. Embarrassingly, I’d never been in this area before, and its lovely — especially at the moment after all the rain we’ve had. Easy terrain, and a well marked path for this walk. The only catch is that there’s either a car shuffle involved, or you need to do a 12km return walk.
CBC Navigation Course
This was the GPS followup to the previous map and compass navigation exercise. A really nice walk, apart from crazy horse lady. The walk also included another visit to Forster trig. I’m not sure if its the time of year or the direction of approach, but this ascent was much nicer than my previous one, we seemed to avoid most of the prickly things. It would be interesting to recce the other side of the hill and see if I just got unlucky last time, or misread the contours.