"Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

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"Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby RVG » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 2:20 pm

Several months ago I let the forum know that a new book was to be published about bushwalking in Kosciuszko National Park. At the time the book did not have a name.

The name is "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness".

It was initially published as an ebook and is available on both Amazon and Apple. It has now been printed as a spiral bound book.

The background to the book was given previously but for the sake of completeness in this post it is stated below.
"The 2003 fires in Kosciuszko National Park, destroyed 23 huts and did enormous environmental damage. But they had some beneficial side effects. By clearing the undergrowth they revealed things which had been hidden or forgotten. This book tells of the hut ruins, graves and other features which were found; and also the old dray tracks and bridle trails which were traced and recorded.
A real revelation was that the bridle trails and dray tracks, which had been used by graziers and miners for over 100 years, were very sensible routes, which are just as useful for bushwalkers today as they were to the old-timers then. Even if the tracks fade away, as many have, we now know where they went. That makes it a lot easier for us to traverse the same country.
This book gives precise details of routes and interesting locations. It makes recommendations for long and short walks in the Jagungal Wilderness.
Klaus Hueneke, author of “Huts of the High Country” and “Kiandra to Kosciusko” described it as
“The most detailed coverage of track and hut sites in the Jagungal Wilderness ever compiled. Chapter after chapter, map after map, reveal numerous routes and sites between Snowy Plain in the east and the Grey Mare Range to the west, and between Island Bend in the south and Happy Jacks Plain to the north.”

One of the suggested destinations is Bluff Tarn (below), which does not even appear on the current Jagungal map.
23 Bluff Tarn IMG_3875 cropped.jpg


The book deals with the area east of the Grey Mare Fire Trail and recommends that bushwalkers make use of the area south and east of Mt Jagungal which includes Cesjacks, Mawsons, Valentine, Kidmans and Tin Huts, and also the Diggers Creek area beside the Gungarlin River. Some of those huts do not have formed tracks to them and as a result do not receive as many visitors as they merit. The book includes extracts from the old maps which show the tracks and gives precise GPS coordinates for each route.

Significant inclusions are details of the Bulls Peaks Fire Trail, the Strawberry Hill Fire Trail, the old bridle trail into Kidmans Hut and past it to Mawsons Hut, the direct route between Tin Hut and Kidmans Hut and the route between the Burrungubuggee River and Tin Hut, via the Mt Porcupine Ridge. All these open up parts of Kosciuszko National Park which are away from the formed fire trails and which are good walks.

The book is initially available from Tabletop Press and directly from me. New retail outlets, some of which have been suggested on this forum, are being approached to stock it. I can be contacted on rvhgreen@outlook.com .

If there are any questions about the book or walks in the Jagungal Wilderness area, I would be delighted to answer them.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby RVG » Fri 18 Dec, 2015 10:15 am

Given the number of requests for suggested walks in the Jagungal Wilderness, perhaps it was remiss of me not to mention that the book contains a chapter on Recommended Walks in the Jagungal area.

I won't repeat it all here but amongst the recommendations are:

1. Two Jagungal circuits, one short, one longer, which can be done from any of Round Mountain, Cesjacks Hut or Schlink Pass.

2. A walk between Kidmans Hut, Mawsons Hut and Valentine Hut, visiting Tarn Bluff along the way.

3. A circuit south of Mt Jagungal accessed from anywhere along the circuit, which includes Schlink Pass to Mt Gungartan to Tin Hut to Mailbox Hill, to Cesjacks or McAlsiter Saddle to the Geehi Forks, to the eastern Strumbo Range to the Grey Mare Fire Trail. Grey Mare to Valentine to Schlink Pass. (Mt Jagungal can be climbed along the way.)

4. A delightful, rarely visited, circuit as follows: Schlink Pass to Mt Gungartan to Tin Hut to Kidmans Hut (via upper Dead Horse Creek and an the old Kidmans road) back to the Great Dividing Range via the old Kidmans/Mawsons bridle trail and then back to Schlink Pass (via either Mawsons Hut or directly).

5. There is a delightful 2 day walk from Guthega Power Station to Schlink Pass to Mt Gungartan to Tin Hut then down the long ridge near Mt Porcupine to Constances Hut (site) and the Burrungubuggee River, then back down the river to Island Bend and the Guthega Rd.

The book also contains a suggested variation for the AAWT within the Jagungal Wilderness area, namely to leave Schlink Pass by climbing to Mt Gungartan and then going along the Great Dividing Range to the old route immediately south of Mt Jagungal using the Strawberry Hill Fire Trail. Mt Jagungal can be climbed from here and the Grey Mare Fire Trail joined either at Strumbo Hill or at the Meteorological Station north of Mt Jagungal near O'Keefes Hut.

Those routes are all good and have the advantage that they get off the beaten track.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby MeanderingFlyFisher » Mon 21 Dec, 2015 8:33 pm

Wow,I just opened my copy 15 minutes back after a very busy day today.What a great book full of info and appears to have almost been custom written for my trip in to Valentines area next week.Warnsey we have much exploring to do and may not even have time to fish :o :wink:
Well done Robert and I am going back to it now as I have heaps to read and cross reference maps etc in the next few days and thanks for getting it to me by Christmas.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby warnesy » Mon 21 Dec, 2015 8:50 pm

I knew you'd have this book! Looks like a good read
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby Chris-Toms Outdoors » Wed 23 Dec, 2015 6:27 am

I'd be interested in stocking the book in my store:)
http://www.tomsoutdoors.com.au Family owned outdoors store selling quality clothing and equipment. Located in Tumut NSW.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby climberman » Wed 23 Dec, 2015 1:35 pm

Great RVG, perfect pressies for my old man. I've emailed you. Cheers :)
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby kanangra » Thu 24 Dec, 2015 10:40 am

I've just ordered mine. :)

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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby climberman » Mon 04 Jan, 2016 9:44 am

Turned out to be a great present thanks RVG, made the old bloke pretty happy. Might be able to use it myself as well.....

:)
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby Chris-Toms Outdoors » Tue 05 Jan, 2016 7:49 am

I received my copy yesterday. I will find it very useful as I slowly explore the area's around Jagungal. I will be stocking the book in my store :)
http://www.tomsoutdoors.com.au Family owned outdoors store selling quality clothing and equipment. Located in Tumut NSW.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby Liger » Tue 05 Jan, 2016 2:10 pm

I can't see it on the Tabletop Press site shop :( Is there a shop stocking them in Canberra?
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby RVG » Tue 05 Jan, 2016 9:22 pm

Hi Liger

Just in the process of organising retail outlets in Canberra. In the meantime it is best to contact me on rvhgreen@outlook.com

The price is $29.95. If postage is needed, I have been sending the book by Express Post and that costs $7.20, so the total package is $37.15. If you would like to save on postage I'm at Yarralumla and you could collect it there.

I'm also keen to let the bushwalking clubs know about some of these walks in the Park, so any of the affiliated bushwalking clubs which would like a free copy of the book to show its members is also invited to contact me on that email address.



,
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby Liger » Wed 06 Jan, 2016 12:40 pm

Email sent :D
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby Liger » Thu 07 Jan, 2016 2:30 pm

Just found out that Mont stocks the book in Canberra (was there for an unrelated reason and got talking about weekend destinations).
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby peregrinator » Fri 04 Mar, 2016 6:11 pm

This is a superb book and I'd recommend it highly. It has inspired me to make my first visit to the Kosciusko NP last month. I'd ignorantly thought of the Snowy Mountains as probably a place to avoid, what with all the tourist development and the often-visited tracks around the main range, to say nothing of the hydro structures. The book (and then my study of some topographical maps) convinced me that the Jagungal area, at least, largely avoids those issues and would be a very attractive place to walk. Even for someone like me from Melbourne who had so far found it more convenient to travel only to the Victorian alpine region rather than drive the extra distance to get to NSW. So what follows is a very brief report on my trip, just to indicate how useful the book was to me.

First, the book makes it clear that it is best to employ a GPS on some of the suggested routes. As I've never had any need for a GPS, I chose some walks where I believed I'd be able to rely on my ability to navigate with map and compass alone. That proved to be the case.

From the trailhead on the Khancoban-Cabramurra Road (about five and a half hours from Melbourne), I walked south on the Round Mountain Fire Trail, then climbed Mt Jagungal from where the Greymare Fire Trail crosses the nascent Tumut River. With the mountain as an aid to navigation, I went east and south, picked up a sort of a route going west on the Strumbo Range, but decided to camp back near the Geehi River with some shelter from the breeze. The book has notes on routes in this area, but walking is very easy and one can extemporise, depending on how much time is available.

All good, but even better in my opinion was the walk to Kidmans Hut from the Gungarlin River at the end of Nimmo Road, which I certainly could not have done without the book.  In this eastern part of the NP, the trees and meadows were very lush and the route has only minor undulations. On the open plains, at times I had the feeling I'd drop off the edge of the planet if I continued, such is the curvature of the land and the expansiveness of the view.

I experienced some slight confusion when I got to a ford on Teddys Creek at 370/917.  Realised I must have somehow missed the earlier ford described in the book at "Waypoint 636500/5992470". That was because I had read the walk description several times, long before even leaving home, and had erroneously fixed the ford in my mind as "on" the track, not "near" the track!  A good lesson in the need to re-read track information closer to the event. If "near" is stated, it's obviously necessary to be attentive to clues.

Back at the missed ford, I took it slowly and carefully to Kidmans.  I am very keen to get back next summer to explore more of this country, which I found very attractive compared to the more fire-ravaged landscape south of the Khancoban-Cabramurra Road. (But I'll get back to that part as well sometime as it has its own qualities and the snow gum regrowth will slowly improve the look of it.) After this first visit, getting an understanding of the topography and the vegetation, I feel more confident about doing some of the other suggested walks. Maybe I'll eventually be tempted to get a GPS and do some of the many more routes the book presents. It is replete with information and a must if you'd like to get the most out of visiting the Jagungal wilderness. (Note, I have never met the author.)
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby Zingiberaceae » Mon 21 Mar, 2016 7:33 pm

Sweet as! I've only walked from Round Mountain and back (via Jagungal, O’Keefe’s Hut and Derschkos Hut https://wordsandwilds.wordpress.com/201 ... -mountain/) so there is an awful lot more for me to explore. Does the book describe the area in regards to cross country skiing at all? Those firetrails looked like they had potential for either that or mountain biking in order to speed up the distance along them!
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Tue 22 Mar, 2016 12:10 pm

peregrinator wrote:This is a superb book and I'd recommend it highly.


+1
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby RVG » Sat 14 May, 2016 1:36 pm

Hi

The book gives details of the old routes taken by the graziers. In winter much of the high, open, country of the Jagungal Wilderness can easily be crossed on skis and is well known to ski tourers.

For anyone new to the area the book does give an outline of the route of the old Bulls Peaks Fire Trail, the Strawberry Hill Fire Trail and routes between Mawsons and Valentine, along Tibeaudo's Creek and so on. To that extent its descriptions and GPS locations might be useful for winter ski touring.

Robert
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby Greg Buckman » Sun 30 Oct, 2016 1:42 pm

Dear all,

Last Friday I got back from a fantastic week in the Jagungal wilderness area using Robert's book to get into Kidman's hut then on to the Brassy Range. From there I walked across to Bluff Tarn, then did a day walk to Mt Jagungal and back, then walked on to Tin Hut via the Kerries, from which I did a day walk to Mt Gungartan, before exiting via the Brassy Range and Kidman's hut, again using Robert's book.

As the attached pix show, there was still a fair bit of snow around, but not so much as to make walking difficult, at worst I had to cross 3 or 4 large drifts each day, which didn't present too many challenges.

I didn't see a sole out there but did see 7 wild brumbies around Valentine's Ck and a wild pig near Burrungubugge Gorge. No-one had entered anything into the Mawson's or Tin Hut log books for a month and I was the first entry in the Kidman's log book for 4 months.

Once you are up on to the Brassy Range the walking is relatively easy throughout the area.

I can't praise the Jagungal wilderness, or Robert's book,
Snowies 2016 - Jagungal 1.JPG
Snowies 2016 - Main Range from Gunghartan.JPG
Snowies 2016 - Bluff Tarn 2.JPG
enough. Superb country, especially when there is still a bit of snow around. The lake shot, below, is of Bluff Tarn, south of the Geehi River.

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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby kanangra » Mon 31 Oct, 2016 3:37 pm

Thanks for that report Greg. I'm seriously envious of your trip. I thought there would have been more visits to those huts over winter. I have just got to get out there again.

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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby kjbeath » Tue 08 Nov, 2016 5:56 pm

I always liked the degree of imagination required to name the tarn Bluff Tarn and the nearby hill Tarn Bluff. Both places I've been close to but never visited.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby RVG » Fri 18 Nov, 2016 5:30 pm

A wonderful report Greg.

A week in the wilderness without crossing or walking along a formed track and that's a lovely photo of Bluff Tarn.

You certainly covered a bit of the territory and I'm glad that you went in via Kidmans, because that route gives ready access to the middle of the Jagungal Wilderness without the long traipse in via Farm Ridge or the Round Mountain Fire Trail.

Niven, Peter and I will be back in that country next week. I was surprised by the amount of snow in your pictures but I expect that most of the snow you saw will have disappeared by now.

Robert
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Wed 23 Nov, 2016 7:47 pm

A couple of snow banks on Jag and the Toolong Range still, but melting fast.
7661.jpg
7661.jpg (168.03 KiB) Viewed 4782 times

The 'snowy' stuff is the W side of the Main Range from Jag. That's the side the tourists do NOT get to see!
7671b.jpg
7671b.jpg (268.93 KiB) Viewed 4782 times

Camp near Jagungal saddle, last morning. Very nice, considering the howling storm we had a few days before this.
There is the faint remains of a 4WD track runing down the Doubtful Ck for a little way. Old stockmen's route.

Cheers
Roger
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 15 Dec, 2016 11:35 pm

I am heading up there this Jan. '17 to walk the Round mtn. / Mt Jag. circuit. :-)
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby RVG » Fri 16 Dec, 2016 10:32 am

Hi Paidal
I don't know where you live but if you are coming from Canberra or Sydney the best way to reach the Jagungal Wilderness is not to go in via Round Mountain but to go in from the eastern side using the Snowy Plains Fire Trail, to reach the National Park only 2kms from Cesjacks Hut and at 1700m.

That way you do not need to drive from Cooma, out to Kiandra, down to Round Mountain and then do a days walking along a fire trail to get to Jagungal and another day getting back to the car again.

On the contrary, by going in via Cesjaks you reach the heart of the Jagungal Wilderness after a 2km walk. That way you can make much better use of your time and can spend your time seeing some of the great features which are off the beaten track.

Even for people coming from Victoria, I would advocate going in via the Snowy Plains Fire Trail and Cesjacks. The drive, through Thredbo, is a couple of hours longer but the productive time once you get there is so much better.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Fri 16 Dec, 2016 11:12 am

using the Snowy Plains Fire Trail
But you will need a 4WD car and you may (still) need chains as there are currently some torn-up bits. And, of course, if there has been rain, you may be blocked on the plains by one of the creek crossings.

Cheers
Roger
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby RVG » Fri 16 Dec, 2016 11:41 am

Yes, I should have made it clear that it is a 4WD route.

However, the reason for the use of a 4WD is not because the road surface is at all difficult, but because close to Cesjacks the route goes up a hill which has drainage humps across it. A 4WD is necessary only because it will have the extra clearance to get over those humps and cross two rivers on the way in.

The two river crossings are not rocky or boggy. Both have good gravel bases. The Gungarlin R crossing also has a bridge bypass.

Closer to Cesjacks, the Bulls Peaks Creek crossing is rarely an issue, except that during the Spring melt it will get high. At any other time, bar heavy and sustained rain, it is a straightforward and simple crossing for all soft roaders. (In flood conditions there are footbridges and it is close enough to Cesjacks to walk in from there anyway.)

A Subaru Forester, XTrail, Sorrento, Toyota RAV, etc. will not have any problem using this road. I have been using this route for decades and chains have never been necessary.

So a reasonable summary would be: this is an excellent route into the Jagungal Wilderness on a good and formed road surface. Take care during the Spring snow melt. Remember that it is a dirt road. The locals will not appreciate it if you damage the road surface. In times of heavy and sustained rain some sections will get soft, so don't go in there in those conditions. But why would you anyway.

Robert
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Fri 16 Dec, 2016 11:57 am

Hi Robert

Nimmo Hill has been badly carved up at the bottom. Some of the grooves are remarkably deep.

The locals will not appreciate it if you damage the road surface.
Especially considering what it cost to repair the last time. No, the Council does NOT maintain it.

Cheers
Roger
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 16 Dec, 2016 1:09 pm

Hi
Thanks for the tips. I live in Melb.
I will be coming from Myrtleford where I base myself en route to the Oz Alps. My old friend lives there in the Ovens valley.
I plan to come in from Corryong and drive in my tiny 2WD street car to the Round Mt. Trail head.
I may walk into The Round Mtn. hut on the evening and pitch a tent near the hut before the main hike commences the following day. I assume there is water near the hut. I have the SV map of the area and it has notes on the back about camp sites , water points and so forth. I can use a map and a compass and the tracks generally seem to be not too hard to follow.
:-)
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Fri 16 Dec, 2016 1:19 pm

The Farm Ridge track from near Round Mt to near Jag is a pleasant walk anyhow, with good views.

Cheers
Roger
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby peregrinator » Fri 16 Dec, 2016 3:45 pm

rcaffin wrote:Nimmo Hill has been badly carved up at the bottom. Some of the grooves are remarkably deep.
Cheers
Roger


Roger, which section of the road are you referring to? I assume from my attempt to access this area last February in a low clearance 2WD that you mean the descent to Gungarlin River, from near Gungarlin East 1465m. I judged it to be safer to walk from the beginning of the descent.
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