"Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion.
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NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Fri 16 Dec, 2016 4:03 pm

Hi Peregrinator

Yes, at the bottom of the descent to the Gungarlin River bridge. Someone claimed the grooves were up to 400 mm deep, but I thought that was ridiculous - until I saw them.
Sometimes we see quite a few 2WD cars at the top near the new yards. Can be a bit safer from the escape PoV, although years ago someone was tampering with parked cars near there. No proof available, but the local cops had a chat with someone ...

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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby peregrinator » Wed 21 Dec, 2016 8:50 pm

rcaffin wrote:Hi Peregrinator

Yes, at the bottom of the descent to the Gungarlin River bridge. Someone claimed the grooves were up to 400 mm deep, but I thought that was ridiculous - until I saw them.
Sometimes we see quite a few 2WD cars at the top near the new yards. Can be a bit safer from the escape PoV, although years ago someone was tampering with parked cars near there. No proof available, but the local cops had a chat with someone ...

Cheers
Roger


Going back to Robert’s earlier point about vehicles on the Snowy Plains Fire Trail. He notes that high clearance is a necessity. Based on my experience in Feb 2016 and the comment by Roger, high clearance is also desirable for the western-most bit of Nimmo Road, where it descends to Gungarlin River. If my Subaru was still alive, I’d feel reasonably confident but the current car isn’t up (down?) to it.

Parking at the top of that hill doesn’t add much extra walking if going in to Kidmans, but my rough calculation has it adding about 15 km if heading for Cesjacks on the Snowy Plains Fire Trail. Nevertheless, that seems worthwhile given Robert’s description of the area. I just hope there's a bit of shade if it is hot and sunny.

And I just hope that “chat” with the cops was persuasive.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby RVG » Fri 23 Dec, 2016 3:01 pm

Hi Peregrinator

That pretty much sums it up.

If one is going to Cesjacks use some sort of 4WD in order to have the extra clearance. All Soft-roaders are fine.

If one is going to Kidmans a 2WD is okay, but if Nimmo Rd going down to the Gungarlin River is cut up do as you did and stop at the top of the hill near the cattleyards, then walk in to Kidmans from there.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby peregrinator » Tue 27 Dec, 2016 9:32 am

As I’m planning on walking not driving to Cesjacks and et cetera, I’m wondering about a possible alternative for part of this walk. Andrewp’s OSM map and the Nimmo Plain and Jagungal 1:25k sheets show a track heading west off the Snowy Plains Fire Trail about 1 km south of Bulls Peaks Creek. The Jagungal map has this ending near Flanagans Hut, while the OSM map has it continuing west to join a track south of Cesjacks. Google Earth shows (more or less) this track as well as a number of off-shoots. (Also see https://khuts.org/index.php/the-huts/snowy-plains-huts/453-flanagans-hut for more ideas about walking routes).

If this alternative route is in fact continuous, I’m wondering whether it might be a more attractive one for walking than RVG’s suggested driving one (northwest on Snowy Plains Fire Trail before swinging southwest to the NP boundary). Both routes look to be roughly the same distance. Anyone have any information on walking in this area?
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Tue 27 Dec, 2016 12:59 pm

I would not believe everything the KHA has written about tracks near Flanagans. Some of that info is either wrong, misguided or maybe out of date. Some of the tracks shown on various maps are also different from what is on the ground.

Be aware that you will be walking through private property once you leave the main 'road' which heads for the Cesjacks/NP gate. The owners may or may not be happy about your presence - it all depends.

Yes, I KNOW the owners.

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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby peregrinator » Tue 27 Dec, 2016 1:21 pm

Thank you for that. Sounds like compelling reasons for staying on the 'road' to the NP. In my ignorance, I was thinking that people associated with the private huts in the area would be much more likely to be around during winter rather than summer and I might go unobserved. But on reflection, it's not worth the potential hassle.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Tue 27 Dec, 2016 1:53 pm

much more likely to be around during winter rather than summer
Nope - lots of summer-time activity. Maintenance parties as well as 'holidays'.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby WestcoastPete » Tue 27 Dec, 2016 2:07 pm

Missed an opportunity. Could've called the book "Welcome to the Jugungal" :lol: :wink:
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby RVG » Thu 29 Dec, 2016 3:38 pm

Hi Peregrinator

When writing the book I had to draw the line somewhere about what tracks to include just outside the Park.As Roger says that Bulls Peaks area includes freehold property. It is probably the highest freehold land in Australia, getting up to somewhere near 1700m.

I was tempted to mention the tracks that you are talking about as well as a route from Kidmans through the Bulls Peaks area between it and Cesjacks, but decided against it.

It is freehold property which is used on a regular basis by families and groups who have built homes/chalets there, so it is best to let them keep their privacy.

On the other hand several routes in the book do cross private property for short distances, such as the route to Crooks Racecourse and one of the routes into Kidmans. In those cases the routes cross grazing country well away from any homesteads and for only short distances.

As for the track in, there is no better way of getting to Cesjacks than by following the Snowy Plains Fire Trail. A 4WD can get to the National Park boundary only 2km from the hut and the route itself continues past the boundary all the way to the hut.

Robert
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 01 Jan, 2017 6:48 pm

I am heading out there on the Mt. Jagungal circuit walk next week (6,7th /1/17). I will post a trip report subsequently, Insh`Allah.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby mholling » Sun 08 Jan, 2017 8:06 am

Thought I'd add my observations on this road from a visit to the area yesterday.

I had previously (ten years ago) travelled on this road in a 2WD (Hyundai Lantra with low clearance) all the way to the ford at Yellow Hut. We drove to the bridge yesterday in a 'soft-roader' 4WD (Mitsubishi Outlander) without trouble. We did find the rutted section at the bottom of Nimmo Hill (100m before the bridge). The road proper in this short section is steep and deeply rutted, with the only way through having a fairly severe sideways incline. There is a detour around the side, which we took; better but still a bit tricky coming up, and with a dried mud section at the bottom. So a significant barrier for a 2WD until it's graded. The bridge still looks fine for driving over (though we parked at the river and did not cross).

I have always been interested in this area and the road, and have read all the threads with varying opinions about the status. I did notice the sign which suggests public access is OK. The private property signs obviously want you to think otherwise.

Well done Robert on your efforts to get your book published. It's nice to see some more literature available on Kosciuszko NP. Sometimes I feel NPWS would prefer the park was invisible outside the Main Range.

Our walk was across from the road to Davies Hut. A nice day, though warm.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby peregrinator » Sun 08 Jan, 2017 6:38 pm

Good to get that extra information, mholling. I'm guessing that the locals could prefer that the road doesn't get graded.

I just wish I knew about this area ten years ago.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 12 Jan, 2017 6:53 pm

I just did the Jagungal circuit. It was amazing and I made it to the summit in good weather. I shall post a trip report soon.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby RVG » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 10:29 am

To what extent should walking tracks be managed within the Jagungal Wilderness?

A just published Trip Report about the "Old Tolbar Road down to Reids Hut Site" contains the comments

"For planning, we have been using Robert Green’s book „Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness“ and the waypoints given by him for this route. – Coming from Porcupine Ridge and walking towards the descent, all is fine, the route leading mostly through open grassland with some wooded sections easy to navigate.

Due to regrowth on the slopes, the situation starts to change past the rock monument, mentioned by Robert as a landmark (633795.92/5984478.78 // S36 16 31.3 E148 29 22.8). The route is sill navigable until 633972.75/5984941.47 // S36 16 16.2 E148 29 29.6, close to Robert’s waypoint „the track clear with rocks on either side of it“.

and

"Passing this, it turned out to be impossible for us to follow the route directly to the next waypoint („second creek crossing“, 633880.71/5984961"

"The "small cutting“ and "clearing“ described by Robert, located past this crossing ..are now densely covered with young snowgums. Vegetation becomes even more obstructive after this and lessens only close towards Reids Hut Site, say about 150 meters before reaching it."

Similar comments could be made generally about much of the Burrungubugge Corridor and other parts of the Jagungal Wilderness. At the moment all of the following areas are difficult to varying degrees, namely:

1. The route of the Bulls Peaks Fire Trail up Smiths Perisher (which would be dead easy to do something about).

2. The Strawberry Hill Fire Trail down Strumbo Hill. (The old track is still obvious but needs work.)

3. The ridge from Kidmans which leads up to the Brassys. (Some work needed.)

4. The route of the old Strumbo Fire Trail from Grey Mare towards the Pretty Plain area. (A fair bit of work is needed.)

5. The route from Reids Hut up along the old Tolbar Rd as far as the ridge. (Perhaps two weeks work by two fellows.)

6. Arsenic Ridge (Needs a fair bit of work.)

Some tracks have already completely gone, such as the route through Ryries Parlour from the Grey Mare Fire Trail to Pretty Plain.

The justification for doing some minimal work is:

1. To enable access by walkers to areas of the Park which are becoming inaccessible. (Walkers are enthusiastic supporters of the National Park system.)

2. To enable access by NPWS staff and possibly firefighters to areas to which may need attention. (Weed, pest and fire control.)

3. These tracks have a rich heritage value having been used by graziers, miners and others within historic times. Like the huts, these tracks need to be preserved.

4. The probability is that some of these tracks were also used by the original inhabitants to access the higher mountain areas in even earlier times, like the Bundian Way.

5. This minimal work will also open up circuit and other walks which will lead to greater enjoyment and knowledge of what the Park has to offer. (e.g. The clearing of the Strumbo Fire Trail would create loop walks connecting the Pretty Plain area to the Grey Mare Fire Trail. The clearing of Smiths Perisher would open up loop walks use the Great Dividing Range and the Grey Mare Fire Trail.)

If something is not done soon, what is now an easy job will become increasingly difficult and therefore is unlikely to happen.

What needs to be done is for the tracks through these areas to be managed so that a walking track less than one metre wide is kept open. In saying this I am aware that this area is classified as "Wilderness". Nevertheless the situation is approaching the stage where, if something is not done soon many good walking areas will be lost because small bottlenecks are not being kept open.

That would be a real shame.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 12:30 pm

A copy of that book was in every hut I went to last week in the Jag. Wilderness. It is an interesting book.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby north-north-west » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 2:07 pm

RVG wrote:What needs to be done is for the tracks through these areas to be managed so that a walking track less than one metre wide is kept open. In saying this I am aware that this area is classified as "Wilderness".


Dubber Parks' interpretation of 'wilderness' and appropriate infrastructure within it need a good swift kick up the backside.
They refuse to put AAWT markers anywhere except some track junctions (and it took years of arguments just to achieve that), but have metre high and wide signs at every single fire trail junction. It's *&%$#! ridiculous.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 3:44 pm

I agree that some of their actions - or perhaps it might be more appropriate to say their rules, may seem to lack much common sense in some cases. However, remember the political constraints they work under, and the relentless attacks they get from some vested interest groups such as horse riders, hunters, 4WD/trail bike groups, developers and local graziers. Their reactions could appear to be a defensible very-conservative stance.

As for the AAWT track markers - if you cannot independently navigate your way through that country, perhaps you should stay home.

Beware of what you wish for: you do not know what might come with it.

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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 3:52 pm

The SV map of the area shows which fire trails make up the AAWT. If you cannot follow that map with a compass then you are in bother .
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby RVG » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 4:47 pm

The issue is whether some of the tracks could be kept open, to a width of less than one metre, through areas which have been affected by regrowth after the fires.

The suggestion is that, like the huts, these tracks themselves have a heritage value and are worthy of preservation. They also have practical values as well, for NPWS and others.

If the tracks mentioned, like Strumbo Hill, the Kidmans Ridge and Smiths Perisher, are cleared to the width of a foot track that is not going to lead to either 4WDriving or horseback riding.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 5:13 pm

Hi Robert
I agree for the historical tracks. The best way of achieving this is to copy what KHA did over the burnt-out historical huts, and work WITH the NPWS management. KHA showed it is possible. You would use the same arguments.
Hum - maybe KHA would be able to advise on HOW?

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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby Mark F » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 8:06 pm

Recently I bashed down Arsenic Ridge to Brooks Hut from the Bolton Ridge Trail looking for signs of the old bridle trail. In many places it was quite pleasant walking linking open leads with short scrub/regrowth barriers but the lower sections were really choked with regrowth, it was noticeable reading the log book in Brooks Hut how the level of visitation has dropped off. I would love to find a gps trace of the old track or at least the route of it if it is shown on old maps.

If anybody is thinking of visiting the area I suggest they go over the SMA0397 trig (most probably gone) rather than trying to sidle it on the east. I could find no sign of the SMA0396 trig.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 8:36 pm

Hi Mark
SMA0396, SMA0397? Can't see them on my topos. Grid refs?
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby Mark F » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 8:59 pm

Eyeballed from the Old Adaminaby 1:25k (pdf version)
SMA0396 at 370139 1640m elevation
SMA0397 at 366132 1620m elevation
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 9:23 pm

Hi Mark
Ah - OK. We have been up and down Arsenic Ridge a number of times before and after the 2003 fires, and I don't recollect ever seeing any signs of an SMA marker. But it it was just a plug in a rock on the ground, we probably would not have.

Recently we found the ridge and gully just to the east of Happys Hut quite fast. Not a lot of scrub, although the comments in the log book in Happys would leave you quaking. Novices I expect.

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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby RVG » Tue 17 Jan, 2017 7:40 am

HI Mark
There are only a few maps which show the track up Arsenic Ridge and nothing in recent times. The best is the SMA Tooma 1961 map which is part of the 1 mile to 1 inch series, so the grid is a mile grid. Two earlier topo maps show both the trigs which you mentioned but they add nothing to what is on the Tooma map.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby kanangra » Tue 17 Jan, 2017 8:34 am

Last year I walked up Arsenic Ridge from Brooks Hut and agree there is now no sign of the old track on the ground. I found the going quite reasonable most of the way. I recall a rocky outcrop about half way up. Hit Bolton's track just near the top.

Also I came down to Happy's from Tabletop Tr on the same trip. I ended up in that gully to the north of the hut. The going wasn't great. Next time I would try and come down the spur to the east of the gully.

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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Tue 17 Jan, 2017 9:28 am

Also I came down to Happy's from Tabletop Tr on the same trip. I ended up in that gully to the north of the hut. The going wasn't great. Next time I would try and come down the spur to the east of the gully.
Ah yes - I should be more clear.
We were headed S from Tabletop, came to the junction and turned left (east). After about 50 m along the rather boring road my wife said 'Oh bother it' and turned right (south) onto that ridge. I followed. We stayed on the watershed of that ridge for most of the way down, through very light scrub, but followed a spur heading a shade to the right (west) near the bottom. That terminated just above the gully, which at that stage was wide open grass. The gully lead straight to Happys.

Log book entries in the Hut spoke of descents via the spur through thick scrub taking 60 minutes or more. We took about 40 minutes going gently. I guess it all depends on whether you are happy going off-track. I don't know what the top end of the gully was like, but staying on the watershed usually gets lighter scrub.

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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby kanangra » Tue 17 Jan, 2017 10:54 am

The top end of the gully had a nice grassy lead which sucked me right in. Soon hit the scrub but it wasn't the worst I've encountered. Came out into the clear just across from the hut.

On the same trip I dropped into the new Boobee Hut by scrubbashing down from the track on the ridge behind it. Managed to walk smack into the back wall of the hut which is only a metre or so from the bush. Didn't see it till we were right on top of it. My mate was really impressed. I didn't tell him I had just jagged it.

From there we walked across country to Brookes. Dropped down steeply to cross the river then across country up a wide open valley on the other side. At the watershed picked up a faint track which we followed into Brookes.

We started out from Selwyn Quarry and camped the first night at 4 Mile. Next morning we had breakfast on Tabletop, then morning tea at Happys. Lunch was at Crooks racecourse and afternoon tea at Mackeys. Camped that night at O'keefes. Next morning we climbed Jagungal via the usual route. Decided to take the direct route home. Lost the way in fog and got caught in thick scrub but eventually came out right at the hut. Set out for the return about 11. From O'keefe's we went via Doubtful ridge to Boobee and then across to Brooke's for the night. Next morning it was back to Selwyn via Arsenic Ridge and the Tabletop trail.

My mate actually went down the 4 Mile trail to the Eucumbene River and I picked him up on the way out at Sawyers Rest.

Good trip.

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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby Mark F » Tue 17 Jan, 2017 11:30 am

Hi Roger

I believe I have come down a very similar line into Happys Hut, certainly not serious scrub but looking at the aerial view in Google Earth etc I suspect that those commenting on the scrub went too far east before turning off. Chapman says 300m from the Bolton Hill junction and his map has a creek line heading directly south from the fire trail junction when it is actually about 150m further east .

Arsenic Ridge makes a nice break from the fire trails and provides a short cut through to Happy Jacks Road. Definitely the preferred route if the bridle track was clear. I believe the bridle track also ran north to the saddle at the southern end of Tabletop Mountain.
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Re: "Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness"

Postby rcaffin » Tue 17 Jan, 2017 2:40 pm

I believe I have come down a very similar line into Happys Hut, certainly not serious scrub but looking at the aerial view in Google Earth etc I suspect that those commenting on the scrub went too far east before turning off.
Well, I reckon we went about 50 m E from the junction before turning off. 300 m east sounds way to much to me.
Actually, we went about 200 - 300 m S from the road and stopped in nice country for morning tea, before going down. Limited views from there - lots of good trees in the way.

Arsenic Ridge ... I believe the bridle track also ran north to the saddle at the southern end of Tabletop Mountain.
Yep, straight over the ridge and down to the creek, and then onwards to the S end of TT. It was a very nice route. Gold miners' track. I want it back.

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