Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

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Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby Leo Nerdo » Wed 01 Sep, 2010 9:41 pm

A few friends are thinking of walking to Mt Bimberi in early october. Information seems hard to come by, does anyone have any tips or care to share their experience of the trip

Thanks
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby bshwckr » Fri 03 Sep, 2010 5:12 pm

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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby climberman » Fri 03 Sep, 2010 6:08 pm

Check the forum archives / search function in the backcountry section of the http://www.ski.com.au forums. Quite a few references in there i think. If no luck with the search function, just ask in the forum, you'll get some info.
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby Leo Nerdo » Fri 03 Sep, 2010 8:38 pm

Thanks for the links guys, I've also come across this very informative link. http://jevans.pcug.org.au/Pages/Walk%20Descriptions/2006_09-12-14.htm

We are aiming to complete the walk as an overnighter rather then over three days. Has done it this way? If so where did you end up camping?

Cheers
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby north-north-west » Fri 03 Sep, 2010 8:41 pm

Starting from where?
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby WarrenH » Sat 04 Sep, 2010 12:08 pm

The shortest walking route is from the locked gate at Gurrangorambla Creek in Kosciuszko NP, 4 kilometres into Oldfield's Hut, then 3 ks to Murray's Gap finally, another 3 ks to the summit. From the October long weekend, Tantangara Road off the Snowy Mountains Highway opens again. Drive to the locked gate on Pockets Saddle Road. If the weather is bad, like the rain we are having here today in the ACT or there is still snow and ice and the road at Tantangra Dam, the road is likely to cut up, then the locked gates will only be open to Nungar Creek. Ring ahead to Tummut 6947 7025 (firstly for the road conditions) or Yarangobilly 6454 9597 as another option. Tummut is best.

When I went into Bimberi, with one of my friends, we started at Corin Dam. Just past the dam wall there is a track that takes a minor spur up onto Stockyard Spur. We then followed the firetrail into Bimberi. Although the walk was long it was relatively easy being on the fire trails, once we had climbed Stockyard Spur. There was an old fire trail that isn't that easy to find. It is on the Rendezvous Creek Map, just east of Bench Mark 1301. On the track about half way between Leura Gap and Cotter Hut. This old trail although it is shown terminating 1 kilometre east of Bimberi Peak, it went through to join the Australian Alps Walking Track near Murray's Gap.

The only issue on the walk-in was at Corin Dam, the climb started immediately. It was good to get this climb over early. After Bimberi we dropped down to Oldfield's Hut then onto Pockets Saddle hut through Murray's Gap, and stayed at Pockets on the first night. 36 kilometres the first day was, I was rooted. On the second day we manage the 12 ks to Coolamine Homestead where we rested for most of the day and stayed that night. On the 3rd day, we crossed Coolamon Plain, then went over Mary's Hill, and on to summit of Mount Jackson. We dropped to the Goodradigbee Rivers and followed the river until we hit Harry's Spur Fire Trail. The Tea Tree on the Goodradigbee was shocking and affecting, and the river was too high to rock hop. The climb to the summit of Ginini was monstrous. Then it was back along the firetrail to the top of Stockyard Spur south of Little Ginini. Then it was all downhill from there.

If it wasn't for my friend Simon being such a strong walker and him needing to work the following day ... I would have been happy to camp that night on Ginini or die, rather than continue walking. The 3rd day could have been another 36-40 kilometres, maybe even more. This was a killer and a once in a lifetime walk.

The view to the sleeping lion, Jagungal ... and a hint of the the snow capped Main Range.

Image

Coming off Jackson remains a blur. When I think about the trip I smile heaps and feel very satisfied, but I have know idea why I do smile and feel satisfied.

Image


I didn't get around to measuring the distance of the 3rd day. I think that I was just happy to have survived.

Warren.
Last edited by WarrenH on Sun 05 Sep, 2010 8:30 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby Leo Nerdo » Sat 04 Sep, 2010 3:51 pm

Thanks WarrenH, i am familiar with the starting point at Corin Dam up the Stockyard Spur its a good climb to get you starting in the morning. A mate and I did the walk from Corin Dam to Pryors hut a few weeks ago and I was surprised by the amount of snow we found, and jealous of the person who had recently walked the same trail with snow shoes :-). On that note, does anyone know of a place that hires snowshoes in Canberra?

The plan for Bimberri is to walk in on the AAWT from Orroral Valley, but i am thinking the way you have suggested is another way to tackle it, and the challenge of being the walk of a lifetime sounsd interesting. So I now have two options to think about. I will have to get the maps and have a closer look.

My mate is aslo a very strong walker and I expect him to set the pace (and maybe carry a heavier pack, ha ha), he has already completed this walk years ago and he has mentioned this will walk leave mental scars on me, but i think i am ready for the challenge.

Thanks again for the information
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby Tony » Sat 04 Sep, 2010 4:53 pm

Hi Leo,

I have done Bimberi from Orroral valley, the walk into Cotter Hut on the main road is a bit boring, going through Cotter Gap is a bit nicer, you can camp around Cotter Hut but not to close, there is a certain distance that you have keep away, check with the rangers first.

When I did Bimberi it was pre 2003 fires and there was bit of a track from Murrays Gap, I am not sure what it is like these days, it might pay to check with John Evans, he can be contacted through his blog, John is a very nice person and would be willing to help you, I do not know of anyone who knows the bush down that way as well.

I have been down to Dunns flat via Harry Spur several times in the last few years and the route that Warren has suggested has some tough walking in it, we found it easier to walk in the Goodradigbee river as the post fire bush was very thick and full of black berries. Harrys Spur has some over grown places as well which are parts that are hard to navigate through as well as some very steep part 300m climb in the first k from the river.

I hope this helps.

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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby WarrenH » Sat 04 Sep, 2010 5:21 pm

Leo, you are welcome Mate.

On 'mntviews', Paul the blogger and his party came in from Oldfield's and at Murray's Gap they bush bashed.

http://mntviews.blogspot.com/2009/12/bi ... ralia.html

Warren.
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby vegiestuff » Sun 05 Sep, 2010 10:12 pm

Leo,
We did an extended trip last summer which may give you some ideas on how to structure your walk.
Day 2 Monday 28 December
We drove around the eastern edge of Canberra and then headed south to Namagi National Park on the Boboyan Road. We were stopped short of our original start point by a road closure possibly due the recent rain which was going to added a few kms to our first day. The packs were full of food and the camera SD cards were empty as we walked the length of Swampy Plains. It could also be called “Roo Valley” given the number of native inhabitants. At the end of the valley we found a taped foot track which we then lost for the most part until we found it again at the saddle below Mt Gudgenby 1739m. After a late lunch we set off for the summit. The southern slope had big rock slabs and lots of undergrowth for a climb of 400m in 1.2kms. DD, KT and I made it to the summit. The 3 and ¼ hour return trip along with the extra kms at the start had put us behind schedule on a hot and mostly cloudless day. It was now 5.30pm and we needed to be on our way. We walked down x/c to a junction in the Naas Ck. The old fire trail was not there and not on our printed maps but was some 100m to our west on the GPS. We found it and while difficult to follow at times it gave us a welcome way out the valley and over the divide north to the Sams Ck Valley. It was hot and PT was cramping badly late in the day as we climbed out of the valley. The “track” followed Sams Ck for a while and we decided to make camp at the first crossing at 7:15pm.
Just after getting our tents up a short thunderstorm bought us a shower to dampened things down a bit. This soon cleared and we had a clear and comfortable first night.

Day 3 Tuesday 29 December
We had stopped some 4 to 5kms short of our goal yesterday. The fire trail disappeared and it was slow work walking up the valley next to Sams Ck. At an unmarked waterfall we cut the corner and missed the next two bends in the ck before coming to the large open alpine plains of the upper Sams Ck catchment. This amphitheatre with Mt Kelly as the backdrop was our campsite. It had taken us some 4.5 hours for this 5km section. After lunch DD, MM and I went up to the saddle above the camp. This was slow going in thick scrub until the ridgeline. Some minor scrabbling later, we made the top of Mt Kelly 1829m for some great 360 degree views. The log book which had been placed by the Canberra BWC was unable to be signed as it was a soggy mess. It seems that even on high and relatively remote peaks people are still thoughtless. We had been warned about the scrub and the regrowth since the Canberra fires of 2003. The next few days over the Scabby Range seemed to be our hardest from what we could see from the summit, so I thought that we should check out some of the route on the way down. The west side on the ridgeline was much easier than the south. From the saddle north of our camp we were able to find a comfortable route down though some unburnt snowgums to the snow plains and camp.
That night a “Chill Cake” was on the menu but while it looked good the warm water and mild conditions meant that it refused to set. Talk about a reversal of conditions from last years Tassie trip.

Day 4 Wednesday 30 December
I had requested a 7.00am start and the troops had departed for bed at a little after 8.00pm. We crossed the swampy plains and climbed up thru the thick regrowth somehow missing the unburnt section that we came down on yesterday. Once up on the ridge line after an hour going was much easier. Great alpine views on both sides of this the Scabby Range. This is also the border with NSW and we found the stone and pipe markers from the surveyors marking the route for us. The border does a “U-turn” around Mt Scabby. This area was troublesome for us with large areas of regrowth intermingled with large granite boulders. Slowed us considerably. We lunched on the high level plateau below Mt Scabby and found good water in a soak. After filling up for a long and hot afternoon we headed for the west side where we found the weathered timber stake from the surveyors which marked the steep decent off to the west. Dropping some 250m in heavy regrowth down to a saddle which marked the next section of the Scabby Range. We tried being on top of the range at first then off to one side in some areas where the vegetation was less fire effected. But to no avail. We were making 750 to 850m per hour and need to get to Yaouk Gap as our “plan B” stopping point. At the gap we would then have to descend to get water. The gap was nearly 2.7km away at 4.00pm and we were either going to run out of daylight and/or water in the 4 hours ahead of us. So we took the option of “plan C” which was to head straight off the ridge to the valley below. This in itself was no small ask as it was head high regrowth and a further 250m down. Came out as intended at Rowley’s Hut just inside the Nat. Park boundary. The promise of a dip in the Yaouk Ck was high on the agenda in the baking conditions on the way down after an 11 hour day but no water could be found for the first 700m upstream. It was not looking good until some decent flowing water was found at 800m upstream away from the where the animals had been drinking. This was carried back much to everyone’s relief and a towel down was most welcome.
Plans would have to be altered slightly, not that it mattered much as everyone had had enough of the scrub for now. Tomorrow we would find and use the BNT for a way back onto the range.

Day 5 Thursday 31 December
Warm night yet again. We moved out at 8.30 and followed the 4wd tracks around to the BNT at Bung Harris Ck. Here a large horse party had setup camp with semi trailer, water pumps and lots of horses in an electric fence enclosure. We took the Lone Pine Trail up the range climbing the 400m that we lost yesterday in around 4km. Once passed the locked gate the trail was far less used and more comfortable to walk on. After the preceding 3 days in the scrub it was a relief to walk unencumbered. Followed the trail down the Goodradigbee River to Oldfields Hut. It is in a picturesque setting with Mt Bimberi as backdrop. Met our first other walker as this was now on the AWT. He was from New York and proposed to do the whole AWT with two food drops, Thredbo and Mt Hotham at an average of 30km per day. No gaiters, light boots and potato chips, would you believe it, as apart of his diet and some vitamin pills to help to make up for the rubbish he appeared to be eating.
We stretched out on the hut veranda enjoying the views, shade and watching our washing dry. This was New Years Eve but the only ones celebrating were the mossies which drove us into our tents early.

Day 6 Friday 1 January
Relaxed breakfast as we watched the roos grazing and waited for the last of the overnight showers and mist to dissipate. Headed off at 8:50 for Mt Bimberi 1913m which was a 600m climb over 7.5km and the highest in the ACT. Good views and phone reception from this alpine peak. Returned the same way. Arvie tea on the veranda. Met a north Queensland man who was teaching his son “the ropes”. He seemed “slow” but this was just his layback demeanour which hid an amazing tenacity. He had walked the entire BNT except for the bit in Tassie as his donkey, which was his companion for the whole trip, couldn’t swim that far. Interesting man.
Peaceful night except for the wild dogs howling, the kookas at last and first light, the possums on the hut roof and the some drizzle in the early hours.

Day 7 Saturday 2 January
We waited for the drizzle to clear before heading off up hill and out of the valley and down to the Cooleman Plains and Pocket Flat. Crossed over this valley to the Seventeen Flat on the AWT. Casual walking in a coats on, then coats off light rain/drizzle. Passed some brumbies on the way to the Blue Water Holes Campsite. Many day-trippers were there. Most hardly stopped and just alighted, had a smoke then got back in and departed. GE was not well with a stomach upset.
We claimed our space at the campsite and went for a walk down the Nicole Gorge to the Murray Cave with its interesting limestone formations. On the way back we had a dip in the Blue Water Hole in the Clarke Gorge. Very cold water and the swim was short lived. We drip dried our clothes on the way back to greet our guests with our food drop. The ranger was doing the rounds and we had a good chat to him about the route ahead. It confirmed our earlier thoughts and we decided to give the steep climb out of Clarke Gorge thru the regrowth a miss tomorrow.
There was a scramble in the camp to get some shelter up ahead of a pending thunderstorm. It all moved around us and we then settled into comfy chairs to be waitered on. Nurse Ellie did some repairs to our blistered heals while Kevin, Carol, and Craig handed around cold drinks. Then there was the BBQ food, fresh fruit, weekend newspapers and just when we thought it all could not get any better, out came the ice cream in a waffle cone. Awesome. This was our New Year. Very relaxing.
Our food drop was still to be sorted and most of us cut our fuel back as the water and weather had been so warm along with some of the extra warm gear we had been carrying.

Day 8 Sunday 3 January
A cooked breakfast, fresh fruit and then we were underway at a latish 8.40. Most of us were looking at the map to see if they could follow us and setup another food drop further down the track. We returned to Pocket Flat and this time headed up the Leura Gap trail. A long, hot and at times steep trail up thru the Rolling Grounds to Leura Gap 1530m. It was just as steep on the south side down to the Mt Franklin Rd FT and further to the Cotter Hut at 5.30pm. The 1960’s Hydro hut was locked but we sought shade from the blazing afternoon sun in its closely cropped grassy paddock. We were foot sore and tired from the hard fire trail track surface. Once the sun had gone behind the ridge it cooled quickly in the wind. Many curious roos around camp. Some tried to get into our tents overnight. One female didn’t want the attention of the alpha male and spent the whole night shooing him away with this grunting noise which went on all night.

Day 9 Monday 4 January
Days have settled into a pattern with low morning cloud giving way to fine sunny and hot days. Away at 7.50 up the AWT to an old FT at Pond Ck Flats. Very hard to follow this trail and we lost it completely about 700m from the saddle. This took us another hour to get to the saddle where we had lunch. I then crisscrossed the southern lower saddle area looking for the track down the other side. I found a “hole” in the regrowth where it could have been and then took a bearing down to Little Creamy Flat 1330m to arrive at 3.00pm. The ants had claimed native title and we had to setup around them in this picturesque setting with the Mt Namadgi massif as a great backdrop. They did seem to knock off at around 6.45pm and did not appear until 8.30am the next day.
We decided on a revised plan given the slow progress to get into LC Flats. We would stay an extra day here and climb Mt Namadgi as a day trip before heading out the same way. We would then use the AWT and the Orroral Valley to get to this would avoid the scrub between here and Big Creamy Flats and the big climb x/c over Mavis Ridge to the next valley the following day.

Day 10 Tuesday 5 January
This high level plain was enclosed on all sides. Namadgi massif and ridge to the south and west; Coronet Peak to the north and Mavis Ridge to the east. The cool morning at this altitude was stunning with a small amount of mist over the grassy plain and a half moon above greeting the morning summer sun glow in the clear sky. Kerry unfortunately having a different sort of morning. The simple act of putting something into her pack resulted in her back locking up and being barely able to move. Peter and she remained in camp to rest while we headed straight up the bluff behind the camp. Some 350m climb and one hour later we reached our vantage point over the camp in relatively easy going. In one further hour we had transversed around the bluff to the southern connecting ridge to Mt Namadgi. This ridge had a mixture of regrowth and boulders with some patches of snow grass in between. A further 2 hours saw us in a howling wind on top of Namadgi 1780m. We struggled to stand on the summit rock and quickly sought refuge in the nearby boulders. We were able to get a mobile call out to alert our contacts of what had unfolded this morning along with a number of scenarios for an exit and our revised route plan. The wind was bringing in storm clouds with that heavy hailstorm look. On top a ridge was not a good place to be at this time so we scampered off as quickly as we could. We were able to pick a better line off the ridge with the benefit of looking from above and the distant rumbling kept us moving. We returned the same way in 2 and ¾ hours verses 4 hours on the way in. In camp we were surprised to see Kerry up and about. The anti inflammatory drugs had kicked in and she was able to move around provided she didn’t lean forward.
The ants went away, the sun went away, a shower came, the sun reappeared, and then the ants came back again. We took shelter in all of this under the fly that Peter had put up. Eventually after moving around to avoid the sun and the ants we were able to cook dinner at around 6.30pm.

Day 11 Wednesday 6 January
Crisp morning once again. All were up early. Kerry had had a good night. We took most of her heavy gear and headed back out leaving the ants less disturbed. Following the line that we took on the way in we made our way back over the saddle and onto the AWT. In 2 and ¾ hours we had covered what had taken 4 hours on the way in. After the AWT we took the Cotter Hut Rd down the open grass land Orroral Valley to the old tracking station picnic area on the AWT at 4:15pm. Tables, shade trees, grass, dunny, tank water, good views down the valley and no ants….bliss. 19km for the day and sore feet once again.

Day 12 Thursday 7 January
The valley could be named “Orroral Roo Valley” such are the numbers at the moment. Everywhere we looked there was a mob of roos sheltering from the morning sun as we walked down the valley towards the old historic homestead. Just after the homestead we crossed over to the Nursery Swamp track and climbed up and into the next valley. Turned off west to follow another track which was faint at first before becoming more defined with tape and blue paint markings. This was to take us to the Rendezvous Ck valley. Before the saddle into the valley we began searching for some rock art which was a short distance from the track. We spent about 45 minutes looking at likely areas before giving up and continuing on our way. We had lunch at the Ck then realized that there was an excellent campsite on the other bank. We could have stopped here but wanted to take some of the distance out of the next day and was not sure how good the track out was or even if it continued. We stopped in the bush next to a Ck crossing made camp and put the fly up for some shade and had Arvie tea.

Day 13 Friday 8 January
In no time we were up and away looking forward to getting cleaned up and finding friends and loved ones. The Swampy valley plains began to open up in front of us as we headed out along the track which was at times very indistinct. Rowley was meant to have another hut on this route. We must have walked by it as we had found the home paddock. Later I found that another map called it a “ruin”. At the Boboyan Rd we dropped packs for the last time, retrieved the cars and headed down the valley towards Canberra for a wash. The campsite we thought of was closed so we ended up back up the Orroral Valley at the picnic ground and had a wash there. John and co. headed off earlier to pick up some stuff we left with the others at the food drop. Peter and co. were next and we all met again in Yass at a coffee shop to exchange gear. Very soon the traffic, the noise, and the fumes had me wishing for a return to the bush.
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby north-north-west » Mon 06 Sep, 2010 7:36 pm

You can also make a good circuit using the Yaouk and Lone Pine Fire Trails, including a side trip up Mt . . . Morgan, I think it is, and Half Moon. There's a horse pad that runs along the ridge of the Gurrangoramblas that makes for a more interesting route down to Oldfields, or you could even cut across the track and climb the back of Murray before dropping down to the gap and up to Bimberi.

Personally, I'm looking at getting the time to go cross-country along the ridge from Leura Gap. Looks like fun.

Oh, and you can camp at Murray Gap, or up on Bimberi itself if the weather's OK. There's water just below the gap on both sides, easier to find to the north.
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby Leo Nerdo » Mon 06 Sep, 2010 8:13 pm

Tony wrote:Hi Leo,

I have done Bimberi from Orroral valley, the walk into Cotter Hut on the main road is a bit boring, going through Cotter Gap is a bit nicer, you can camp around Cotter Hut but not to close, there is a certain distance that you have keep away, check with the rangers first.

When I did Bimberi it was pre 2003 fires and there was bit of a track from Murrays Gap, I am not sure what it is like these days, it might pay to check with John Evans, he can be contacted through his blog, John is a very nice person and would be willing to help you, I do not know of anyone who knows the bush down that way as well.

I have been down to Dunns flat via Harry Spur several times in the last few years and the route that Warren has suggested has some tough walking in it, we found it easier to walk in the Goodradigbee river as the post fire bush was very thick and full of black berries. Harrys Spur has some over grown places as well which are parts that are hard to navigate through as well as some very steep part 300m climb in the first k from the river.

I hope this helps.

Tony


Thanks Tony, I had emailed John and he was quick to respond. It turns out he will be coming out of Outfields the day after we head out, so we may end up meeting up along the way
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby Mr Wendel » Sun 30 Mar, 2014 5:46 pm

This seems like an old forum but I have used it recently for info so I though it was updating.

I just did Orroral to Bimberi summit. The track from the Murray saddle to the summit is reasonably obvious most of the way. Rock cairns mark most of it but there are some 20 meter sections where you have to guess where the trails is, but with a bit of looking around I was able to find it again. My watch said 50km and 2000m up into total.

I have tried to get up Bimberi from Leura gap previous but the dense under growth meant I had top turn back because I wasn't covering enough ground in the time I had allotted myself. I thought about coming down that way but again I didn't think I'd have time.
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby Explorer_Sam » Tue 08 Dec, 2015 11:27 am

Potentially doing Bimberi this Summer, planning to do it in one day up and back from the gate at Gurrangorambla Creek. I have a couple of questions and I would really appreciate it if someone is able to answer them.

If I don't manage to find the summit trail at Murray's Gap, or I lose it part way up, I would like to know what the vegetation is like, is it just waist-high scrub or are there trees most of the way? How far are you from the summit when you emerge out of the tree-line?

Thanks,
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby Mark F » Tue 08 Dec, 2015 6:27 pm

I haven't been up Bimberi for many years but plan to this summer. I would expect you to encounter snow gums with a dense scrubby understory just as you find around Murray's Gap. The height of the snow gums will decline with altitude becoming a bit more of a nuisance compared to lower down. Have a good look at the area on Google Earth and try to plot a line or a few open areas to navigate to. You can actually see a path going across an open area at GR 662780 6050600. Once onto the more open ground the track appears to run quite close to the border. Make a few notes or take a GR of where you come out of the thicker stuff for the reverse journey.
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Wed 09 Dec, 2015 12:47 pm

The summit trail from Murrays starts behind a distinct large rock at the north end of the clearing... the gap isn't that big so you'll find it eventually if you poke around a bit. The pad is reasonably well-worn lower down (lots of treefall and you'll need to find the pad again after skirting them) but can become indistinct further up, particularly from memory there was one or two swampy/grassy clearings after which it was hard to pick up the track, but if you take your time and poke around you'll find it eventually. Once above the treeline the track becomes more distinct, and even if you lose it beforehand, once the vegetation thins out it is pretty obvious which way is 'up'. Particularly nice walk once you get past Oldfields and the views across Namagi, Burbidge, Kelly etc. from the top are fantasic Enjoy.
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby Explorer_Sam » Fri 11 Dec, 2015 8:28 pm

Thanks for the responses guys, that's so helpful. Hopefully I get the chance to do it. Hopefully you can get up there this Summer too Mark!
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby north-north-west » Tue 15 Dec, 2015 8:22 am

north-north-west wrote:Personally, I'm looking at getting the time to go cross-country along the ridge from Leura Gap. Looks like fun.


Ahhhh, that takes me back. Did this a year or two after this post. A few scrubby bits and some interesting route finding on the steeper sections, but fun it was. Except for the horseflies. The horseflies were horrendous. Even worse than the Bogong High Plains at their worst and that's saying something. The Leura Gap side of Bimberi is beautiful. There's some good camping there, with plenty of soaks and even a small trickle of water here and there.

As for the track up from Murrays, it's a mix of timber (often fallen across the track) and light scrub, but it opens out nicely higher up. Even scrub bashing it's not that far to the clearer ground.
Bimberi.jpg

The aqua dot is Murrays Gap, the blue one where I camped to watch one of the more impressive electrical storms I've seen in the mountains (this was from the above-mentioned Leura Gap-Bimberi trip), and the green one the summit.
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby scouts1 » Tue 03 May, 2016 5:50 pm

My 12 year son and I did Bimberi from Oldfields a few weeks ago. The track from Murrays Gap is currently easy to find and follow, someone took the time to mark a lot of the trail with ribbons of various colours. The rock cairns help a lot too.
It might be a different story after winter.
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby randompunter » Thu 27 Oct, 2016 7:46 pm

We went up Bimberi today after camping at Murray Gap. Path was easy to find almost directly across the clearing from the camping area near the Murray Gap sign. Track was easy to follow with plenty of markers and rock piles. One hour up and slightly less back down. Great views from the summit.
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Re: Mt Bimberi - Namadgi

Postby Tim-Australian Hiker » Mon 02 Jan, 2017 5:11 pm

The walk to Mt Bimberi, the highest peak in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is a long and difficult one that forms part of the Australian Alps Walking Trek (AAWT). The thing I really like about this hike is that it is about as remote as it gets – I have done this trail and not seen any other walker. This is probably the ultimate multi-day training hike in the Canberra region.
This trail is usually considered a three day hike for the average walker but can be done in one or two days if you have a high level of fitness. The walk starts at the site of the decommissioned Orroral Valley Space Tracking Station and the facilities provide a great day picnic or overnight camp in its own right with a decent toilet block, picnic tables and gas BBQs.

Day one
The trail starts off with a 5.84 km walk along one of the fire trails before turning off the road onto the AAWT proper. The turnoff point is easy to miss so start paying attention at about the 5 km mark and look to the left side of the road . Once you turn onto the side trail, the track is undulating for about 1 km before a steep incline towards the top of the hill at Cotter Gap. Camping is possible in this area although not recommended. From Cotter Gap the trail is undulating but mainly downward and in relatively good condition although tree falls on this trail are common so you will usually have to climb over/under or around logs of various sizes. The trail continues downwards to Cotter Flat at approximately the 15 km mark. Cotter Flat is the best camping area on the trail with flat grassy ground kept short by the large local Kangaroo population. I highly recommend Cotter Flat as the place to pitch the tent. If you are doing this trip as a two or three day walk then you can drop your gear off here and hike to the summit of Mt Bimberi with a much lighter pack as the hills get very steep from here.

Day two
The walk from Cotter Flat to Mt Bimberi is where this trail really starts to get hard. From Cotter Flat to the top of Mt Bimberi it is approximately 12.5 km. There are two steep inclines on this section of the trail. The first is a fire trail that has a small section with a gradient of 1:4 or similar (I’m not joking) before flattening out for about 1.5 km prior to Murrays Gap. Murrays Gap is suggested as a camp site however I would avoid it unless you didn’t have a choice for a number of reasons:
It contains a swamp and with it a very healthy population of Red Bellied Black snakes
Its a wind tunnel at anytime of the year so you will be much colder camping here that at Cotter Flat. You are also more likely to have snow in winter due to the altitude
There are limited flat camping areas

The second steep ascent is not as steep as the one up to Murrays Gap however the trail from the Gap up to the summit of Mt Bimberi is overgrown, has a lot of loose rock, as well as a high number of tree falls over the trail. As a result, this final ascent to the summit will be the slowest of the whole trip. There are literally dozens of little rock cairns and in one case a pile of sticks (see photo below) marking the way to the summit. Pay very close attention when you have to go around fallen trees as you can very easily loose the trail. While a map and compass is helpful on the rest of the trail it is essential on the walk to the summit if you haven’t done it before. These maps are usually available at the larger camping stores and I would recommend buying them well in advance as they sell quickly.
From the summit you have a 360 degree view of both NSW and the ACT and you can see a number dams. It is without a doubt the best remote summit view in the Canberra region. Walking up to the summit of Mt Bimberi is like walking into an alien landscape and feels more remote than any other part of the walk which it is. The last time I walked this trail was December 2016, the day before Christmas and I didn’t not see any other walker.
The return walk back to Orroral is easier having only one steep section. However the descent starting from Mt Bimberi is slow as the rocks on the trail are loose and footing can be treacherous. From there the walk becomes easier and for most people the end of day two is back to their camp site at Cotter Flat.

Day three
The return trip to Orroral Valley is approximately 6 hours for walkers with good fitness. The hill leading up the Cotters Gap is the only serious one of the return trip and is much easier than the trip out. The last 6 km walk along the fire trail back to the tracking station can be a bit monotonous but the road surface is always in good condition.

Final word
This is a very enjoyable three day hike. As mentioned this trip can be done as a (very tough) one or two day hike but requires a very high level of fitness and a pack that doesn’t weight you down. I have done this trek using both hiking boots and hiking shoes and unless there is snow I would recomend the shoe option any day. If you want a multiday-trial in the Canberra region that is truely remote, then this is the one for you.

Getting There
The former Orroral Valley Tracking Station complex provides an excellent carpark from which to base a number of walks in this region. To get to the tracking station drive from Tharwa approximately 30 km from the Tharwa Bridge along the Naas Road to the former Orroral Valley Tracking Station.
From Tharwa travel along Naas Road (this road changes to Boboyan Road) past Apollo Road and turn off onto Orroral Road which is approximately 18 km from Tharwa on the right. Continue on Orroral Road past the campground and the road will finish in the tracking station carpark approximately 10 km from the turnoff. If you arrive early in the morning you there are a few heavily shaded carparks that will keep the car cool for the day.
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