Climbing Mount Marsden in Capertee Valley

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Climbing Mount Marsden in Capertee Valley

Postby awmross » Wed 31 May, 2017 8:46 am

Mount Marsden is a massive wall of sandstone overlooking the Capertee valley, just south of Kandos on the road to Glen Davis.

The peak lies at the south end of an escarpment running north-south. Most approaches to the summit are blocked by either massive cliffs or private farmland (or both). The approach I took is to climb up a spur 2 kms away, at the northern end of the escarpment, then walk south along the top to reach the summit at the south end.

To get to Mount Marsden, first drive to Kandos, then it is another 15 minutes drive south from there. The climb starts about 2km north of Mount Marsden itself, at GPS coordinates -32.913715,150.040942. As you drive south, when the farmland on your left turns to forest and the road starts a steep downhill, pull over and park next to the road.

Entering the forest, you come across a steep grass covered gully. From the bottom of that the climb to the escarpment begins. The climb is very steep and just goes straight up to the top. There is an obvious spur to follow; if you find yourself in a gully you have gone the wrong way. There are lots of tracks going up the spur; I assume from animals.

Near the top you find massive sandstone boulders and then the cliff line. You may want to mark here, as the descent point wasn't so obvious on the way back down.

Walking along the top of the escarpment is very easy, being mostly flat open woodland without undergrowth. There are great views across the valley to the west.

Eventually you will come to the Pagodas. These are giant rock formations, the size of buildings. They are well worth an explore, but if you want the quickest way to the summit, skirt around to the east (away from the cliffs) and follow the back of the rocks till the land rises sharply and you have to start climbing again.

There is a "false summit" 300m before the actual summit. This has possibly the best views of the whole walk.

The actual summit is mildly interesting but the views are found 100m away at the south-west corner. I did not explore to the east of the summit.

The route back is along the same path you took to get to the summit.

The whole walk there and back took me 4 hours. That included stopping for lunch at the top and plenty of stops along the way to take photos, admire the views and just enjoy the scenery in general. I am also generally unfit and had a sore foot on top of that. You could easily do the climb in 3 hours or even less if you pushed it.
awmross
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