Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

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Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby eggs » Tue 04 Aug, 2009 12:52 pm

So I have been saying I will post some pics - so after putting one up at the mt brown thread, here are the rest.
It was sometimes very hard to get good photos though - due to the extremes of sunlight and shadow.

The Gammons are part of the northern Flinders and are 8 hours drive North from Adelaide.
They are a desert range and water supply is critical - but attempts to contact the rangers had all failed.
We arrived at the ranger station - and once again - no one there.
I had asked the folk at Arkaroola and they said summer rains had filled their waterholes, but they were starting to dry up now.
So we carried a lot of water.
We started at Weetootla and went the first afternoon to Grindall's Hut - which was a good thing.
Apart from the main hut which needs to be booked, there is a bushwalkers hut there (with 1 bed) which we slept in and good water at the hut.
We topped up there and carried in 16 litres between us.

There was good water on the way into Bunyip - so that made me relax a bit more about our trip. However we did not collect water till Rover - but we were using 6 litres a day.

3466WeetootlaWaterSm.jpg
Spring water flowing in Weetootla Gorge


2901JohnRobertsDawnFacePanSm.jpg
Panorama of first light on the Blue Range (and Mt John Roberts) from behind Grindalls


2903DawnViewAboveGrindallstoBlueRangeSm.jpg
Wider view of Illanawortina Pound early morning - with Hikers Hut in the trees
Last edited by eggs on Tue 04 Aug, 2009 4:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby eggs » Tue 04 Aug, 2009 12:55 pm

2911RockTreeSm.jpg
Trees have to be tough to grow in the soil up here - and some don't survive.


2954Bunyip2ndStepSm.jpg
The second fall going into Bunyip - with precious water at the base.


2959BunyipFallsCornerRHSSm.jpg
Climbing up the 3rd fall on the way into Bunyip Chasm
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby Penguin » Tue 04 Aug, 2009 12:56 pm

Spent our honeymoon in the Flinders nearly thirty years ago.

Great photos eggs. Bring back glorious memories. Maybe it is time to go back....

P
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby eggs » Tue 04 Aug, 2009 1:00 pm

2969PanBunyipChasmSm.jpg
Bunyip chasm - and the final climb up into it. A narrow crack that ends in a sheer wall.


From Bunyip we went directly up Steadman's Ridge - a tough but good climb - maximum pack weight at that stage.
When we got to the top there was a lot of wind, and we decided to camp at the high point before John Roberts - as we were planning to drop into Shelf Chasm the next day.
Did a run down to John Roberts to get the late afternoon views, then back to a brilliant sheltered shelf to camp that night.

3008BunyipOverviewSm.jpg
View back over the gorges leading to bunyip Chasm from the climb onto Steadman's Ridge


3022Illanawortina&FromeSm.jpg
View from Mt John Roberts along the line of Bunyip Creek to Illanawortina Pound (and the huts), Weetootla Gorge and the vast salt flats of Lake Frome on the horizon
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby eggs » Tue 04 Aug, 2009 1:05 pm

3043JohnRtoMcKinSm.jpg
Evening view of Mckinley Bluff from John Roberts


3103BlueRangeLitUpCropSm.jpg
Morning light over Mt McKinley and its Bluff and Cleft peak with the main plateau behind.


From Steadman's we followed it up towards the main ridge before dropping into Shelf Chasm - going down past the old Man of Italowie to a serious set of waterfalls.
There are some interesting rock climbs going down through these gorges.

3185ScallopedWallsSm.jpg
The walls above the scalloped falls near the Old Man of Italowie
Last edited by eggs on Tue 04 Aug, 2009 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby eggs » Tue 04 Aug, 2009 1:10 pm

After getting to the junction with Wildflower Creek, we had intended to head to Rover, but we turned up a gully too soon. About a 3rd of the way up a now trackless creek I figured we had come the wrong way. It was getting late and we needed to decide.
Thinking it was too much effort to go back around, we decided to press on to the Cleft ridgeline - probably to run back down it to Wildflower Saddle and on to Rover.
This ended up being the toughest climbing we did. We were on a fairly stable scree slope that got very steep and then had a virtual cliff to negotiate to the top.
Once there, we were in a jet stream - but the thought of using the height gained to advantage took our thoughts to camping on top of Cleft.
So we kept going up the ridge to the North Peak. It was getting late, but the wind was still a gail and each bare camp spot we passed looked very exposed.
Knowing that there were supposed to be some good spots on Cleft South we descended into the saddle and grimly climbed the steep side of Cleft South.
It was well worth it - sunrise and sunset from Cleft were a real highlight - including a couple Wedgetails checking us out just overhead in the morning.

3208UpCleftGorgeSm.jpg
View over Wildflower Creek up Cleft Creek - which is a vast cut that divides Cleft Peak into 2 sides.


3270CleftNorthMorningPanSm.jpg
Panorama of Cleft peak North from the South peak at sunrise


3311CleftSouthNorthEastRidgePanCrop.jpg
Looking back at Cleft Peak South from the North Peak as we were heading down in the morning
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby eggs » Tue 04 Aug, 2009 1:21 pm

We took water from Rover Rockhole - a reasonably reliable source in a large rock crack at the top of a waterfall.
From there we explored into Fern Chasm and the Terraces before heading back all the way out again.

3336RoverFallsSm.jpg
Rover Falls - a 2 step climb that was a bit difficult. I used a rope for a bit of assistance getting up the second leg.


3350RoverPanoramaSm.jpg
A deep rockhole is nestled in a gap in the rock at the top of the falls


On the last morning we rose early and got out by midday - a long walk.
It took us over an elevated plain known as the Gibber Plain.
There is a good view of this from below showing how the tilted layers of shale have been shorn off dead flat over a considerable area and a huge layer (about 2 metres thick) of very big boulders deposited evenly over the top of it. These are the gibbers in the photo.
Again - the simple observation of a widespread high energy sheet flow of water acting like a huge bulldozer to evenly sheer off the tilted sediments before depositing this gravel on top. Such elevated flat erosion surfaces covered evenly in thick large gravels are recorded in many parts of the world and speak of rapid and high energy events operating over large areas.

3439GibberPlainSm.jpg
The Gibber plain - these large rocks constitute a gravel about 2 metres thick evenly deposited over a large area.
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby north-north-west » Tue 04 Aug, 2009 8:18 pm

Oh, Lord, I HAVE to get back there soon.

Thanks for the photos, they've brought back some marvellous memories - as well as motivation for another trip.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby eggs » Wed 26 Aug, 2009 2:15 pm

There are some very good photos in this months Australia competition, but I was wondering if I didn't go with my best option?
It depends what people are looking for - and I felt that the close detail, bold colour and the highlighted gnarled desert pines, bare rock, spinifex and grass trees had a "grab you" feel to it.
So I put this one in:
3238CleftSouthEdge.jpg
Setting sun lighting up Cleft South


but maybe the more distant shots would have been more appealing?
3308OverRidgeToJohnRoberts.jpg
Over the North ridge of Cleft to John Roberts


or some more subtle lighting?
3096McKinleySunrise.jpg
Sunrise on McKinley Bluff and Mt McKinley
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby eggs » Wed 26 Aug, 2009 2:21 pm

Or some even more subtle colourings:
3111JohnRoberts&McKBluff.jpg
Looking along Steadmans to John Roberts with McKinley Bluff by early morning light


with a few more range lines:
3114IllanawortinaEarlyMorning.jpg
Illanawortina Pound by morning light


or even a total mood shot over the hills:
3252SunTouches.jpg
Sun touches the horizon below John Roberts


So what do you think.
Of the Gammons shots in this post, which should I have submitted?

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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby photohiker » Wed 26 Aug, 2009 2:24 pm

Eggs, voting hasn't finished yet, don't write it off - you could still win :)

Actually, I like your photo, but I didn't vote for it because I think the large dark area to the left detracts from the composition.
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby eggs » Wed 26 Aug, 2009 2:39 pm

I wasn't trying to plug the photo - those in the lead are very good indeed.

It was just an excuse to post a few more and get peoples ideas about what they look for in the competition :)
And I do agree that the dark portion detracts - but it was very real. The deep shadows of a very low sun. Perhaps I could have cropped it.
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby photohiker » Wed 26 Aug, 2009 3:09 pm

Yes, I would have cropped it, but not completely. It's fine that it is there, just too much of it IMO.

Of course, you could have levitated 10m or so to your left and taken the rocks straight on. :)
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby north-north-west » Wed 26 Aug, 2009 8:14 pm

Well, I like best the shot of the old tree at the base of the second scramble up to Bunyip, but that may be more because of the memories it evokes.
The one of McKinley from John Roberts is a right stunner, too.
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby Maelgwn » Thu 28 Jan, 2010 4:07 pm

eggs wrote:We took water from Rover Rockhole - a reasonably reliable source in a large rock crack at the top of a waterfall.
From there we explored into Fern Chasm and the Terraces before heading back all the way out again.

3336RoverFallsSm.jpg


3350RoverPanoramaSm.jpg





You do not need to go up the Waterfall to get to Rover Rockhole. Behind you on your left (in the first photo) there is a lightly cairned route that scrambles over the top and back down to the water holes. It must pass near where you took the 2nd photo. Much less exposure and climbing than the direct route. I am very suprised you didnt see it!
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby eggs » Thu 28 Jan, 2010 4:19 pm

I knew there was an alternative route, but I thought it was further back.
I was not looking for it because my young pumped up son was already half way up the waterfall and thinking nothing of the climb.
Where he lifted himself easily I had more trouble due to age and weight.
I like climbing, but I did need some assistance there.

We exited over the ridge and down into the creek leading to the Terraces, so we did not try a descent of the falls.
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Re: Flinders Ranges - The Gammons

Postby Maelgwn » Thu 28 Jan, 2010 5:00 pm

eggs wrote:I knew there was an alternative route, but I thought it was further back.
I was not looking for it because my young pumped up son was already half way up the waterfall and thinking nothing of the climb.
Where he lifted himself easily I had more trouble due to age and weight.
I like climbing, but I did need some assistance there.

We exited over the ridge and down into the creek leading to the Terraces, so we did not try a descent of the falls.


O great, I still need to go back and do that route. But after only one trip there, I know there is a lot left to go ...

I like climbing too but after having gone up the waterfall once, I wouldn't do it again when there is another route. It is too much risk for somewhere that remote. If I was near home, it wouldn't matter ...
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