Old Tolbar Road down to Reids Hut Site

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Old Tolbar Road down to Reids Hut Site

Postby Sonja and Jakob » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 9:01 am

Trip Report (Walked: 02/01/2017 / Written: 16/01/2017). 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“.

Passing this, it turned out to be impossible for us to follow the route directly to the next waypoint („second creek crossing“, 633880.71/5984961.38 // S36 16 15.6 E148 29 25.9). Instead, we had to walk downwards through a natural corridor, heading NNE for app. 50 meters and then NNW for app. 150 meters, to finally bushbash an alternative crossing over the creek at about 633957.51/5985086.56 // S36 16 11.5 E148 29 28.9. After climbing a grassy slope past the creek, we were able to rejoin the route at about 633815.11/5985239.78 // S36 16 06.6 E148 29 23.1.

The „small cutting“ and „clearing“ described by Robert, located past this crossing (between 633713.4/5985605.04 // S36 15 54.8 E148 29 18.8 and 633774.95/633774.95 // S36 15 51.3 E148 29 21.2), 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.

Using a GPS to follow this route is strongly recommended. We also wonder if it might be too demanding to walk this route uphill at the current stage, taking into account that even less orientation and the additional physical challenge of ascending is involved. Walking downhill from the rock monument to Reids Hut Site, it took us 3 hours and 9 minutes, including a single break of 20 minutes, to complete this section of 1.9 kilometers, carrying backpacks of app. 20 kg.

Grid reference: Eastings and Northings: GDA 94, Degrees, minutes, seconds: WGS 84.
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Regrowth at former clearing
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Sonja and Jakob
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Re: Old Tolbar Road down to Reids Hut Site

Postby LachlanB » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 5:36 pm

It is indeed hard work going uphill with the route in this state. I was part of a group who went through the area last year, and we gave up on Robert Green's road and went straight up the hill from Burrungubugge Hut with loaded packs.

Beautiful countryside though, once you escape from the sub-alpine scrub. Did you camp?
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Re: Old Tolbar Road down to Reids Hut Site

Postby Sonja and Jakob » Tue 17 Jan, 2017 6:49 am

Thanks for the info! Reading about your experience helps in finding out of how hard work it really is, compared to what oneself thinks. – And yes, we did camp, ENE of Porcupine Ridge, just past the northern arm of Tolbar Creek in a set of gums. – Do you have coordinates from your way up that you perhaps could post? I'd guess you still passed Reids Hut Site and left the remains of Old Tolbar Road only later.
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Re: Old Tolbar Road down to Reids Hut Site

Postby LachlanB » Tue 17 Jan, 2017 11:09 pm

Yeah, although the consensus in our group was that going up the hill towards Point 1814 was more pleasant than bashing up the Burrungubugge River. We ran into one poor guy who had gone up the river aiming for Alpine Hut unprepared for bush-bashing. He had had his clothes shredded, and was covered from head to toe with seeds. Needless to say, he had pulled the plug on his planned long-weekend adventures. /:

I'm not so familiar with the area, so I didn't recognise Reids Hut site. But I think it was south of Reids Hut where we left Green's route and headed straight uphill. From memory we lost the road a couple of times in patches of bush, and eventually decided the detour off to the south wasn't worth the effort and headed straight uphill to the top and swung north along the top of the ridge. We ended up coming back the same way, and dropped down one of the ridges to the north instead, after camping in a lovely spot above Dead Horse Creek. I won't post GRs, even though the area seems to get a surprising amount of traffic, as it's part of the Jagungal Wilderness. But the ridge wasn't much better than our impromptu assault, so I'm left scratching my head as to what the best way to access the area is.
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Re: Old Tolbar Road down to Reids Hut Site

Postby Sonja and Jakob » Wed 18 Jan, 2017 7:21 am

Thanks again! I (Jakob), too, think that it must have been south of Reids Hut Site where you left Robert's route. There is no hut left on this site, neither ruins, remnants of a chimney or similar. I'ts just an open, fine grassland on which we saw a couple of brumbies when coming down. A quite distinct footpad leads to Burrungubugge River, with Constances Hut Site app. 50 m away on the other side. It seems likely that you have used this as a start, walking in the opposite direction.

I do well understand your reasons for not posting any GPS records relating to Wilderness Areas. Myself, I never post tracks; but as the footpad mentioned is established, I think it fair to make a compromise here and post the position for Reids Hut Site. This is (WGS 84): S36 15 42.2 E148 29 29.9.

Taking into consideration the rest of our route in this area – starting at Mt. Gungartan, then via Tin Hut – these 1.9 km of descent were by far the worst of it. – Congratulations on your impromptu actions, I think we would not have risked it in our team of two. It was the second last day of our 16 day trip, we desperately wanted to get back to our car.
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