What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

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What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby emydura » Mon 18 Jul, 2022 8:06 pm

I am wanting to climb Gospers Mountain in the Wollemi National Park. Tyrone Thomas in his book 'Australian Mountains: the best 100 climbs', describes a route commencing from Red Hill along Army Road (first map below). This is a long way (76 kms return) along a ridge that is basically waterless. Thomas recommends doing it as a 3 day bike ride, but cycle/camping is really not my thing. Walking this route doesn't seem practical given the distance and the possibility water would need to be carried the whole way. I note that Gospers Mountain is much closer to Glen Davis (maybe 30 kms return) but more than half of that is trackless and possibly very tough, so I am not sure how practical that is (see 2nd map).

I am interested in hearing the experience of those that have climbed Gospers Mountain and looking for any advice you might have.


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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby Warin » Mon 18 Jul, 2022 9:05 pm

Looking at the DCS Base Map shows a vehicle track going south of Gospers Mt not quite to Capertee Rv. If this exists or not I don't know. Like most things it follows a ridge line, getting water would mean dropping off the ridge. The area is heavily treed, allow for fire damage and erosion and you'd have 'fun' trying from this direction. OSM shows a different track ... not as long.
Army Rd is a known .. with the same 'follow the ridge line' for easier going. And the same method to get water - drop off the ridge line.
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 18 Jul, 2022 10:53 pm

There are many ways to get to Gospers Mt, but most require you to have good off-track walking experience. No offence, but the fact that you've shared some low-res maps rather than proper topo maps doesn't make me think you have the skills needed to approach from the Capertee. There are passes through the Capertee cliffs, but most take skill and experience to find. The ridge walking around there is also not always easy, as the ridge-tops can be indistinct with thick scrub.
Heading out the Army Rd is navigationally easy, but a long slog. Water is not hard to find if you're an experienced bushwalker, but it involves dropping off the ridge (unless there's been recent rain). Given there are technical slot canyons in many of the creeks adjacent to the Army Rd, you do need to have a good idea of which ones are likely to have good water.
If I was going to walk to Gospers, I'd definitely go from the Capertee. That said, I can think of lots of peaks around there that are much more interesting, with better views and other features (Gospers is a cleared cow paddock).
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby Allchin09 » Tue 19 Jul, 2022 12:56 am

I've made my way up onto Gospers Mountain from the Colo before, but it was much further downstream than Capertee, so not like a useful route for you. I think the view is unique, mostly because it is actually cleared (pros and cons).

I always find the SBW magazine archive online a good source of information / inspiration for off-track routes.

Have a look at 'A Colo-Uraterer Venture', a re-print of an epic trip in the area from 1931!
https://ozultimate.com/sbw/wiki/199911

Here they ascend from Capertee River via 'Grassy Mountain'. The exact location isn't specified but I've marked the location on the map linked below.

https://maps.ozultimate.com/?id=1658155904415

It looks like you're using something based on Open Street Maps data. The contours which it uses aren't the most detailed. Websites like maps.ozultimate.com (my prefered mapping tool) or http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/ (the government mapping website) use the same data as the state government topo maps and have better terrain data than OSM. These websites also have high quality aerial imagery, spending time searching around your area of interest is a good way to find what might be passes. I've also marked a ridge off Coorongooba Creek that I might consider if I was trying to get to Gospers from Capertee, but I have no idea if it goes. It just stood out when having a quick look on the aerials. Having an ability to scramble is a must - and always bring a handline!

As FatCanyoner has mentioned, it can be tough country. I've no idea what it is like after the fires. Being over 2 years since, many areas now have thick regrowth. The advantage though of an out and back trip is you can always turn back! And yes, the creeks in that area hold many canyons, so don't be surprised if when travelling along a smaller creek you come across a waterfall that can't be easily passed
Tackling the unknown and the awesome one adventure at a time!

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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby emydura » Tue 19 Jul, 2022 8:03 pm

Thanks for the very helpful replies. I am ticking off the books 100 mountain climbs, so Gospers Mountain has to be climbed irrespective of whether there are much better surrounding mountains. Tyrone Thomas ranks it as number 26, ahead of many amazing peaks, so it couldn't be too bad.

I have experience walking off track but thick scrub bashing for hours is a last resort. I have experienced the fire regrowth in the Budawangs recently. So I think the best option for me is to just take the Army Road firetrail. I'll wait for a cooler time of year after good rain to ensure water is easy to come by.

Before, I attempt the Gospers Mountain walk, I will be doing with a mate the Wolgan-Capertee River circuit. So this should give me a better feel for this area.
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby tom_brennan » Tue 19 Jul, 2022 11:47 pm

The fire regrowth on the ridge tops is unlikely to be too bad. It certainly couldn't be worse than a 76km fire trail bash! :roll:

Worst regrowth - pretty much everywhere - is in the gullies and the south facing slopes. Some parts of ridge tops have been bad, but for scrub, Wollemi is generally better than Morton or the Nattai in any case.
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby sandym » Wed 20 Jul, 2022 7:38 am

tom_brennan wrote:The fire regrowth on the ridge tops is unlikely to be too bad. It certainly couldn't be worse than a 76km fire trail bash! :roll:

Worst regrowth - pretty much everywhere - is in the gullies and the south facing slopes. Some parts of ridge tops have been bad, but for scrub, Wollemi is generally better than Morton or the Nattai in any case.


Tom, I'm gonna have to disagree here. The regrowth on ridge tops in some places is hideous. Virtually impassable with acacia stalks 1 cm apart. In some places the acacia is starting to thin as the scragglier plants die but ridge top is no guarantee. Walking all over the place since the fires, we have not been able to come up with a "rule of thumb" on where regrowth is passable versus a nightmare. It is just so variable. My rule is to assume the regrowth is hideous until proven wrong.
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby rcaffin » Thu 21 Jul, 2022 9:48 am

I am ticking off the books 100 mountain climbs, so Gospers Mountain has to be climbed irrespective of whether there are much better surrounding mountains. Tyrone Thomas ranks it as number 26, ahead of many amazing peaks, so it couldn't be too bad.
Ha, Ha, Ha.
Just because TT mentions it? That seems a very questionable reason. Maybe TT should be taken out and disposed of?

Yes, Gospers is a cow paddock, and what water there is tends to be a bit cow-muddy.
There are many ways to get there, but I am not going to give any directions. See the bit in pink at the top here. What I will say is that the scrub can be bad in places, and worse in other places. Water is not plentiful. We have had 40+ C in mid-summer.

Cheers
Roger
(I do not know off-hand how many times I have been over Gospers. Maybe six times, or more, but always en-route to somewhere else.)
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby emydura » Thu 21 Jul, 2022 6:55 pm

rcaffin wrote:I am ticking off the books 100 mountain climbs, so Gospers Mountain has to be climbed irrespective of whether there are much better surrounding mountains. Tyrone Thomas ranks it as number 26, ahead of many amazing peaks, so it couldn't be too bad.
Ha, Ha, Ha.
Just because TT mentions it? That seems a very questionable reason. Maybe TT should be taken out and disposed of?

Yes, Gospers is a cow paddock, and what water there is tends to be a bit cow-muddy.
There are many ways to get there, but I am not going to give any directions. See the bit in pink at the top here. What I will say is that the scrub can be bad in places, and worse in other places. Water is not plentiful. We have had 40+ C in mid-summer.

Cheers
Roger
(I do not know off-hand how many times I have been over Gospers. Maybe six times, or more, but always en-route to somewhere else.)


Racing against a mate to climb them all. A bit of harmless fun, that gets me in the outdoors doing the things I love. Not that I need a reason. 41 down, 59 to go. One of those still to do is Pantoney's Crown. Maybe I could do it on the same trip. :)
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby sandym » Fri 22 Jul, 2022 7:28 am

Ignore the naysayers. Sounds like a fun project and you might go places you otherwise would not. Good luck with it. Is there a list of the 100 peaks anywhere? I am interested in what they are.
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Fri 22 Jul, 2022 9:09 am

sandym wrote:Ignore the naysayers. Sounds like a fun project and you might go places you otherwise would not. Good luck with it. Is there a list of the 100 peaks anywhere? I am interested in what they are.

Agree totally. For every few helpful comments on this site there seems to be a cynical, judgemental jab... irks me whenever I see it and makes me wonder what newcomers think of our community. Being experienced doesn't confer the right to be a curmudgeonly gatekeeper.
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby emydura » Sun 24 Jul, 2022 9:37 am

sandym wrote:Ignore the naysayers. Sounds like a fun project and you might go places you otherwise would not. Good luck with it. Is there a list of the 100 peaks anywhere? I am interested in what they are.



Thanks Sandy

Here is the list in an EXCEL worksheet. Let me know if you cannot access it. The ones in red are the ones I have climbed so far. This list is from the book - "Australian Mountains - The Best 100 Walks" by Tyrone Thomas and Sven Klinge. Like any such list, there will always be debate about what should or shouldn't have been included. There does seem a bias towards south-eastern Australia where the authors are from, but it is the list they have come up with. The book is out of print but you can find second hand copies on ebay from time to time.

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/nk77tjp1 ... 7q4nfzq9al

You are right about exploring areas you may not have thought about or heard of. When going on family touring holiday trips, I always consider any of the mountains in the immediate area or along the way. Same thing when walking the AAWT. Unlike many, whose goal is to complete it as fast as possible, I was always undertaking side trips to climb these peaks. A lot of these peaks are on the AAWT.
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby paul8 » Sun 24 Jul, 2022 2:18 pm

Thanks emydura for the 100 peaks list.
Interesting to go through the list.
As with any such lists, people would disagree on why some of the mountains should be there ... as some of them are quite boring :D
But I noticed that no WA mountains are included ... peak baggers in WA would be up in arms about it :D
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby sandym » Sun 24 Jul, 2022 4:02 pm

Cheers for the list. I am curious to see how many I have been up just getting out and about.

When I lived in Canada we had a condo (called a villa in Australia) in Canmore and we set about climbing all the peaks (named and unnamed) we could see from the condo, including the one you could only see by standing on the toilet and sticking your head out the window. It was a surprising amount of fun and we went places no-one else went. When we moved to Nelson in BC, I had a project to climb all the peaks in the district called the "West Kootenays" where we lived. Never finished it but I got literally years of entertainment from the project.
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby north-north-west » Sun 24 Jul, 2022 4:13 pm

paul8 wrote:As with any such lists, people would disagree on why some of the mountains should be there ... as some of them are quite boring :D
But I noticed that no WA mountains are included ... peak baggers in WA would be up in arms about it :D


Agreed. Punurrunha (Bruce) is a stunning walk and it doesn't get a sniff, ditto Bluff Knoll, yet both Maria and Bishop & Clerk are in. And Graham at #36? Hayes, the least of the Western Arthur Abels, is the sole representative from that range and nothing from the Southern Range gets a guernsey. Ludicrous.
Trapyard Hill is about as boring as the Vic Alps gets; there are far superior peaks nearby that aren't listed.
And what do they mean by "Ben Lomond"? That is the name of the plateau - which has three Abels and numerous lesser peaks - and the NP, which includes Ragged Jack. Ben Lomond is not an individual mountain.
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby emydura » Sun 24 Jul, 2022 8:29 pm

paul8 wrote:Thanks emydura for the 100 peaks list.
Interesting to go through the list.
As with any such lists, people would disagree on why some of the mountains should be there ... as some of them are quite boring :D
But I noticed that no WA mountains are included ... peak baggers in WA would be up in arms about it :D


I didn't realise there were any mountains in WA. :) The authors do address this in the book -

"Why just walks in Eastern Australia?" He then mentions some worthy mountains from the Western half of Australia such as Mt Meharry, Mt Woodroffe, Zeil and Sonder. But says "their remoteness, and lack of visitors cause them to fall outside the parameters of this guide".

They have ranked the mountains "according to their scenic value, difficulty, height variation, accessibility, absolute height, track condition, variety of terrain, popularity, and potential enjoyment of the climb. Round trips are preferable to backtracking".
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby emydura » Sun 24 Jul, 2022 8:34 pm

north-north-west wrote:
paul8 wrote:
And what do they mean by "Ben Lomond"? That is the name of the plateau - which has three Abels and numerous lesser peaks - and the NP, which includes Ragged Jack. Ben Lomond is not an individual mountain.


According to the book, Ben Lomond is a 12.5 km circuit that reaches the peak Legges Tor (1572 metres). I guess they are referring to the name of the walk rather than the name of the peak that is climbed.
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby north-north-west » Mon 25 Jul, 2022 7:51 am

emydura wrote: "Why just walks in Eastern Australia?" He then mentions some worthy mountains from the Western half of Australia such as Mt Meharry, Mt Woodroffe, Zeil and Sonder.


If he really thinks Rwetyepme gets few visitors, he's never been there. It would get more than Olympus.
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby tom_brennan » Mon 25 Jul, 2022 11:30 am

north-north-west wrote:If he really thinks Rwetyepme gets few visitors, he's never been there. It would get more than Olympus.


The book was published in 1998 - Rwetyepme/Sonder would have gotten relatively few visitors at that time.

But surely a few peaks in the Stirling Ranges at least should have made it! Hardly remote or lacking visitors.
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Re: What's the best way to climb Gospers Mountain

Postby emydura » Mon 25 Jul, 2022 8:09 pm

tom_brennan wrote:
north-north-west wrote:If he really thinks Rwetyepme gets few visitors, he's never been there. It would get more than Olympus.


But surely a few peaks in the Stirling Ranges at least should have made it! Hardly remote or lacking visitors.


Yes, I'd agree with that. As nice as the Grampians is, it is completely over-represented with 12 walks. A few of those could have been distributed elsewhere including the Stirling Ranges.
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