Hellfire Creek

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Hellfire Creek

Postby bernieq » Sat 29 Jan, 2022 5:06 pm

Just a note on water at Hellfire Creek (below Mt Magdala, on the AAWT) - as at 25 Jan 2022.

Expected to find the creek pumping (well, flowing steadily at least). However, even after the wet year and recent heavy rain, there was just a trickle keeping water in the couple of shallow rock puddles.

We scrounged enough but to add insult to our travails, as we headed back up to the saddle, it hosed down on us - and with hail! I had a suspicion that it might so I left a billy positioned to catch rain off my tent - it was full !!

I'll note that usually I'd sidle from the saddle to a small poly pipe well above where the (now obvious & very well marked) track descends to. Over decades, that pipe has been very reliable but the area now is heavily vegetated & the pipe is partly buried in sludge/mud and not functional. It was dripping but difficult to access & way too slow. Hence, we dropped into the creek proper and descended to the bottom of the track.

Water at Mac Springs (only us camping there on Australia Day - amazing) was, of course, flowing well, as it was at the camp on Stanley Names Spur.

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Re: Hellfire Creek

Postby Hiking Exped » Sun 30 Jan, 2022 1:30 pm

Thanks that’s useful as up there this week. Quite unusual for Hellfire to be like that so early in summer. Pleased to here SNS and Mac Springs ok. Usually are.
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Re: Hellfire Creek

Postby badd0g » Sun 06 Feb, 2022 4:57 pm

Hellfire creek running fine this past weekend (5/2/22) at the end of the marked track - could hear it from at least 20m away and took about 20 seconds to fill a litre Nalgene. Water was running clear and didn't bother filtering.
The PVC pipe had been removed from its hole and put to the side, but was quite easy to lodge back in and get a good run off. Left it back to the side as I suspect it was done to prevent it from getting clogged with sludge.
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Re: Hellfire Creek

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 06 Feb, 2022 6:46 pm

IMHO it is unusual for Hellfire Creek to be still flowing in Feb. .
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Re: Hellfire Creek

Postby badd0g » Sun 06 Feb, 2022 7:23 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:IMHO it is unusual for Hellfire Creek to be still flowing in Feb. .


Yes, but I found it odd that it was flowing so well after it being reported 2 weeks ago as a trickle and there hasn't been significant rain in the meantime. It certainly sounds like the OP knows the area and was looking in the right place. We planned to take a look and if there was no water as per the OP, move on to Mac Springs. As it was we had a lovely night there with plenty of water.

Opinion or otherwise, it is running well at this time. I'm not sure what the usual status adds to a direct observation.
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Re: Hellfire Creek

Postby bernieq » Sun 06 Feb, 2022 10:45 pm

Well, badd0g, that's a (pleasing) surprise. Yes, I know the area well and over more decades than I care to remember.

The pipe I referred to is not at the bottom of the marked track. There is a short small diameter black poly pipe in a patch of sedge well to the right and above the creek proper that has provided water long before there was even a footpad down to the creek. That pipe was half covered in mud and non-functional. From there we dropped into the creek (no flowing water) and came down the creek to the bottom of the marked footpad. We found water in a couple of small pools but there was no visibly flowing water at all.

As you say, past history is less critical that current observation - I'll be considering it a less reliable source than I have in the past.
(edited to fix typos)
Last edited by bernieq on Mon 07 Feb, 2022 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hellfire Creek

Postby badd0g » Mon 07 Feb, 2022 6:58 am

@bernieq
Yes, an affirmation that HC water sources can and do change quickly. I read your report before leaving and we fully expected (and planned for) there to be no love at Hellfire Creek given we are actually behind on rainfall this year up there compared to the average. We were pleasantly surprised. I wasn't aware of the pipe further up, Good to know to check first to possibly save a bit of descent.
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