Grampians: Golton Gorge/Coppermine area overnighter

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Grampians: Golton Gorge/Coppermine area overnighter

Postby ggorgeman » Thu 15 Oct, 2020 2:20 pm

Fortunately, the flexibility of being a regional Vicco enabled a recent solo overnighter, the first in a long while. Opted for a mid-afternoon walk inbound on the Golton South Track. This area is on the eastern side of the Grampians, about 12km south of Mt Zero / Stapylton / Hollow Mountain. Not far from Mt Difficult area which is approx 10km further south. From the highway drop off its approx 6kms from highway to Golton Gorge Picnic Ground. Was looking forward to pushing up the gorge to the clearing up near the top and spending the night there, then back-tracking down the next morning. Had been up there several times on day walks although at least 10 years ago and prior to the significant 2011 floods.

I was aware that the floods had taken out the bridge over the Golton Creek at the base of the gorge, and had not been replaced. Therefore, the track up the RHS of the gorge wouldn't be readily accessible. However, I'd heard that there was a new pad up the LHS, so anticipated taking this, then crossing over further up, to get to the top.

This plan worked fine, although the fun started when I reached the upper part of the gorge, with about 90 min of daylight remaining. The cross-over the gorge was fine, however, the lack of traffic on the RHS since 2011 meant that the old track was non existent. Plus some serious scrambling up rocks and through vegetation was necessary to reach the area of the old track.

I managed to cover that off ok, however upon reaching the flats up top was confronted with some serious wattle infestation that occurred after the bushfires around 2014. Double-head-height, dense wattle was an interesting experience and prompted some serious reliance on technology to stay heading in the direction of the Coppermine Track. The coppermine clearing that used to exist (and my intended destination) seemed to be now a dense wattle forestation. And not much daylight left...

Fortunately, I dropped out onto the Coppermine Track and just a couple of hundred metres along was the (new) Coppermine Camping Ground. With some fading light left, I set up and enjoyed some food. Spent a restful night there, then opted for the long way home the next morning as back-tracking the way up wasn't really an option. Walked down to Roses Gap along the Coppermine Track, some spectacular views along the way. Then some zig-zagging back to the Golton Track and back to starting point.

A brilliant part of the world, but I do need to work on lightening the load (approx 17kg pack wasnt great) and blister prevention would have helped :)

1.Track in.jpg
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2.Signpost.jpg
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4.Creek flow.jpg
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5.Picnic Ground.jpg
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6.Pad LHS.jpg
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8.Gorge rockface.jpg
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10.Rockpool.jpg
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12.Outlook at top.jpg
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16.Campsite at sunrise.jpg
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20.View to MtDifficult.jpg
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Re: Grampians: Golton Gorge/Coppermine area overnighter

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 15 Oct, 2020 6:20 pm

Nice report, nice photos, thank you.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't envious, being a lockdown leper in the Metro Leper Colony. :wink:
Such a lovely place the Grampians...
Well done!
P.S. I'm probably wrong, but is that last photo of Briggs Bluff?
P.P.S. is your username related to Golton Gorge?
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Re: Grampians: Golton Gorge/Coppermine area overnighter

Postby ggorgeman » Fri 16 Oct, 2020 6:23 am

Correct!! Yes that's Briggs Bluff. I should have said "in the Mt William direction" but didn't think anyone would notice... ha
And yes, username is linked, I have a long standing connection to the area from previous family farming close by. Love that part of the world!
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Re: Grampians: Golton Gorge/Coppermine area overnighter

Postby CraigVIC » Fri 16 Oct, 2020 6:41 am

Sounds like a great trip ggorgeman. I haven't been in the area. There's some falls marked on the map, were they running at the moment?
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Re: Grampians: Golton Gorge/Coppermine area overnighter

Postby ggorgeman » Fri 16 Oct, 2020 8:01 am

Not much a flow was coming down, so falls weren't really active. I actually expected a bit more water about as there had been a recent rain event with quite a bit in it. The flow there is very dependent upon rain events and doesn't tend to flow for that long up top after each.
The campsite and facilities up top (Coppermine Campsite - quite new) are excellent... toilets and water tank etc. Although it is on a 4WD track so does see a bit of activity.

18.Coppermine facilities.jpg
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14.CopperMine Camp.jpg
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Re: Grampians: Golton Gorge/Coppermine area overnighter

Postby ggorgeman » Fri 16 Oct, 2020 8:21 am

Pic of what I think is the section marked as "Falls" on the map.

22.Falls.jpg
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Re: Grampians: Golton Gorge/Coppermine area overnighter

Postby Eremophila » Fri 16 Oct, 2020 8:38 am

Great pics thanks GG. Lovely time of year.

How far roughly from the picnic ground to the campground?
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Re: Grampians: Golton Gorge/Coppermine area overnighter

Postby ggorgeman » Fri 16 Oct, 2020 9:17 am

I'd say that picnic ground up to campground via the gorge is less than 2kms. Not far at all. It's just the combination of scrambling up/out of the gorge, lack of track and extremely thick wattle up top that represents a challenge. However, having done it once, I'd be happy to repeat the exercise now that I know the area. Up top of gorge, it's important to keep bearing W through the wattle to hit the Coppermine Track. Stray to the north and the bush goes on. Alternately, Pohlners Track from the Stapylton area or Coppermine Track from down at Roses Gap gets you there.
The walk (southwards) back down Coppermine Track to Roses Gap was magnificent with a brilliant view across the plains out to the east, and the ridge above to the west.

24.Coppermine view east.jpg
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26.Coppermine view west.jpg
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