2007 Kosciuszko - Brassy Kerrie's Cross

summary: A relatively easy walk from the southern tip of the park (Guthega Power Station) up as far as Mawson's hut and back again, taking in the Kerrie's and Brassy ridges.
date: 5-9 April 2007
distance: 42kms
tags: HIKE - REPORT - KOSI - BRASSY - 2007
views: 1600

Once again it is Easter time and our annual pilgrimage to Kosciuszko National Park is on the agenda. We have a new hiker coming along with us this time, and Richard really doesn’t know what he is in for!!

The trip is a little different again from the last two years, we are aiming to negotiate the Brassy Ridge and the Kerrie’s. We are not going to hard this time around, as we want to be able to take it easy and soak up the amazing atmosphere of our best national park.

Day 0 - Thursday (4kms)

We left the office at 3:00pm, right on schedule, for our annual pilgrimage to the Kosciuszko National Park. The run down south went very well, with a stop at Cooma for dinner, and arriving at our hike starting point at 8:30pm.

We got prepared and left Guthega Power Station at 9:15pm, and headed up the Aquaduct track in the dark. The moon was actually out this time so the visibility was no problem. The weather was clear when we reached the top of the hill an hour later, and it took very little time to get the tents up and the whiskey out!

Day 1 - Friday (12.2kms)

We woke early, and started to pack the tents up right away as there was a slight hint of rain in the air. It wasn’t too cold though, but it looked like the weather might get the better of us today!

After our standard camping breakfast was finished, we set off from Disappointment Hut at 8:30am.

Our first stop was at Whites River Hut, and by the time we arrived there, the weather had already closed in. It was grey and a little windy, visibility was pretty ordinary and we were starting to get wet. We arrived at the hut at 9:30 and decided to have a short break before braving the elements again.

Schlink Pass was the next waypoint, and shortly after passing the sign post, we took a turn to the right and off the beaten track. Despite the bad weather we discussed, and agreed that we should still head for Mount Gungartun!

We really couldn’t see to far, and we were freezing cold at this stage. It was getting close to midday, and the weather was down to 4 degrees. When factoring in the wind chill, the temperature was around -11 degrees!! Not surprisingly, we had a number of layers on, and despite the numb lips, we were still mostly warm.

We made it to Mount Gungartun at around 12:30pm. We climbed to the summit and took a couple of photos, despite the fact we couldn’t see anything!! Richard managed to save me from taking a tumble from the trig point as the wind was getting strong as the day went on.

Our next waypoint was to be Tin Hut. We knew where it was on the map which was lucky as we couldn’t see down the valley to find it visually!!

As we started walking towards Gungartun Pass, the weather did start to clear a little. We eventually stopped for a break at the top of the pass, where we witnessed a camper in his tent, right in the middle of the pass!! (We later found out that this was probably a lame hiker that was left by his mates until they came back a couple of days later!)

After having a break, and some hot soup, we pushed on the last few kilometers to Tin Hut. We found a much easier track this time, by sticking more to the contours, and heading further north before crossing the valley floor in front of the hut. When we arrived, there was already a couple camped there taking photos. Shortly after we arrived, two more couples arrived, so it was a pretty busy area by evening time. It was shortly after 3:00pm now, and after a bit of a walk around, we retired to the hut, with the fire going, to warm us up, and dry out some rather wet socks and boots. Not mine though, my feet were dry and warm all day!!

I wandered outside later to try and take some photos of the sunset, but unfortunately it was a little disappointing. And it was also too cold for me to stay outside for too long!! So I made my way back to the hut were the party was at!

Day 2 - Saturday (7.3kms)

The night was not too cold, but there was a little frost on the outside of everyone’s tents. But most importantly, the sun was out and the sky was blue, so drying the tents was quick and efficient!

I managed to hang about in my tent until 8:30, which is quite unusual for camping, but it was comfortable and I hadn’t heard too much noise outside yet. But shortly after Richard and I started making noise, the rest of the campers also rose.

We had a hearty breakfast, before packing up, saying our goodbyes to our new friends, and heading off to the Brassy range at 9:45 am.

We headed straight over the ridge at the back of the hut, and after taking a few photos, we headed straight across the valley, and up the ridge on the other side. There was some great camping spots over here which would be very useful in future if Tin Hut is busy. Another bonus was the amount of fire wood available!

Our next target was going to be Big Brassy Peak. The track was not too difficult, but a little hard on the ankles. We dropped packs at the bottom of the peak and clambered to the top. Some amazing views were to be had, and we managed to pin point our next destination, Brassy Peak. The weather was perfect, 17 degrees now at midday.

We bumped into a herd of pigs at one stage that Eddy managed to scare off by throwing rocks at them. Of course he made sure that I was in between him and the pigs first!!

When we made it to the top of Brassy Peak, at 1:05pm, we decided that we would change our plans at this stage and camp the night at Cup And Saucer rather than trying to get to Kidman’s Hut. We had been going pretty slow, and none of us felt like pushing any harder for the rest of the day.

So after lunch we continued down the valley toward Cup And Saucer, until we found a decent camp site. It was quite tough actually as the ground here was very grassy, and not very even. But we did find a spot which was right in the middle of a saddle!! And we also managed to find heaps of fire wood so we would be warm tonight.

It was 3:30pm when we made camp, Eddy and I went down to Valentines to collect water while Richard rested his blisters, put on his wee booties and collected up some fire wood. Then we just sat back and appreciated a fantastic sunset across the valley, while the fire burned warm, and the whiskey went down smooth.

We managed to spot heaps of satellites this night, and also saw a number of constellations.

Day 3 - Sunday (10.6kms)

We woke at 7:00 am and the day was looking perfect once again! We took it pretty easy again this morning, and after coffee and breakfast, we managed to head off at 9:00am. We were heading back down in to the valley, and across to Mawson’s Hut.

Didn’t take us long to get there, with a quick water stop, we arrived at the hut in about an hour. There were plenty of people here too, and another couple arrived while we were there. It looked like most of us were heading straight up the Kerrie’s Ridge and off to the south.

The first section was pretty steep, and it looked like we had taken a completely different track to everyone else!! It was a little quicker though and while we were sitting having a rest on the top of the ridge, the other groups (that left before us) waved and continued on past us.

We continued on across the Kerrie’s, where most of the peaks were in excess of 2000m high. Of course we climbed to most of the peaks and took the obligatory photos! The views from up here were incredible, with 360 degrees all around us.

We managed to get to Gungartun pass, on the other side this time, just in time for a late lunch. We found a great spot that looked out to the west and down towards Schlink Hut. We had a leisurely lunch, and when we were finished we spent some time fixing up a little skin on Richards heel before heading to the peak of Mount Gungartun again!

We reached the summit at 4:00 pm and we had a much better view this time! But we did have to share the trig point with a number of other people.

After dropping back down from the summit, we decided to go just a little further down the valley and find our final camping location. This time there was no fire wood, no shelter, but a beautiful location. We watched the sun go down slowly after setting up camp at 4:30 pm.

Of course the problem with no sun is that it gets cold very quickly!! And to Our disappointment, we ended up going to bed at about 7:30 because it was just too cold to stay up any longer! We did manage to spot a few satellites before retiring for the night though.

Shortly after getting to bed, I heard some animals digging around my tent. And at one point they were even trying to get onto the top of the tent!! No idea what they were, but the next day I found that Richard had been bothered by them too.

Day 4 - Monday (7.6kms)

We rose pretty early, about 6:30 am this morning, and the temperature was about -3 degrees. So I got up, put on the warm clothes and went to find some sunshine to warm up my tired body!!

We packed up and got underway at 8:45 am, and headed back up the hill and along the Disappointment Ridge.

The climb was not too difficult, and once again we were spoiled by the amazing views! We didn’t have too far to go today though, but all of it is on raw trails so it could be a little hard going. The last section that we hit as we dropped down to the Aquaduct track was the hardest section, with some steep and heavily wooded sections to negotiate.

We were very happy to see the Aquaduct track again though, and some solid ground under our feet! The final section was only a couple of kilometers long and back on the fire trail so there was no problems. Arriving back at the car at a little after midday.

Overall, another very successful trip with the negotiating of many 2000m+ peaks in the park. Really only have Kosciuszko and Gungartun left to summit now, but they will be left for another trip.

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