TRIP REPORT: HANNELS SPUR
KOSCIUSZKO NP 9-12 APRIL 2007
Alicia Corbett, Megan Higgins and I had planned an adventurous route to take in Hannel’s Spur, The Geehi, Townsend Spur, Lady Northcote’s Creek and Watson’s Crags Spur over five days. We had an amazing trip, especially me, (literally) who tripped near Moira’s Flat and tore a lateral ankle ligament on my left foot. This injury forced us to turn back and overshadowed much of the rest of the trip as we limped slowly home. Thanks to Megan, an almost doctor, and to Alicia for helping me to make the decision to pull out. It was one of the hardest decisions of my bushwalking life. As a result my recovery time will be much shorter than it probably would have been had we have pushed on (regardless).
The walking which we did do over the four days was under bright blue skies in daytime temperatures of around 14 degees. At night it got down to minus 4, which made us all glad that we had packed down jackets. The route from Charlotte Pass via Hedley Tarn and Blue Lake to the Wilkinson Valley is fairly straight forward, so I will describe the start of the Hannel’s Spur section for people interested in visiting this monster ridge.
From Mueller’s Pass, (the saddle in between Kozi and Townsend) drop down into the Wilkinson Valley and keep to the left of Wilkinson Creek as it heads towards a saddle between Kozi and the Abbott Range. You will eventually see a wooden post (not the Wilkinson ski poles) which is then followed by some small stone cairns to a creek crossing. This is just upstream of the old weir built in Wilkinson Creek, so if you reach the concrete weir and the debris without having seen any cairns or posts, cross here and pick up the track on the other side. The track is obvious in some parts and indistinct in others. You need to keep a keen lookout for the cairns and posts as you contour up and around the southern end of the Abbott Range and around to Byatt’s Camp from where the cairns and posts become more obvious. Fire burnt this area out in January 2003 so the scrub is quite overgorwn in some places. Take care as you head down to Moira’s Flat, where you can find an NPWS sign directing you to water.
On the return route we camped at the Strzelecki Hilton and from there made a side trip out to the Sentinel. This peak offers an impressive view of Carruther’s Peak and Mount Townsend to the south, and of Watson’s Crags to the north. Well worth the effort to get out there!
Thanks to Megan and Alicia for a great trip. We will have some good photos to show at either the next slide.
– Tom –