Girraween Eastern Peaks Circuit
May 2, 2016 at 1:35 pm #2462
Climb the eastern peaks of Girraween, Bald Rock, Little Bald Rock, South Bald Rock, Middle Bald Rock and West Bald Rock (I guess all the good names were taken), explore a little, and maybe find some interesting boulders.
Castle Rock campsite
After waking up and trying to work out just what that screaming during the night was, a brief talk with the friendly ranger confirmed what I had already suspected, it had been a dry summer and there would be no water in any of the creeks. This meant we had to drive around and leave a cache of water that we could pick up at the end for the second day. After a little driving back and forth we set off from the castle rock campsite late in the morning, the first section is 4km stretch along a dirt road to get to the start of the trail, with clear views of the pyramids including the infamous “Scimitar”. We quickly arrived at the trailhead and made our way to “underground creak” actually just a normal creek with some boulders collapsed over it. The creek is normally flowing or at least has some water in it, however owing to the long dry summer it was almost completely dry, allowing us to climb down inside the mini-canyon and explore the slick polished granite caves below.
Just as we began to leave the rain started, making the already slick rock almost impossible to climb, luckily we had some rope and where able to belay the last of the group out of the creek.
The rest of the day involved a lot of walking along some old rarely used fire trails with only the occasional view.
pretty much this for hours
Finally we arrived at the Bald Rock campsite, which was full because it’s a long weekend. We must have looked pathetic because a group took pity on us, let us camp with them, and even fed us, ossobuco and pumpkin risotto! It was delicious.
Day two started with a side trip up Bald Rock, a 1km wide granite dome rising out of the trees and offering 360 degree views of the whole area. There was a nice little garden at the top with mossy boulders and a thicket of black cypress pines.
Next up was the border trail to South Bald Rock, a pleasant walk with nice views of Girraween and some clusters of boulders to explore along the way. Taking the main trails it’s over 20km from Bald Rock to our campsite so we took a shortcut along a smaller trail which quickly disappeared and we ended up in a little rainforest between the peaks of South Bald Rock.
Aurélien carried this awkward pop-up tent the whole way
Just as we arrived at the steep section of the rock the rain started again, putting a dampener on our plans to climb the peak
As far as we could go up South Bald Rock
the bouldering situation was desperate
After scrambling down the now wet slab back to the track we wound our way up past the lesser Bald Rock peaks and on to the day use area where our much needed fresh water was waiting. As darkness descended we were just about to give up looking for our campsite when we stumbled across it, we were all exhausted and turned in for an early night.
It rained overnight and it seemed like it would rain for the rest on the morning at least. The plan for day three was to walk back to our starting point, the Castle Rock campground, but the prospect of once again getting stuck on the steep exposed granite slopes of Mt Norman in the rain was enticing to nobody, especially since we’d been warned the previous night about climbing Mt Norman in the rain, we elected to bail.
The peaks themselves are interesting but the walking between them is long and dull, If I were to do this hike again I’d start from Mt Norman day use area instead of Castle Rock campground and I’d skip Bald Rock proper and instead spend more time exploring the other Bald Rock peaks. Bald Rock is interesting and the campground is well equipped, but it’s just a lot of uninteresting walking to get there.May 4, 2016 at 2:37 pm #2464
Awesome, thanks for the report Ben! It’s unfortunate that it was so dry and that the walks are plain! The risotto sounded pretty amazing though… Definitely well deserved!
I guess you didn’t log many first ascents? 😛 (I know you were keen on checking out the area)May 4, 2016 at 5:52 pm #2465
No, no time. There’s tonnes of rock out there but it’s just so far, you’d spend a whole day walking just to get there.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.