Date: 6 – 7 Nov 2010
I arrived at Spicers Gap campground at around 5PM. The main purpose of staying out overnight was to give the new tent a test run. I had vague memories of the campsite from when I stayed there with family when I was young. It isn’t huge but has space for a reasonable number of tents on nice grassy sites with plenty of trees for shade. There is a toilet but no showers or creek nearby.
The tent took a bit of tweaking to set up properly and I was inside by around 8 because it got quite a bit cooler than I expected. Getting in and out of the Terraform is fairly simple and there is plenty of width in the bug shelter to store clothes and other things on both sides. The height can be a bit limiting and made getting out of clothes a bit tricky. I also noticed the slippery nature of a silnylon floor that I have read about. My Neo-air kept wandering down the very slight hill to one side all night. Overall though, I stayed dry despite the large amount of dew and well protected from the mozzies.
I set off for the Governors Chair car park by about 8 in the morning after packing up. The road had a few decent puddles but they didn’t stop a few 2WD sedans that I saw from making the trip. I was following track notes from “Take a Walk in SE Queensland” for Spicers Peak. These instruct you to head out to the Governors Chair lookout then continue on from there. I discovered that the locked maintenance road that leaves the carpark to the South in fact ends up in the same place as long as you take the left branch at one point. This would be much quicker than trying to follow the old fenceline as the book instructs.
After heading over the first rise and down into a small gully there are some of the usual National Parks signs warning of the dangers of proceeding any further. From here you start heading up the NW ridge to the peak. After 5 minutes the remnants of the maintenance road turns into a narrow foot pad and the gradient increases further. Looking North from here provides the initial views of Mt. Mitchell. You can see the outcrop where the Mt. Mitchell walk ends.
Before long you arrive at a spot where the track runs close to the Eastern cliff face where there are more views in this direction. From here you can see all of the Moogerah Peaks including Mt. Edwards which we did a few weeks ago and Moogerah Damn. Continuing on I saw the first of many rocky outcrops along the cliff edge. The track bypasses this without deviating too far, before continuing steeply until I reached the first set of cliffs running perpendicular to the ridge.
The track notes I was following recommended contouring along the base of the cliffs until you get to a rocky slab that you can scramble up. This is the route I took and avoids the original track that requires a scramble up the edge of the main cliff face where there have apparently been fatalities. This route isn’t without its difficulties though and requires bush bashing your way through some very thick vines that run down a small gully.
Once at the top of this line of cliffs the foliage became much more sparse and the number of grass trees increased as you ascend and head back towards the main ridge to avoid another set of cliffs. Once reaching the ridge I was greeted with a brilliant panoramic view from the South-East all the way around to the North-West. The grass trees were spectacular aswell.
|View to the North
After following the ridge up to the final line of cliffs that surround the peak I detoured to the right towards a patch of rainforest. On the way up I ascended all the way to the base of the cliffs as I couldn’t see the diagonal route that the track notes described. Either way has its tricky bits. Finally you reach the last haul up a steep and slippery section through the rainforest, keeping an eye out for stinging nettle which camouflages itself amongst the other shrubs.
The peak is mostly overgrown except for a clear lookout to the East round to the South where you can see further down the range. There is also a large rock cairn at the top. I stopped for lunch and a break in the shade here before turning around for the return trip. This was mostly straight forward and followed my ascent in reverse. The trickiest bit was locating the rock slab needed to detour the first set of cliffs again.
Overall, a tuff but very worthwhile little day walk.
|View to the East from the summit
Download Spicers Peak KMZ File