22/4 – 24/4/2016
Rain is lightly falling when we arrive at the beginning of our walk and with the inkling it will get much heavier we set out on the quickest route into Circuitt Hut – approximately 3km. We parked just below Tantangara Dam and immediately the track heads up into the hills – there is nothing like starting a walk with a climb to get the blood pumping. We have rugged up in our wet weather gear so of course it stops raining. We follow the Circuitt Trail passing by Pedens Trail to the left, cross a creek (it would have been a good idea to fill up any water containers here) and arrive at the hut.
Circuitt Hut – originally built by George Circuitt in 1938 to support grazing.
With tents up and the weather improving its time to check out Schofield’s Hut which is roughly 3.5ks on Circuitt Trail/Nungar Creek Trail. The hut isn’t very impressive but neat and would still be great if you were stuck in the snow wanting some shelter.
The night air is considerably chilly so we build a cosy fire inside the hut, enjoy some good tucker and after some enjoyable conversations its time for bed – 20k walk tomorrow.
Saturday: I climbed a mountain!
The morning is clear, the sky is blue, the bush beckons so away we go. Making Circuitt Hut our base allows us to take lighter packs and we should be back well before dark. The 200m climb to the top of Mount Jadar is not too difficult with the first section being the steepest but well worth it for the magnificent view. More by accident than anything else we stop short of the top and head off the path to a clearing and we are rewarded with spectacular views over the range taking in Tantangara Dam, into the valley of the Murrumbidgee and across to Gooandra Hut (where we will be hiking to next week-end).
Jadars Trail leads to Pedens Trail where we turn left and head for the hut with the same name to enjoy lunch.
On to Townsend Hut but not without incident. One of our walkers is a fair way behind but spots the two lead walkers in the valley from his vantage point on the top of a hill and heads off across country to catch up – which he does – the problem is that he left the person in front of him wondering where he had gone. Fearing he had fallen, or worse, retraced their own steps until deciding to find the rest of us only to discover he was with us all along. A lesson in walking etiquette and having an overall awareness of others.
Crossing the Murrumbidgee this far up is cold but shallow so easy to cross. Townsend Hut is a treat and has beautiful views over the valley.
Due to the delays it is now a hard walk back to Circuitt Hut to get home before dark – well it was hard for me – but we made good time and soon have the billy boiling. Other hikers have come in for the night, popular spot to camp with plenty of flat clear space. We find an answer as to why some bones in a bag were hanging on the front of the car we parked next to yesterday, which we assumed was for a dog to chew on but no – the family had collected an almost perfect kangaroo skeleton with the idea to put it all back together when they got back home – thats some jigsaw puzzle!
Its a cool night and a heavy mist rolls in during the morning so we delay leaving with the hope the sun will appear and dry out the tents. Eventually it does and we enjoy the short walk out – downhill this time so nice and easy. Its a beautiful day and the views do not disappoint.
On the way home we drop in on two more huts that are easily accessible from the Snowy Mountain Highway – Delany’s (originally built in 1910 for grazing) and Sawyers Hill Hut (originally built in the 1900’s as a staging post).