Jan 12, 2016 at 9:02 pm #3375511Tony BeasleyBPL Member
@tbeasleyLocale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
On 29/30<sup>th</sup> December 2015 my mate Dave and I headed down to the Jagungal Wilderness Kosciuszko National Park Australia, for a couple of days Mountain Bike Packing and Tenkara flyfishing, our plan was to start from Round Mountain carpark trail head and head down Happy Jacks Road then turn right onto Grey Mare Fire Trail and head toward Mt Jagungal, depending on conditions and how we felt our route was flexible.
As keen bushwalkers, flyfishers and Snowshoers, we had been in the Jagungal Wilderness many times including 2 previous bike packing trips but we had never been on the section of Grey Mare FT from Happy Jacks Road to Farmyard Ridge or visited Mackeys Hut before.
This was my first Bike packing trip on my Scott Scale CF 29er and with my new bike bag setup, Dave had just purchased a second hand Fuji 27.5 ally hardtail MTB and used a more traditional rear panier setup, both of our bikes and gear weighed in around 25-26 kg.
The March Flies (large blood sucking Fly that can suck blood through most clothing) were terrible this year and lycra was no barrier to them, when we stopped we had to put on some long pants. Before we turned off onto Grey Mare FT we stopped at a beautiful spot near the upper Happy Jacks River for a quick fly fish.
Grey Mare FT to Mackeys Hut was good with not too many steep hills, we stopped at Mackeys for afternoon tea then headed off toward Mt Jagungal, as we got closer to Mt Jagungal the trail got steeper and the hills got longer, we had hoped to go a bit further but by the time we reached O’keefe’s Hut we were both hot and tired and it was getting late, O’Keefe’s was very busy so we rode on a bit and found a nice campsite net to a creek with million dollar views of Mt Jagungal (Mount Jagungal is the seventh highest mountain in Australia, with an elevation of 2,061 metres (6,762 ft)).
In the morning we decided to head to The Tooma River via Hell Hole FT and do some more flyfishing. The Hell Hole FT was not maintained as we all as Grey Mare FT and Round Mountain FT and we found the going hard at times as the road was very difficult to ride as it was covered with lumpy Alpine grasses, near The Tooma River we had to climb up over a very steep hill, too steep to ride, it was hard work pushing the bikes, the decent down to the Tooma was interesting with some very steep -35% gradients in some places, the day was hot and the March Flies where bad again, there was no shelter from the sun at Tooma so we fished for about an hour before heading out to the main road at the Tooma Dam on the Dargels FT and then back to the Car at Round Mt Carpark, which was a much harder ride than we expected, 11.5k with 400 meters elevation gain (500 meters climbing) and it was hot on the bitumen.
All up we rode 92k, with 2400 meters of climbing, 17k on bitumen, 25k on good dirt road and 50k on fire trails.
TonyFeb 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm #3380163John McBPL Member
Looks like a really nice trip. Thanks for the write up and photos.
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