Monday, 25 June 2012

High Yellow Bluff - 17th June 2012

High Yellow Bluff is a walk I haven't done before. It has a solid 400m climb, so I thought it would be a good bit of exercise. indeed it was - my summary however, is solid climb, interesting fungi, under-maintained track and few views. I gather there are views northwards from the un-tracked northern part of the "circuit", but I did the up-and-down, not least because I'd parked close to the coast.

Road Directions
Drive to Murdunna, and turn left into Hylands Road. Staying on Hylands Road, ignore all side turns until arriving at a parking area near an intersection after 11.4km. The guidebook tells you to park here, and if doing the circuit, you might as well. If just wanting to do the return walk to the summit, or walking to Cape Surville, proceed along the track to the right. Take this slowly. You will eventually come to some deep slippery potholes, and I decided here to park at the side of the track on a convenient pull-off. Just beyond the potholes there is a locked gate anyway. A young bloke on a motorbike was there when I was and he provided some information and a reconnaissance service. (Thanks!)

Walk Description
Heading along the track towards the coast, pass the locked gate. Soon you will pass a track to the right, marked as the Cape Surville Track. Just beyond here there is a turning circle, and a track leaves the far side of it and heads left, north, along the coast. Views can be had from the turning circle towards Cape Surville. There are large cliffs below here, so be careful. There are a couple of short sidetracks close by, where some views can be had of High Yellow Bluff and the cliffs and sea below it. It is quite dramatic. the track winds and descends a little before climbing, gently at first then more and more steeply. A short sidetrack onto some boulders after some solid climbing gives views southwards, back towards Cape Surville and beyond. After this the track climbs more steeply, and starts to cross boulders. There is a bit of clambering about. The whole track has timber across it in places, and this requires a bit of climbing, ducking and crawling at times.

Eventually the track flattens out and heads across the summit, marked quite poorly with cairns. I walked until the track appeared to start downhill again, and where I couldn't clearly see where the next cairn is. There are some large boulders here, which are OK to sit upon for a snack. There are glimpses of the distant sea far below through the trees, but no sweeping vistas. Re-reading the guidebook, I realised that it didn't promise any from the top, so I shouldn't have hoped for them. There is a apparently a tape-marked off-track circuit which proceeds norht, then west from the summit, on very steep and slippery rocks. Having driven well down the track to the coast, this didn't appeal, so I retraced.

My overall assessment is that, unless the circuit offers some pretty spectacular views, this walk is probably best avoided. It is overgrown and has only occasional moderate views. On the plus side, it's very good exercise (400m uphill) and I didn't get any leeches... I know, I'm stretching. The fungus was interesting too, but I'd want a few spare hours to wander about and photograph it, rather than trying to do so while slogging uphill. Maybe I'll try the circuit sometime. I recall that the other walk nearby, Cape Surville, is more interesting.

Cape Surville from the turning circle at the end of the road - 17th June 2012

High Yellow Bluff - 17th June 2012

Cliffs and sea below High Yellow Bluff - 17th June 2012

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