This walk was a trek up to above the tree line, exploring the high ridge to Consett Stephens Pass and Mount Tate and is one of the walks described in The Geehi Bushwalking Club’s book – Snowy Mountains Walks, page 81 in our 8th edition.
On arriving at the Guthega Resort car park the group of 11 walkers was a bit apprehensive due to the significant amount of fog but on being assured by the leader that it would lift by 11 am, we headed off.
We started by crossing the dam wall and ascending in the mist to what some of us referred to as Guthega Trig (based on the map from our book), along a well-defined foot pad. And sure enough the fog did lift a bit earlier than scheduled, to reveal panoramic views over to the Blue Cow Mountain with its ski lifts and back down toward the dam and reservoir. Did we really come from there? Our two visitors from WA were impressed with the grand spectacle and also the variety of wildflowers.
Refreshed we then headed off along the ridge line. This time with no real foot pads so it was up and down every step along the button grass. We had spread out a bit here and then there was some shouting! Was that a black snake? No it was a very dark coloured copperhead. Nevertheless a respectful distance was kept. And soon another dried snake skin revealed itself.
By now the weather was perfect with good visibility across to the Disappointment Spur and the Kerries with Monaro Plains beyond. And then we rounded the corner where the topo maps indicated Guthega Trig, to see the Consett Stephens pass. From here the views down both the Guthega Creek Valley and North to Jagungal were quite inspiring.
After lunch at knoll in the middle of the Pass it was gradually up again to summit Mt Tate which is one of the peaks above 2,000m. Now the views toward main range and the west opened up with high peaks and deep valleys between.
All that was left now was to head toward the Guthega Dam again, and find the old ski tow pole line. In due course we spotted the rust coloured top pole in between the silver snow gums and started down. In between boggy sections and thick scrub with occasional pink marker tapes left by other recent groups we picked our way. This was a bit of struggle but the river at the bottom rewarded us with chance to wash and have another brief rest before making our way over the dam and back to the cars.
All in all we had a great day out, with a good group, good weather and plenty of time to appreciate the area.