There were not many takers for the 4 day Easter walk to Jagungal. Then the death of a close friend of some of the party the night before we were to leave reduced the number to just one! My bag was already packed, so I went anyway. The trip was to go to Jagungal from Round Mountain, but instead of following the crowds along the fire-trail a route along the Tumut River was proposed.
Arriving at Round Mountain about 10am, I only just got a place to park. There would have been about 40-50 cars there over Easter. After about 4kms on the Round Mountain Firetrail I was keen to get off track down to the Tumut. This involved some short sections of thick scrub, but overall it was not too bad. Once down in the river valley it looked like easy walking, lovely open grass. How deceptive. Thick tussocks with heavy thatch in between made quite slow travel, with care needed not to twist an ankle. However, plenty of time was available so the slow trip could be enjoyed. Camp was up from the river enough to enjoy a great sunset, looking down the valley to the junction with Bogong Creek.
Continued up the Tumut River next day, with increasing number of waterfalls to be seen. Fascinating rock ribs and spires all made for a very different walk to the usual Jagungal trips. At the top of the Tumut just before joining the firetrail there is a quite large waterfall/cascade which is only 100m from the fire-trail. I doubt any of the 100 people passing that weekend knew of its existence. The weather was fine, and lots of people down low, so I decided to camp on top of Jagungal. It was full moon, so it was a great place to watch the moon rise and the sunset at the same time (and I had it to myself).
Descent from Jagungal next day was down the northern spur to the rain gauge. Not really any track there anymore, being much scrubbier than I remember it from many years ago. Still, fine to go down – up would be much harder. Past O’Keefes hut, to Farm Ridge ruin, and a decision to make the return trip not via Farm Ridge FT, but to continue to Doubtful Gap, up Doubtful FT towards Far Bald Mt, then down to the junction of the Tumut River and Doubtful Creek. This last bit was roughly following a (very) old fire-trail, evidenced now by the trees being much thicker on the actual track. Currently a good route, but note it was severely burnt in the ’19 fires. Beware of regrowth in a few more years.
The walk back along the Tumut to the fire-trail crossing was quite pleasant, staying just out of the tussocks.
4 days for this walk allowed for a relaxed pace in what was indeed quite slow going at times. Recommended.