Leaning Rock Falls, Easter 2024

Leaning Rock Falls, Easter 2024

Leaning Rock Falls, Easter (29 March – 1 April) 2024

It has been quite some time since the club (or indeed the leader) has been to Leaning Rock Falls. Although the route wasn’t affected by the 2019-2020 fires, thick regrowth from the 2003 fire was to be feared. So, it was decided to allow the 4 days over Easter to have a good look around that area. Ambitions were checked, and understood we probably wouldn’t go right down to Geehi Dam. As it turned out we were able to not only find the way to go, but also the way not to go!

We started from Guthega car park, following the track to Guthega Trig and hence the Rolling Grounds. Lunch was enjoyed on the Granites in glorious sunny weather. After lunch we continued just past the north end of the Granites before heading west and descending to Windy Creek. The scrub here was deemed “acceptably moderate”. The campsite on Windy Creek was in a beautiful spot, but it took some looking to find a nice tent spot not too lumpy/tussocky.

Next day we headed towards the falls on a route along a ridge the leader had previously used a long time ago. However, the scrub was thick, dense and very slow going. After 1¾ hrs we hadn’t gone 600m, and declared that this was not the way to go to the falls. Changing direction we dropped to the creek and returned to camp along the creek. It seemed the creek was going to be a much more enjoyable, and faster, route to the falls.

So the next day, from camp we followed Windy Creek to the falls. This was largely rock hopping, aided by it being a time of year for fairly low flow. Some grassy, low scrubby bits sped things up. Leaning Rock Falls was reached and the glorious views enjoyed – of both the falls themselves and particularly the Leaning Rock itself. From the top of this rock great views to Geehi Dam were to be had, around to Mt Townsend, Watsons Crags, Mt Twynam, with Tate East Ridge in the front. We returned to camp the same way along the creek, electing to get wet feet so as to avoid scrubby bits passing the deeper wet bits. A fantastic day’s walk, all in calm sunny weather.

With the creek seeming to be better walking than the higher ridges in this area, next day we decided to follow Windy Creek all the way up to Consett Stephens Pass. The first 2.5kms was lovely rock hopping, having decided to not bother keeping the feet dry. Pace was about 1km/hr, rather slow but nevertheless fairly easy. After that it was out of the trees along the wide valley of Windy Creek. We found the ruins of Windy Creek Hut ( a Snowy Hydro hut). From there it was a lovely pleasant wander to Consett Stephens Pass and back via Guthega trig.

This turned out to be a fantastic Easter weekend. We saw no one else all weekend once past Guthega trig. We not only found a very pleasant route to go, we also found a horrible route not to go. It is clear that the scrub in this area has thickened tremendously since our current guide book was written, but with lowered expectations of distance to be covered it is still a beautiful, highly recommended trip.