How often, when driving through Michelago have you looked at the granite slabbed peaks to the East and said – “I must go up there one day”? Well, I finally got a chance with this walk. Indeed, I was seconded to lead the walk as the original leader, who actually knew where we were to go, had broken her wrist. Some divination by hand waving over the map and we were prepared.
A civilised start from Cooma at 8am and a 1 hour drive to where Round Flat Trail joins Tinderry Rd saw a group of 5 walking before 9.30. After about 1.5k of fire trail, we turned offtrack, uphill through some fairly easy bush with gorgeous displays of flowers. After another 0.5km however things got a lot steeper. And rockier. From here there was much scrambling and tricky route finding for the rest of the trip to our high point. Lots of fantastic granite boulders and slabs made for beautiful walking, albeit rather slow.
Originally, we were hoping to get to a rock outcrop on the ridge top called “The Onion”, the next peak south of Tinderry Peak itself. However, perhaps due to the eternal temptations of photographing myriad flowers and the distant views, we found it prudent to just go to the next peak South of The Onion. It is about the same height, with great views all round. Surprisingly, the Main Range could only be picked out by the patches of snow still showing. Whereas looking from the Main Range Tinderry Peak is far more obvious.
After lunch we returned closely following our route up to avoid embarrassing entanglements with the various clifflines returning to the cars by 4.30.
It should be noted that we were very lucky with the weather. The previous week had seen howling winds, and the day after the walk it was snowing in Cooma! Those conditions would have made the walk at least miserable, potentially quite dangerous. But we had a lovely sunny day with only a light breeze right at the top. One that I’m sure all the group will have strong memories of, hopefully for the right reasons.