Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

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Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby Tortoise » Sun 06 Mar, 2022 5:55 pm

Has anybody been out that way very recently? I'm considering a trip in the next week or two. I imagine it would have been dry before the likely rain last week. At least Narcissus had 40+ mms over the last 10 days...
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Re: Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby pazzar » Sun 06 Mar, 2022 8:57 pm

I've heard reports of water in pools near Green Bluff recently, before the rains, enough for a small party to survive on. I've usually been able to find water in the Macs/Walled saddle too, even in drier years. I'd be carrying plenty from Walled just in case.
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Re: Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby weetbix456 » Mon 07 Mar, 2022 7:12 am

I’ve found water at the head of the creek that runs south off the macs/walled saddle, and the gully that runs south from the western end of the macs/greens saddle after reasonably dry conditions. Some small pools possible on the shelf of the mesa but not overly reliable I’d say if there is a dry spell leading into your trip.
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Re: Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby headwerkn » Mon 07 Mar, 2022 8:00 am

Water points/soaks can be found at the bottom of the Walled/Macs saddle (decent soak), Macs/Green Hill saddle (mostly yabby holes) and southern Urquharts Mesa edge near cliffs (very small shallow tarn/creek). There are yabby holes everywhere and depending on how recent rain has been, pretty well digging anywhere in a gully or low point will likely yield a bit of water. Definitely take a yabby tube or water filter with a long pickup line eg. MSR TrailShot. That said we were out there in early October with snow still on Walled... it's been quite a dry summer out that way, Lake St Clair's water level is well down and the Gould/Guardians plateau had pretty minimal water on it a couple of weeks ago.

One of those trips probably best done after a couple of days of solid rain ;-)
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Re: Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby Tortoise » Mon 07 Mar, 2022 12:13 pm

Thanks, guys. Appreciate your info.
pazzar wrote:I've usually been able to find water in the Macs/Walled saddle too, even in drier years.
Hey Pazz. You've been there more than once? On purpose? :shock:
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Re: Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby pazzar » Mon 07 Mar, 2022 1:34 pm

Tortoise wrote:Thanks, guys. Appreciate your info.
pazzar wrote:I've usually been able to find water in the Macs/Walled saddle too, even in drier years.
Hey Pazz. You've been there more than once? On purpose? :shock:


Been to Macs twice. Will have to do at least one more trip there yet! It's nice walking to Macs.
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Re: Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby Tortoise » Mon 07 Mar, 2022 2:28 pm

pazzar wrote:Been to Macs twice. Will have to do at least one more trip there yet! It's nice walking to Macs.
I found it pretty good walking to Macs too, though we managed to find more scrub than necessary on our way out there recently. And we only had day packs. We carried lots of water from Walled, so didn't go looking in the saddle. I figured that if I ever do head out to Nereus, it wouldn't be a bad idea to be familiar with some of the way, and not have to go over the top of Macs if I don't have to. Tortoises have to line up as many ducks as possible. :wink: And it was delightful to have a couple of hours of mountain-gazing on top of Macs. :D
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Re: Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby headwerkn » Wed 09 Mar, 2022 7:50 am

You definitely don't need to go over Macs, sidling around the NE side is very pleasant and there's a few cairns along the way. Gets quite scrubby again as you approach the Macs/Green Hill saddle but you soon pop out on a nice clear shelf, good sheltered camp spots a little further in the next band of scrub.

That said it is worth making the quick side trip up Macs to spy out the route to Nereus. We could also see the water spot on Urquharts from there, which gave us confidence about the next day's walking.
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Re: Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby Tortoise » Wed 09 Mar, 2022 8:24 am

Thanks, hw. Sorry, I wasn't clear. I'm not planning on going over Macs on a Nereus trip. We didn't see the water spot on Urquharts, but weren't sure where we should be looking. Can you see it in the photo below?
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Re: Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby north-north-west » Sun 13 Mar, 2022 6:10 pm

Far as I recall, the dark line inside the red 'oval' is reliable water. The line inside the yellow one had a trickle when we did it. Only water on the saddle itself was a smidgin from some yabby holes, but it was hard work getting it.

We also crossed a shallow water source the other side of Urquharts, on the eastern edge of the buttongrass.
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Re: Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby Tortoise » Mon 14 Mar, 2022 9:30 am

Thanks, nnw.
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Re: Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby headwerkn » Tue 15 Mar, 2022 12:22 pm

InkedMacsUrquharts_LI.jpg
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The area that NNW circled is where we walked up. Past the very thick bands of scoparia etc there is a decent sized water gully/drain that was quite damp... not exactly flowing but with a quick dig you'd have been able to draw meaingful water out with a yabby tube/pump water filter.

Red arrow was where we camped. We were able to draw water from various yabby holes in the area.

Orange arrow is where the major water source is/was on Urquharts Mesa.

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Said gully.

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Said vegetation! Thankfully this was pretty short lived.

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View from top of Green Hill west over Urquharts Mesa. Major water source is to the top left, a bit before the SW point where the usual route drops off the Mesa towards the buttongrass plain.

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The major soak up close. Again, this was early October, not long after some decent rains, so adjust expectations accordingly. The soak was deep enough for us to fill bottles cleanly/easily. If the trickle slows potentially one could drop past the nearby cliff and catch it off the rocks below.
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Re: Water near Macs/Greens Bluff=Urquharts Mesa saddle?

Postby Tortoise » Tue 15 Mar, 2022 12:27 pm

Thanks heaps, hw. Very useful indeed. :D
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