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Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2021 9:47 am
by CBee
I was wondering if any fellow queenslander know how long it would take to complete the route: Burnett ck-Minnages-Junction pk-Monserrat-Cleared ridge. And if there are any reliable water sources along the way aside the obvious ballow and barney creeks. From Junction pk to Monserrat, I'm looking for the quickest way, not necessarily for peaks and views.

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2021 11:18 am
by Aardvark
I went on another leaders' walk over two days with the K2 Extreme club which took in Minnages, Ballow (Junction Pk), Double Pk, Duramlee and then down to Mt.Philp and back to Burnett Ck. We camped on Ballow. There is no easily accessible water on the route.
Another time i was going toward Nothofagus from Ballow and i cut across to Big Lonely past the head of a waterway heading down past the eastern flank of Ballow. Dry at the time but to follow it might eventually find water. It is an inconvenient detour from the Ballow - Double Pk route though and i wouldn't bank on it.
I subsequently completed in one day on quite a few occasions, the Minnages, Duramlee, Mt.Philp route.
The last time i went over Big Lonely was in a day from Cleared Ridge and via Ballow. To return via Yamahra Ck back to Cleared ridge.

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2021 11:24 am
by Aardvark
From Cleared ridge i have gone both directions between Monserrat to Duramlee on day walks. It used to be very regularly plied by clubs some time back. There is a path of least resistance. But there is not a good footpad all the way. You need not go over Focal Peak. I haven't. You can contour from Cedar Pass on the north side. There was a good path once.

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2021 11:26 am
by CBee
Thanks mate. K2 extreme club sounds something daunting :-)
So do you think Burnett creek to cleared ridge in two days, carrying all water, sounds easily achievable?

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2021 12:19 pm
by Aardvark
Most definitely. Even by the longest route. Over Minnages, Ballow, Duramlee, Monserrat and down to Yamahra Ck. You may find water near to Cedar Pass.
A hammock would allow you to camp anywhere. The only clear tent site would obviously be Ballow. It's not impossible to think you could get enough space for a tent on low ground between Double Pk and Duramlee, or near to the top of Duramlee or even after contouring around Focal Pk.
Not long back i went up a road from Burnett Ck direct to Cleared Ridge. The end of the road near to Burnett Ck was not very evident. A short way up it was a well kept and a well used road. That is irrelevant to your plans though.

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2021 1:21 pm
by CBee
Cool thanks. From Ballow, would you take the big lonely route or durramlee route, to exit down to upper portals? I don't necessarily have to go to Montserrat. This is a section that is part of a bigger hike, so I want to allocate two days, without being too epic.

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2021 5:54 pm
by Aardvark
I think it is more interesting to go via Duramlee because you have the great views from atop Double Pk. When you get to the Doubletop cliffline after ascending from the saddle with Ballow, take a route (left) around to the north until you get to the other end of the peak on the east before ascending back to the ridgeline. You can detour back up to summit from there. It's 5 minutes.
That ridge you go over that descends to the WNW is another route i took from Burnett Ck once. There is only one tricky bit on that ridge. A rocky bluff you need to scramble over not far down from the top. It also saves on the need to go over Minnages and Ballow.
I think you'll get some satisfaction navigating your way down to Cedar Pass from Duramlee. Once you're around Focal Pk you'll pick up on a track most of the way to Monserrat.
The route over Big Lonely involved me pushing my way through stands of trees which would be difficult with a bigger pack. Unless the recent fires have made a big difference. I don't recall anything of a track except that you're on a ridgeline. The final descent off Big Lonely was quite steep. I did not get a view of anything.
You say a bigger hike. Are you starting at or near Boonah border gate?

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2021 6:36 pm
by CBee
Maybe I'll start at Cunningham's gap. Travelling along the rim but not necessarily following the border. Still planning in progress but I have a missing link between white swamp and burnett creek. But you sold me the Double peak route, for sure.

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Wed 29 Sep, 2021 8:30 pm
by gbagua
Day 1: Burnett Ck to Ballow
Day 2: Ballow to Cleared Ridge

Water now? Take as much as you can.There is a spring water in the Focal-Mowburra saddle though; however not entirely reliable.

The bush-bash to Ballow from Burnett is epic when i did it early Feb. this year. Watch for gympie-gympie passed Minnages as there is plenty. I got hit several times and in the end I didn't care because I was pressed by time on the way back to Burnet (didn't want to cross the 'Amazon' in the dark).

Have fun. This area of Barney is heavily vegetated.

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Thu 30 Sep, 2021 5:36 am
by Aardvark
gbagua wrote:
Water now? Take as much as you can.There is a spring water in the Focal-Mowburra saddle though; however not entirely reliable.


BTW. That saddle is called Cedar Pass

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Thu 30 Sep, 2021 2:24 pm
by CBee
Sounds fun :-)

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Fri 01 Oct, 2021 9:09 am
by dalehikes
Aardvark wrote:BTW. That saddle is called Cedar Pass


A Satin Bowebird has used Cedar Pass as his bower site for quite some time. Keep an eye out!

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Fri 01 Oct, 2021 4:02 pm
by CBee
I also heard of some cool antarctic beech around focal peak. I'm looking forward to get there.

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Tue 05 Oct, 2021 9:53 pm
by Don R
There is generally water near Junction Peak / Ballow at a small soak which is to the south east of Mt Ballow itself. there is a small implied gully which joins up with the top of Whitewater Gully (almost always dry). I think it is somewhere near around 462130 6872812. I've got water there a few times over the last twenty odd years. Don't rely on it, but if you are desperate.

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Wed 06 Oct, 2021 5:06 am
by Aardvark
Don R wrote:There is generally water near Junction Peak / Ballow at a small soak which is to the south east of Mt Ballow itself. there is a small implied gully which joins up with the top of Whitewater Gully (almost always dry).


White water gully is southwest of Ballow. Hence the gully with the soak is similarly SW not SE of the peak.
DonR, have you had to filter the water at any time?

Re: Ballows traverse

PostPosted: Wed 06 Oct, 2021 5:22 pm
by Don R
Oops sorry about that. Quite right about being to the South West. Never needed to filter the water from that source but it was generally a lengthy process to collect it. There is a small flow sometimes around. Just don’t depend on this source.