Question about water on Cedar Pass, camping at Double Peak.

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Question about water on Cedar Pass, camping at Double Peak.

Postby AverageBushEnjoyer » Wed 13 Jul, 2022 10:46 pm

I'm planning a two night hike in Barney NP, intend to camp on Montserrat for the first night, traverse to Durramlee via Cedar Pass the next day and spend a second night somewhere near double peak.


Water questions:

How reliable is the water in Cedar Pass aka Focal Peak Trail?
I've seen a handful of mentions of a soak/fountain, located as far as 250m off the trail. Is it easy enough to identify, or does it require somebody whos been there before to point it out?
Would appreciate anything extra you can offer, be it photos, coordinates or detailed descriptions. If need be I can carry 6+ litres from the Yamraha creek junction but I'd prefer not to!


Camping questions:

Is the camping at double peak "dispersed/wild"? I can't find any spots to book on parks.des.qld.gov.au but there's photos of people camping there.

If it helps, here's where I've seen water and camping discussed:
https://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... ss#p424482
https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/m ... ay-5080871
https://weareexplorers.co/overnight-hike-double-peak/
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Re: Question about water on Cedar Pass, camping at Double Pe

Postby Aardvark » Sat 16 Jul, 2022 7:47 am

I followed the creek to the west of Cedar Pass until i found moving water. It was quite some distance. Winter is our dry season, so ordinarily i would expect to allow up to an hour at the pass to deal with finding water. This year however you might be more fortunate given the unseasonal amount of rain recently. It has been a few years since i was there.
Carrying up to 10lts of water is no big deal to me as i would often deposit caches of water for future visits. Some day walks i do are long and i would prefer not to be looking for water.
Cedar Pass is more of a saddle as it is just the lowest point between Durramlee and Focal Peak. It is normally heavily forested with no openings. I don't imagine the last fires have made any real difference. The route down from Durramlee is easier travel than the Focal Peak side and this is largely because of the vegetation difference. South facing, north facing and all that.
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Re: Question about water on Cedar Pass, camping at Double Pe

Postby Aardvark » Sat 16 Jul, 2022 8:08 am

I think these maps that suggest remote bush camps and trails are misleading to many people. These 'remote bush camps' are just places you might be able to camp. Vague clearings often that vary due to vegetation. No specific grid reference. Just the suggestion someone has camped there before. The 'trails' are based on historical rhetoric at best. Bushwalking was much more popular back in the 1950's and with revivals such as the 1970's etc, club walks were were common and traffic was frequent. You would have been correct in thinking there were reliable trails.
The only part of the Durramlee - Monserrat L/O section that is likely to be an obvious trail is the narrow ridgeline east of Focal Peak. That's largely due to all traffic being channeled onto one path. It might still be hampered by vegetation. There are a few open spots that may be flat enough for a tent. The saddle area at about 900m is probably the best option.
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Re: Question about water on Cedar Pass, camping at Double Pe

Postby Aardvark » Sat 16 Jul, 2022 8:27 am

I've never ascended Focal Peak. The vegetation and absence of any path and the need to go to Cedar Pass have overridden that desire. It is obviously easier to go off track on a contour between 870m and 900m around on the north. In saying that however, you may get into some vegetation which will have you saying WT *$&#. How could this be easier. A little bit of pot luck really.
There was a time, maybe my first time about twenty years ago, when i was leaving Cedar Pass to go to Monserrat L/O. I was perhaps 30 metres through vegetation when i happened on a path that took me straight to the saddle east of Focal Peak. It was not a defined foot track as much as just a cleared, five foot wide channel through the vegetation with a slight incline to the saddle. I haven't happened on it since and have just relied on a bearing. Some small scree patches can provide brief forward movement but it is often followed by a struggle through vines etc.
Double Peak itself can provide a bivvy at best. Too rocky for a tent. There are low points between Durramlee and Double Peak which with a little effort you could clear the space for a tent. I don't know what you mean by 'Dispersed/Wild'.
These are places i cannot imagine ever 'booking' with NP's. They are not defined campsites. No one would ever know you were there. It would be unusual to ever encounter more than a couple of other people, if anyone when you are there. You should just adopt a practice of leaving NO trace.
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Re: Question about water on Cedar Pass, camping at Double Pe

Postby Aardvark » Sat 16 Jul, 2022 8:36 am

My last visit to that area was a daywalk over Monserrat L/O to Durramlee and back to Cleared Ridge. Leaving Monserrat L/O i didn't have a trail until a few hundred metres out from the L/O. It really all depends on the amount of traffic that's been through before your visit.
Many people write up their account of walks in such areas but often their memories give priority to certain sections of a route and lets face it they are often writing to a certain audience and they want to create a particular overall impression of such an experience.
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Re: Question about water on Cedar Pass, camping at Double Pe

Postby dalehikes » Wed 20 Jul, 2022 7:39 am

Aardvark wrote:Bushwalking was much more popular back in the 1950's and with revivals such as the 1970's etc,.

You don't think bushwalking is far more popular now than ever? You can't go to a trailhead without the carparks being full or overflowing...

Aardvark wrote:It would be unusual to ever encounter more than a couple of other people, if anyone when you are there.


You could be unlucky enough to encounter groups of 20+ that have gone there from those meetup groups.
All that effort and you wouldnt even find a spot to sit!
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Re: Question about water on Cedar Pass, camping at Double Pe

Postby AverageBushEnjoyer » Wed 03 Aug, 2022 11:29 am

Aardvark wrote:Everything


Thanks Aardvark, appreciate your time end effort writing this up.
Specific thanks for your comments RE time to find water, skipping focal peak, dense vegetation, no official campsite, etc.

You understood me correctly with "dispersed camping'. Essentially camping without a defined site or booking.
I understand the permission for camping like this varies from place to place, since posting I did some research and found a few interesting things:

Main ranges approves 'dispersed camping' within reason, they only ask for a heads up when you plan on doing it.
https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/main-range/camping

Mt Barney has an explicit 'no camping' zone around Mt Maroon/Mt May, with the exception of three approved sites that can be booked. There's an additional exclusion zone for anywhere within 500m of the Mt Barney east peak.
I imagine the rules for the remaining area (majority of the NP) falls under rules similar to Main Ranges?

dalehikes wrote:You could be unlucky enough to encounter groups of 20+ that have gone there from those meetup groups.
All that effort and you wouldnt even find a spot to sit!


Good for them but hopefully not!
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Re: Question about water on Cedar Pass, camping at Double Pe

Postby James777 » Thu 04 Aug, 2022 11:35 am

I went down to Cedar Pass from Montserrat Lookout back in April and most of the way between the two was pretty horrible walking to be honest. Certainly no track or footpad at that time and most of the way was very slow going through thick fire regrowth (see photos of typical vegetation in that section). Usually I don't mind a bit of a slog when off track, but this was a bit much.

I didn't find water at Cedar Pass myself, although I didn't look too hard. Despite the struggle to get there it was a gorgeous spot to camp, but with little open ground.
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Re: Question about water on Cedar Pass, camping at Double Pe

Postby CBee » Thu 04 Aug, 2022 3:30 pm

Doesn't look as bad as Barney Spur.
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