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Mount Franklin Walkabout

By Demosthenes 17 July 2009 37

I just called the Namadgi Visitors Centre to check road status and the road is open *to* Mount Franklin car park – I have never been up in winter so a friend and I want to go for a spin up to Mount Franklin as far as we can get and then go for a wander – apparently it’s only a few kms walk up to Mount Franklin from the car park although Mount Ginini / Gingera are the ones with snow on them?

We just want to see some nice winter outdoors – we’re sick of being stuck inside all the time – and we have a 4WD so we’re quite confident to drive as far as 4WD’s are supposed to go.

Any tips or advice?  Is Mount Franklin Road a good pick for a general Sunday walkabout with possibility of some snow lying around to enjoy?

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Mount Franklin Walkabout
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Demosthenes 11:50 am 02 Aug 09

What the F? I called the Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre this morning – roads open – but no snow up on Ginini? How can that be? It’s at the same altitude as Perisher?? Maybe next weekend.

According to this it’s only popped up to around 2 degrees at most so either I’m confused or the visitor centre is confused.

http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDN60903/IDN60903.95925.shtml

Demosthenes 3:30 pm 29 Jul 09

I’m considering a spin up the road this weekend – what do people think it will be like in terms of enjoyable snow levels? I take it that what I posted up two weeks ago should not have melted much if anything more should have accumulated? The BOM site seems to indicate it’s been pretty snowy up there going by temperatures although it did get up to 3 degrees today (I hope that won’t melt it all).

http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDN60903/IDN60903.95925.shtml

Bob 11:12 pm 25 Jul 09

The road is narrow but its by no means non-2WD. I got my car up there with very little difficulty. I would be wary after rain, given the road gets pretty wet, but on days like today, I wouldn’t think that there’d be a prob at all. And it’s worth it

Demosthenes 5:18 pm 22 Jul 09

Bit warm up at Ginini at the moment – raining and 0.5 degrees – high of 6 – so no more snow up there? No point going up this weekend then.

http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDN60902.shtml

Jivrashia 9:32 pm 21 Jul 09

Oops. “There” as in Mt. Franklin car park at the end of Mt. Franklin Rd, at the foot of Mt. Ginini that is.

Jivrashia 9:24 pm 21 Jul 09

Okay…. that’s it!!

I’ve been called chicken livered and worse on this post.

*throws ski glove (couldn’t find a gauntlet…) down at ant’s feet*

See you there ant! 😉

Danman 5:16 pm 21 Jul 09

Al – That sucks… I was looking at the route you proposed and it looked quite comprehensive and would have been a good days drive…And fun to boot…

Demosthenes 4:41 pm 21 Jul 09

Mount Franklin used to be a popular ski resort and the snow in those pictures is definitely below average / pretty poor? So the climate is definitely changing – very sad – unless that period was just particularly cold and wet?

We still had a great time though.

ant 11:57 am 21 Jul 09

You used to be able to drive all those places. In fact, we have some family pictures of us and another family, with our holdens, on the top of Mt Kossi! We car-camped with them for a week next to lake cootapatamba.

The walk from Ginini carpark to Gingera is for much of it along the old road, you go through a locked gate. I think that road continues down to Corin Dam…but to get to Gingera you peel off and hit the grass.

Gungahlin Al 11:09 am 21 Jul 09

I called the Namadgi Visitors Centre and was told that the Mt Franklin track is closed past Bulls Head (near Picadilly Circus – top of Brindabella Rd) during this week for some tree maintenance, but is likely to be open for the weekend – they suggested a call to check it isn’t closed due to the chance of snow later this week.

Also said that the Mt Franklin Rd that shows on Google Maps as going all the way down to Orroral and Honeysuckle Creek is not a public road and there are locked gates preventing use. A real shame, as it would be a brilliant circuit drive to do Tharwa, Honeysuckle Orroral, Mt Franklin, home.

ant 11:00 am 21 Jul 09

Jivrashia said :

Ant… I did try the track when the weather was fairer with my Holden Astra (front-wheel drive) in mid-autumn.
It was very challenging. The last 12Km of the track is along a very narrow rugged road.

Seriously people, please consider the danger before you try it. The last 12Km is treacherous. You don’t want to be caught out in the unforgiving climate of high altitude. Or, in the worst case, your vehicle tumbling down a steep mountain side.

In your case, I am sure that a 4WD would be necessary.

However, please bear in mind that it wouldn’t save you from the scenarios you’ve outlined in posts above. All 4WD does is give a bit more traction, and in teh case of some 4WDs (but not all), more ground clearance. They’re not some kind of magic starship.

I chuckle at people who assume that my car got through becasue it’s 4WD. I have to explain that, for it to be 4WD, I have to get out and lock the hubs, so usually don’t bother. It’s just not necessary most of the time. A pleasant luxury, not a necessity.

You see a lot of 4WDs in difficulties in the snow country, and a lot that aren’t, and a lot of non-4WDs also with no issues.

It comes down to the driver, every time.

As for snow Demosthenes, we are having a very warm winter so far, and the rain we got in the lead-up wasn’t spectacular. We’re in a pretty severe drought.

Mt Franklin used to be a popular club ski field, my family spent a lot of time there, during 60s winters. It’s hard to believe now, the snow levels are receding.

Demosthenes 8:47 am 21 Jul 09

No worries.. Well back on to snow rather than transport – I think we’ve established that the courageous can go up without a 4WD although I would still feel much safer in a 4WD.

I understand we had average rain for June and July so the snow looked great to me – but should it be deeper this time of year? Not that I complaining – we had a great time. If all you want to do is play around and go tobogganing that site looks perfect – much cheaper and closer than Selwyn et al – and possibly at a higher altitude than Selwyn too?

I’m getting rather excited about snow shoeing / hiking – the ANU Mountaineering Club has a large number of activities scheduled.

Gungahlin Al 11:28 pm 20 Jul 09

It looked great – thanks for posting the pictures.

Jivrashia 10:27 pm 20 Jul 09

ant said :

What is it about those pictures that leads you to think one must have a 4WD to survive it? The road appears to be in very sound condition, the snow is light, you can actually see the road (that’s always nice), it’s flat…

Ant… I did try the track when the weather was fairer with my Holden Astra (front-wheel drive) in mid-autumn.
It was very challenging. The last 12Km of the track is along a very narrow rugged road.

Seriously people, please consider the danger before you try it. The last 12Km is treacherous. You don’t want to be caught out in the unforgiving climate of high altitude. Or, in the worst case, your vehicle tumbling down a steep mountain side.

ant 9:47 pm 20 Jul 09

Jivrashia said :

Postalgeek said :

You’re chicken livered : )

Guys. Even in the condition shown in Demosthenes’ photos?

Any national park ranger willing to comment?

What is it about those pictures that leads you to think one must have a 4WD to survive it? The road appears to be in very sound condition, the snow is light, you can actually see the road (that’s always nice), it’s flat…

As for park rangers, well, I won’t tell you the story of the time a friend stuck a 4WD decal on his merc to get through the chain-fitting station at Perisher. As he returned to his campsite at Island Bend. I was impressed, the merc weighed a ton and had normal highway tyres on it. No mean feat.

ant 9:40 pm 20 Jul 09

And yet back in the days when they built Pryor’s Hut, and the Franklin Chalet, 4WDs were soemwhat rare beasts, especially among the folk who built such sheds. My family spent many winter weekends up there, and we sure didn’t have a 4WD. Hey, they’re great, they’re great insurance, but remember that plenty was done before they became numerous.

driver ability and a bit of thought make all the difference.

Demosthenes 8:09 pm 20 Jul 09

Is it a bit shallow for this time of year? Either way we had a great time.

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