Sunset at Chimney Rock
It’s finally starting to warm up here in the Snowy Valleys region. With a radiant sun and flowering wattle, Henry and I left work early one afternoon in hopes of summiting Chimney Rock by sunset.
Just before the rugged ascent, Chimney Rock can be seen 640 vertical meters from a grassy clearing at the start of the trail, it's about 3km to the top. The total elevation of Chimney Rock is 1082m.
The route is intersected by various mountain streams in high flow after recent rain.
The trail is a steep, rough track that zig-zags up the hill and rarely levels out, so a pair of trekking poles or a walking stick is ideal.
We hike through classic Australian scrub, with Melaleuca tea trees and towering gum trees. The native flora is aplenty, as is the fauna with kangaroos, kookaburras and woodland birds to keep us company.
As the top nears, we're given a sneak peek of Blowering Dam through the native wattle and shrubbery. We take a shortcut, clambering over ponderous granite boulders and squeezing through an opening in the rock.
And finally, at the top, we're rewarded with picturesque views of Blowering Dam and the Tumut region. The Batlow apple orchards can also be seen off in the distance past the Gilmore Valley.
We reached the top with time to explore and watch the sun dip below the horizon.
Our head torches light the trail as we begin the descent at last light. We tread carefully to avoid slipping on loose rocks and ground cover, making it back to the car in one piece and eager to return.
- Written by Dom Erbacher