Three Mountains Walk (Walk #14)

 

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On this page:  

1) Walk map - Shows route and waypoint locations

2) Photo from walk  (also see VIDEO & Photos Gallery)

3) 3D map view

4) Google map & Satellite imagery

5) Route profile

6) Walk description

7) Waypoint listing and grid references

 

 Walk map  Photo
Click on map for large version.

View of Mounts Cuthbert and Vincent

 (mid-distance) and Mount Cooke (distance)

 from Mount Randall, June 2002.

Click on photo for larger version.

More photos & VIDEO.

       3D map view

 

 

  

  Google Map

Using this map.

 

 

 Additional Satellite Imagery
 

Click here

for larger frame Google Maps image

of the walk area.

-Use zoom bar

for road details.

For Google Earth  users

Step 1: Left Click here

For fly-in to waypoints and route

 on image of the walk area.

Or Right Click to

 "Save Target/Link As..."  kml file.

Step 2: Left Click here

For fly-in to 3D view

 of the walk area.

Or Right Click to

 "Save Target/Link As..."  kml file.

Hint: For enhanced 3D effect, set 'Elevation Exaggeration'

in Google Earth to "3" (via 'Tools' menu, 'Options' & 'View' tab).

 

          Route profile

 

                                   

 Walk description  
Location :

33 kms SE of Armadale along Albany Hwy.

Length :

14.5 kms (55% off-track)

(or see 9-9.5 km short walk options)

Degree of difficulty :

MEDIUM   (What does this mean?)

Amount of uphill walking : 500m (cumulative ascent)
GPS-preferred : YES
Access  :

See Google Map for start point on road map.

(Use zoom ladder for detail. Select 'Hybrid' to add satellite imagery.)

Good parking at 'START' point just off Albany Highway down Herold Rd (minor dirt road, 7km past Jarrahdale Rd turnoff down Albany Hwy, on right hand side going south), and at 'END' point Sullivan Rock large parking/picnic area on right hand side of Hwy opposite Bibbulmun Track exit. 

'START and 'END' points are 2.5kms apart along Albany Hwy, so it's best to have two or more cars and do a car shuffle at the start (leaving one car at Sullivan Rock picnic area) to avoid  an otherwise uninspiring walk along the Highway to finish the walk. Note: Vehicle access to the Sullivan Rock picnic area is not directly off the Hwy, but via a short sidetrack off the northern end of the dirt access road that passes behind the picnic area.

(Alternatively, instead of a car shuffle, see Route Notes below for a good alternate ending route back to the START using the old Bibbulmun Track and bypassing the Sullivan Rock segment.

Important access issue:   Walkers need to be aware that this walk area and many others on WalkGPS lie within drinking water catchment areas. In 2007 DoW in effect recommended a prohibition of all traditional off-track bushwalking activities across the entire Perth region catchment areas covering 4500 sq km, far beyond the limits of  existing or proposed Reservoir Protection Zones (see map). By March 2008, the DoW had been persuaded to reconsider its published position. The new Policy of 2012 refrains from banning traditional bushwalking in the outer catchments. The community, including visitors to WalkGPS, need to remain vigilant to ensure that commonsense continues to prevail over regulatory zealotry. See also Home page: 'Access' and Related access issues on WalkGPS, and DOW's Drinking Water Source Protection Plans of 2007 for Canning River and Serpentine Dam catchments.   

Escape route/s :

Bear west or southwest to Albany Highway.

Main features

/Highlights:

This walk within the Monadnocks National Park is one of the best walks in the northern jarrah forest.  It includes ascents of Mts. Randall, Cuthbert and Vincent and some splendid views from these and the other, extensive granite outcrop at 'North Rocks' (informal name on map). The walk overlaps in a couple of short sections (totalling about 1.5kms) with the Mount Randall Walk.

For overnighters: For those keen to camp overnight in the area: The Monadnocks Campsite (which includes a 3-sided shelter; at waypoint 'BIBHUT') on the Bibbulmun Track is located after the initial 4 kms of the walk. Alternatively the Campsite  provides a useful opportunity for a brief rest stop during the walk.

Controlled burns:   - A burn was carried out in Autumn 2010 across the whole area east of the 'Old Bibbulmun Track' (see map) including Mt Vincent, Mt Cuthbert and the 'North Rocks area. This impacted on forest along the Bibbulmun Track section of the walk route between waypoints 'OLDBIB' (near the Monadnocks Campsite) & 'EXIT' (near Sullivan Rock). See DEC's 6-season indicative burn programme.  

9-9.5 km short walk options: See WalkGPS Blog article "A late spring in the step" (Oct. 2010) which includes a summary of shorter variations to the full walk which are more suitable for warmer weather when the full walk will not be comfortably enjoyable.

Additional maps :

WalkGPS walk map for OziExplorer users A downloadable OziExplorer format MAP file (*.map) for this walk area is included on the Maps, Waypoints & Track Files page. The zipped folder also includes the associated 'base' topo map image file, plus other attached waypoints, tracks/routes, etc in OxiExplorer file formats.

WalkGPS reconnaissance history: Click here for a map of past WalkGPS test walks in the walk area, plus the final route. The final route was selected only after several visits to the area which aimed to achieve a walk that would be the most rewarding.

Other:   Jarrahdale 1:50,000 Sheet (Dept. of CALM, ca. 1990);

or Jarrahdale & Yaganing 1:50,000 DEC Conservation Operations Graphic (COG) map series (current) Sheet 2133-3 & 2133-2.

Other background references :

"Three Mountains" by 'nickleth', (on EveryTrail), 2010  - Two young ladies report on their experience of the route, with map and photos. A good effort!

"A Guide to the Bibbulmun Track, Northern Half, Kalamunda to Donnelly River Village" by Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) 2002, 2nd ed., pp.96-102.

"Forests on Foot (40 walks in W.A.)" by Meney & Brown, 1985, pp.44-48 (Wescolour Press, Fremantle).  Describes the route from Mt Randall to Sullivan Rock prior to the development of the Bibbulmun Track.

"Family Walks in Perth Outdoors", CALM, rev. edn. 2000, pp.158-159, includes a mud map and description for the Mt. Vincent Walktrail (via Sullivan Rock), a 7 km return on-track walk.

See Climbers' Association of W.A. site for a climber's perspective on the granite 'slabs' and boulders of Mount Cuthbert, Mount Vincent and Mount Randall.

Drinking Water Source Protection Plans : "Canning River Catchment Area..." (Report # 77, Water Resource Protection Series) by Department of Water (DoW), June 2007. - See pdf version (5MB). Page 32 is of particular relevance. 

"Serpentine Dam Catchment Area..." (Report # 78, Water Resource Protection Series) by Department of Water (DoW), July 2007. - See pdf version (2.3MB). Pages 42-43 are of particular relevance.

Note: DoW's recommended protection strategy in the above reports intended to prohibit recreational off-track bushwalking opportunities within the entire 1420 sq km of these two catchment areas, far beyond the combined 180 sq km of proposed Reservoir Protection Zones, and including this walk area which is located over 20km SSE of the Canning Reservoir and over 10km ENE of the Serpentine reservoir.

Trivia:   What is a "monadnock? (Click for answer.)

Route notes :

 

Soon after crossing Albany Hwy from the 'START' point, the route goes off-track at 'ENTRY' waypoint  and northward for approx 3km (or see newer Recommended alternative below), initially climbing to a N-S ridge (via the waypoints 'SFLANK', 'ROX', 'S-1' & 'S-1A & 'S-2'). There is a very good view 13 kms S-ward to Mt Solus from the large sloping granite slab at 'ROX'. Note: Many walkers will now prefer to avoid the 600m section from 'S-1' to 'S-2' which initially climbs uphill through some very scratchy shrubland which has grown quite dense in recent years; take it slowly to pick out the more open animal tracks, and initially follow the granite outcrop steeply uphill if it is not too wet and slippery. This section near the start of the walk may deter some walkers but is NOT typical of the whole walk! (I have re-walked the route as recently as May 2011 and traversed this section OK, though veering NE uphill after 'S-1A' to bypass scratchy sections before descending to 'S-2'.) 

[Recommended alternative :  To avoid the scratchy section, after crossing Albany Hwy from the Start point, follow the (blocked) dirt road from the NE side of the Hwy, and continue ENE past 'ENTRY' to the T-junction at 'BIBCNR'. Turn left (northward) on the 'old Bibbulmun Track' to about 'OLBIB3', then NW off-track to climb quite steeply uphill to 'RAND-S' near the small southern culmination. Then veer northward to follow the ridge through quite open forest to link back into the main route at 'S-3'. This option adds about 600m to the total walk distance.]

After the second outcrop, at 'S-2', follow the N-S ridge northward (via 'S-3', 'S-RAND' and 'S-4') through pleasant open jarrah-marri forest. Cross a further small outcrop at 'GRAN', before reaching an old W-E forestry track at 'W-ETRK' waypt. Approx. 50m west along that track, turn right at waypt 'CAIRN' (where there is a small rock cairn) to follow an undeveloped foot-track northward uphill (via 'R-1, 'R-1A', 'R-2')  through very nice forest to a granite outcrop (at 'VU') just below the summit of Mt Randall (excellent views to Mts Cuthbert & Vincent and Cooke).

[Note 1: About 140m before you reach 'R-1' on the foot-track you may glimpse through the forest a cluster of large granite boulders 100m due east. It is worth a short off-track detour to visit these and the sizeable cavern hidden below them. Another 60m east of those rocks is a striking cluster of tall 'sentinal'-like rocks, also worth a visit. This is a popular area with boulderers.

Note 2: The last section of the foot-track to 'R-2' may be difficult to follow due to the  control burn in the area in 2010 which also included the summit area of Mt Randall; but the fire also opened up the understorey, so it is easy to pick your own route.]

To leave the summit area, follow another initially faint foot-track (at 'R-2A') which starts from the foot of a short granite slope less than 50m north of 'VU'. Once you have found the track it becomes easy to follow eastward (via 'R-2B' and 'R-3') down the gentle eastern ridge of Mt Randall. [Note: The control burn in the area in 2010 also made this foot-track initially very difficult to follow; but look for very small rock cairns after about 'R-2B'.] After 'R-4' the vague foot-track passes through a narrow belt of shrubland before emerging close to the Monadnocks Campsite (at 'BIBHUT'). - If you do lose the foot-track after 'R-3', you may prefer to continue off-track close to the ridge crest (via 'RIDGE') to meet the Bibbulmun Track at 'BIBTR'. Then turn right to follow the Track  for less than 150m to reach the Monadnocks Hut. -Follow the Track from the Hut until 'OLDBIB'  (close to the intersection of old and new Bibbulmun Tracks). Then head ESE off-track through mixed jarrah-marri-banksia forest, across a very gentle slope, to cross a ridge before descending, initially passing through an interesting cluster of very large granite boulders (at 'BOLDRS').  Continue ESE, soon descending more steeply and picking a best route through a patch (about 50m) of scratchy shrubland to reach (after 'NR-1) an extensive granite outcrop (informally named 'North Rocks' on WalkGPS map). The large sloping granite slab provides good views to the east across the Darling Plateau, including 23.5 kms NNE to the distinctive conical-shaped Mt Dale on the horizon. The route then follows the upper part of the outcrop SE-ward (via 'BIGROCK', 'NR-2', 'NR-3', NR-4', and NR-5') and then re-enters the forest after 'ENDROK', through a very short section of possibly scratchy scrub. The route then climbs briefly (via 'SADLE2') to  follow a ridge SW-ward until at 'C-4' it passes very close to  the foot of the northern granite slopes of Mt Cuthbert. At 'C-3' the route starts rising and soon meets the Bibbulmun Track (at 'TURN'). (Option: From 'C-4', you can opt to head straight up the northern outcrop slope toward 'C-2', but be aware that there will be a short section of scratchy shrubland to pick a way through before meeting the Bibbulmun Track about 40m north of 'C-2'). The remaining 5km of the walk from waypoint 'TURN' follows the Bibbulmun Track  and its exit track to Albany Highway via Sullivan Rock. This part of the Bibb. Track crosses the summits of Mts Cuthbert and Vincent. (The Bibb. Track is marked by 'Waugal' markers, with black 'serpent' on yellow background). There are magnificent sweeping views northward and eastward from the northern granite slopes of Mt Cuthbert and also 12 km SE to Mt Cooke. During the southward descent of Mt Vincent there are also views 12 kms SSW to Mt Solus

Alternate ending :  If a car shuffle between the END and START is not possible, a good (and pleasant) alternative to walking the last 2.5km along the Highway back to the START, is as follows: Follow Bibb. Track down Mt Vincent only as far as waypt 'VIN S'. Then go off-track to meet the old Bibbulmun Track (a vehicle track) at waypt 'OLDBIB1'.  Follow the old Bibb. Track via 'OLBIB2' to reach 'BIBCNR'. Turn left at 'BIBCNR' onto another old vehicle track that leads back to Albany Highway and the START point.This alternate ending adds only about 1.5kms to the total walk distance.

 

 

 Waypoint listing

 

Right click here and then "Save Target/Link As..."  if you wish  to download the waypoints and GPS 'track' as a GPX  file in the standard format recognised by most devices and programs including Garmin and Magellan units and GPS Mapping Software.  If you have a problem uploading the data, please feel free to contact me directly at WalkGPS rather than your users' forum!

Also see WalkGPS Maps, Waypoints & Tracks page for downloadable MAP files, plus GPX and Google Earth (KMZ) files. Also see explanatory notes on file formats and how to upload to your unit.

If you require another format you will need to convert the downloaded file using GPS Visualiser (online) or freeware such as GPSBabel.

The waypoints in the alternative listing below are given as UTM coordinates with datum to match the Walk Map. NOTE: If you wish to manually enter these into your GPS unit you must first set your unit to the correct Datum. Caution: An incorrect datum can result in an approximate 200m location error! (This is a very slow, error-prone method compared to using the above downloadable file and is not recommended.)

 

Route list :

Projection : UTM       Datum : Australian Geodetic 1966       Zone :  50

Waypt name           Easting     Northing                Comments

START        427553  6419218     Park car, Herold Rd, off Albany Hwy.

TRNOFF       427768  6419273     Cross Albany Hwy.

ENTRY        427929  6419268     Begin off-track.

SFLANK       428060  6419930

ROX          427959  6420023     First granite outcrop.

S-1          427874  6420261     Near NNW limit of outcrop.

S-1A         427921  6420397     In forest on W flank of small peak.   

S-2          427899  6420847

S-3          427976  6421034     Onto ridge.

S-RAND       427937  6421437    

S-4          427883  6421831

GRAN         427764  6421927     Granite outcrop.

W-ETRK       427663  6422107     Meet old W-E track.Walk west.

CAIRN        427621  6422091     Small rock cairn. Track north.

R-1          427710  6422340     On undeveloped track.

R-1A         427630  6422434     On undeveloped track.

R-2          427629  6422625     Vague foot-track veers W to ascend toward Mt Randall summit.

VU           427588  6422591     View from granite platform, just below Mt Randall summit.

R-2A         427583  6422638     Entry from outcrop to vague foot-track, descending to ridge.

R-2B         427727  6422718     On unmarked foot-track.

R-3          427964  6422739     On unmarked foot-track.

R-4          428149  6422688     On vague, unmarked foot-track.

BIBHUT       428219  6422611     Monadnocks Campsite (Bibb. Track)

OLDBIB       428476  6422562     Cross old & new Bibb. Track.

BOLDRS       429185  6422294     Granite boulders.

NR-1         429451  6422150     Near NNW limit of‘Nth Rocks’ granite slab.

BIGROK       429432  6422086     Extensive outcrop. Good views

NR-2         429501  6421962     Outcrop continues.

NR-3         429488  6421890     Outcrop continues.

NR-4         429492  6421839     Outcrop continues.

NR-5         429611  6421780     Outcrop continues.

ENDROK       429636  6421683     End of main outcrop.

NR-6         429666  6421614     In forest, on NE slope.

SADLE2       429678  6421398    

C-4          429497  6421127

C-3          429353  6421122

TURN         429337  6420936     Meet Bibbulmun Track, follow.

C-2          429607  6420779     North flank of Mt Cuthbert.

MT CUT       429665  6420355     Approx. summit, Mt Cuthbert.

C-1          429911  6419829     South flank of Mt Cuthbert.

SADLE1       429831  6419312     Saddle.

V-2          429607  6419053     North flank of Mt Vincent.

MT VIN       429656  6418849     Approx summit, Mt Vincent.

V-1          429610  6418250     Sth flank of Mt Vincent.

VIN S        429408  6418170     Sth flank of Mt Vincent.

EXIT         429699  6417637     Bibbulmun Track exit for Hwy.

SULL-1       429657  6417382     Sullivan Rocks outcrop.

TO-BIB       429349  6417071     Cross Albany Hwy.

END          429264  6417084     End walk. Car back to start.

Additional Waypoints on map: 

BIB          429172  6421044     Bibb. Tr., nth of Mt Cuthbert.

BIBCNR       428369  6419430     Old Bibb. Tr. & track to Hwy.

CRNRK        429211  6422069     Small outcrop above‘Nth Rocks’

FALLOG       429004  6421561     Bibb. Tr.,nearby fallen logs.

MT RAN       427570  6422616     Near summit, Mt Randall.

NTHROC       429354  6421833     Small outcrop above‘Nth Rocks’

OLBIB1       429213  6418115     Old Bibb Tr., nr Mt Vincent.

OLBIB2       428622  6419260     Old Bibb Tr., nr ‘BIBCNR’

OLBIB3       428627  6419931     Old Bibb Tr.,nth of ‘BIBCNR’

OLBIB4       428757  6421127     Old Bibb Tr.,NW of Mt Cuthbert

OLBIB5       428487  6421839     Old Bibb Tr.,W of ‘Nth Rocks’

OLDTRK       427878  6422319     Old track, extn. of ‘W-ETRK’

RAND-S       428081  6420443     Small peak sth of Mt Randall.

RIDGE        428115  6422752     Off-track, east of Mt Randall.

BIBTR        428310  6422701     Meet Bibbulmun Track near Monadnocks Campsite.

CLTRK1       429649  6420402     Top of old 'climbers track', Mt Cuthbert.

CLTRK2       429218  6420381     On old 'climbers track'.

CLTRK3       428686  6420186     Old 'climbers track' meets old Bibb Track.

 

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This page was last updated  :   24 March, 2017

 Site authored by David Osborne.  Photographs and text are copyright  © 2003-2013 David Osborne.