1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics or continue browsing and reading as a guest.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Mt Zeil

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by DidSurfNowSki, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 1995
    Messages:
    12,709
    Likes Received:
    10,708
    Location:
    Newcastle
    I deliberately used the double negative for its empathic negation tones - in order to soften the severity of my chastisement.

    Of all the folk here VSG I’d have thunk you one that knows I choose my words carefully (most of the time) - though happy to be schooled just the same by a master.
     
  2. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    68,804
    Likes Received:
    5,167
    Location:
    Port Macquarie NSW

    I knew that. I am very good angler, too. ;)
     
  3. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 1995
    Messages:
    12,709
    Likes Received:
    10,708
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Paid in full
     
  4. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 1998
    Messages:
    22,769
    Likes Received:
    14,071
    Location:
    Middle Oz
    Sorry, but they are images to me. I’ll try to remember they are ....something else.
     
    Richard likes this.
  5. ruhansnyders

    ruhansnyders First Runs

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Hermannsburg / Papunya
    Hi, just thought I would throw in my two cents. I live out near Mt Zeil and have recently climbed the peak - thought I would give some up to date information.

    There are a couple of routes up the mountain, however the easiest route by far is the main valley following a series of dry river beds right up the heart of the northern face. It's become easily accessible in recent months thanks to the legends from Narwietooma that are in the process of building the Mt Zeil Wilderness Park (will become a campground / cabin facility come early next year). After getting in touch with them via Facebook they were kind enough to let me drive into one of their camping areas that is only a 1km walk from the base of the main valley.

    I started at 7:17am from the base and reached the summit at 10:19am. My descent was much slower, retracing the same route down. Following the main valley up is a fast ascent as you avoid any and all spinifex for most of your climb, only having to battle through it as you exit the last river bed near the top. Most of the route is over rock & sand in dry beds, and the occasional boulder hop. A few sections of steep dry waterfall faces that you can either scale with high grip soles and a bit of handwork, or you can take a safer side trek through the scrub. I have a few photos/video and can give more detail on where to go if asked.

    Mainly just letting you know there is now a very accessible and easy ascent route thanks to the new crew at the wildnerness park located off the Tanami / Kintore road and near the base of the mountain. If you plan to climb in 2020 then they should have the facilities up and running for easy overnight stays and an early climbing start close to the valley.
     
    #105 ruhansnyders, Sep 15, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
    Snow Blowey, GS, skifree and 4 others like this.
  6. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 1998
    Messages:
    22,769
    Likes Received:
    14,071
    Location:
    Middle Oz
    Any chance of an image of this route?
     
  7. ruhansnyders

    ruhansnyders First Runs

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Hermannsburg / Papunya
    I'll post up some photos of my trip when I get home from work this afternoon. I don't have a route map (didn't take a tracker with me) but the photo's should help enough. If you were to climb via the wilderness park you'll have access to some GPS tracker routes left behind from previous climbers.

    EDIT: Below is just a rough outline of the route. I'll show some photos later of the main sections to be aware of so you stay on track. The blue line is the route I took up - there are two lines in red which are routes that some preferred. I personally considered them to be longer and with a more gradual incline, whereas the blue route is a lot more direct and much steeper near the top. On your descent however, one of the red lines might be a better pick unless you felt confident with the route you took up. The black arrow points towards the parking area. The yellow line is a route some have taken but I would not recommend due to the amount of time it would take, and you'd be well up and into spinifex along that ridge.
     

    Attached Files:

    #107 ruhansnyders, Sep 16, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
    Majikthise, DidSurfNowSki and skifree like this.
  8. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 1998
    Messages:
    22,769
    Likes Received:
    14,071
    Location:
    Middle Oz
    Thanks for that, I did consider a route via the next valley to the North but we were unsure about access from this property. Parks advice was to access by the property to the West side of the North South fence line.

    Years of wandering in the Flinders and Tasmania and other places has taught me to avoid creek beds and valleys for ridge lines.

    We could see there was a huge new airstrip in the property to the North of Zeil (East side of the North South fence) and pondered if it was for a possible tourist access to the Park and Zeil from there.
     
  9. ruhansnyders

    ruhansnyders First Runs

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Hermannsburg / Papunya
    That is the airstrip they will be using for the park - to access the new area the road goes parallel with the strip (to about 300-400m to the south east of it). They are building a set up there for tourists as well as a shop & gallery to support the local communities. Previously the recommended access was via the west side of the fence as parks mentioned, however the new crew there have flattened out some old roads which are what I used (with their permission) to reach a parking area that they have designated for future climbing access in 2020. This parking area was roughly around the black arrow on that image and puts you about 1km from the entrance into that valley. None of it will be on maps yet as the development has only recently started.

    Normally I too would avoid the river beds however time for me was a strict factor and I had to be up and down before dark - the only way my wife would let me up there alone! The river bed was by far the easiest and fastest option. Previously I have wandered up another ridge (scouting out another route) and found that going via the river bed up the main valley, I had travelled over twice my original distance in just an hour, rather than three! By 9:00am I was to my surprise well over halfway. The descent via the river bed is much slower for sure, I clocked in back at the car just before 3pm. The ridge I originally took (and turned back from due to time) was much more strenuous as those routes tend to wind around fields of spinifex, where as for most of the river bed you're on flat rock and can walk straight ahead on fairly flat surfaces at a steady pace.

    The photos / videos I have might do it some justice! But either way at least it's an option - as far as I know it's a fairly well travelled route.

    Edit: For reference the operation base for the new development sits roughly around the point in the below map. The road to the car park is another 10 minutes or so driving towards the base of the valley.
     

    Attached Files:

    DidSurfNowSki, Bogong and skifree like this.