Larapinta Route/Campsite Suggestions (6 days)

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Larapinta Route/Campsite Suggestions (6 days)

Postby adventuremum » Sun 23 May, 2021 11:02 pm

Hi Larapinta Experts
Doing 6 full days with 14yo 11-18 July
Would love some advice on:
* whether to walk East to West or West to East
* If proposed route/campsites look OK given aim is to only walk approx 4-6 hours/day (eg take time  to enjoy surrounds, not walk all day and put teenager off  hiking!)
* other campsite/route suggestions

East to West
    Day 1 TRANSIT - Flight arrives 2pm, to Telegraph (via camp store for gas cylinder), approx 3pm departure!
    Day 1 (1/3 day ONLY) -  Geoff Moss Bridge to Wallaby Gap - 9.1kms ?3.5 hours (if we can join track where it crosses Stuart  Hwy)
    Day 2 - Wallaby Gap to Simpson's Gap - 10.8km ?4hrs
    Day 3 - Simpson's Gap to Jay Creek - 26.2km ?8.5hrs
    Day 4 - Jay Creek to Standley Chasm - 14.2km (high route) ?6.5hrs (cafe dinner/breakfast)
    Day 5 - Standley Chasm to Brinkley Bluff - 9.9km ?5hrs (dry camp - 6lt water-carry from Standley)
    Day 6  - Brinkley Bluff to 4/5 Junction or Birthday Waterhole - 10.3km ?3.5/4hrs
    Day 7 - 4/5 Junction or Birthday Waterhole to Hugh Gorge Junction - 12.1km ?7/7.5hrs
    Day 8  (1/3 day ONLY) Hugh Gorge Junction to Hugh Gorge Trail Head - 3.7km ?2.5hrs
    Day 8 TRANSIT  - 10am Transfer to Airport (flight leaves 2.40pm)

ALTERNATIVE Day 1
    Day 1A (1/3 day ONLY) -  Telegraph to Wallaby Gap - 13.9kms ?5 hours (eg walking in dark with 3pm departure)

Other
* Was going on generous NT times, as although teenager is fit and good scrambler, I'm 58 and slower (especially with increased weight carrying water)
* Qantas changed flight time by 2 hours! so only have 3 hours daylight walking on day 1 (not 5 hours as expected)
* Planned Alice to Hugh Gorge Junction (rather than common 6 day itinerary of Simpson to Ellery Creek) as I plan to come back and do rest of trail another time
* We've both done multiple 3-4 day walks
* Wasn't originally planning food drop, but if we're each carrying 3 litre water (and 6 litre for dry camp), halving food weight seems best.
Thanks
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Re: Larapinta Route/Campsite Suggestions (6 days)

Postby ChrisJHC » Mon 24 May, 2021 12:30 pm

Not sure what you’re basing your walking speed calculations on, but 3km/hour is REALLY slow.
I plan on 4.5 kmh including short breaks (i.e. “breathers” not lunch stops).
Some of your days will be over well before lunchtime and you’ll then have 8 hours sitting around getting bored until you go to sleep.

Secondly, your timings for the start seem really tight. There’s no margin for error. Just getting into town to pick up your gas bottle will probably take an hour by itself.
In my case it took about 3 hours because QANTAS sent one of my bags to Cairns not Alice Springs! I didn’t get it until the next morning which threw all of my planning out.

Thirdly, how are you planning to do your food drop?
Your plan doesn’t fit into the standard companies’ routines so you will probably have to do this yourself.
Maybe give the Standley Chasm cafe a call and see if you can mail them a package directly.

Fourthly, hopefully you’ve arranged your pickup at the end already as the tour operators are really busy this year.

It may work better to give yourself the first night in a hotel in Alice and start your hike early the next day. It’s only 19km to Wallaby Gap (if you take a taxi to Telegraph Station) so an easy day walk. (I recommend starting from Alice and walking to Telegraph Station but that’s your call). That way you can take your time and have a relaxed start to the hike rather than panicking the whole time.
I would then finish Day 7 at the Trail Head so you can have a leisurely wake up and not have to panic to make your transit. That would make Day 7 about 16km so still only half a day’s walk.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Larapinta Route/Campsite Suggestions (6 days)

Postby north-north-west » Mon 24 May, 2021 2:12 pm

Wallaby to Simpsons is barely a half day, even if you do all the side trips en route. I loaded up on water at Simpsons and kept going, camping at what Chapman calls "Arenge View", the dry stream bed not too far short of the next official site. Evening finish, but the day also included a trip up Arenge Bluff.

You could get a taxi or whatever to drop you off at the access track for Wallaby (opposite Flynns Grave, from memory) and walk in on day one (easier than going along the Larapinta from Telegraph), and have a wander along Euro Ridge and back the next morning before going on to Simpsons. That keeps the rest of the schedule intact.
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Re: Larapinta Route/Campsite Suggestions (6 days)

Postby adventuremum » Mon 24 May, 2021 7:22 pm

Hi
Thanks north-north-west, Arenge View dry camp + trip up Arenge Bluff sounds good.
And thanks for suggestion re taxi-drop off at access track for Wallaby from John Flynn's Grave, on Larapinta Drive (will have as back-up if delays at airport etc)
ChrisJHC, thanks for all suggestions and feedback. Have rung Standley Chasm and a posted food parcel is an option (and much cheaper than food drop) although if parcel went missing, no food wouldn't be great! Yes tight timing at start and end. May decide to get to Hugh Gorge trail head night before and have margin but sounded like junction was really nice camp/place to spend last night. Would like to skip hotel if possible, but gas an issue since Qantas delayed flight by 2 hours as Lone Dingo shuts at 2pm Sunday. Yes distances from NT guide really slow, but after multiple overnight hikes with kids, I've found afternoon chill time for lots of side trips, exploring, scrambling, bouldering, photography or chilling reading/chess/cards works really well. Don't think we'll be bored...It looks amazing.
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Re: Larapinta Route/Campsite Suggestions (6 days)

Postby ChrisJHC » Tue 25 May, 2021 7:04 am

Definitely take something to fill in the down time.
I managed to finish War and Peace - reading on my phone!
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Re: Larapinta Route/Campsite Suggestions (6 days)

Postby Overlandman » Thu 27 May, 2021 8:56 am

Whatever, Wherever, Whenever
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Re: Larapinta Route/Campsite Suggestions (6 days)

Postby adventuremum » Thu 27 May, 2021 9:17 pm

Thanks for link, amazing photos...
Just hoping NT may let Victorians in by July 2021 (2nd attempt after 2020 trip was cancelled...)
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