Saturday 18 March 2023: Mt Blundell adit * – M/M-R. POI include an adit and associated mining pits (I’m into holes at the moment) and the heritage listed remains of a World War II Italian internment camp. It’ll cost you walking on lots of fire trails. From Blue Range Rd, climb fire trails to Blue Ridge. Visit Uriarra trig and Mt Blundell. Just over the ACT/NSW border, descend 100vm through the bush to pits (careful, don’t fall in) and an adit used for gold, silver and lead prospecting. Return to the crest and visit Genges trig. Down in the valley, visit Blue Range Hut and take in its history. Around 12 km and 700vm climb.
From Garmin Connect (MAP66i) – Distance: 14.07km | Climb: 803m | Time: 3:50 moving + 2:46 of stops = 6:36 | Grading: L/E-M; M(11).
Photographs Photographs are available here, including some very nice shots by Robert W (shared with permission). The collection of adit photos is here.
gpx File The gpx file is available here.
Forecast to be a hot day in Canberra, peaking at 32°C. But it’s useful to walk in the heat to know one’s capabilities. The usual risk mitigation including an early start, heading for height (or creeks), heaps of water, plenty of stops and always shade seeking. Anyway, it turned out not too bad, with a breeze at times.
Plenty of fire trails on my TopoView2006 maps in OziExplorer that I primarily use for trip planning (the Cotter Dam 1:25000 map ©2003). Of course a lot has changed since then – some of the area burnt in 2003 and many fire trails decommissioned. The usual technique is to ‘mogul’ them, as we experienced immediately on leaving our start point.
The going was made more difficult by the pine debris in the dips.
Around 100vm of up and up. I was the well qualified tail end Charlie.
Still not on the crest, we could look back and see the climb so far.
The climb to the Namadgi National Park border and native forest was 1.5km, taking 45 minutes for the 200vm rise.
Here, we took a detour south to Uriarra Hill. No official trig, but the ACT’s trig queen filled us in on the memorial ‘trig’ placed there.
Back north to our turnoff point, another 260vm climb took us to the broad top of Mt Blundell.
Now just after 10.00am so we were searching for a seat in the shade with breeze and views for smoko. Not quite ideal at Apple Tree Corner north of Mt Blundell, at the intersection of Blue Range Road and Genges Trail. Several cars there. We found a scrappy pine log area, at least in the shade.
Setting off again and after a little navigational whoopsie by me, we continued NNW along Blue Range Road to a take off point and down towards the pits.
Couldn’t find Pit 1. Pit 2 was quite changed since my last visit, filled with debris. Still, not sure I’d like to stumble over it unwittingly.
We contoured north and there was no mistaking the mullock heap downhill from the adit.
So what’s an adit? – “A horizontal passage leading into a mine for the purposes of access or drainage.”
The prospect was active in 1897 and 1972, if my reading of the DIGS Geological Survey of NSW record is correct.
With all my recent fuss-budgeting about torches, you’d think I’d have had one in my pack. Apart from our meagre phone lights, Lauren saved the day.
The adit, carved through solid rock (but your risk if you go in!), burrows 43 metres into the hillside. Most of us had a look.
A great shot by Robert!
You have to watch your head entering and exiting.
The adit is guarded by a large tree fern. Enter by ducking under the drooping fronds.
Boots always need a clean after a visit, not too bad today.
A nice view from a different perspective to Mt Coree.
Percy Sheaffe started his ACT border survey from here in 1910, coming down the straight line via the NE cliffs. Here’s us winkling up them whilst border marker hunting on 4 Dec 12.
The return route to Blue Range Road was a whole lot better than the inward one. If I ever go back or you, good reader, want to visit, enter and exit via this more direct route. A lot less scrub, possibly the original access route to the adit as you can still see a clearway through the tree canopy. We passed what could have been a third pit.
We returned to Apple Tree Corner, then north on Genges Trail. Up along a taped off section of fire trail and a very scrubby 50 metre entry to Genges trig. I’ve never been here before (a trig in NSW), so thanks again to the trig hunting queen. All that’s left is a concrete block base, with a date scrawled from 1974.
There was some view, a bit of shade and a lovely breeze, so we took luncheon.
Robert climbed a tree to get this one.
Away again south then east to and intersection. Here I should have taken Robert W’s advice and turned left (as planned), but instead turned right onto Blue Range Road. He said that would eventually take us back to our inward route. So to not do that, there had to be some creative route finding.
After a long southern walk on Blue Range Road, an old fire trail offered said new route and some down.
The short cut brought us back onto Blue Range Road.
After a short section, we again took a short cut, passing close by SH863. What is this area – a gigantic gravel extraction site?
Joined an unnamed fire trail at the bottom.
A couple of more corner cuts through awkward pine debris and we were down onto Blue Range Road and so to Blue Range Hut. Had a drink stop and a look around. Good signage.
A tromp back to the cars and air conditioned comfort. A bit of fire trail cost for a visit to an interesting site the others had not seen before. Great company. Thanks all!
Relive the trip
Here’s where we went.
The AllTrails map is here, where you can pan and zoom.
11 walkers – Kirsty G, Laeli H, Stephen J, Megan L, Rob McL, Lauren O, George P, Tilly T, Ana V, Robert W, me.
I’ve started up a FaceBook page. Each trip report posts to it. So it’s another way to get some info to get out and breathe a bit of fresh air. Why not pop over and Follow the page, or give a post a Like.