Tuesday 20 September: Tidbinbilla Traverse, Snowy Corner to Fishing Gap – M/R. A scenic ridge walk, some of it on pad or cut track, taped route most of the way. If we have enough vehicles, we may organise a shuffle between Mountain Creek and Fishing Gap car parks. If not, we’ll park at the Ashbrook Fire Trail track head, and follow the fire trail to Mountain Creek car park, then follow the Lyrebird Trail a short distance, then the pad to the top on the range at Snowy Corner. Then it’s off-track (although a taped route has been established) south along the range, into a deep saddle, then onto the twin peaks of Mt Domain. The descent from Mt Domain follows a taped route and developing pad, before we join the track cut by the Green Army, which eases the final descent into Fishing Gap. A stroll on the fire trail will round off the day. Despite pads and well-trodden routes, it will be a long day over rough terrain. Around 9+km and 800m climb. Map: Tidbinbilla. Leader: Trevor L. Book: until 5pm Monday September 19th. Transport: ∼$8.
4 of us met.
Distance: 16.1km | Climb: 1040m | Time: 7.40am – 3.30pm (7hrs 50mins), including 60 mins of breaks | Grading: L/M; H(14)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slideshow.
Waypoint and Track Files
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At last a rain-free day. Trevor wanted to repeat 28 Aug 12 in a pain-free way.
It dawned on me once we got out to TNR that we only had one car, but out trusty leader had it all under control. We parked at the Hanging Rock car park, where the Ashbrook Road Fire Trail takes off. The plan was to do half the road bash before the walk and the remainder at the end.
We knocked off the 3.3km of fire trail to near the Mountain Creek car park in 40mins. Ashbrook Creek was rushing along with all the recent rain.
Picking up the Lyrebird Trail by ducking into the bush, we followed it to the spur below the start of the footpad up the spur to the Snowy Corner cairn. It’s always difficult to get to this start point and Trevor tried a (new to me) logical approach by heading through the bush up the spur. Of course it worked well and we ended up on the old Lyrebird Trail first at the boulder which for yonks has been the marker for the bottom of the footpad and, a few metres further on, the start of the footpad up the spur. This little leg 1km in 30mins.
The footpad, very easy to follow and has a few tapes and cairns, rises 450m over 1.4km. It took us 1hr 10mins, including a little breather at the stool half way up. I can guarantee that the photo was taken from the stool because I was sitting on it.
At the Snowy Corner cairn we did a left turn and began our traverse south along the crest of the Tidbinbilla Range crest. A variety of going, including relatively easy bush, stands of wattle regrowth like bamboo curtains, tight regrowth scrub and a few open patches. The views in places – east down onto the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and north-east over the Bullen Range into Canberra, and west down into the wild Cotter River and up to the Brindabella Range – are astounding and are well worth the climb and scrub-bashing. Do check out the videos and photos, they are worth more than a thousand words.
The route, recently marked with a few tapes at the request of TNR Rangers, just follows the crest of the range. Along and gently down to the saddle where Ashbrook Creek flows down to the east and Cow Flat Creek to the west. A pretty saddle, except for the blackberries there which, thankfully, seem to have been poisoned and are dead. Then steeply up to the nose of the Mt Domain northern ridge, with a final bit of a climb to the open lunch spot just north of the Mt Domain cairn. Time for social media engagement and a call home. A relaxed lunch. The crest from Snowy Corner cairn to Mt Domain was 3.3km in 2hrs 45mins (including 15mins morning tea).
Being a Domain-ophile, it was nearly all over bar the shouting, with the taped route from Mt Domain down to Fishing Gap developing very well. A clear and easy to follow footpad at first, then ever widening route down towards the Gap. Not everyone’s cup of tea, so I understand, but I think it’s great. I’d recommend Fishing Gap to Mt Domain as a great route with views, but the going gets a lot more difficult north of Domain and I’d not recommend that for novice walkers. Mt Domain to Fishing Gap today was all downhill and 2.4km in 1hr 10mins.
Fishing Gap back to the car was 4.5km in 55mins.
Everyone bar me took a go at the front. Trevor enjoyed a pain-free trip, Stephen was very pleased his knee is recovering well and Terrylea should be carefully constrained when she goes out front – she walks like a rocket. As an old codger, I enjoyed the trip from the rear of the party.
Great trip, great party. Thanks Trev and all.
4 walkers – Trevor L (leader), Stephen M, Terrylea R, me.