Free-stone sculptures on the Northern Centenary Trail

Saturday 28 February: Cbr100Challenge Training – WestSide@ActonPark to Black Mountain via the northern Canberra Centenary Trail – L/E. Join me for as much or as little as you like. Start at 6.20am. Ring me to find out where I am. Around 70km and 1400m. Maps: Canberra, Hall. Leader: John Evans 0417 436 877 . Transport: Drive yourself. Please book by 2pm Thursday.

We left a car on Black Mountain, then 4 of us met in the car park near Westside@ActonPark.


Distance: 51.5km on the GPSr; 49.1km on digital maps; 48.1km on Google Earth – which to believe? | Climb: 1240m | Time: 6.25am-5.40pm (11hrs 15mins), with 50 mins of breaks | Grading: L/E; H(12+)

Track Maps

Track overview

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Track Notes

Many excuses for not attempting the 70km – the ladies walked me into the ground (again); my right boot started to disintegrate; but the main one was that it was very hot (31ºC) and cloudless after the morning cloud cover burnt off, especially walking the open crest between Forde and Hall (1.00-5.40pm).

But some wins – Cynthia walked strongly after just 2 weeks out of hospital; Chris completed 100% training for her 50km walk (if we believe the GPSr); Jasmine walked a PB distance and visited many areas new to her; my feet were good (but slow) due, I’m now sure, to the walking poles. The light beer at the Wood Duck Inn in Hall was very cold and very welcome.

Jasmine tried to join a group of all blokes setting off on a similar training walk at the same time, but we soon reeled her in. Dark-ish, which could have explained her error, as civil sunrise was at 0623 and sunrise at 0648; maybe she liked the look of that party better.

We passed a huge triathlon setup on the side of Lake Burley Griffin, just before our turn off at Blundells Cottage. 5.8km in 1hr 13mins to Mt Ainslie.

We made an excellent track through the Ainslie-Majura saddle and to join the Mt Majura trail. Definitive (let’s hope Cbr100Challenge tape this route) is west on the fire trail after rounding the reservoirs, leave the fire trail at the first dam and walk across the dam wall to pick up a footpad, turn west onto the footpad and through an open area to the north side of the second dam, follow a lesser footpad up the hill to join the Mt Majura Track. Mt Ainslie to Mt Majura was 6.6km in 1hr 27mins.

We descended Mt Majura to the Majura sheep camp site intersection, then took the northern then western descent. Right onto the fire trail and so to the Federal Highway underpass. 4.9km in 1hr 1min.

I certainly hope that the Cbr100Challenge correct their currently published 100km route which goes through the Federal Highway-Majura Parkway/Horse Park Drive interchange construction. We did that last time on 3 Feb 15 and it was not pretty. Today we followed the published Canberra Centenary Trail detour. Morning tea in a little green gully at a stile. Then on to cross Horse Park Drive and back east to join the main Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve north-south management trail. This leg 1.5km in 30mins, including 13mins morning tea.

Through Goorooyarroo NR to Mulligans Flat NR was 5.6km in 1hr 1min.

Through Mulligans Flat to Forde was 4.2km in 1hr 2mins, including a short break at the Mulligans Flat shearing shed to chat with a Ranger. Bettongs doing very well; curlews flying the fence and being eaten.

We stopped for lunch (with a little water top up from the tap) at the Forde entrance to the Nature Reserve. Cynthia exited from the walk.

Hot as we trudged up to and around the northern border part of the Canberra Centenary Trail. The cloud cover had burned off and the temperature was rising. Short breaks at the northern campsite and One Tree Hill and mini-breaks whenever I was about to keel over. My sole started to depart from my boot and I was embarrassingly holding the ladies up. A plan formulated that the ‘Coke and walk on’ should be replaced by ‘beer and call the Captain of Transport’. Forde to Hall was 20.6km in 4hrs 43mins.

Huge thanks again to Cynthia C for picking us up with perfect timing (2 lady-like middies and 1 gentleman-sized schooner having been downed to the last drop).

My walking buddies on the day will be out training tomorrow. I foolishly baited them – said we did 51km, so they have to do 52km. They’ll romp it in!

So how will I manage in 3 week’s time? Pray for a cooler day; I’ll need a 1-2 hour break at Hall; then do the same distance in double the time to scrape in in 36 hours.


4 walkers – Cynthia Bu (to Forde), Chris F, Jasmine S, me.