Saturday 5 August: Booths Hill – M/R,X. At 1584 metres, Booths Hill is a dominant landmark in south-eastern ACT (and it’s a Percy!). We will start from the Brandy Flat South car park, follow the fire trail north until we head off-track up a spur heading east to our goal. Return via the same route. While not a long walk (about 11km), the walking will be slow due to a 900 metre climb and the vegetation. New destination for leader. To make use of the shorter winter day length, we will leave Canberra early. Map: Michelago. Leader: Jonathan M.
Distance: 10.1km | Climb: 810m | Time: 8.05am – 2.20pm (6hrs 15mins), including 25 mins of breaks | Grading: M/R; H(12)
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There was a sheep graziers’ weather alert in force this morning, but no bushwalkers’ weather alert, so what the heck. And I understand that our leader is well connected – this he is – he put on snow, only wind in exposed areas and some blue sky.
A 7.15am meet opposite my old folks home and an 8.05am start from the Brandy Flat South car park after a little extra gear was handed out.
We’d seen a little snow on the hill tops as we drove south down the Boboyan Road, so were prepared for the view of the Booth Range with a little white on it. Across to join the Brandy Flat Fire Trail from the car park and down to cross Dry Creek. First time I’ve seen water flowing in it. Then the puff up the other side.
Déjà vu as Jonathan stopped at a his take-off point on the fire trail. This was one of my early led CBC walks and I’d done a recce with Bob (‘the builder’) E in 2006, who advised me to leave a marker rock on the side of the fire trail so that I looked like I knew what I was doing on the main walk. I reckon I saw that rock again today 😆 .
Nice and easy going at first, as previously. But today’s leader, having been at it for the last 40 years (and me for the last 18 months to get him to lead this, his first CBC walk), took a far better route than my last and trended N of E to hit the map-marked fence line. This, and a fire perhaps 3 years ago, continued to provide easy going through open woodland. The fence line could provide a handy handrail, although it’s on the ground when you can see it.
We started to run into persisting snow at 1210m. Great views when we turned about, with plenty of white stuff on Gudgenby, Yankee Hats and, of course, the higher triumvirate of Mts Burbidge, Kelly and Namadgi. A bit of regrowth scrub which would hardly be a problem on a fair weather day. The tops of the wattles held a bit of snow which, of course, rained down the back of one’s neck as we pushed through.
We made good time. Morning tea called at around 10am. From there, another 180m climb over 1km taking 50mins to reach our destination. Trip in was 5km in 3hrs (including 10mins morning tea).
A bit of time was spent in the wind up on the trig. Nice views through the trees. We retreated to the comms shed for lunch.
With some feet getting cold (not mine in my full leather ‘Tassie’ boots and 2 pairs of socks), we didn’t dally too long. The return leg was 5.1km in 2hrs 50mins. A lot of the snow had gone from lower down and similarly from some of the peaks to the west – obviously thinner on the Gudgenby slabs with visible stripes breaking up the layer of white.
A lovely trip and great fun walking through the snow. Thank you Jonathan and well organised – weather and all. Not a bad bunch of people to walk with 😀 .
6 walkers – Peter C, Linda G, Ming L, David L, Jonathan M (leader), me.