Saturday 8 July: Tidbinbilla (T)romp – L/E-M. Walk up the Devils Gap Fire Trail to the crest of the SE rim of the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. An optional short ascent of The Pyramid. Follow fire trails through the old Gibraltar Creek Pine Forest area (now part of TNR) to Mushroom Rock. Back up to Gibraltar Peak, then down to the ring road. Around 14km and 800m climb. 6 geocaches. Map: Tidbinbilla. Leader: John Evans 0417 436 877 email@example.com . Transport: ∼$5.
Read on … a salutary reminder of the risks of bushwalking, even on fire trails.
Distance: 6.4km (for me and a few others, more for the rest) | Climb: 445m (ditto) | Time: 8.30am – … | Grading: As done S/E-M; M(9) (ditto)
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I counted several times when we met, walkers (not me) organised themselves into cars, and we were away. The Maccas coffee drinkers caught us and we picked up Neil at the TNR visitors centre car park.
Drove on through the up boom gate (dropped a car at Dalsetta) to the intersection of the ring road lollypop and I went right 😥 . Stopped at Flints, did a u-turn and back to the base of the lollypop. Took the right (and correct … well, left if you were driving in) road up to the Devils Gap car park.
30 mins for the 1.9km wander up to Devils Gap, with plenty of talk. The caching aficionados were kind enough to hold up and log me on GC206R5 Devils Gap.
A decision point here and I was so pleased that everyone chose to do the climb to ‘The Pyramid’. I’d heard and believed that it’s scrubby, and certainly a stiff climb. We organised ourselves into a few sub-groups for control and counting and the cachers group set off in front.
A signposted footpad for a bit that TL had told me about, but it bent away from our bearing, so we headed up. Surprisingly, relatively quite open and easy walking, although the conversation ceased as we climbed.
We walked through the top of SH1172 – ‘The Pyramid’ and down to the west where the cachers were talking. What a great tor! We all appreciated the view, with some Karate Kid poses and photo shoots. The lads had signed me on GC22QWH Just for the Views #6, but I did actually see the cache container.
With a bad back in the party to keep warm, we kept walking and returned down to Devils Gap for morning tea. 1hr 10mins for the return trip up ‘The Pyramid’, including rubber-necking time. This is a great side trip and well worth it for the views!
It was was all down hill from here, in many respects. We followed the fire trail from Devils Gap down to the west, I missed an intersection and we continued down an old, un-used fire trail not marked on the map (I should have listened to Martin). It took us down to near Corin Road and as the front of the party continued to the NE, a walker at the back of the party had a slip on the gravel of the old fire trail and broke an ankle.
Great work from absolutely everyone in the party, including passing messages, running back and hitchhiking back for vehicles, first aid supplies, splinting and compression bandaging, piggy-backing and supporting the patient down to Corin Road. In a controlled fashion, we went in several directions – the patient and supporters to Canberra Hospital; Lisa led a sub-group along and back up to Gibraltar Peak for grand views; some of us returned to vehicles over in TNR, then went to the hospital. We wish our friend a speedy and complete recovery.
First aid and concern for the patient is the primary focus. Secondary comes the logistics of support and getting everyone out. I was so pleased to be with a party of calm, contributing walkers. Well done everyone.
As I began, a salutary reminder of the risks of walking, even on fire trail. Always good to have a party including experience and good safety gear.
13 walkers – Wayne B, Martin E, Julie H, Cybèle McN, Janet P, Lisa Q, Terrylea R, David R, Snir S, Amanda S, Phillip S, Neil W, me.