3 April 2007 W to E across Tidbinbilla Ridge Photos
Map: Tidbinbilla 8627-2S 1:25000
Getting There

This walk was organised and led by Max S. Due to transport restrictions, it was by invitation only:

(Start from Mt Franklin Rd - this means about 5 km extra (all down hill!) or 1.5 hrs. The rest of the walk is about 8km and 860m. I was planning to begin the climb from the Cotter River between Cow Flat and Top Flat -  66500/77900 for those interested. The climb will attempt to be along what seems to be a steady ridge line to Tidbinbilla Mtn (I was not planning to go via The Pimple). Down via Snowy Corner. I anticipate the walk will take about 7 hours.).

5 walkers met at Kambah at 7am and were driven in fine style to the Bendora Arboretum Road turnoff on the Mt Franklin Road.


We were away by 8.10am and quickly dispatched the road into Bendora Hut. Walking through the arboretum we spied some Noddy toadstools (see pic 1). The Bendora Break from the arboretum has been freshly graded and widened all the way to the 4-way junction. Excellent views across and up to The Pimple and other Tidbinbilla Ridge features as we came down the Break to the Cotter.

Reached the Cotter River around 9.20am, removed our boots/shoes and waded (ankle/calf deep) across. A brief break for our leader to have breakfast.

We continued S along the vehicle track on the E bank of the river to around half way between Top Flats and Cow Flats. At the appointed place (just where the pipeline service track left the main vehicle track) we hung a left turn, a clamber up a steep bank generally setting the tone for the climb from 700m elevation at the river to 1615m at Tidbinbilla Mountain. Reasonably open scrub. Morning tea was taken at around the 1150m contour and by around 1pm we were climbing through scree slopes on the regular sloping NW approach to Tidbinbilla Mountain.

A N trend to a "hilly thingy" brought us to the cliff line normally seen to the W from The Pimple. What huge views! Several ridges ran up to the main features, each crying out to be explored. Before us in their glory were Camels Hump, The Pimple imposing and Tidbinbilla Peak over its shoulder (see pic 2). A good drop over the edge into the S arm of Burkes Creek.

A further 1 km through scree and regrowth had us at Tidbinbilla Mountain for lunch, arriving around 1.30pm. A eagle soared high overhead and another pair far below us to the SW. 360° views! To the NW, across the Cotter River valley, we could see the different textures of the Bendora arboretum and some of our route to this point. SW was Corin Dam, looking very empty, with Bimberi Peak above. The Brindabella peaks marched N from there. Ginini Falls was easily identified. The telephoto lens on my camera spied on Mt Stromlo and one of our party member's work colleagues down at Woden. The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve stretched below us to the E and SE. Local residents seemed undisturbed by us (see pic 3).

Away around 2pm after a call to our chauffeur to say we could be expected at 4pm. Ran into extreme regrowth coming down to Snowy Corner, breast-stroking through dense 3-4m high gum and wattle. Took the same spur down as last time, although a little further S and didn't hit as much scree and get so tangled in Mountain Creek. Quite a plunge down, none-the-less and disgustingly weedy and dense and coughy towards the end.

Geoff heard us singing in the scrub, gave us a hoy and gallantly drove down a few tens of metres to meet us, around 4.30pm. He welcomed us with home grown apples.

An excellent little trip Max, thank you. And thanks also to Madeleine, Prue and Chris. We'll have to go back sometime and do another ridge or two.

Distance: 14.3km  Climb: 950m.  Time: 8.10am - 4.30pm (call it 8hrs), with maybe 45mins of stops.
Grading: L/R,X; H(13)

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 It was a great trip
2 Camels Hump, The Pimple and Tidbinbilla Peak from above the S arm of Burkes Creek
3 Tidbinbilla Mountain resident