8 January 2008 North of Cotter Dam Photos
Map: Cotter Dam 1:25000
Getting There

This walk was organised and led by me as a mickey mouse private walk:

(North of Cotter Dam - M/E-M,X. A walk in the recovering Uriarra Pine Forest area with views to the Cotter Dam. Includes Mt McDonald. All but 1.5km on fire trail. Around 14km and 400m total climb. Moderate fitness required.. Route not fully known to leader. Possible delays and diversions from the intended route. Map: Cotter Dam. Limit of 8. Leader: John Evans – jevans@pcug.org.au, (h) 6288 7235. Transport: ~$7. Further details at http://jevans.pcug.org.au.)

Last minute decision; walked alone (I would not want to subject anyone else to fire trails and blackberries!).

Further Information

All but 1.5km on fire trail. I left town around 5.40am.

Route Card                                                                                                                            Walk

Route Card - North of Cotter Dam
Leg Description Distance (km) Expected Going/Comment Est time (hr:min) Actual time (hr:min) Actual Distance/Going/Comment
1 Brindabella Road to Bracks Hole Road 2.2 Fire trail 0:30 (est) 0:40 2.6km. Couldn't find the track at the edge of the burnt pines, so farted around a bit
2 Bracks Hole Road to Cotter River 1.3 Bracks Hole Road 0:30 (est) 0:15 1.2km.
3 Cotter River to above Cotter Dam 3.7 Edge of Cotter River, burnt pine forest, fire trail 2:00 (est) 1:45 5.5km. Fallen pines and blackberries on a steep hillside made the going tough on first meeting the Cotter River. At the end of the track which comes down from SH604 the blackberries at the river's edge were impenetrable (see pic 1). A bit more off track work at the W end of Cotter Dam (see pic 2). Decided to stay on fire trails as soon as I could as my legs, even with gaiters, were shredded. Roos, rabbits, a hare, raptors. Nice view down over the Cotter Dan spillway.
Morning tea 0:15 Didn't bother.
4 Above Cotter Dam to Mt McDonald 1.4 Fire trail and burnt pine forest 0:30 (est) 0:30 1.7km. Mt McDonald Road and a trail under the power lines to the top. Great views down to the Murrumbidgee River, Cotter Pumping Station and across to the Bullen Range and Tidbinbilla Range.
Lunch 0:30 Didn't bother.
4 Mt McDonald to car 5.1 Fire trail 2:00 (est) 1:10 5.3km. Fire trail plus a very slow and scratchy blackberry transit through a gully from one fire trail to another. Back at the car, drove a few hundred metres down Bullock Paddock Road to snap a raptor's nest in a dead tree  (see pic 3).







Had to be done to complete the lower part of the Cotter River wander. But I wouldn't go back.

Civil twilight: 0528 - 2051

Distance: 16.4km  Climb: 400m.  Time: 6.10-10.30am (call it 4.3hrs) with no stops.
Grading: M/E-M,X; M(9)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: North of Cotter Dam

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 Impenetrable Blackberries on the Cotter River
2 Cotter Dam in early morning light
3 Raptor's nest near Bullock Paddock Road