|24 March 2009
|Lower Stockyard Creek
|Maps: Corin Dam and Tidbinbilla 1:25000
This walk was organised and led by Max S as an FBI ad-hoc Tuesday walk:
Tuesday 24 March - Stockyard Creek - Exploratory. Folks Tuesday will commence with the currently popular walk up the track to Stockyard spur from Corin Dam. We will then walk down the ridge to a suitable point to descend to Stockyard Ck where will then walk up the creek and thence back to Stockyard spur and return to cars. I have not walked this section of Stockyard Creek but expect rock scrambling, blackberries, and whatever a creek can provide. Probably limited water. Suggest footwear could be “volleys” in places but mainly boots. Route – Descend to the junction of Stockyard and Ginini Creeks and walk up Stockyard Ck. About 12 km track/off track plus up to 7 km in the creek IF reached the Falls shown on the map. However I expect the difficulty of walking in the creek will be such as to make it necessary/prudent to climb out of the creek well before the falls. Time – say 3-4 hours track/off track plus say 3-4 hours along the creek at which time we will climb out leaving whatever is left of the creek to be done on another day. About 2 hours additional travel time. Probably Hard Meet at Kambah 7.00 am. Maps – Corin Dam and Tidbinbilla Weather – Fine 14 – 20 C As usual, 4 walkers needed to make this a sanctioned FBI walk.
3 of us met and Max kindly drove us to Corin Dam.
Probably Hard is an understatement. It was ... an understatement and Hard.
At least I found 2nd gear today for the slog up the spur from Corin Dam to Stockyard Spur, the third time up here in 8 days. But a right turn down the spur once we'd caught our breath at the top. The track petered out 2.2km down. From here, light regrowth to just past SH1272, as the 2003 fire must have been slow burning and cooler. But from this point on the regrowth was dense and it was obvious from the still recovering trees that the fire must have been hotter in this area. We eventually turned W at around the 1160m contour and began the plunge down towards Stockyard Creek through the thick scrub. Morning tea was taken when a small clearing appeared. Scrub gloves were the go as we slipped and slid down. Awesome views through the trees to Ginini Falls.
Stockyard Creek welcomed us at 11.40am, a lot slower (nearly 4hrs) than Max had imagined. He commented that the regrowth was very vigorous since his last visit in the area, actually calling it some unrepeatable name. We didn't bother to go the 200m downstream to the confluence of Stockyard Creek and Ginini Creek, instead telling ourselves we could visit it from Mt Franklin (as if).
The creek was fairly benign in this lower area and we were soon sloshing up it, not bothering to change boots or remove gaiters. So that explains the taste in your drinking water in a few week's time. Still, it did take us 1hr to cover 1.2km, slower than we estimated at the time we were moving in the creek. Lovely tree ferns at UTM 55H 664284-6070183 GDA94 (see pic 1) and small falls at UTM 55H 664265-6070137 GDA94. No deeper-than-I-am-tall pools in this creek to scare me witless. Lunch at an excellent 2m falls at UTM 55H 664269-6069900 GDA94 (see pic 2). The sound of the water drowned out any complaints we may have wanted to voice to our fearless leader.
There was no way up these falls, so we backtracked a few tens of metres and headed up the E bank. A steep climb then contour along scrub-lined cliffs down to the creek. When given the options of 'go back down' or 'contour along' I quickly opted for the latter. A slow bash for 200m, with just enough of a glimpse through the scrub of the sheer fall back down to the creek to keep me heading up! Back down eventually to the top of a good 20m set of falls. We peered down from beside the water channel (see pic 3). We all agreed that the view would have been better from the base of the falls from the W bank (as if we'll be back).
We persevered in the creek for another few hundred metres but with time ticking by, left it at 1.55pm and began the long climb back up to SH1272. Our route actually underlined the word Stockyard on the map, changing direction to follow the spur up and so crossing through the 'r'. 1hr to travel 1.4km, climbing nearly 300m. A short break was in order, although the more open regrowth in this slow burnt area was certainly less dense than that which greeted our descent to the creek.
It only remained for us to retrace our steps, picking up the end of the track and plodding up another 200m. Great views at one spot to McKeahnie Trig and Mt McKeahnie. Disturbed two lyrebirds. And so down the spur to Corin Dam.
Thanks Max, a real boys bushwalk and creek wade. Tar Henry.
Distance: 16.7km Climb: 1300m. Time: 7.45am - 4.55pm (9hrs10mins), with 50mins of breaks.
KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Lower Stockyard Creek
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 Tree ferns beside Stockyard Creek
|2 Lunch falls on Stockyard Creek
|3 Top of 20m falls on Stockyard Creek