|18 April 2009
|Border Markers around Mt Ginini ... or, border marker heaven
|Map: Corin Dam 1:25000
This walk was organised by Brigitte T and planned by me as a private walk:
Saturday 18 April Border Markers around Mt Ginini - L/E-M. What we could do is go from Corin Dam to where the Stockyard Spur track meets the Mt Franklin Road, then take the latter to Mt Ginini. From there we could follow the border N for as far as we want, then return via upper Ginini Falls and Ginini Flats. How does that sound? It would be around 27km, 1400m climb, rated L/E-M; H(13) – but can always be cut short if we run out of puff.
3 of us (once again it was nice to be driven) motored to Corin Dam, arriving around 7.45am.
This was to be another border marker hunting day, returning to the S Mt Ginini spur to clean up some sloppy work and to hunt further N from the top of Mt Ginini.
Another party has contacted me via my blog, wanting to know the start of the footpad from Corin Dam to Stockyard Spur. I agreed to meet then at 8am on Saturday at Corin Dam. All they want to do is the start (perhaps the first 500m up to the ‘Fuel Stove Only Area’ signage at the beginning of the true footpad). Then they’ll go back and do Square Rock. Man, this track is getting a flogging lately! So Amanda & Paul and Greg, and Alice & Warwick - see you 8am at Corin Dam.
Whilst we waited for our rendezvous, we wandered across the dam to the lookout. Lovely in the early morning, clean light (see pic 1).
And it was nice to meet Amanda and Paul. We went up the first zig and zag in the track, right turn and up past the 'Walking Track' and 'Fuel Stove Only Area' signs to where the track settles down to a steady up. Our friends left us here, as their friends had arrived and their plan was for Split Rock. A slower ascent today - 2km and 530m climb in 1hr5mins to the Stockyard Spur marker cairns. This pad up isn't getting any easier with familiarity. Another 4.1km in 1hr30mins (including 15mins morning tea) to get us to the Stockyard Spur post at the intersection with the Mt Franklin Road.
We turned right and wandered down to Stockyard Gap, spending a little time looking for BM H57. There is a recent re-marking post a couple of metres on the W side of the Mt Franklin Rd at the site of H57, so I reckon the BM has been bulldozed away. No joy again for the hut site W of the Gap. With two searches finding nothing, I'll give these away.
However, we were about to enter (albeit with a shaky start) border marker heaven, surpassing the orgy of last Tuesday. Our next objective was BM G57, right by the Mt Franklin Rd at Stockyard Gap. There was not much joy and a large amount of graded back fallen timber, but Peter made a find of a stout, squared peg lying on the ground near the back of a pile of timber. Now it happened to be exactly the same as the squared pegs one finds under a cairn with a description of '8" Post' and very near the location for this BM. So we're going to claim a bag.
No further doubts as we settled into our routine. What a team! And I'd learned a few lessons from last Tuesday, in letting the GPS 'catch up' with our movement. So we'd approach a BM location to within about 20-30m, stop to let the GPS 'catch up', then move more slowly to sneak up on it. Once found, I'd photograph the location screen of the GPS on the cairn, then the identification screen, then the border marker in its unadorned glory. Reset the GOTO on the GPS for the next BM and away we'd go again. In this prescribed manner, we walked the S spur of Mt Ginini finding border markers F57, E57, D57, C57, B57 and A57. A hugely better result than 21 Mar 09, when we only found A57. Now these BMs would only interest the most anal list-ticking purist, so you'll find them on my ACT-NSW Border Markers page.
The next area of interest was to clear up the 4 BMs Z56, Y56, 19 Mile and X56. I'd missed the 19 Mile BM on 21 Mar 09. Here the team excelled and we found all 4 this time. Lunch was our reward, sitting in the dappled shade near the regenerating Snow Gums, just before you break out onto the old cleared ski run. More pleasant close-at-hand than the top of Mt Ginini and we had views to Little Ginini and Mt Gingera. We'd enjoyed the stroll up the spur, the hunting needing more time than a straight wander and thus allowing us more enjoyment of the bush.
The next little bit of ecstasy was to find the BMs W56, V56 and U56 which we had again missed on 21 Mar 09. But with the GPS driven like it wants to be and with ever-increasing practised eye, we found them nestled in the grass with one right beside the old vehicle track running down the old ski run.
At the Air Navigation Facility compound atop Mt Ginini, more joy. Right at the SW fence corner post is BM T56 - 8" Post, the top of the post clearly visible driven into the ground. The 1:16000 map segment copies given to me by Alex P were a real help here. They were also great in that they had the Mile marker GRs on them (even though they had to be converted from ACT Grid). Up until the moment I'd realised they were annotated on the segments, I was using for the Mile markers only the distance and bearing from the last known border marker, as recorded in the original survey field notebooks. There was an annotation that S56 was 'GONE', but we reckon we found the cairn at the NW corner of the ANF compound.
Following the border down the NW spur of Mt Ginini, a couple of the BM cairns at R56 and Q56 increased in significance as we found them, then passed. P56 and O56 were more difficult to find, as they were overgrown and we did not want to remove any vegetation from around them.
On the edge of the Mt Franklin Road we took some time to find N56, as it was very nearly buried by a pile of bulldozed timber. Then, just across the Mt Franklin Road, the 18 Mike marker also proved difficult to discover, as it was even more overgrown than P56 and O56. But find it we did - is this good training for geo-caching or rogaining?
I'd never walked this part of the Brindabella Range close to the Mt Franklin Road, just driven along the road. It gave me a new appreciation of the area and it's quite nice. It yielded M56, L56, K56, J56 and I56 to our relentless hunting.
By now it was 2.45pm and obvious that we'd not make the remaining 1km search further N, then return via upper Ginini Falls and Ginini Flats. But I did want to give my companions a little variety so, after popping our heads over the crest of the spur for the view W, we headed generally SE (see pic 2) down to a tributary of Ginini Creek which, although not the main flats, gave us a taste of the same type of country as Ginini-Morass-Cheyenne Flats. Water was running in the little creek we stepped across. We curved back up to the Mt Franklin Road and the Mt Ginini car park. A car drove by with the two blokes we'd passed when we were walking to Stockyard Gap (we'd also seen three blokes at morning tea and a cyclist just after we'd found the 18 Mile marker - nice to know this country is used and appreciated).
From the Mt Ginini car park it was 3.9km and 50mins to the Stockyard Spur marker post. 4.1km and 50mins from the marker post to the cairns. The sun was near setting by the time we made this point (see pic 3). 2km and 45mins down to the car. We didn't have too many more minutes of daylight.
Last Tuesday 18 markers made an orgy of BMs; today 28 border markers made BM heaven!
Absolutely huge assistance from Brigitte and Peter made this a cracker of a day. Great fun company, too.
Distance: 23.4km Climb: 1350m. Time: 8.10am - 5.55pm (9hrs45mins), with 45mins of breaks.
KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Border Markers around Mt Ginini
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 Early morning at Corin Dam with Bimberi Peak beyond
|2 Going in the Brindabella Range E of BM I56
|3 Nearing sunset at the Stockyard Spur cairns