15 March 2011 Close to ... Sentry Box from the SE

Maps: Yaouk and Shannons Flat 1:25000

Getting There

This walk was organised and led by me as an irregular CBC Tuesday walk:

Tuesday 15 March - Sentry Box from the SE - L/R,ptX. Insert quickly via The Settlers Track and Grassy Creek fire trail to the Scabby Range Nature Reserve. Follow the border up to the top of Sentry Box Mountain. Around 28km and 650m climb. Maps: Yaouk and Shannons Flat. Leader: John Evans - jevans@pcug.org.au, (h) 6288 7235. Transport: ~$20 per person.

5 of us gathered and drove the around 55km from Lanyon shops to The Settlers Track/Brayshaws car park.


Access all photographs here. All thumbnails in the walk report are active - click for a larger picture.


Track maps: thumbnails are active - click for a larger picture
Track overview Track 1 Track 2

A day of successes and failures. With time ticking away, we didn't get to Sentry Box Mountain. However, we bagged 17 border markers (Z86, W86, T86, Q86, P86, O86, L86, K86, J86, H86, G86, E86, C86, B86, A86, Z85 and Y85); 2 possible border markers (Y86 and R86); 5 blazes (U86, S86, N86, L86 and D86); 2 possible blazes (J86 and I86); 2 mile markers (56 Mile and 55 Mile). We also came across and followed back along an old fire trail which will make a very handy long, quick insertion to complete the exercise and reach Sentry Box Mountain.

We did our quick insert to the W-most bend in the Grassy Creek fire trail - 8.4km in 1hr 32mins. A sort link fire trail leaves from here and goes a few tens of meres to the border fence and gate into the NSW Scabby Range Nature Reserve. We revisited the C87 blaze at this point.

We headed through the relatively open and unburnt eucalypt forest to A87 - not found. Z86 was found and although the field notebook description is 'Old peg replaced by pipe', all we saw was a lockspit. Y86 was a possible find. X86 not found. W86, a lockspit, was found. V86 not found. the U86 border marker could not be found, but the U86 blaze was easily discernable on a dead tree. T86 was found - like others it had an original description of 'Old peg replaced by pipe' but was a lockspit. No S86 border marker, but a fine S86 blaze.

The 56 Mile marker was a cairn. R86 is within 1m of it and we made a possible identification. Q86 has an original description of 'Old peg adopted (on fence line)' and we indeed found a weathered post with a simple notched blaze. P86 and O86 were lockspits. No border marker N86 could be found, but we did find the N86 blaze, nearly closed over, but with a C clearly visible. No sign of M86.

L86 had the description 'Old peg at fence angle adopted'. There was indeed a fence post very near, a blaze on a tree with 4 notches cut out of it lower down, and a lockspit border marker.

K86 was a lockspit. J86 had the description 'Old peg replaced by pipe'. We found a lockspit and dug around at the appropriate place to find the 1" galvanised iron pipe drive flush into the ground. There was a shattered, dead tree nearby with an exposed horizontal cut - possible the blaze. No sign of I86, but ground level examination of a nearby fallen tree revealed a possible blaze.

H86 was obvious - an old leaning post. G86 has a description of 'Old peg replaced by concrete cylinder' and there it was - I wonder what the encasing tin originally contained? No sign of F86. E86 had the description 'Old peg adopted' - it was there, looking more like a dead tree, but its base surrounded by granite rocks. No sign of D86, but a nearby fallen tree (again examined from ground level) had a nice C cut into it. C86 was an 'Old peg adopted' and it was there, lying on the ground. B86 was a lockspit.

The 55 Mile marker was a 3" Downpipe with concrete core. A nail in the centre indicated the border corner. A86, Z85 and Y85 were lockspits.

By this time it was 12.15pm and we'd covered 3.9km in 2hrs 36mins up the spur from leaving the Grassy Creek fire trail. Lunch was demanded, so taken.

The going to this point is remarkably easy. The spur rises gently, the trees are unburnt and the forest relatively open. Only from C86 did it get a bit steep and there was a little granite to scramble up, the top covered in thick tea-tree.

Still being around 2.5km from Sentry Box Mountain and 18 border markers to go, and with two of the party needing to be at an evening meeting in Canberra, I suggested that there was little to be gained by pushing on, probably still not getting to Sentry Box, and getting back to town late. Exercising my autocratic leadership style, the others were given little chance but to agree and we turned for home.

A quick 3.4km in 1hr 5mins down to rejoin the Grassy Creek fire trail. We were aided by an old fire trail (which we'd crossed and recrossed earlier in the day during our start up the spur). We were on it at UTM 55H 672348-6030791 (MGA94). There is a junction at UTM 55H 673260-6030092 (MGA94). Going up, take the right (North) leg here; coming down, take the left (East) leg here. A couple of hundred metres on from the junction we past a can hanging on a tree and, within seconds, were at the gate in the fence leading out of the Scabby Range Nature Reserve into the ACT's NNP. This trail will get us quickly in again to finish off the task. I've documented this old fire trail in my Namadgi Footpads (even though it's not in Namadgi National Park or even in the ACT). it's 13 Scabby Range Nature Reserve old fire trail towards Sentry Box.

From here, we followed the new Grassy Creek fire trail which generally parallels the border. We left it when we saw Westermans and headed there via the graves. 7.6km in 1hr 30mins.

A short break at Westermans, then back over the new post and rail bridge and the Settlers Track. A snake with head reared track side. The Settlers Track has been freshly slashed through the long kangaroo and other grasses. Thanks ACT Government - I didn't lose it once.

Thanks to Monika B, Karen C, Phillip S and Ken W. Sorry we didn't get to the top.

Distance: 25.3km Climb: 450m. Time: 8.10am - 3.55pm (6hrs 45mins), with 40mins of stops.
Grading: L/E-M,ptX; M(11)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Close to ... Sentry Box from the SE

Back to Walks Index

This page last updated 25Aug22