30 August 2011 Sentry Box Rock from the North

Map: Yaouk 1:25000

Getting There

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

Tuesday 30 August - Sentry Box Rock from the North - L/R,ptX. We'll try again after the previously scheduled trip in June was snowed out. A long and fast insert from Yankee Hat car park via Gudgenby saddle, Sams Creek fire trail and Maurice Luton fire trail to the ACT border N of the objective. Hunt border markers up to(wards) Sentry Box Rock. Provides a chance to check out some of next Saturday's 12-hr long time walkabout. Around 28km and 950m climb. Map: Yaouk. Leader: John Evans - jevans@pcug.org.au, (h) 6288 7235. Transport: ~$12 per person.

5 of us left Canberra at 5.30am and drove at an appropriate pace (plenty of kangaroos) to the Yankee Hat car park.

Further Information

Sunrise 6.26am, sunset 5.42pm, giving ~11hrs of sunlight. On 14 Sep 10, Mark B, Ken W and I covered 6.8km to the Gudgenby saddle cairn in 1hr 30mins, 7.9km to the double blue tapes on Sams Creek fire trail in 1hr 50mins, 9.6km to the junction of the Sams Creek and Maurice Luton fire trails in 2hrs 10mins and a total of 11.9km to the ACT-NSW border in 2hrs 40mins. So that's about 24km and 5hrs 30mins of insert/exit before we can consider border markers and Sentry Box Rock. Anyway, we just go till we have to turn around.


You can access all photographs here.


Track maps: thumbnails are active - click for a larger picture
Track overview Track 1 Track 2 Track 3

We were walking by 6.30am, the day cloudy but promising to clear. Our insert was long enough and fast enough, covering the 6.8km to Gudgenby saddle in 1hr 40mins, the 9.7km to the junction of Sams Creek fire trail and Maurice Luton fire trail in 2hrs 35mins (we'll do this leg on Saturday as part of the 12-hr walk) and the 12km to the ACT border on the Maurice Luton fire trail in 3hrs 12mins. Here we enjoyed a well earned morning tea. True to form, I kept up my track record on the Gudgenby saddle footpad, losing my way 3 times. Mike strung a few more pink tapes, so I won't look like a complete idiot next Saturday.

By now it was still not warm, but the sun was shining. Hardly a breath of breeze. Nice views to the granite of Mt Gudgenby on the way in. The NSW State DD survey blaze was inspected at the border saddle. An original State survey along the line of the border may well explain the parallel lockspits we later saw, plus a number of non-Commonwealth blazes.

The next leg was a truly delightful (and productive) wander up the border. Nearly ⅔ of the leg was through gently rising, open, unburnt, dry eucalypt forest. A great example of North (and West) facing slopes generally being dryer that South (and East) facing slopes (this is definitely the case for the Sentry Box Mountain area which I've now visited from N, S and E). The last rose around 250m over 1km, but was still most manageable, as we were still in timber and SW of granite on the face of the hill. Apart from the long insert, this is a great way to get to Sentry Box Rock!

In terms of border markers, we found them all. The best unbroken run that I can remember. M84, N84, O84. P84 (described as 'concrete cylinder - station on boulder') was a great marker, high on a massive granite boulder. The concrete 'cylinder' was contained within a rectangular tin - maybe Harry Mouat's luncheon spam tin!

Q84 was a fine example of the parallel lockspits, with the SW lockspit containing a bare wooden peg. 52 Mile marker. R84 with a possible R84 blaze. S84 parallel lockspits with a burnt out hole (not the blaze when checked via calculation) in a nearby tree providing a cute oval frame. At T84 the border took a nearly right-angles turn.

U84 and V84. W84 and a definite W84 blaze.

X84 at the start of the final climb, Y84, Z84. A85, B85, C85, D85 and we were just about at the top.

Here the border bent away from Sentry Box Rock, so we followed it to E85. Described as '5" Nail set in concrete in granite cleft', it was a magnificent lockspit set on a granite slab. Sentry Box Mountain in the background. Careful examination revealed the 5" nail - bashed in nearly 100 years ago.

The 53 Mile marker was a cairn with, this time, the concrete cylinder perhaps encased in Harry Mouat's jam tin.

Heading S along the ridge towards the last marker for the day, we came across a rock pool with possible grinding grooves on one side - what do people think? Huge views over the Yaouk valley.

The final marker for the day was F85, again set on a massive granite slab and this time photographed with Sentry Box Rock in the background. Another of Harry's jam tins.

We returned to Sentry Box Rock and enjoyed lunch with views E down to the Naas Creek valley.

Time was ticking and we left at 1pm. A lot quicker coming down off the hill to the border, then a more leisurely return towards the car. A last minute mutiny from the front runners (or was it that they wanted to catch the last rays of the sun?) saw us heading towards Frank and Jacks Hut, then deciding it was all too long at the end of a hard day and cutting the corner to head for home.

A wonderful day. Many thanks Mike B, Chris F, Eric G and Quentin M.

Distance: 31.2km Climb: 1100m. Time: 6.30am - 5.40pm (11hrs 10mins), with 35mins of breaks.
Grading: L/M-R,ptX; VH(15)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Sentry Box Rock from the North

Back to Walks Index

This page last updated 28Aug22