Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sentry Box, ACT, Australia


2015 November: Day trip to climb Sentry Box, ACT, Australia

Prolog - List of 11 highest named peaks in ACT

I've compiled this list of 11 highest named peaks in ACT.  One day, I like to climb them all. Contact me if you wish to do so too. (Data is from Rooftop's map called "Namadgi - ACT South Activities Map" 2011 edition.)

•  01   1913 m   Bimberi Peak - photos and write up on this climb are in my blogs:
From east: http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/bimberi-act-australia-east-approach.html
From west: http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2009/12/bimberi-act-australia.html

•  02   1856 m   Mt Gingera - photos and write up on this climb are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/mt-gingera-mt-ginini-act-australia.html

•  03   1846 m   Mt Murray

•  04   1826 m   Mt Kelly - photos and write up on this climb are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/kelly-burbidge-nsw-australia.html

•  05   1810 m   Unnamed peak just east of Mt Scabby - Easting: 668144; Northing: 6041045
          1791 m   Mt Scabby - Easting: 667725; Northing: 6041140

•  06   1784 m   Mt Namadgi - photos and write up on this climb are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/mt-namadgi-act-australia.html

•  **   1766 m   Ginger Ale - (unnamed on paper maps);  on ACT/NSW border, between Leura Gap & Blackfellows Gap - photos and write up on this climb are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/little-ginini-ginger-ale-act-australia.html

•  07   1763 m   Mt Ginini - photos and write up on this climb are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/mt-gingera-mt-ginini-act-australia.html

•  08   1740 m   Mt Gudgenby

•  09   1738 m   Little Ginini - photos and write up on this climb are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/little-ginini-ginger-ale-act-australia.html

•  10   1727 m   Sentry Box Mtn eastern peak - Easting: 672182; Northing: 6033836 - this climb
          1697 m   Sentry Box Mtn western peak - Easting: 671412; Northing: 6033807 - this climb

•  11   1724 m   Mt Burbidge - photos and write up on this climb are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/kelly-burbidge-nsw-australia.html

•  **   1711 m   Mt Mavis (unnamed on paper maps) - Easting: 672279; Northing: 6049323  (just north-east of Mt Namadgi;  east of Big Creamy Flats)

Today's climb - Sentry Box

Continuing my effort to climb the 11 highest peaks in ACT. Today's climb, with RZ, is to Sentry Box, 10th highest named peak in ACT.

Sentry Box is a mountain complex consists of 3 main peaks:
- Eastern peak: The highest peak in the Sentry Box complex, 1727 meters; inside ACT border.
The summit has a few large boulders, unclimbable unless you have climbing gears.

- Western peak: 1696 meters; on ACT/NSW border.
The summit can be climbed.

- Sentry Box Rock, 1673 meters; on ACT/NSW border.
The summit is one large tall boulder. This monolith can be seen from far away and is like a sentry guarding the mountain. Unfortunately it is unclimbable without climbing gears.

The first 1.5 km, 20 minutes walk, is on flat open farmland. Then it is bushbashing all the way. The scrub is not thick, relatively easy going compared to the scrub to Mt Kelly and Mt Namadgi from Yankee Hat Carpark.

Maps

•  8626-2N Yaouk  1:25,000
•  Rooftop's "Namadgi - ACT South Activities Map"  2011 edition;  1:50,000
•  8626 Tantangara  1:100,000

The below map is from the 1:25,000 scaled Yaouk map.


GPS tracklog file & route

The GPX tracklog file of our walk can be download from:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B877-h5SCJaSVFdjVkhsNHFjUDA/view?usp=sharing

Here is our tracklog (brown colour, clockwise) in the 1:25,000 map.


And our tracklog (turquoise colour, clockwise) in a Google Earth tilted view - North is towards the left.
- The blue arrow at the bottom of the pic points to a wooden bridge over Bradleys Creek.
- The 4 red arrows point to, from left to right:
    •  Unnamed 1588-meter knoll
    •  Sentry Box Rock
    •  Sentry Box eastern (highest) peak
    •  Sentry Box western peak


In summary, our route is:
•  Park car at the side of Yaouk Road, about 3 km east of Nalyappa Homestead.
•  Climb Sentry Box Rock.
•  Climb Sentry Box Mountain western peak.
•  Climb Sentry Box Mountain eastern peak.
•  Return directly to car.

Timeline & Distance

06:51   0.0 km  Park car at side of Yaouk Road, about 3 km east of Nalyappa Homestead.
06:56   0.3 km  Cross small wooden bridge over Bradleys Creek
07:57   3.0 km  Stop for morning tea

Morning Tea

08:04   3.0 km  Resume walking
09:11   4.4 km  At Sentry Box Rock

Explore around

09:37   4.5 km  Leave Sentry Box Rock
10:32   5.7 km  At the summit of Sentry Box western peak

Explore around (also climb the rock just south-west of the summit.)

10:43   5.7 km  Leave Sentry Box western peak
11:20   6.8 km  At summit of Sentry Box eastern (highest) peak

Check whether we can climb the rocks.
No, they are too steep.

11:28   6.8 km  Leave Sentry Box eastern (highest) peak
11:31   6.9 km  At rocky outcrop east of eastern peak

Try to find a suitable spot for lunch. But decide to find a better spot.

11:43   6.9 km  Leave rocky outcrop
11:46   7.0 km  At summit of Sentry Box eastern (highest) peak
11:49   7.1 km  Stop for lunch at a point 200 meters west of the summit

Lunch

12:19   7.1 km  Resume walking
14:58  12.0 km  Cross small wooden bridge over Bradleys Creek
15:01  12.3 km  Finish at our car by the side of Yaouk Road

==============================================

Total:  8 hrs 10 mins
           12.3 km  Distance is from Google Earth
           13.1 km  Distance is from Garmin GPS

Pictures - to Sentry Box Rock

1)  We park the car by the side of Yaouk Road and looking towards Sentry Box.
- The left red arrow points to an unnamed 1588-meter knoll. Sentry Box Rock is behind it and cannot be seen from the road.
- The right red arrow points to Sentry Box western peak, 1696 meters. The eastern (highest) peak is behind it and is also not visible.
- The yellow arrows indicate how we intend to climb to Sentry Box Rock.


2)  The first 20 minutes of walking is on an open farmland.


3) Crossing this wooden bridge over Bradleys Creek ~~
The mountain in the background with a rocky top is Sentry Box western peak.


4)  We were on the open farmland for about 20 minutes, 1.5 km. Then it is bushbashing and rock scrambling all the way. The scrub is relatively easy to get through, not as thick as the Mt Kelly and Mt Namadgi climbs.


5)  We come to a flat slab near the 1588-meter knoll.


6)  The flat slab in the previous pic has a nice view of the surrounding country side. For example, towards the north:
The 7 red arrows point to, from left to right:
- Mt Scabby
- unnamed 1765-meter peak east of Mt Scabby
- unnamed 1725-meter peak
- Mt Kelly
- ?
- unnamed 1735-meter peak on NSW/ACT border
- Mt Gudgenby
I climbed Mt Kelly in 2015-01. Photos and a write up on the trip are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/kelly-burbidge-nsw-australia.html


7)  Onward we climb towards Sentry Box Rock ~~~
A bleeding Gum Tree.


8)  RZ posing by an interesting boulder


9)  Sentry Box Rock comes into view.  It is a monolith and is like a sentry guarding the mountain.


10)  Sentry Box Rock is not far away now.


At Sentry Box Rock

11)  We've reached Sentry Box Rock, 1673 meters. RZ, who usually can scale any unclimbable rock, declines to climb this one  :-)


12)  At Sentry Box Rock, towards west ~~~
The homestead surrounded by tall green trees is the nice Nalyappa Homestead.
Sixth months ago, in 2015-05, I climbed Yaouk Peak from the homestead. Photos and a write up of the trip are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/yaouk-nsw-australia.html


13)  Towards north ~~~
The 7 red arrows point to, from left to right:
- Mt Scabby
- unnamed 1765-meter peak east of Mt Scabby
- unnamed 1725-meter peak
Mt Kelly
- Mt Namadgi
- unnamed 1735-meter peak on NSW/ACT border
- Mt Gudgenby
Mt Scabby & Mt Gudgenby are high on to to-do list.

I climbed Mt Kelly in 2015-01. Photos and a write up on the trip are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/kelly-burbidge-nsw-australia.html

And I climbed Mt Namadgi in 2015-10. Photos and a write up on the trip are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/mt-namadgi-act-australia.html


14)  (This one is a continuation to the right of the previous pic.)
Towards north-east and east ~~~
- Blue arrow points to roughly where Yankee Hat carpark is. (Yankee Hat carpark is the start of many walks ... to Mt Kelly, Mt Namadgi, for example.)
- Red arrow points to Booth Hill.


15)  (Continuation to the right of the previous pic)
Towards south-east and south ~~~
  - Left arrow: Eastern peak, the highest peak of Sentry Box, 1727 meters
  - Right arrow: Western peak of Sentry Box, 1696 meters
We'll be going to both of them.


16)  Still at Sentry Box Rock ~~~
A boulder


To Sentry Box western peak

17)  We have left Sentry Box Rock and are now making our way to the western peak ... the peak at the centre of these 2 photos.


18)  Passing this bunch of boulders while on our way to the western peak ~~~
- Left arrow: Eastern peak, the highest peak of Sentry Box
- Right arrow: Western peak ... where are going now


19)  More interesting boulders on the way to the western peak ~~~
- Upper photo ... Yeti's big feet
- Lower photo ... a snail


20)  A chubby Snow Gum


21)  Looking back at Sentry Box Rock ~~~
The 3 red arrows point to, from left to right:
- Mt Scabby
- Sentry Box Rock ... we came from there!
- Mt Gudgenby


22)  Closer to the western peak


23)  Closer still to the western peak ~~~
The lower pic is an interesting rock shelter ... It is at the blue box of the upper pic.


24)  We thought the top of photo #23 is the summit. But when we reach there, we see that this rocky mound in front is actually the summit. So we proceed to climb it. The way up is to go around to its back. The climb to the top is not hard from the back.


At Sentry Box western peak

25)  RZ and I at the top of the rocky mound of the previous pic, 1696 meters. This is the summit of the western peak of the Sentry Box complex.
Yaouk Peak is the highest peak on the left half of the 2 pics.


26)  Towards the south-west is Yaouk Peak, pointed to by the red arrow.
And you can see Yaouk Road runs horizontally from the left side of the photo in the green valley where Bradleys Creek flows. This morning we drove on Yaouk Road to the base of Sentry Box.


27)  (Continuation to the right of the previous pic)
Splendid panoramic view towards the west and north ~~~
The open plain is Yaouk Valley.
The 9 arrows point to, from left to right:
- 1st arrow (Blue): Where my car is parked. (The car is too small to be seen here. But you can see it in photo #34 where the camera zooms in onto the car.)
- 2nd arrow (blue): Nalyappa Homestead
- 3rd arrow (red): Half Moon Peak
- 4th arrow (red): Mt Morgan
- 5th arrow: Mt Murray
- 6th arrow: Bimberi Peak (You can barely see it. Most of it is hidden behind Mt Scabby.)
- 7th arrow: Mt Scabby
- 8th arrow: unnamed 1765-meter peak east of Mt Scabby
- 9th arrow: unnamed 1725-meter peak


28)  (Continuation to the right of the previous pic)
Towards the north, in the middle of the pic is Sentry Box Rock. We were there an hour ago.
In the background, on the horizon, the 9 red arrows point to, from left to right:
- Mt Murray
- Bimberi Peak (You can barely see it; most of it is hidden behind Mt Scabby.)
- Mt Scabby
- unnamed 1765-meter peak east of Mt Scabby
- unnamed 1725-meter peak
- Mt Kelly
- Mt Namadgi
- unnamed 1735-meter peak on NSW/ACT border
- Mt Gudgenby


29)  Panning to the east is the highest peak of Sentry Box at 1727 meters, it is higher than where we are standing now.


30)  Still at the summit of the western peak ~~~
Before we go to the eastern (highest) peak of the previous photo, we first go down to the rock just in front of us (towards south-west). RZ is already heading there.
(The red arrow points to Yaouk Peak.)


31)  Ok, we've climbed down to the rock, and looking towards the south.
Yaouk Road runs across the centre of the photo in the green valley where Bradleys Creek flows. This morning we drove on Yaouk Road to the base of Sentry Box.


32)  (Continuation to the right of the previous pic) ~~~
Towards the south-west is Yaouk Peak (red arrow).
Compared to photo #30, we have a better view of Yaouk Road.


33)  (Continuation to the right of the previous pic) ~~~
- Looking towards the west at Nalyappa Homestead
- The blue square is enlarged in photo #34.


34)  It is always a delight to see one's own car from the top of a mountain ...
- My car is in the blue circle in the lower photo !
- The lower photo is zooming onto the blue square in the upper photo.  (The upper photo is zooming onto the blue square of the previous photo,)
- Nalyappa Homestead surrounded by tall green trees is at the upper right hand corner of the upper pic.


To Sentry Box eastern (highest) peak

We are going to the eastern peak now ~~~

35)  The 5 arrows point to, from left to right:
- Mt Gudgenby (red arrow)
- Yankee Hat (red arrow)
- Yankee Hat carpark (blue arrow)
- Booths Hill (red arrow)
- The last arrow is where we are heading now, the highest peak of the Sentry Box complex.


36)  Going to the eastern peak - some bushbashing to do


37)  Then on a rock slab


38)  I wonder whether this stone was erected by the aborigines.


39)  Another aborigines artefact ?
The lower pic is zooming into the blue circle of the upper pic.


40)  Then some more bushbashing in front


41)  Bushbashing


42)  Bushbashing and rock scrambling to where we think is the highest point of Sentry Box


43)  After reaching the top of the rocks of the previous pic, we can see that the highest point is further away !


44)  Passing by some boulders ~~~
In the lower pic, the boulder looks like a bum  :-)


At Sentry Box eastern (highest) peak

45)  Finally we reach the summit of the Sentry Box Mountain complex, 1727 meters. There are some boulders at the summit. They are not climbable without climbing gears.


46)  Some of the unclimbable big boulders at the summit


47)  There are too many trees at the summit, hence no view there. But if you explore around, there are rocky outcrops where you can get splendid panoramic views.
For example, this pic is looking towards south-west and west, at where we came from:
- Left red arrow: Yaouk Peak
- Right red arrow: Western peak of Sentry Box
The yellow arrows are how we came from the western peak to here.


48)  (Continuation to the right of the previous pic) ~~~
From west-north-west to north ...
The 10 red arrows point to, from left to right:
- Half Moon Peak
- Mt Morgan
- Sentry Box Rock, towards north-west
- Mt Murray
- Mt Scabby
- unnamed 1765-meter peak east of Mt Scabby
- unnamed 1725-meter peak
- Mt Kelly
- Mt Gudgenby, directly north
- Yankee Hat


49)  (Continuation to the right of the previous pic ... we are still at the rocky outcrops) ~~~
This pic is from north to north-east. The 6 arrows point to, from left to right:
- Mt Kelly
- Mt Gudgenby - directly north
- Yankee Hat
- Mt Tennent
- Yankee Hat carpark in the open plain (blue arrow)
- Booths Hill, towards north-east


50)  Photos to prove we are here - RZ and I
The mountain at the centre of the 2 pics with lots rocky outcrops is Mt Gudgenby.


We have lunch at one of the rocky outcrops. Then it is time to leave.

Return to car

51)  We've come down from the eastern (highest) peak and are now halfway back to the western peak.
We won't climb the western peak again; nor will we return to Sentry Box Rock. The yellow arrow is how we intend to return to our car ... by skirting to the left (south side) of the western peak, then head west back to the car.
The 4 red arrow point to, from left to right:
- the western peak
- Half Moon Peak
- Mt Morgan
- Sentry Box Rock


52)  We are now closer to the western peak.
- The red arrow points to the rocky mound (summit of western peak) in photo #24.
- The peak to the right of the rocky mound is the peak in photo #23's upper pic.
- The yellow arrow is how we intend to return to the car.


53)  We've climbed over the ridge pointed to by the yellow arrow of the previous photo. Once over the ridge, we can see Yaouk Road clearly ... it runs through the centre of this pic.
- Our car is parked at the small blue circle.
- The left red arrow points to Yaouk Peak.
- The right blue arrow points to Nalyappa Homestead surrounded by tall green trees.
Sixth months ago, in 2015-05, I climbed Yaouk Peak from Nalyappa Homestead. Photos and write up on the trip are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/yaouk-nsw-australia.html


54)  This part of the return journey is a bit boring - mostly bushbashing, like here.


55)  Plenty of Oxylobium ellipticum (Common Shaggy Pea) throughout the slopes of Sentry Box


56)  This flower is quite common in the mountains in ACT. If you know its name, please let me know.


57)  Some rock scrambling ~~~
The mountain in the background is Yaouk Peak.


58)  At last, we can see the open farmland below.


59)  RZ crossing from Scabby Range Nature Reserve into the farmland


60)  On the open farmland ~~~
We don't see any cows as compared to photo #2 taken this morning . Where did they all go to ?


61)  Crossing this wooden bridge over Bradleys Creek - the same bridge as in photo #3


At the car

62)  Back to my car by the side of Yaouk Road ~~~
The red arrows point to Yaouk Peak.


63)  Looking back at Sentry Box with pleasure - we've climbed it !
- Compare this pic with photo #1 ... the lighting causes the colour difference.
- The left red arrow points to an unnamed 1588-meter knoll. Sentry Box Rock is behind it and cannot be seen from where the car is parked.
- The right red arrow points to the western peak at 1696 meters. The eastern (highest) peak of Sentry Box is behind it and is also not visible.
- The yellow arrows indicate how climbed to Sentry Box Rock.


Driving back to Canberra

64)  Driving back to Canberra, on Boboyan Road not far from the junction with Yaouk Road, there is this gate to a private property ... so cute !


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