Sentry Box Mountain on the ACT border was the destination for The Geehi Bushwalking Club’s recent walk. The sky was blue with just enough breeze to keep us cool. Twelve members drove into Yaouk Valley and commenced the ascent via the south ridge, a route not commonly used. After crossing the fast flowing Bradleys Creek the open grassland quickly changed to black sally scrub before the group entered the burnt mountain ash. The 500 m climb over the next four kilometres followed a line of cairns which were placed by a surveyor named Harry Mouat in about 1913 to define this part of the 306 kilometre ACT border. The group marveled at the challenges that the early surveyors faced in such rough country.
The incineration of the landscape during the Black Summer fires last year presented a stark scene but this did have an upside in that it made for relatively easy walking. Occasional wildflowers blooming and the sprouting shoots of recovering eucalypts demonstrated that nature hadn’t given up on reversing the destruction.
The group stopped for lunch amongst granite boulders high on the range but still short of the mountain top. A half hour further north the hikers were rewarded with stunning 360 degree views, with the Kybeyan Range to the south, snow on the Main Range to the west and the Tinderys to the east. The official mountain top beckoned in the near distance whilst the Sentry Box rock was another kilometre north. Not wanting to get back too late, the group headed for home, arriving back at the cars by 4.30, tired but exhilarated.