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LCOOL ACT - Brindabella Mountains - 23 Oct 04

Some time ago, Paul Brennan, an LCOOL member from Sydney put out the word that he was interested in a trip up into the Brindabella's.   Pete Ridley, an active ACT LCOOL member took the bit by the teeth and dropped it into the LCOOL ACT diary.

After almost a week of solid rain, (even up until Saturday morning), the trip was looking like a non-event - especially with the Brindies clay, rain, and steep slopes - a potent mix, which had tested man and vehicle only weeks earlier (but that's another story).

The itinerary for the trip was:

  • meet at Uriarra Homestead (1000)
  • Up to the peak of Mt Coree (via Rangie Hill)
  • McIntyres Hut
  • Flea Creek
  • Uriarra Homestead

The trip was guided by Pete, with the following attending:

  • Pete, 80 series
  • Juergen and son Brendan, 100 series
  • Schooner and Yvette, 100 series
  • Paul and son, Luke, 80 series
  • John, LandRover
  • Ivan, mum Barbara, Adam, Matthew and Ben, 90 series
Trip Report

We met at 1000 at the appointed time, though John was half an hour late - after all the rain, he was keen on shedding his road tyres, and getting some BFG muddies underneath.   The delay allowed us time to get to air down, get to know Paul from Sydney, and generally spin a yarn or two.  

John arrived, aired down, and we hit the road at about 1040.  

Half way up to Mt Coree, there is a slight diversion - generally it is shorter - but a whole lot steeper and slipperier than the planned track.   There are many stories of attempts up this hill in varying track conditions.   Today looked pretty good, so Schooner led the way, followed by Juergen, Paul and Ivan.   As it would have it, John probably needed the muddies - his tyres just didn't get him up the hill (Did we mention he was in a LandRover ;-))   Ivan offered to lend him a Toyota badge, but it was politely ignored..)

We found our way up to Mt Coree, with the last 30 metres being pretty steep and well rutted.   On top, was another group having lunch - we checked the view - took the obligatory photo or two, and moved off via the Powerline Trail, and down towards McIntyres Hut.   We passed a convoy of three vehicles - well two of them.. - Pete was up front chatting to their rear vehicle - turns out he's the manager of Ford in Tumut, and has invited us down to check out the 'Tumut Trails' with him at some point.  Looks like we'll be off for an overnighter in the near future.

The track down to the Hut is pretty steep, and those in autos were complaining their discs were blue - you could certainly smell the pads (one after the other, after the other ......)   The Hut is where the Canberra fires started from on Jan 18 2003.   Lightning kicked them off, but started only 30 m forward of where the Hut is situated on the banks of the Goodradigbee River - the Hut survived..

On arrival, we checked out the hut - various provisions left for those unfortunate enough to need them - two double bunks, and a well used fire place.   Schooner signed the book on behalf of us all - LCOOL ACT ;-)

We had a casual lunch - the kids were all friends by now (they'd known each other forever, right??) , and had dug out Luke's remote control 4wd from the back of Pauls 80.   They proceeded to do hill climbs, steep descents (fast), mud shuffles and puddle crossings - all of them no doubt driving like their fathers before them! (Ivan and Paul - you better slow down -- the kids are watching!!)   The sight of the car doing more forward rolls than an Olympic gymnast became common place for the lunch time antics.

Lunch over, we returned back up Waterfall Ridge Track, to Webbs Ridge Fire Trail, and descended down into Flea Creek.   Webbs Ridge follows the ridge line with some amazing views - Flea Creek itself is pretty cool too.   There were some other vehicles down here, and a camper or two.   Flea Creek is also part of the Goodradigbee River, and a top little spot.  

After a beer and a chat, we climbed up Gentle Annie Trail, back up through Picadilly Circus and back to Uriarra Homestead where we said our farewells after a great day out.

The cars, all lined up, and raring to go...

Paul, attacking Rangie Hill with his Simex Centipedes

Ivan, half way up, out to take a pic - it's a whole lot steeper than it looks (check the wheel arches - they are level on flat ground!)

Now help me out with this guys - I can pick the passenger - that's our Fearless Leader, Pete Ridley.   But I'm struggling to pick the vehicle - with that roofline.... it's not an 80.., or a 90.., or a 100 - it's not even a 120...   Pete - what IS that vehicle you're travelling in????

The top of Mt Coree can be a bit of a traffic jam - especially when the white Holden on the right has parked in the middle of the access track (he had L plates on - figures ;-)

Paul's 80 is pretty stock standard - NOT!  - it featured in the November edition of 4WD Monthly

The view from the top of Coree, along the Powerline Track - that's where we're headed!!

One of steep sections on the way to McIntyres Hut - Paul's lining up for his approach.

Off he goes - the view from Schooner's car

Whether it's the 5" or so lift, or the 454 under the bonnet, that's an imposing sight - cameraman - you're in the way!

McIntyre's Hut, with us parked around.   Ivan's Mum in the foreground - before the trip, she wasn't too keen on going - half way through "I don't want today to end!!"  - not bad for an old gal, three weeks off 80 ;-)

McIntyre's Hut - front entrance

The boys are in town ;-)

The Hut's log book - Schooner signed on our behalf.

The supplies which have been left for those who might need them at short notice..  Not sure how long that bread has been there for..   Bottom right of the window frame is a two litre flagon of red wine - just maybe!

McIntyre's Hut is on the banks of the Goodradigbee - some trout in them thar waters.

Lunch at the rear of the hut - from L to R, Juergen, Schooner, Pete, John, Paul

Like father, like son - the boys off with *their* 4WD - what can we find...

A river crossing...

This is the old track out of the valley - too steep and no longer in use - not for our boys ;-)    - what can we do up here..

Forward roll mid air acrobatics - not once, not twice - that truck survived - must be a Toyota!

The view back to Mt Coree - that was us at morning tea..

Following Schooner down Webb's Ridge Trail - as usual, steeper than it looks..

The Goodradigbee at Flea Creek - that's where we're headed!

The obligatory lineup..  from L to R.
Paul, John, Ivan, Schooner, Pete, Juergen.

Those boys on top of Ivan's roof rack - "Dad, can we slide down the windscreen??"

Ivan is squeezed into a LCOOL Simpson tshirt - Not his XXL (couldn't find it), not his wife's XL (couldn't find it), but his 9 yo son's Medium (but he IS wearing it ;-)))

The side approach - there were four campers just behind Pete - they would have looked at this group and said, "What the..."

The Goodradigbee at Flea Creek