The walking trail from the Namadgi Visitor's Centre has been around for ages. It is also the beginning of the Australian Alpine Walking Trail if one has the energy and time to head over to the Victorian Alps. The problem has always been, that when you near the top saddle, you needed to join the fire trail which was steep and mainly full sun. There is a now a new traversing foot pad that avoids the fire trail. According to a walker this morning, the foot pad also cuts off 1.4 km from the journey.
So, with this news, I set off from the Visitor's Centre at 9:30. A bit late for a forecast 28 C day. I follow a few camping YouTubers who inspired me to take the GoPro along for the hike. I did stop a few times to film and narrate and this did slow me down.
There is much water flowing down the sides of the mountain. The few bridges were magic to listen to the sound of the cascading water. Parts of the trail were very soggy indeed. About a third of the way up is the Cypress Pine Lookout. I think the Cypress Pine that it's named after disappeared after the 2003 fires. I used to have a Geocache hidden here that was destroyed in the last fires so I was carrying a new one that will be reborn shortly.
After the Cypress Pine Lookout and the few bridges, the climb begins to get a bit more serious. A few annoying horse flies to add to the experience. A few of the rocky staircases don't to much for this vertigo suffering bushwalker. I finally reached the turn off to the new path. There were more gentle traverses but still some staircases that had me muttering under my breath. I thought I had traveled far enough to be close to my destination but a few walkers put me right and said I had over 1.5Km to go. At one stage, the trail gets very close to the firetrail.
It was great to finally appear at the summit near the Fire Tower. My knees were groaning and it was great to actually sit-down, in the shade of the Fire Tower and have my lunch. In the spirit of scientific endeavor, I thought I would descend via the fire trail to see what the actual difference was.. However, that plan was firmly discarded when I spotted the new foot pad from the firetrail. A short cross country ( I was gaiter equipped with a trekking pole and I wasn't going to take shit from any snakes) ramble and I was back on the foot pad.
The amount of filming was declining as the knees and toes began to riot. I promised myself a proper rest when I got to one of the creek crossings near the Cypress Pine Lookout...... so I did. And it was there that my CamelBak ran dry - Bugga, still an hour of descent to go. I had slowed right down prior to this as I recognised I was dead tired and a stumble on one of the steep staircases could mean disaster.
When I departed in the morning, I had noted that the Visitor Centre car park closed at 4:00pm . I was sure that the actual Centre would be open at least until 5:oo and I spent the final parts of the walk trying to decide what drinks and ice cream I would buy. That was settled when I got there and it was closed! Despite the pain, I did really enjoy the walk but I don't see myself doing it again in the warmer months! If I actually wake up tomorrow, I'll examine the Go Pro footage and see whether it is worthy of an upload.