Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Mount Bogong

At 1,986 meters, Mt Bogong is Victoria’s highest mountain.

Very few Victorians have climed Mount Bogong. Mount Bogong does not seem to be as well known as some of the other mountains in Victoria. Other Victorian mountains such as Mount Buller, Mount Buffalo and Lake Mountain are better known due do having ski resorts in the winter months.

An Interesting fact for my friends in Canberra: The Yiatmathong word Bogong it is believed translates to the Ngunawal word “Canberra” - Please don’t quote me on this I got it from a wiki.

George has been saying for ages that he wanted us all to climb Mount Bogong. So we planned a trip. Unfortunately when it was time to go, I broke a bone in my foot and so he had to go by himself. Well I could not put it off for ever, and it did sound like an interesting thing to do so on Friday the 20th of March we drove to the township of Mount Beauty.
Coffee stop at Wangarratta
The nearby township of Mount Beauty has an elevation of 370 meters. Which meant on Saturday we would be climbing 1600 meters.

Mount Bogong from Mount Beauty

We would climb the Staircase Spur to the summit, 8km up and 8km down.

Signing the Intentions Book so if we dont get home they know where to start looking

The first two kilometeres is easy, a well maintained four wheel drive track, it is flatish and we set out at a good pace. Then the Staircase Starts, six kilometres which in places really really lives up to its name. I should have been climbing the Rialto as practice, not walking.

Exhausted after about four kilometers. Surrounded by ferns, Alpine Ash and Snow Gums.

At about the 5km mark there is Bivouac Hut where we stopped for a nice long rest and a large drink of water. - There is no fresh water at Bivouac, we carried it ourselves.

That is the peak of Mount Bogong - photo taken near Bivouac

Kiewa Valley - photo taken near Bivouac

Exhausted after 7ish kilometers - we are now above the tree line on the alpine 'meadow'. You can see the snow poles to mark the track in bad weather. The bump above my head is the summit.

At this point George ran off to the summit. I was stuffed. If he did not run off I would have had lunch there and then went down. But I had to keep walking. That last kilometer or so along the alpine meadow was dreadful. It took so much effort. I think it took me about an hour - it took George half an hour and he was feeling great.

George says that that last bit is hard due to the low oxygen. I say that it is hard because you are already tired and hungry by that stage and the last bit is not easy. It looks okay in the photo - but it is not.

I had to stop a lot in that last bit, and two solitary walkers overtook me, offering heartfelt support. But I made it.

There was about thirty people at the top. We had a good chat with them and had lunch. The weather was about 37 degrees celcius, but on the top there was a beautiful cool breeze. We rested for about an hour and decended the Staircase.

View from the top.

On the way down, my silly knee started hurting, so we took it easy. It took about six hours to get up and then five to get down, not counting the hour rest at the top.

Next time, we'll go up the Staircase and down the Eskdale Spur, it be an extra three or so kilometers, but much easier on the knees.

A Bogong Moth

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