By the time your reading this post I should be on about my last day of my trek to Machu Picchu, that's the magic of the inter web for you. Any how before I shot through OS again I figured that I'd better get in one last training walk, not having any options for high altitude training in Australia I decided that if I couldn't get high at least I could give my climbing muscles a work out, so that's why I decided to head to the small Sawmill Settlement at the base of Mt Buller. At just over 1800 metres Mt Buller is the highest mountain within three hour drive from home and is more famous for snow skiing and mountain biking than bushwalking, but there is one route that is moderately challenging and that is the West Ridge, in winter its one of the few places in Australia that you can ice climb, in autumn its a steep walk with a bit of easy scrambling. Being a fairly long and hard walk it was important that I got an early start, so starting out at 11:00am probably wasn't ideal but it was still fairly early for me.
|I'm about to start climbing up the very dusty Doughty Road, note the logging truck sign.|
|This is the spot where I finally left the road and started up the walking track.|
|Mt Buller and its West Ridge.|
|There was a few wild flowers still out high up on West Ridge.|
|Thank Christ Corner where my route down Mclaughlan Shoulder met up with the Klingsporn Track.|
Klingsporn Track in the late afternoon, being a very average mountain biker I was able to check out all the potential spots to stack.......there were many!
I used the notes out of Glen Tempest's Daywalks Around Victoria, its walk 28 in the book. According to my GPS I walked 22.9 kilometres and climbed 1328 metres over 7.5 hours. The walk served its purpose and gave me a solid workout before leaving for Peru. Unfortunately all the controlled burns going on around the state cut down the views somewhat. I'd rate the walk hard as the climbing is sustained and there is a bit of off piste action on the way down. The section along Mclaughlin Shoulder through the burn't Snow Gums tested my patience, it was a bit like walking through the set of a Tim Burton movie where all the skeletons of the trees are out to grab you, poke you, scratch you, or just generally f#%k you!
|The last couple of kilometres from Mirimbah to Sawmill Settlement had me following the fairly uninspiring Mt Buller Road.|
|Although The Delatite River looked good from the road in the late afternoon sun.|