|The view from the summit of Mt Sturgeon was fairly intimidating this afternoon.|
To put it mildly I was pretty well stuffed by the time I set off in the late afternoon heat to climb Mt Sturgeon. I’d spent the morning and early afternoon slogging my way around the Serra and Wonderland Ranges a little further north, on what was fairly warm day. So with well north of 20 kilometres and 1000 metres already under my belt, I was shuffling my way up onto the crest of the ridge that would lead me to the Mt Sturgeon summit even slower than normal, lost in my own sweaty world. With no cars in the carpark except mine, and thunderstorms all around me I wasn’t really expecting any company now. So to say I was surprised when someone behind me cheerily greeted me was an understatement!
Turning around and wiping the sweat stained tears out of my eyes I was greeted by a young, activewear clad lady, probably in her mid twenties. Now this lady looked like she was going a lot faster than me and to be honest I was pretty smelly and sweaty by that time of the day so I wasn’t really in the mood for company, oh yeah that and the fact that I’m old and grumpy as well! Anyway, I was keen to stop for awhile and let my new friend go, but stupidly instead of just stopping to rest I asked my new friend ‘is there was anyone coming up behind me or was she on her own?’. Now my reasoning for uttering that was that it would be a good excuse to stop for a bit longer and wait rather than have another person come up behind me and scare the shit out of me again.
As soon as the sentence had come out of my mouth I knew how it would sound to this young lady though, but it was too late. So what to do? The young lady headed off up the mountain, now in front of me, and eventually I started shuffling my way up as well. Being a one way walk I was definitely going to bump into this lady again, so I decided that when I did I’d try and explain to her what I was trying to ask in my somewhat clumsy way and maybe reassure her that I wasn’t some mountain climbing, bushwalking creep.
Fifteen minutes later, walking along the ridge I did indeed meet my new friend again. The young lady was on a rock lookout 10 metres off the main track. Thinking that I might freak her out even more if I shuffled over to check out the view as well, I decided that after sharing pleasantries I’d just keep trudging up to the summit. Well that was the last I saw of her. I’m guessing that as soon as I disappeared into the trees heading up the mountain she made a bee line down the hill and back to her car.
Now while it was definitely a misunderstanding it still worried me enough that I couldn’t stop thinking about it all the way home that night, replaying in my mind how I should of handled it so I didn’t freak this young lady out. I take the piss a fair bit on my blog in regards to my weight and general lack of fitness, but at around 125kg and 6’3” (in hiking boots) I can understand why I might look a little intimidating to some people. So anyway, on the very remote chance that the young lady that was climbing Mt Sturgeon, late on a Friday afternoon in early April happens to read this waffle then I’m really sorry if I freaked you out, I didn’t mean it but I totally understand.
|There is a lot of GPT work going on in the Grampians at the moment.|
|This is a pretty well sign posted and easy to follow track for the most part.|
|The climb up to the ridge is solid but not overly steep.|
|It's a total guess but I'm thinking that this might form part of the new GPT when it's finished.|
|Dunkeld was spread out below me.|
|There are two rocky outcrops of similar height, separated by a high saddle, to explore up here.|
|The track passes this big cairn.|
According to my GPS I walked 6.8 kilometres and climbed around 425 metres on what I’d call an easy-medium grade walk. This is a walk to do in clear cool conditions I’m thinking as the views are really the main feature of the stroll, hot and humid overcast conditions certainly weren’t ideal this afternoon. Mr Thomas has written this walk up in some of his old books and the Daly’s wrote it up in their Victoria book, but to be honest the Parks Vic stuff that you can get for free online is all you really need to safely complete this stroll. The track is well sign posted and defined and it looks like there has been a fair bit of work done on it for the GPT.