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Tue 28 Nov, 2017 8:22 pm
A full trip report with a link to photos is coming soon !
Wed 29 Nov, 2017 9:26 pm
On Monday 27/11/17 I drove up to Mt. Stirling . I left rather early in the morning and reached King Basin Road where it intersects with Speculation rd. at about 10.30 am.I left my car there , got my pack organized and hiked up Muesli spur. A number of school groups were hiking out along the same route that morning.
The track is easy to find and has a sign at the bottom and at the top. The track is basically clear . There were a few fallen trees but nothing seriously blocking the way. It started out OK but quickly became a steep 1/1 gradient. That is to say for every metre you move forwards you gain a metre in elevation up hill.
The Timbertop kids said you have not reached the steep bit yet! :-0 .
That was when I was crab crawling and the hiking poles were just dangling around my wrists as I reached for tree trunks, stones and foot holds. Once I passed this section I was totally rogered and sat down to eat lunch with the Timbertop girls (and their teacher/adult supervisor / leader) who were out on a 4 day trek.
I was sweating like Finn in a sauna. It was very humid and a thunderstorm was approaching. The views on the way up of Mt. Stirling were grand but I had my hands full going up that bleeding spur so I didn't take many photos until I stopped for lunch. After that the gradient was a little more forgiving . After 4 kms I popped out onto the Speculation road.
After a rest I headed up towards Camp Creek.
The road has some huge pools of water and some steep and very rocky sections. I could get my RAV 4 out there if I used very low gear and picked the right line each time .
It began to rain and progressively became rain jacket and rain pants kind of weather. The very nearby thunder was unnerving because I was using two metal poles for walking. I ran out of water to drink and was glad to find a stream running rather well under the road where I pumped up 3 litres with my water filter. That went down so well after that sweaty and draining hike up the Breakfast cereal spur.
By the time I reached Camp Creek I was totally over walking for the day . I was wet , rogered and becoming a bit cold, tired and emotional.
I found a flat spot to set up my tent, some 20 metres back from the end of the 4 wd track. I had been advised that at least 3 school groups were camping on the ridges of Mt. Speculation . However the wet and misty weather with very localized thunder convinced me to camp off the mountain and closer to the 4 wd car camping zone.
I had the camp site to myself and the weather began to clear so I could cook outside and fetch some more water quite easily. Camp Creek was flowing well .
I just set up my camp, cooked some hot food and changed into dry attire. By dusk I was ready for sleep.
I awoke at day break and quickly readied myself for a summit visit.
It was clear and dry and the sunrise from the Mt. Spec. summit was A Fecking Mazing. I saw some great stuff and took some very good film photos.
I have never been there before so I ticked the Breakfast cereal spur and Mt. Spec. off in one quick trip.
I had the summit and perfect weather and views above the clouds all to myself.
Then I returned to my tent and had breakfast , muesli and powdered milk with boiling water and hot tea.
I was packed up and walking by about 8.40 am.
I stopped before Mustering flat to restock drinking water from a soak using my pump up water filter.It was becoming sunny and hot.The flies were out too.
I made it to the top of the Staircase and had lunch there at about 11 am.
The walk down the very , very rough 4 WD track known as "The Staircase" was uneventful and afforded a some good views as the heat and humidity returned with the lower elevations. That upper 'Staircase' section of the Speculation road was going to spell trouble even some monster Tonka toys that I saw coming up the hill.
I had a rest near the Little Cobbler track junction and then made it back to my car by 1400.
I drove the RAV 4 down to King hut on a gnarly section of the King basin road which was full of big rocks and huge dirty pools of water. The driver and car handled it just fine .
So with my feet soaking in the King river, I felt much better.
On the drive back I went around the rest the of the bumpy Circuit road. There was a search underway for a lost man . Men on dirt bikes and the police in a large 4 WD stopped me to ask if I had seen him. There was a police chopper hovering above too.The views of the Cross cut saw and Mt. Cobbler from the Circuit road are excellent.
Back in Mansfield I was ready for an iced coffee and I powered home with the Grateful Dead pumping out. Europe ' 72 was a great tour , recording and period for that band .
Sun 03 Dec, 2017 7:23 am
Nice photos and thanks for the write up PCV.
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