Beeripmo Walk

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Beeripmo Walk

Postby ULhikerAU » Thu 25 Apr, 2019 11:28 pm

My friend and I were keen to sneak in a midweek overnight hike. We wanted something within 2 hrs of Melbourne and around 18-25 km. I suggested the Beeripmo Walk (20.6km) which is a grade 4 circuit hike located in the Mount Cole State Forest and Buangor State Park, Victoria. We set off around 9am from Bayside, Melbourne and were there in 2.5 hrs.

Unfortunately we relied on google maps to get us there and ended up a little lost. It took an extra 20 mins to find the official start of the Beeripmo Walk which is Richards Campground. It's a lovely spot, neat and tidy with a BBQ area and very modern pit toilets.

Depending on side trips, the walk can vary from 17-22kms. We spent 4 hours hiking on day one. The start of the walk is a gruelling uphill battle, it took us around 30 mins to get to the top of the dry Raglan Falls - not a drop of water in sight. We took this as an opportunity to catch our breath after such a steep climb - trekking poles certainly helped.

The next part of the walk was up, up, up!!! Day one is a hard slog with little respite. I've read that it's meant to be a great first overnight hike for families but I'd have to disagree. My kids would have been put off hiking for life if this had been their first experience. Once you reach Cave Hill the steepness abates a little for a short section then gradually climbs upwards, bringing you to Grevillea Lookout.

This was a perfect spot to stop for lunch and take in the views. We could see a mountain in the distance which had to be Mt Sugarloaf and knew we were still in for quite a climb. Coming up on Sugarloaf it was easy to see where it gets its name. The rock itself looks like a giant sugar cube sticking out of the side of the mountain. It wasn't obvious how we were going to get up this giant. With a set of steep switchbacks, plenty of stops to catch our breath and some shaky legs we reached the summit.

What goes up must come down ...... or so I thought!!! The track leading into Beeripmo campground is a on a slight decent, thank goodness. But I didn't expect the campground to be so high up on the mountain. The weather had started to turn as we arrived, dipping to around 9 degrees so we were keen to get a fire started and set up camp.

The campground has modern pit toilets, a water tank and a fire pit for each site. When we left Richards campground that morning it was 13 degrees and there were no other cars, so we weren't surprised to be the only ones crazy enough to be there.

With dinner cooked and a bottle of red wine finished we were ready for bed by 8pm. When we woke up in the morning I had to check my phone for the temperature, it showed 0 degrees and feels like -3. There was fog covering the campground and we could only see about 10 meters in front of us. It was quite beautiful actually. On our drive home we found out that it had been the coldest April night in 17 years.

After a warm breakfast and hot coffee we filtered some water from the campground tank, packed up camp and set off in the thick fog at 8am.
Day two from Beeripmo back to Richards campground only took us around 2.5 hrs. The track descends gradually and it's a really relaxing grade 3 walk back to the car.

Would I do the walk again, probably not. It's lovely but I think there are many others which beat this by a country mile.

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Re: Beeripmo Walk

Postby CraigVIC » Wed 01 May, 2019 11:38 pm

With a mate, I took my 10yr old daughter up a variation on the Beeripmo walk overnight on the weekend 27-28/4th

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We started from the Middle Creek campground heading up to join the Beeripmo near Cave hill, following it to the campground. Day 2 we retraced to the Sugarloaf Circuit, following that to Ferntree Falls and finally the Middle Creek track back to our car. This is short at 6.5/8km and really daywalk stuff, but being quite a bit more difficult than the normal Beeripmo it was more than enough for my daughter to take on. There's more to Buangor/Mt Cole than the Beeripmo and Chapman has notes for a couple of walks in one of his guides. I've enjoyed all the walking I've done up there and plan to return for the Buckertillible track when I get a chance.

Soon leaving the flat of Middle Creek the walking was rough and steep all the way to joining the regular Beeripmo tk.

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From there the walking was easy and we made up time but having had a late start I was glad to see Sugarloaf as we were starting to push up against sunset and with a quick climb up the steps (built by the same contractor now in the Grampians building the peaks trail I believe) the work for the day was over and we walked into camp with just enough time to get our tents up and set up to cook before the sun went down. A friendly couple had a fire going and a good pile of wood and we were able to join them and enjoy the evening despite our late arrival. You can just see Hannah on the switchback here on Sugarloaf

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Sunday was wet and cold and we waited for the cloud to breakup before heading out back to the Sugarloaf circuit. My daughter took my rain kilt (discussed here viewtopic.php?f=63&t=27532) and this is definitely a great bit of gear for kids as well as adults.

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I don't have any photos from the next section as it is rough, difficult walking. There's some old tape, and here and there it is needed to keep the track. There's long sections where it is continuously steep, rocky and slippery. It wont trouble an experienced walker but it was a big achievement for Hannah and I concentrated on giving her a hand and watching against a tumble. Just when motivation was wearing thin we reached Ferntree Falls and had our lunch below the falls. There is good car access to these falls but there was no one else to be seen on this day. It doesn't take much water to make these falls look good as the water spreads in a thin curtain.

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Our mood much improved and deciding we had done enough hard walking for the day we returned to the car by Middle Creek track, a very easy and pretty walk along the creek. From there it was off for a beer and chips at the quaint Ballarat train station bar before parting ways with my mate and heading home.

This was my first overnighter with Hannah and it went amazingly well. It was a tough walk but she enjoyed it. I gave her a pack to carry but it was only token weight and I carried all the gear and water (the weight was okay but the bulk was impossible - I need different gear for this). I carried her dinner and breakfast but let her carry all her own snacks and manage them any way she wanted. The snack thing really worked well. I wouldn't really recommend this for kids unless you know they are up for it but I think it's interesting way to redo the Beeripmo and if you added the Buangor summit and Buckertillible the distance would be a bit more satisfying.
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