John wrote to me this morning with news from Australia. After completing the Bronze 50km Peak District Challenge walk with his team Deer Park Ramblers, John’s been climbing in Australia with family, and sent these amazing photos and write-up of his experience.
Thought you might like to see where the “Peak district challenge” Tee shirt was this weekend…….
Mt. Warning is in Northern NSW, It is the first place in Australia that the Sun hits. To view this entails a 4.5km climb to the viewing platforms on the summit, the last 400m is near vertical, which has chains to assist ascent. It means climbing in the dark with only headlights, quite eerie, as the lower section is thick rainforest. But well worth the climb, as the views from the top are spectacular.
The mountain is known as the “Cloud catcher” so it’s a hit and miss on the timing. My son Blake and I climbed it early this morning in order to see the sunrise. Setting off from Pimpama SE Qld. at 1:00 am, arriving at the Mt. Warning car park at 2:30am, after stopping for a Coffee Murwillumbah 24hr roadhouse. We had planned to do this walk for some time, but Blake needed some decent walking shoes. He purchased a pair a couple of weeks ago, and it was on!He set the pace up the mountain, which had us at the bottom of the vertical climb in 90min! And had me pooped! Lol. We had a bite to eat donned some warmer layers and continued on to the summit only to find another couple there with the greeting “beat you” 😀, this pair was all set up with DSLR and tripod, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be that day as it was covered in cloud, but the Sun did break through on a few occasions and we managed to get a few shots. We were the second lot of climbers to reach the summit, which quickly swelled to over 60 by the time we descended.The climb back down is less strenuous with a whole lot more to see in the daylight. An hour later the sun had burnt off the mist and turned into a usual warm Autumn day.We are very fortunate here in OZ to have so many National parks to explore, No Stately homes or Castles, but an abundance of natural beauty.I had to smile as I was packing my back pack the night before, included in the essentials…“Bushman”Insect Repellent, “Stingoes” (if you do get bitten) Table salt, (for removing leeches, those little buggers will soon latch onto you! They drop off when full but they leave their mark! Tick tweezers, Rehydration tablets and Pressure bandages, for snake bites! All but the pressure bandages have been used.
Snakes are usually very timid and will avoid human contact, but will soon defend themselves if disturbed. Of course there is always an exception…… The “Taipan”. This is one snake to take very seriously! The most venomous snake on the Planet, and not at all bashful! Never seen one in the wild (don’t want to) but most other species, including Pythons (none venomous) Eastern brown, Red belly black, Yellow belly black, all highly venomous, and a few others I couldn’t recognise.Arriving back in the valley, it’s a 30min drive to Byron bay, a picturesque town on the Northern NSW coast noted for its Surfing and hosting outdoor music festivals, “Jazz and Blues Festival”, “Splendour in the grass” and quite a few more. Had breakfast at the trendy “Dip” cafe in the centre of Byron. I have no affiliation with this establishment, but it’s a must if you visit Byron bay, awesome food and a mix of Jazz music to eat by.
Back home for a couple of hours rest before I took my very demanding Rhodesian Ridgeback for his 7km walk!! 😫Slept like a baby that night!😀Tee shirt washed and packed for the next episode! Got a couple of walks/climbs in the Glasshouse mountains we want to do.
There are more of John’s photos on the Peak District Challenge facebook page here.