Some of you may recall an attempt to hike to Neglected Mountain, Christmas Creek, in September last year. Our poor comprehension of our notes, resulted in us missing the turn off to the head of the trail. A hike to Westray's Grave resulted.
If you are interested, here's the link.
The person we asked for directions, suggested that it was an unused, overgrown trail and really not worth the effort. Until recently, I was happy to forget it, as I like to set off hiking feeling confident that I know where we are going.
"Hiking and Bushwalking in Australia" is a newly discovered Group on Facebook. I just love all the information that is being posted by fellow hikers. Long story short, I discovered Neglected Mountain had recently been hiked and enjoyed. A clue to find the trail had me thinking, perhaps it is a possibility. Another hiker commented on the same post and added a link to the blog, of his hike. More vital information gained. Discussion followed with the members of our group, Gaiter Girls, with last Thursday getting the nod to tackle this neglected peak.
The hour drive to Christmas Creek was through wonderful dairy farming countryside. Coffee was enjoyed by the tranquil Christmas Creek, before we drove up Gap Creek Road to our starting point.
Coffee view of where we were to hike. The blue arrow is where we expected Neglected Mountain to be, but our GPS said it was the peak the yellow arrow is pointing too.
The hidden signpost to Gap Creek Road.
There was a short delay on the drive up, as cattle were being mustered for ear tagging. Electric fencing blocked our passage. The farmer was friendly and helpful.
He advised not to go the full length of the dirt road, as it became very rough. We pulled over into this open flat section.
Kangaroos watched as we lifted our backpacks to our shoulders.
We were glad to have left our car where we had, as the track was rutted and there was nowhere to park at this gate.
From here on, the 'steep' climbing began.
Our farmer had advised us to keep to the left of the table, barn and the locked outhouse. Great spot to turn around and get an idea of the fabulous views to come.
The track, to the left of the buildings, took us to a graded trail heading towards the low saddle of the range.
Soon after this view, the track stopped and the, difficult to see, grassy track seemed to go vertically up, and up and up.
This ribbon was the only indication all day, that we were on trail. We were very relieved that we were going in the right direction, even if it was hard work.
Me - looking up.
Janice - looking down at me crawling and pulling myself up using the, thankfully strong, thick grass.
I propped myself against this trunk to get my breath and soak up the view.
Finally a flat section. Time for a snack and to ponder the words on this post -spectemur agendo. My google translate says - Seen together in action. Interesting!
We must have been a tad exhausted when we reached this spot, as it wasn't until we were about to head off again, that we took any notice of the metal box at the base of the post.
Only 14 people had recorded their climb this year - 2017.
So here we are " Seen together in Action".
The track continued to climb, but with less of an incline. Bursts of rock scrambling became the new issue, but there was always time to take in the beauty of this perfect winter's day - a scattering of wildflowers, amazing grass trees and vast vistas.
YAY finally the top! Well of this ridge.
Once here, we kept right, following the ridge line to Neglected Mountain. Of course a down always follows an up, but this time not too strenuous.
The ridge narrowed considerably, but the views to east and west were stunning.
East - down to the buildings we had passed earlier.
We just had to have a 'selfie' with these views, very carefully turning around on the spot, on this narrow ridge.
For approx a kilometre, the track had us regularly scrambling up and down.
Oh, did I mention the views?
Soon after leaving the narrow ridge, we were back on a graded track.
It was at this magnificent grass tree, [above] that we were unable to decide whether to go right on a none too clear track, or continue on the wide path.
The decision was made to go right. We passed the private property sign mentioned in our notes. Our farmer had told us not to be concerned about this sign.
Soon we were celebrating at the top of Neglected Mountain.
Lunch and rest under these shady trees was then the go.
Lunch and rest under these shady trees was then the go.
Lunch finished and feeling refreshed, we again checked our Wikiloc and ViewRanger GPS apps and were of the opinion that perhaps this peak wasn't the actual Neglected Mountain. Yes, the comment has been made, that perhaps this is why the peak has remained neglected!
It was another kilometre of relatively flat, even trail to the second peak. A photo was snapped and a quick turn around was made to retrace our steps before it got too late.
Our descent wasn't as difficult as the ascent, although the knees were complaining by the time we were halfway down. The views were as beautiful in the afternoon light.
Back at the initial, very steep section, we all agreed that skiing down on our boots, holding the grass, was far safer than trying to remain upright.
Once we had negotiated this last challenge, we took a final breather and look at the view, before heading down the road to find our car.
It was a short drive back to the park beside the creek, where we very happily took off our boots and patted ourselves on the back for an action packed, successful day, surrounded by nature looking her best. There was also a need to recharge the batteries.
The golden sunset, as we drove home, was perfect.
If anyone reading this post decides it's the hike for them, you are able to download the route from both Wikiloc or ViewFinder to your I-phone. Happy Hiking! It was an amazing day.
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