Nervous Knob

 15 April 2012

 It was a fine morning when four keen men climbers turned up for this trip, with not a woman in sight. Maybe the name of this peak in the Craigieburn Range discouraged their interest? From the Visitors Centre car park, we plodded up the road to the Broken River Ski Field, around the locked gate (to prevent car access) and eventually to the ski club accommodation huts. Here we met a band of volunteers staying over the weekend carrying out maintenance in preparation for the winter season.

 At this point we were right on the bush line having gained quite a lot of height and grateful for the water available at the huts. Well hydrated, from there we climbed the stairs and track to the bottom of the ski field. A 40 min easy scramble up tussock slope and shingle scree and we were on the ridge. On the other side we were looking straight down into Hamilton Creek, a gnarly ridge face with big rock outcrops, strange thin pinnacles of rock and lots of steep chutes and screes. We turned north on the ridge and it was easy going onto Nervous Knob. Big views all round with the higher Hamilton Peak not far away looking tempting for a dash to the summit and back – but better reserved for another day.

 We were surprised to discover that had it been ski season, we could have taken a ski rope tow right to the top of Nervous Knob, but the tow needed a lot of maintenance before it was towing anyone anywhere. For lunch we dropped down to the tussock line & enjoyed the sun, then checked out the ski lodge (peering through the windows!) and returned to the accommodation huts. We arrived just as the cable car was departing for the ski field car park – would we like a ride? We sure would - thank- you. So we had a 5min near vertical descent with the Safety Engineer who had just renewed it’s certification. He confirmed the emergency brake had been tested and did work – what a relief! If the cable broke there would not be very much time to apply the brake. 40min later we were back at the car & looking forward to refreshments at Springfield. Nothing to be nervous about after all!

 Dennis