Are you prepared? NO? Read on to find out!
Mike, Dianna and I set out from Hawdon Shelter in cool overcast conditions on a day trip to the East Hawdon Biv, theoretically we were carrying only what we would normally carry for a day and then planned to stay the night and see how well we coped.
The walk went well, we avoided crossing the Hawdon by sticking to the true left all the way to the East Branch which turned out to be a good easy route and we made good time reaching the junction in about an hour. The East Hawdon route was not difficult to find and after 2 hours enjoying this beautiful valley and it’s charming little bush clad gorge, lunch was taken at the near new and well kept 2 bunk shelter.
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.
A wonderful weekend with perfect weather. Bill dropped Sergey, Glenda, Bronwyn and me at the Boyle River while he parked at the Engineer's Camp. The river was very low as were all the rivers causing no crossing problems at all. We headed up the Doubtful taking a break outside the hut, continuing on until we turned off a few hours later up the track alongside Kedron Stream.The highlight here was the stags roaring. I'd heard the occasional one previously, but here they were answering Bill and Sergey's roars and at times sounded quite angry. No sightings though.
Mike R. (leader), Claire, Bill, Wendy, Steiner, Agnete, Bronwyn We began on the roadside near Otira where the track sign says ‘Mt Barron 3 hours’. Not a track for those who like to warm up slowly –it goes straight up the ridge.Wendy entertained us with Irish jokes in honour of it being St Patrick’s Day, while Bill improved the track with his secateurs. This was obviously not a track that is used much and after an hour of scrambling and pulling ourselves straight up the rugged ridge, we had doubts about the ‘3-hour’ summit! Once above the bush line we stopped for lunch. We’d gained a lot of height but the road was rather frustratingly still in view.
The day dawned grey and overcast, but not cold and with little wind. Glenda and Sergey were the only volunteers but in spite of this we agreed that a chance to improve our fitness shouldn’t be missed. There were a few glimpses of blue sky along the road through Loburn but when we reached Glentui, Mt Richardson was well covered by cloud.So with vague hopes of clearing weather we started to climb. Conditions were perfect for walking, cool with little breeze and we made good time and were on the peak in a couple of hours with visibility at about 5 metres and a light drizzle falling.