Sunday, August 15, 2010
NOT QUITE MAROONED
While it is not too hard of a climb it can't be taken too lightly with a scramble up a ridge line and through outcrops, a crumbling traverse over to a chimney gully and then a rather scrubby bush bash and slabs on the top.
It was a late decision on a beautiful sunny winter day that saw me at the base at 12.30pm. I set myself a turn around time of 3pm and reckoned that would be getting me back before sunset.
The start is at a small off road and isolated spot charmingly called Cotswold and I was staggered by the number of cars there. Everyone was choosing this as Maroon day.
I soon met the descending group SES State Emergency Services
" Not a good idea to do this alone" said the leading walker who was armed with every saving device available it seemed on sight
." You're right. Not a good idea " said I already confirming that I had thought that I was letting my heart rule my reason....
Then there was a south sea islander church group..." we started at 8.30am" they said .. my legs pumped faster.
Ran into two lady walkers from the National parks Assoc.
."Always thought I might join that " I said
'We only walk slow" they said.
" Sounds like my sort of club " I said,
The traverse was slow and steep down to the chimney..The chimney at times hand over hand...Met a few brisbane Bushwalkers coming down and didn't really want to tell them who I was as the ethics of walking alone is not condoned usually.
However, Chrissie Dott who went on a Binna Burra walk with me was there. She is a great photographer and I am hoping for some pictures from her of the top of Maroon and of the surrounding mountains.
Into the saddle and scrub and fluked a group coming off the slabs where an indistinct but time saving track wound through the scrub. Kept getting back markers as i climbed and thought" come three and I am out of here"
reached the top at 3.05 and it was really spectacular.
Well three minutes of spectacle..then I was off.
Heard some shouting coming from the scrub..thought it was crows or birds and then as Isearched for the delivering track two SES guys in orange vests appeared.
"OK guys I'm pretty sure this is the track" They looked lost and disoriented and I thought that I wouldn't want them to rescue me. Then they were gone without so much as a how are you going etc....
The scrub where I had become a bit lost in past climbs was great and I made up time but the chimney was terrible. I had to be specially careful as it was getting dark and late in the shadow of the mountain. Reached the bottom with much relief and then overbalanced and nearly continued the descent.
The traverse was OK but I thought I would make time on the ridge but it was much crumbling rock and loose gravel.
Reached the car at 5.30pm without the use of a torch.
I was ready to camp out in the cold but felt that it wouldn't have been great to be marooned ( excuse the pun ) on this mountain.