Walk 6:58:12  21.14 km (19:47 / km) +1381m 14:55 / km
ahr:119 max:194 shoes: Salewa hiking boots
Have been planning to hike Mt Bogong for some time (since last January) but have been thwarted by smoke, fires, COVID, snow, COVID since that time. Finally saw an opportunity and with a fairly quiet back to work so far, thought I’d give myself the day off and get it done with. Aoife had been keen on the day all only version, despite predicted hard slog. I was happy not to carry gear as hip flexors still recovering from Bib Track. We invited Lily along the night before, and she was surprisingly keen - obviously not knowing what was in store for her.
We drove down Thursday afternoon, did not stop in NSW, took a while to get to Vic checkpoint but with requisite permit they let us straight through. Dinner at Mt Beauty and then found a small site at Mountain Creek campground for the night. A nice spot, but a bit crowded...
We set off just after 8, I thought maybe just under 6 hours, but in the end it took 7. Up Staircase Spur and down Eskdale. Same time down as up. It was a hard slog going up. I felt very wobbly and it was relentless and steep. The girls went pretty well, Aoife especially. But there were lots of short stops. It was quite warm, getting hot, before clouds came across, and above the tree line the breeze was strong and cold.
There were good views most of the way up, even when still in the forest. Once above the trees it was spectacular and lots of flowers out. We got to the top on 3.5 hours, slightly slower than I reckoned, but it was OK. We didn’t stop too long as it was cold. Tried to find a sheltered spot for lunch, but it was only relatively sheltered.. Came down Eskdale spur as I thought it might be less steep (as longer), but I don;’t think it was significant. Possibly as steep, but for a slightly less distance. We still had numerous stops going down and it took a long time to get the to bottom of the spur. Lily had quite a few falls - I could see how tired she was. We stopped fro another snack but Aoife fell into a hole here and for the next hour (at least) it was a real struggle. She was struggling to walk and could not talk sense! It took a long time for her banana to filter through the system. By the time we got back to the Staircase turn off she had returned to normal. We crossed all the streams in the deepest spot possible for the last few km, to cool our feet which was nice. It was depressing to see so many cars - at Eskdale and also parked on track at Staircase turn off. I hadn’t been keen to take XV on 4WD track but maybe could have/should have. Even saving a few km might have helped.
A long drive home after, but a good day out. Maybe one to remember happily, once we have all recovered :)
Very impressed with both the girls who, despite suffering visibly, kept to their promise not to complain (much). They dug deep to get back.