To say that I over indulged on Christmas day is an understatement. I like to think of the over eating as carb loading as a few days later I put on my hiking boots and headed for Bluff Knoll.
We left the kids with family in Mount Barker and sped out of town before they could renege on babysitting duties. With the Stirling Ranges in the distance we were pumped and ready for the challenge. Emu’s raced us along the edge of the road and I watched their powerful legs pushing them forward. Now it was time to find the strength in my legs.
Looking up at the summit of Bluff Knoll with its height and rocky peak I started to question why I wanted to hike to the top. It looked steep and out of reach. There was no point in doubting my decision, it was time to get the heart pumping and conquer this mountain.
It wasn’t long before the track climbed upwards. Constant steps carved in the side of the mountain. Not taking any time to stop and admire the view, I was just concentrating on climbing and breathing. My lungs were going into overdrive, finding it hard to take deep breaths.
The track is a constant climb and there is only one section of flat ground before the summit. I can not tell you how good it felt to be on even ground even if it was for a short time! Only a small reprieve before the climb started again. Getting steeper and steeper but I kept pushing as the top was so close.
It was totally worth it for the view! I perched myself on a edge, dangled my feet off, 1095 meters above sea level. My feet starting to tingle as I sat so close to the edge, something that happens when I am slightly frightened or nervous.
It took us about an hour and twenty minutes to reach the peak. The sun was beating down on us and our mouths were feeling dry. We stupidly did not take enough water with us and only had a water bottle each which held 750mls.
Perched at the top of the mountain we ate our lunch, soaked in the views and enjoyed the stillness.
It was after midday when we made the descent down the mountain. The sun was intense and we were on rations with our water, being careful not to waste it so we had enough to get us to the bottom.
The descent took us almost as long as the climb up. On the way down we took our time to admire our surrounds. It may not have been as hard on our lungs but the legs and knees got a work out!
I loved the stillness and calmness on the trail, something I rarely experience these days with two small children. The air is fresh and the view is amazing and it feels good to be alive!
Bluff Knoll is located in the Stirling Ranges, Western Australia. Only 100kms north east of Albany or 411kms south of Perth.
Tips for climbing Bluff Knoll
- National Park fees apply
- Walkers must register before climbing
- Allow 3-4 hours for the climb
- Carry plenty of drinking water (minimum 2 litres per person)
- Apply sunscreen before you climb and wear a hat
- Weather conditional change quickly and rain can make visibility difficult
- Stay on the path as people have been known to get lost
- Occasionally it snows at the peak
- Pack some snacks to give you energy during the climb
- The trail is around 6kms long
- Wear appropriate shoes
- Wear appropriate clothing
- Requires a reasonable level of fitness