Well it wasn’t altogether surprising that I ended up with no takers for this trip – not many people are attracted to the idea of walking day and night pretty much non-stop, the objective being to reach the summits of Cloudmaker, Paralyser and Guouogang from Katoomba and returning thence within 48 hours of. I’ll admit to having second thoughts about the madness of it myself on more than one occasion, succumbing to the lure once more only because I’ve done it before, can do it again, want to relive the experience of the vastness of the southern Blue Mountains, and, yes, because it’s there.
Just getting to the start was a problem as one of the major sponsor “Cityrail” decided to do track work on the western line between St Marys and Granville. After all that drama, I reached the start at 8 and found David and his friend. The ride snakes its way thru Sydney from North Sydney to Olympic Park in Homebush. David and I cycled the whole thing non stop finishing in about two and a half hours. This was hard but it meant we would avoid the midday heat. It was well over 30 degrees by the time we reached the finish at Olympic Park. At the finish there were lots of stalls and a band playing.
While everyone’s rushing to work on a busy Monday morning, four lucky people (James Bucknell, Sarah Hicks, Aaron Nguyen and myself) were setting off for a relaxing time in the bush. We drove up Putty Road and arrived at Howes Valley at around 12:30pm, so we decided to have lunch first. As soon as we stepped out of the car, we were welcomed by hundreds of flies (especially after Sarah and I opened our tins of tuna). I haven’t seen so many flies for a while.
The alarm went off at 2:30am but I didn’t sleep, two coffees the day before made sure of that.To increase my chances of staying awake I had another one before we left. By 3am Andrew, Cat and Myself were in the car, skis and all heading south along King St. I was drugged up ready and to drive the first leg down to Michelago. Initially, the lack of sleep wasn’t an issue, Bogong moths constantly exploding on the windscreen kept me awake and entertained. However, near Canberra my vision started to get blurry. Combination of tiredness and the fact that I ran out of water for the windscreen wipers. At Michelago drivers were changed and I didn’t wake up until Rhythm Sports in Cooma. Even though the store was open the lady behind the counter couldn’t help and had no idea when or even IF someone that could help us would be coming. Bakery was the next natural stop. We conveyed the message to the other car and I chose the most obvious landmark to meet up. Minutes passed, no call, no car. Would you believe there is more than one Woolworths yet no 3 phone service in Cooma? Luckily, Bruce at Wilderness Sports in Jindabyne was happy to see us and after a couple of jokes and a $240 worth of equipment we were finally ready to head up the mountain.
Party: Martine Bardy, James “many nicknames” Bevan*, Jo Boyd#, Ashley Burke, Marina Carpinelli, Sabrina “Sabs” Cascio, Peter ____, Nazzih Chammas, Albert Chetcuti, Alicia Corbett, Alex Debono, Meredith Dodds, Dave “Digidave” Forbes, Marcelle Gannon*, Swetlana “Lana” Gez, Tom “Other Other Tom” Gleeson#, Rachel Green, Pete Harvey*, Rob Hynes, Mitchell “Mitch” Isaacs, Yves Kerdraon*, Jademond Kiang*, Jeff Kingston, Ben Kong*, Dave “Fritz” Lee, Roger Lembit, Tina Ludwig, Kim ____, Tom Mactier, Tom “Other Tom” Murtagh, Maria-Cristina Merlo, David “D2” Millar-Powell, Stefanie Muller, Dave Noble, Martin Pfeil, Peter Raines, Ricarda Roemer, Daniel “VP Dan” Ryan, Cameron Schmelitschek*, Nicole St Vincent Welch*