Mount Buffalo -23km
Sunday February 28, 2016
The day started pleasant enough. After an early breakfast at Mountain Creek campground we packed up and headed back through Bright on our way to Mt Buffalo National Park. We stopped in Bright, Hammer went to get some provisions for lunch while I visited a local cafe to get my morning coffee. Unfortunately for me the barrista at the Ginger Baker cafe in Bright poured me a cup of his anger and my day started to head south.
We planned to hike the 23 km round trip from Euroka Picnic area to the chalet on Mt Buffalo. By the time we started walking it was already very warm and it would only get hotter as we climbed and the day progressed. While not as steep as the climb up Mt Bogong, the walk up Mt Buffalo is no walk in the park, rising 1,000 metres over 11km.
As soon as we started to walk my heart was not in it.. cursing the ginger baker every time the plentiful bracken fern we were walking through stung my painfully sunburnt legs. In truth the ginger baker did not do anything much, just not a very happy chappy, but it helped to direct my less than pleasant disposition.
Hammer danced on ahead, being very familiar with this trail, having raced across it twice before, during the 75km Buffalo Stampede mountain sky race held here in April. I resisted the urge to turn back but each step up was an effort of physical strength and mental will.
The views along the way were impressive, with Buckland Valley farmland and plantation pine forests spread out below and framed by the distant views towards Mt Bogong. As we neared the chalet, vegetation thinned and the granite boulders, which shape this landscape, became so much more prominent.
We reached the chalet in almost three hours, the same time it took us to climb the much steeper Mt Bogong where we carried much heavier packs.
A lunch of peanut butter and banana on a crusty roll, restored some energy but I still felt tired and sleepy. A brief thought to hitch a ride down the mountain, with the plentiful number of daytrippers to the summit , crossed my mind. But I forced myself to start the descent hoping that the peanut butter and banana would work some magic.
Two hours later we were back at the picnic area soaking our feet in the cool creek. Surprised that we both felt weary and exhausted by what should have been an easier walk considering we carried only small day packs.
We changed our plans for next day and decided to head back to Mountain Creek campground to have a day of rest.