I was headed to a friends farm near Cavendish to plant trees for the weekend and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sneak in a quick walk in the stunning Southern Grampians. After work on Friday I set off in the Landcruiser, driving the 3 hrs to Mt Sturgeon Walk Car Park. I spent the night in the back of the car – something I hadn’t done since I was a kid on family holiday. It was super comfy, with my foam swag mattress and goose down sleeping bag. I had to sleep on an angle so I could fit, but it was much easier than putting up the tent! I ignored the no camping signs, feeling much more inconspicuous in the car than the usual tent. I wasn’t far off the road and panicked as cars kept slowing down as they went past – until I realised there is a sharp turn on the main road, so they weren’t stopping to bother me!
After a restful sleep I woke up just after sunrise and moved the car into the carpark and set off. I ditched my headtorch a few hundred meters in – I’d started later than planned! It was a chilly morning and very grey and overcast. After only a few kilometers I received a text message from my friend Kate who was in Corsica and had just gotten engaged! This fantastic news gave me an extra spring in my step, as the sandy, flat trail was replaced by a steady rocky incline.
I startled a few rock wallabies, who in turn startled me! I continued upwards, disappointed that the cloud surrounding me wasn’t clearing. My rough memory of the track from years ago meant I wasn’t fooled by the false summit – after reaching what seemed like the top, there is a small saddle, followed by one final incline to the summit. At the summit I could barely see 3 meters in front of me and the wind was whipping up the rocky face, creating a very cold and not very pleasant rest stop! After a few obligatory self timer photos I was ready to head back down. I followed the same path down and was finally rewarded with some views over the Victoria Valley as the cloud cleared. Back at the carpark there were already a few people arriving, ready to head out themselves. It is a popular walk, so despite the poor views I was glad for the early start and solitude!
Date: Saturday 12/10/2019
Duration: 1hr 48min
Elevation Gain: 378m
Start: Mt Sturgeon Walk Car Park
Track: Walking Track
Min Elevation: 249 m
Max Elevation: 565 m