Saturday, September 24, 2011

Walk in Porongurup Range

I went into Porongurup National Park yesterday, my first visit for quite a while. I was with my daughter and her friend, on holidays from Wisconsin, and we soon set about following a trail past the "Tree in the Rock" to Nancy Peak. I'd walked part of this trail alone about six years ago but never made it to the top - mainly because I hadn't told anyone I was going there and I had no idea what to expect.

Yesterday, however, was perfect weather-wise and it turns out I'm fitter than I thought I was. After walking through the leg-aches on the lower slopes, we made it to Nancy Peak without too much effort. Once there, we checked the time and made the decision to keep walking and complete the circuit that would bring us back to the car park.

The next stage was quite rugged compared to the walk up to the peak. But it least it was all downhill from here, so it wasn't too bad.

Once at the top, there are aluminium trail markers bolted to the granite, so it's difficult to get lost. And seriously, it's a long, skinny, steep-sided range so there's really only two ways to go - east or west.

It was a sunny day with broken cloud cover. The views were spectacular. I did have a sketchbook with me but we were too short on time to stop and draw so I had to make do with photos. I'd like to go back with a pochade box or some other lightweight way to paint.

Anyway, here's a few pics.  The first three are the view from Nancy Peak and the last one is of the karri trees on the return journey through Wansbrough Pass.

The complete circuit is about 5-6km long. Nancy Peak is 490m high (650m above sea level).

If you're ever in the Great Southern (Western Australia), then you might want to give it a go (mid-Spring is perfect - the wildflowers are blooming). It turns out moderate fitness and a decent pair of shoes is okay for this trail. It took us about three hours, including pauses, to take in the views.

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