Bellevue Tier, Bawleys Peak and Gable Hill 2018 May
On Wednesday, a small band of us who all enjoy being in the bush and some of whom enjoy ticking lists of High Places went off together to climb four bumps, namely: Bellevue Tier, Bawleys Peak and Gable Hill, which all have in common, not only that they are on a List of High Places but also that they are near Bronte Park, so can be attained in a single day. (We also ‘summitted’ a fourth thing, but it was such a non-event I don’t even know its name. It overlooked the London Lakes, but the view was hazy.) If I am in the bush for collection purposes and to tick boxes, then I prefer to amass Abels or waterfalls, but decided to forego adding another waterfall to my increasing list of beauties in favour of being sociable for a change. A lot of my walks are solo these days, to the extent that I am becoming rather reclusive; I thought climbing a few bits and pieces with friends would be a fun change. It was.
Descending from Bawleys Peak.
I am not at all in love with the Central Plateau, finding it far too dry for my liking, and devoid of fungi, ferns, shade and the things I love about ‘good’ forests. So, I hope my friends are flattered that I opted for their company despite the fact that I wouldn’t be on top of a shapely mountain, I wouldn’t be in the forest I like, and I wouldn’t be beside flowing water. In a group, you don’t even have the fun of doing your own navigation – although I have to confess I did slip off once or twice to choose my own route and meet the others at the top. I can’t play sheep the whole day and remain happy. But I did meet some great folk, and have fun and interesting conversations, and I enjoyed the camaraderie of being with likeminded people.
Ascending Gable Hill
Bellevue Tier seems rather shapeless and viewless, despite being 1126 ms a.s.l.. Its merit lay in the exercise value (4 kms in each direction) and the walk-and-talk combo that took place. Bawleys Peak, our second high point, a fair bit lower but far steeper, was much more fun (See contour map below). I took it head on while the others went around to the right, and my route gave me a good adrenalin rush, with quite a few rather narrow ledges and iffy patches of climbing. Therein lay my first of two climbing thrills for the day. We sat on a beautiful mossy ledge looking out at the very hazy scene and whopping drop below while we had lunch.
Our final fling for the day was the best: Gable Hill, on the other side of the rivulet we could see. This hill had very interesting boulder clusters that I liked, and some boulders at the summit that goaded me by appearing impossible towers to mount. I wanted to photograph someone else on top, but nobody expressed even remote interest in answering the taunt of the rocks, so, I set about climbing them while the others ate afternoon tea. I was very nearly too fat to get up the narrow chimney I was using for leverage, feeling like Pooh bear after too much honey, and rather fearing that any second I could tumble backwards and splatter on the rocks below like a tin of strawberry jam, but with a bit of breathing in and shoving, I managed not to cause deep distress to my daughters, and to get to the top of the obstacle. The others very sweetly played paparazzi to record the success. By that stage I was more interested in the fact that I was still alive and uninjured than that I had got to the spot on top. From the safety of my bedroom now, and thus in retrospect, I can report it was a fun climb. As I posed, however, I was pondering how on earth I was going to get back down, and was wondering if the gents would mind catching me. Not necessary, as it turned out.