NSW Lord Howe Island Mt Lidgbird Goathouse Cave (420 ms asl)
At three and a quarter and seven, the children were a bit too young to take up Mt Gower, which we’d done the day before, so a climb to the Mt Lidgbird Goathouse Cave – only half the climb – was seen as an excellent consolation prize. The children always enjoy a good bushwalk, so off we set. While we climbed, Gussy discussed with me his birthday wish for when he turns eight (he’s not yet seven and a half), which is to have a family climb up a mountain in Tasmania. We aired a few suitable possibilities. There can still be snow in August.
I had sent the others on ahead, planning to catch them some time after the first saddle, allowing me to move at a faster pace for a while, which I enjoy. Once we’d reunited there, Gussy chose to go ahead with me, and he is getting delightfully fit so we had a great time together. Just before the roped section we waited for Abby and her patient parents to catch us and have a snack and drink together, and then it was full steam to the top. Abby did all the roped climbs by herself, and walked a very good portion of the whole. Many steps were shoulder high for that little poppet. Her little face was a picture of effort and concentration – and determination.
Up the top, we all adored the views and the masses of birds that circled us and popped in for a brief visit while we ate. You feel dramatically and suitably high.
I was interested to watch Gussy descending. I do remember the days when descending turned my legs to jelly – back last century, haha, before I became a mountain runner. You can be very fit for going up, but not have the musculature for a strong descent, and that was the case with our little seven year old. It had also been the case with a teenage boy on Gower the day before. Strength of that kind and cardio-vascular fitness are two separate items. Gussy did well to be cautious and use the ropes to help him, and to take a bit longer down than up. The route is very challenging yet not dangerous if you are sensible, thus making for a perfect adventure for those at an appropriate level of readiness. Gussy’s last mountain had been Hartz Mountain in Tasmania (1254 ms asl) so we knew he was well-able to do this one.