Sedgwick Bluff, Feb 2108.
From the slopes of Sedgwick Bluff, unique views of Mt Geike are offered.
Dear Louise, Would you like to join us climbing Sedgwick Bluff tomorrow? Would I what?? What a silly question. Well, not so very silly. I actually did have a fullish programme on the morrow – like an important appointment, and packing my bag for a holiday in Coffs Harbour beginning the day after, but some things get to push the queue, and Sedgwick Bluff as a day walk is one of those. When would I get another such invitation? Probably never. I “needed” this walk for my healing after Bruce’s death. And I would enjoy the company of these people, and I needed to get out and about and mix with other people more. You can see the “excuses” for impetuosity flowing in. My daughters said it was a great idea. I quickly packed for Coffs, cancelled a few things on the home front, packed for Sedgwick, and, somewhat out of breath, arrived that evening to do most of the car trip down. We were away. Whew.
Having fun before the last amble to the summit.
At 7 o’clock on the day in question, we were at the now-unlocked gate leading to the Lake Margaret Power Station (having gained permission in advance to do so). By 7.30, we were ready to start walking up the exceptionally steep path that runs beside the not-quite-vertical pipes that carry water down from the lake to the powerhouse. We all agreed we would NOT want to drive up that track! In twenty six minutes, nonetheless, we were at the top, looking over the edge at the others approaching not far behind. It was so steep you had to go to the edge to see them. Their heads popped up out of nowhere.
Summit Cairn, Sedgwick Bluff. You can see Barn Bluff, Cradle Mountain, Mt Emmett and Pelion West there to the left of Mt Sedgwick, and the Acropolis and Geryon to the right if you know your shapes. It was a grand view.
The next phase of our journey was a stretch that was on contour, on a kind of disused miniature railway line. This was a beautiful and easy section, and we all knew it was a brief lull before a storm, for, at a point agreed upon by all, we took a deep breath and dived into the thick scrub just before the saddle, figuring things were slightly less thick there than in the saddle itself (or after it). It was so thick that we all took turns of a mere three-minutes at the front, politely calling these five-minute turns, but really, three/five was enough. By the time my second turn came, the scrub was less dense, and soon enough, we made it to the high-point on the ridge just before it dropped to the saddle. The saddle itself was great fun, as it was so steep to left and right, that the merest divergence had one dropping an enormous amount of height. Due to the trees, one couldn’t see this directly; one just noticed that the person in front had dropped out of sight.
One and a half hours of walking after first joining the railway line (with stops for food and thinking and photography added in), we “topped out” of the steep zone, and only had about a half-hour’s gentle “doddle” along the alpine tops to the summit. By 11 a.m., we were sending victory sms’s to doubters who said our trip couldn’t be done in a day.
Yolande River – the first time I had made her acquaintance. Beautiful.
The best part of the trip back was our decision to be different, and come home via a very interesting spur the other side of the saddle from our approach one. Do NOT try to climb by this route! It was hilariously steep, with perhaps the most fun being watching John descend about five or more metres in a single step, but, due to the aid of the thick bush, laughing while he did it and coming to no harm. I gulped and followed. We all knew that we were committed to this route in the fullest sense of the word. There would be no climbing back up. We absolutely had to find a way around all the cliffs we kept meeting and continue downwards. It worked. …. And the next day, early in the morning, I flew out to Coffs Harbour. Life is a good thing.