Leader - Colin
Total Distance walked - 5.6k
Six of us (Linda, Julie, Steve, Phil, John & me), left the car park at the end of Cotswold Road next to the lagoon to walk the 3k to the Mt Maroon summit. The weather was perfect with very little breeze and warm and sunny.
The first part of the walk is up to a grassy ridge. This is rather steep (so we thought – there was much worse to come) and everyone's heart rates were up and all were puffing while we battled to get our breathing right for the rest of the hard climb. As the track leads into the wooded part of the mountain it becomes very steep and rocky. We had to continually remind ourselves that we were out for a fun day so took every opportunity for photo stops and to look back at the breathtaking views across the grasslands to the many other peaks in the area.
Further up the original track was wiped out by landslides some time ago and a new track leads up the crest of the ridge through many large boulders and rocky outcrops. At the appropriate time we stopped for smoko on one of the rocky outcrops to have some refreshments and to admire the views. After smoko we continued up through the boulders before a slight descent to the original track which leads us up a very steep ascent through a narrow gully. As a safety precaution against falling rocks we put some distance between each person as we climbed this section.
On our right as we climbed through the gully were the sheer cliffs of the first peak which Steve has successfully climbed in his mountain climbing days. At the top of the gully is a flatter section which is the saddle between the two peaks of Mt Maroon. John called this area “The Garden of Eden” and indicated that he was going to rest here at the base of another rocky outcrop while the rest of us made the final short climb to the second peak and the cairn.
The views from the top were spectacular, and being a clear, sunny day you could see forever. The views to the surrounding peaks were so clear you felt as though you could almost touch them. Many celebratory photos were taken of the views and many group photos of ourselves. With only a slight breeze it was warm and comfortable at the top and so we were very reluctant to leave for the descent and to pick up John on the way down. We all felt that the descent was much harder on the body than the ascent. It was hard on the quads, knees and toes as we carefully picked our way down the steepest parts of the mountain. We were glad to get out of our boots and give our feet a rest at the bottom.
Refreshments were at the Rathy Pub and all agreed that the day was a splendid success and well worth the postponement from the previous week and the inclement weather – Colin.