Craigieburn Forest Park Hike
Beech Forest - Lyndon Saddle
This route in the Craigieburn Forest Park, which passes through Camp Saddle and the Lyndon Saddle, is THE most serious day trip I've ever enjoyed in the mountains. Ever!
Saddles and Screes
It involves climbing up through bush and over avalanche slopes to an exposed saddle, then wobbling along a humpy ridge-line to the piece de resistance - a super-sized scree slope. Yippee! Down to another saddle in the beech forest, and then down a soft path to the access road. Wow!
I am even tempted to break the First Rule of Blogging, which states the following: If you can't find words to describe something really groovy, then DON"T even try! This trip was amazing, and I loved it soooo much, but I'll stick to facts and photographs.
Sticking to the Facts
Park your car at Piano Bridge on the Broken River Skifield road, trot a little way further up, grin and pose for the camera, and then turn up into the bush, making for Camp Saddle (not in the avalanche season). The saddle is exposed, with amazing panoramic mountain-top views, but you'll need reasonable visibility (obviously), and no wind (absolutely).
Start of the Track
Munch an early lunch on Camp Saddle while considering your options. Plan B will drop you immediately down the other side of the saddle and into the safety of the Craigieburn Valley forest below, while Plan C will turn you around back the way you came.
To the Saddle
Plan A is the one with no wind and half-decent visibility. Plus fortitude, a decent trip leader (Non-Gardening Partners with new GPS's are perfect) good balance (maybe two trekking poles for the mature lady hiker), a great I-Can-Do-Anything attitude (being a successful Head Gardener is an advantage here), and someone to take decent photographs. Traverse the ridge line until it ends at a big scree slope.
Over the Ridge
Stash the trekking poles and zoom! Then hike through the beech forest to the Lyndon Saddle, and off down back to the skifield access road. Send the trip leader (in this instance, Non-Gardening Partner) walking back up the road for the car while you 'warm down' in the late afternoon sunshine.
Down the Scree
For me, by far the biggest challenges of the day were:
- Climbing up the Moosey stairs afterwards (oh dear).
- Finding the plug for the Moosey bath (hopelessly lost).
- Sticking to the First Rule of Blogging (see above).
Cheers! Enjoy, and stay safe...