Craigieburn Forest Park Hike

 Covered with hanging lichen.
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).

 That's younger Son of Moosey with me.
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.

 This is Camp Saddle.
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.

 Mysterious in the swirling mist.
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.

 Brave yellow daisies grow in the rocks.
Down the Scree

For me, by far the biggest challenges of the day were:

Cheers! Enjoy, and stay safe...