It’s amazing how long it takes to come down from the high that a weekend of fresh air, exercise, and great company gives you. A few days later and my legs are still reminding me about the challenge and fun that was Mount Difficult.
Setting off with our small group along one of the only sections of gently undulating walking track, it doesn’t take long to reach Beehive Falls. Immediately the scenery has me excited for what’s to come, unaware that the landscape is going to change regularly, as we hike the Mount Difficult Circuit over the next two days. The trail soon turns into a rocky ascent up the escarpment and it doesn’t take long before my first layer of clothing comes off and the glutes are put to work! It’s on this first incline that I start to notice the unusual rock formations, and get glimpses of the view that awaits us at the top. We take the opportunity to take off our rucksacks and enjoy a packless scramble out to Briggs Bluff. Despite the overcast day, we stopped to take in the spectacular view from the cliff’s edge before making our way back to collect our gear. Halfway up the next escarpment we find the perfect lunch spot for the group to sit, refuel and enjoy the landscape below us. Feeling recharged, we continue along the constantly changing trail, from rock to sand and small flowing water crossings. Arriving at the campsite after a challenging 14kms, it’s not long before we have settled in with some delicious home-cooked food, a rewarding glass of wine and some competitive games of poker!
Falling asleep under the full moon and waking up in this beautiful part of the Grampians, makes me feel grateful for the opportunity to be able to spend a weekend outdoors, being active with a great group of people. Day two starts with fresh coffee, breakfast and the last steep incline to Mount Difficult. We’re able to leave our rucksacks, (to the delight of my calf muscles!) before the final accent to the summit. The energy of the group shows as they go bounding up the rocks in front of me, which inspires me to follow suit and it doesn’t take long before we’re at the top, enjoying another awesome view of the area. The trail and the views walking back along the escarpments was a highlight for me, and it was then that I decided I would be coming back for sure! The descent down to Beehive Falls was where I realised just how steep and rocky our walk the previous day was, and the group were pretty quiet around me as we all concentrated on coming down the now slippery track. The flat walk back to the cars was perfect for reflecting on a weekend where we were lucky enough to have perfect weather conditions, and to chat about our next adventure.
25km of challenging walking, awesome scenery, and great company made this overnight hike in the grampians the perfect way to finish 2017 with TSA.