Friday, October 29, 2010

The Blue Mountains – Six Foot Track

We have now made it to Sydney NSW and have recently returned from our latest expedition in The Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains are located approximately 50 km east of Sydney and is a fairly large area consisting of seven national parks. With peaks reaching over 1200 meter above sea level, steep slopes and deep gorges makes it comparable with The Grand Canyon.

Day 1:

After the arrival in Katoomba, we were recommended the six foot track by the friendly staff at the information centre. The six foot track is a three days walk, starting at 1000 meters above sea level and goes steeply down to 300 and then back up to 1200 meters again. Knowing we were taking a risk, because Dennis the day before had been almost deadly sick with a fever and stomachaches (might be due to excessive ingestion of rainwater), at 1500 hours we set of towards the starting point. It started a couple of kilometers outside the town so we had to balance alongside the Great Western Highway to get there. The track almost immediately descended steeply into a dense rain forest. The striking humidity and the tough track made our clothes totally soaked and to compensate for the loss we consume a major part of our water ration. It was a challenging descend. The track was full of slippery rocks and muddy mud. Despite these rough conditions we realized how lucky it was we were going downwards. The other way around would have been really challenging with a heavy backpack. The steep section was followed by a quite easy 5 km walk to our first overnight camp site. We made it here at around 1900, raised the tent and cooked a well deserved meal.

Day 2:

Dennis condition had now turned for the worse and we realized that completing the track wasn’t an option. We had to go back. This was not a decision without difficulties. Firstly, we didn’t have much water left and the water fill up was 7 km up the track so we had to spare half a liter between us. Secondly, we now had to
ascend the steep section we descended yesterday. After 5 hours of silent, brutal walking we were standing on the train station waiting for the train back to Sydney.

Unfortunately we couldn’t complete the whole track because of illnesses. Nonetheless, we still feel satisfied with the amazing sceneries we saw and the experiences we gained during our short stay in The Blue Mountains. In addition, we feel that we made the correct decision turning back and aborting our expedition instead of pushing it further to a situation that could have become more critical.

/Chris and DJ

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