Thursday, February 10, 2011
We climbed Pigeon House Mountain on the NSW South Coast!
An overcast day on our recent road trip to the NSW South Coast, meant we could take the day to climb Pigeon House Mountain, a bush walk/climb that had been recommended by a Sydney friend.
Pigeon House Mountain is located in the Buderwang Wildness Area, in the Morton National Park. Coming from Sydney, exit the Princes Hwy at Milton NSW and take Croobyar Road. Follow it to the junction of Woodstock Road. Continue along Woodstock/Woodburn Road to the junction of Clyde Ridge Road and make a right hand turn to the west (15.5km from the highway turnoff).
The Clyde Ridge Road is followed for 8.5 km until another right hand turn is made into Yadboro Road. Then 4.4km further along the Yadboro Road is the turnoff to the Pigeon House car park.
It is a partly unsealed road and although it is not limited strictly to 4WD, in wet weather in a 2WD, you may struggle.
The climb itself is not recommended in wet weather as the final summit can get very slippery, especially on the staircases! (but more about the staircases soon!)
We utilised a great website with very accurate info TrekandClimbs.com
for both driving directions and information on the climb itself.
The walk is considered a medium day walk and takes approx. 3-4hrs.
We did the walk with two of our children aged 12yrs and 15yrs, so we were fully prepared with plenty of water, a picnic lunch, fruit & healthy snacks. Sensible closed in walking shoes, hats and long trousers. I also lugged my SLR camera up and down, for the benefit of my readers!!
The climb begins with a fairly arduous up hill climb for about the first half hour, depending on how fit you are and whether you need to stop for a drink & breather, it may take a little longer. We were passed by a couple of fit, young guys, strong as an ox, who were actually running the climb!
We paced ourselves, mainly because we were not 100% sure what was ahead of us! Oh and because I am fit, but not that fit!
During this initial climb there is some wooden staircases and a few boulders to climb up!
Eventually, you get some reprieve and you travel through a flat/ridge section, that is more bush walking than climbing.
This lovely interlude, with an abundance of pretty wildflowers and even a wild orchid, was lots of fun and we skipped along enjoying the ease of it all!
But like all interludes it came to an end and we moved back into the main performance!
A light mist began to fall, which we later confirmed was not rain, but rather the moisture coming from the clouds hanging not far above us!!
A series of metal staircases were now before us to enable as to summit Pigeon House Mountain, at this point I realised afresh "Oh yes Jane, we are climbing a mountain, and it is going to be an ascent, which means up and often steep!!"
The first staircases seemed OK, hold on don't look down I thought, then progressively they became more challenging and don't look down was definitely the family motto!
then came the metal ladders on the side of the rock face...What the ???
Followed by a couple of metal bridges
and suddenly....."in that it has been a long climb but now we've made it", sort of way, we reached the summit!
It was a little disappointing that due to the weather that day, we were literally amongst the clouds at the summit. So the sweeping views that we were promised, were clouded and it was just all white!
We had a laugh with the other five climbers, who were also at the summit, that we had climbed all this way to see nothing much! One lovely lady shared her home made Tamari almonds with us! I then told her I was a real foodie and it was worth the two hour climb, just to taste her almonds!
We then began our descent, which was more challenging than the climb in some ways, as you knew what was ahead now!
We stopped for our picnic once we had descended the many staircases and then continued downwards to the car park.
It was a great day of adventure and a family achievement to reach the top, whilst at the same time our older son, had summitted Mt Kinabalu in Borneo just days before.
Warning: It is advised that this is not a good climb for children under 6-8yrs of age, as some of the higher staircases, could result in a serious fall and emergency rescue access would be limited.
Ps. *If you suffer from fear of heights...the staircases may present a challenge!