Hike Gone Wrong – Part 1

In Western Australia, the Bibbulmun Track is a very well known hiking trail and is one of the world’s great long distance walking trails.  It stretches nearly 1000km from Perth and surrounds to Albany in the south.  It is marked clearly by these little trail markers, representing the Waugal – the serpent of Aboriginal Dreaming.

Waugal

You can read more about the history of the track, all the different track sections, hiking and camping information,  and purchase maps from the official site.  The track actually starts up in the Perth Hills so I have seen a lot of the little markers.  I have also seen them on our travels in Albany, Denmark, and Walpole, which is why my interest was definitely triggered and it had to go on the Hitlist.  Well at least a portion of it anyway.  Deciding on which portion was the difficult bit but I opted for something close to home and that was recommended as the top hike in the Perth area by Inspiration Outdoors website.  The walk I wanted to complete was the Sullivan’s Rock to Monadnocks Campsite portion of the Bibbulmun Track.

After completing the Adventurethon, starting school holidays, and surviving Christmas I was itching to get outside and do something active….time to walk a portion of the famous Bibbulmun track.  Now the clock was ticking a little for me to complete this item as the family and I are on holidays in Queensland and then we would be moving way up North to a remote mining town that is a world away from the Bibbulmun track.  So even though Summer is not the most ideal time to go hiking I reasoned that if we did a short section of the track (10-15km) and left early in the morning to beat the worst of the heat we shouldn’t be too bad.  The other issue that I rushed through in my wish to explore this track was not organising to purchase a decent map of the trail.  (You can purchase them here) Instead I found another map which was fine but not very detailed…yeah, sounds stupid now doesn’t it?

Map

The website actually had some good information and quite a detailed description of the walk and landmarks.

Now I don’t want you to think that I take any hike lightly.  These are the things that I check off when preparing for a decent hike.

  • Fitness level appropriate?  I am in good health and have a good fitness level.
  • Experience level appropriate?  I have been hiking and bush walking pretty much my whole life.
  • Map of the Trail?  I had a map of the trail (albeit in hindsight not very detailed) The other thing I will admit to is that we had the map saved on the phone, didn’t need signal to access but reliant on battery.  Next time I will make sure I have a hard copy map.
  • I checked DFES (Department of Fire and Emergency Services) alerts to make sure there were no fires or back burning in the area.
  • Checked DPAW (Department of Parks and Wildlife) for any alerts in the area.
  • Also checked the weather forecast for the day of the hike.
  • I had packed 2L of water each for my friend and I as recommended for this particular walk on one of the websites I had been reading.
  • I had food and energy gels
  • First Aid Kit?  I packed 2 compression bandages but I really should have a basic first aid kit.
  • I had a phone, fully charged for once (I know, amazing right); and
  • I wasn’t walking alone and my husband knew where my friend and I would be walking.

All set and ready to go.  Fully prepared for the walk provided things go right.  This is probably the biggest lesson I learnt from this walk, you need to pack for worst case scenario not the average hike.  I will stop talking now and let the pictures tell the story….

Bibb Track

Not a care in the world...heading up Sullivan's Rock the start of the day.

Not a care in the world…heading up Sullivan’s Rock the start of the day.

This was the point where it all went wrong...not that we knew it then...but the age old should have gone left not right.  Literally 10 mins into the walk.  We still followed those little markers though...

This was the point where it all went wrong…not that we knew it then…but the age old should have gone left not right makes a big difference. Literally 10 mins into the walk. We were still following those little markers, just up a totally different mountain…doh.  We also dropped the phone here and cracked the screen, very difficult to see our map very clearly after that.  Just a comedy of errors.

Enjoying the walk still oblivious that anything was wrong.

My friend Snooze.  We were enjoying the walk still oblivious that anything was wrong.

Just some of the sights and obstacles from the trail.  The photos stopped when it ceased being fun...

Just some of the sights and obstacles from the trail. The photos stopped when it ceased being fun…

Mt Cooke Campsite...first little seed of doubt planted at this point.  Mt Cooke was not on the map, but I did vaguely remember reading about it on my research of the area.  Plunged ahead as we had not gone off the trail or come to a fork at all.

Mt Cooke Campsite (these little huts are built all along the trail for overnighters to make use of).  First little seed of doubt planted at this point. Mt Cooke was not on the map, but I did vaguely remember reading about it on my research of the area. Plunged ahead as we had not gone off the trail or come to a fork at all.

How did we not know we were going the wrong direction I hear you ask?  We were following the markers still and on a well defined track.  The general course of the trail was still following the directions of the map we had.  We were questioning distances at this point to...starting to believe that we should have climbed at least the first peak in 90mins, but only just starting to climb.

How did we not know we were going the wrong direction I hear you ask? Well, we were following the markers and were still on a well defined track. The general course of the trail was still following the directions of the map we had. We were questioning distances at this point too…starting to believe that we should have climbed at least the first peak in 90mins, but instead we were only just starting to climb.

First peak?  Mt Vincent we thought.  Vaguely reassured that we were actually on track.

First peak? Mt Vincent we thought. Vaguely reassured that we were actually on track.

Bibb Track4 Bibb track10

We thought this was North Rocks, right?  Easy to convince yourself that you are on track.  We hadn't veered off the marked track at all and hadn't come to a fork in the road except early in the piece.  Still enjoying the hike, the company, and the views.

We thought this was North Rocks, right? Easy to convince yourself that you are on track. We hadn’t veered off the marked track at all and hadn’t come to a fork in the road except early in the piece. Still enjoying the hike, the company, and the views.

Well I am going to leave it there for now, while we were still happy and things were still under control…although a little behind schedule, two and a half hours in.   I will go and finish the final part of the story where we realize that we are lost, have no water, and are not quite sure how to get out of this situation.

Linking in with Jess for IBOT and her very random post on her focus points for 2015.

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12 thoughts on “Hike Gone Wrong – Part 1

  1. What a great website on the 3 Mountains Walk. A lot of detail and love that 3-D picture.

    Reading this blog, I am hoping you are okay Beth. Not a very nice situation to be in, lost with no water in the Australian heat.

    Looking forward to the continuation! 🙂

    ~Carl~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice cliffhanger! Pun totally intended….OMG how could you leave us hanging like that? When are you writing the next part???? I am feeling sick for you already, but clearly you made it out ok since, you know, you’re blogging about it and all. Hurry up and write the next bit please! -Aroha (for #teamIBOT too)

    Like

  3. It’s not hard to take a wrong turn at the end of Sullivans Rock. The first time I visited I wanted to do the Sullivans Rock to Mt Cooke hike (the one you ended up doing) but did the Sullivans Rock to Monadnocks hike (the one you wanted to do).

    If you want better maps of some great hikes in Perth, including sections of the Bibbulmun then head to my website (www.thelifeofpy.com)

    Liked by 1 person

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