Stirling Ranges Hike of Toolbrunup Peak
Toolbrunup Travel Blog› entry 44 of 59 › view all entries
After the festivities the night before, we were a little slow moving in the morning but four of us headed north towards Stirling Range National Park to do a hike. Bluff Knoll is the most famous mountain to hike in the area but one of the guys had heard about Toolbrunup Peak and it's supposed to be a tougher and more rewarding hike so that's the one we decided to go with. Bluff Knoll has an altitude gain of 1,073 metres and Toolbrunup has an altitude gain of 1,052 metres. The suggestion is a 4-5 hours return trip which was pretty spot on.
The hike guide said that the first 1km was pretty easy and it wasn't too bad. It was a pretty nice way to ease into the hike. Well when the 1km mark came (unposted) we could figure out where the difficulty changed from easy to "moderate to difficult".
The "path" which was difficult to figure out at some points varied from 30 metres of nothing but rocks about 1 - 3 feet big (which weren't necessarily stable) to sections of wet roots and rocks you had to pull yourself up onto. These tough sections were the majority and were difficult but very rewarding. Without pictures it's tough to describe what the hike was like.
On the way up we were discussing how cool it would be to hang glide off the top of the mountain. Well once we got to the top we saw two crazy things. First, that a five year old kid had made it to the top and two, there were two guys preparing for a base jump.
Since you don't get to see base jumpers in person everyday, we waited to watch them jump off the cliff. Jumper guy number one had his parachute out and ready to jump, when at the last second, the wind twisted his parachute and he was almost dragged off the cliff by the wind. Had it not been for his jumping partner, he may have been flung off. It was pretty scary (I thought I was going to pee myself) but super exciting at the same time.
After the failed jumping attempt, they were trying to figure out the best place to jump from.
After we finally made it to the bottom, we took the scenic route back to the house. The other people went to the Albany races for the day. After the views we saw at the top of the mountain and during the entire hike, we knew we had made the right, albeit tiring, decision.
As a reward for our hard work, me, Georgia and Steve went out for dinner. The restaurant was BYO and I had some of the best Carbonara pasta I've ever had. The bottle of wine I started at the restaurant was the beginning of my (I'm no going to drink tonight) night of boozing. While we were at dinner, the rest of the gang had made a campfire complete with Smores (something the Aussies had never had before). Since it was the last night of the trip, it turned out to be quite the big night. Georgia had bought Jagermeister and that was passed around a few of us at the campfire, not to mention the ridiculously large amount of beer that was consumed. Steve had constructed the "beer-ramide" which was unfortunately knocked over by one of the drunk guys.
The night included camp fire, beer pong, flip cup (my team went 5-1) and ended up with me and Steve watching a Mr.
On a side note, here are some random observations about Albany:
- our next door neighbour's front lawn had about 6 cars on or around it at any point in time and what appeared to be a junk yard in his back yard.
- A lot of stores had the word "world" in them including: Travel World, World Travel (up the street from Travel World), Cartridge World, Whale World (which we thought was a whale viewing facility but was a museum about the no longer existing whaling industry in the region. Once we figured out it wasn't a place for whales in captivity, we decided not to go see it).
- There are plenty of places to buy liquor and get coffee, but don't expect the service to be quick!
- There's lots of waterfront but not much on it besides some industrial buildings
- There's a place called "Dog Rock" that's supposed to be cool but we didn't quite make it there
- Most people in their twenties don't live in Albany, or at least they don't go out to the bar we went to on a Saturday night
- Easter is the busiest time of the year in Albany, for reasons we couldn't quite figure out
**I'll be posting more hiking pictures once I get them from one of the guys**