With February here, and only just over a month till the Alpine Challenge 100km, I am using every bit of free time to head to our Australian peaks and get as much training, playing, hiking, and exploring into my legs as possible.
This past weekend I headed down south again on what is becoming a very familiar 700km drive from Sydney to Bright. I had 3 days off so the plan was to get in some quality hills and then race the Mt Buller Skyrun on the Sunday.
Friday - Mt Buffalo
The climb up to Mt Buffalo across large granite slabs, and up on the alpine plateau is fast becoming one of my favorite places to be. The colors, spectacular view points, unique vegetation, and meandering trails keep you wanting to run and explore well past sunset. Recommended is either starting at the Eurobin picnic ground and taking the Big Walk trail up to the plateau, or driving up higher to either Mackey's Lookout, or onto the plateau and accessing the trails from the Chalet carpark.
The start of my hike, on the Big Walk Trail just beyond Mackey's Lookout:
View across the granite to the Australian Alps in the distance:
The Big Walk trail:
View down into the valley from the Gorge
The Mt Buffalo Chalet, now closed and waiting for a new owner:
Boardwalk trail meandering through a little glen of sphagnum moss:
Lake Catani, a great place to finish a run and soak the legs and body:
On the Caldwell Galleries trail that takes you through a labyrinth of granite:
Saturday - Clear Spot, Bright
Saturday called for hills. Lots of them. A friend living in the beautiful little town of Bright recommended the hike up to Clear Spot (~1000m high). The trail is a fire break running straight up a ridge through commercial foresting areas. It is exposed, steep, rocky and perfect for training. Access is from Hargraves St in Bright, although there are other trails (of varying gradient) leading up to the top.
Last climb for the day done:
Nothing beats doing a little power yoga when you are at the top of the climb:
With training done, I could enjoy the blackberries on the way down:
Sunday - Mt Buller Skyrun
Read about the race here.