mount cooroora

During our recent long weekend in Noosa I took the opportunity to hike up Mount Cooroora which has been on my mountain bucket list for some time now. Each July, the nearby township of Pomona hosts a 4.2km “King of the Mountain” race up and back down from the local pub, with the record being held by Neil Labinsky, 4th year consecutive winner, with a recorded a time of 22 minutes 43 seconds.

I loved the 360 degree views at the top and had the full length of the summit to myself.

Distance: 3km return
Time up: 25min
Time down: 25min
Elevation: 439m
Elevation Gain: 300m

 

walk the walk

“There are lots of things you could probably do to improve your life. You could make more money, for instance, or travel more, or write more, or be a better friend, or get one of those vacuum cleaners that cleans your house while you’re out throwing your head back laughing at after-work cocktails in a nicely ironed shirt, the sleeve of which you hitch up when your expensive watch reminds you to circulate so you can get home in time to do all the right things to be perfect again the next day.

On the other hand, you could just do this: go for a walk. Nothing quite like a nice walk to really turn things around. Okay, alright, it’s not going to fix everything. It might not fix anything. And okay, alright, if you’re crook or you can’t walk or are indisposed or it’s the middle of the night, it doesn’t even need to be an actual walk. Do the next best thing. Go to the window and look out of it.”

~ Lorin Clarke, Walk the Walk, The Big Issue #543

the only exercise…

“Many people – and not a few companies – like to think that they can somehow stretch the cognitive limits of their minds, that doings lots of Sudoku or using programs like Brain Trainer will somehow enlarge their capacity. They’re out of luck. The only exercise that seems to nurture, or at least protect our brains is aerobic exercise. Yoga, toning and stretching may make you feel good but, in fMRI scans, only aerobic exercise seemed to have a visibly positive impact on the brain.”

~ Margaret Heffernan – Wilful Blindness

mount greville

Five of us went up Mount Greville yesterday. We ascended via the South East Ridge and came down via the Waterfall Gorge. Stunning views, particularly from about halfway down the Waterfall Gorge path where there were open rock faces you can walk on top of and stare out at Lake Moogerah. It took us about 4 hours with plenty of stops. The views from the actual summit were so so but everything else made up for it. I will be back to try Palm Gorge next time (up) and probably South East Ridge down for those views.

mount cordeaux / bare rock

A mate and I headed out of the city first thing this morning to Cunningham’s Gap: a break in the Great Dividing Range of the East Coast of Australia where there’s a few trails to some of the peaks.

Today we tackled Mount Cordeaux and then Bare Rock which is an extension to the same trail.

It was sunny when we got to Mount Cordeaux but as we arrived to Bare Rock fog had crept up and over the mountain which gave us some great contrasting landscapes.

There was another little trail off the main track called Morgan’s Walk which was short but overgrown and not really worth it.

The walk was very graded and there weren’t any tough parts which was a little disappointing but the views, particularly from Cordeaux made the trip worthwhile.

Distance: 14.3km return
Altitude Gain: 610m
Time: 2:19 up 1:36 down (with breaks)

 

goolman lookout / rocky knoll

With a slightly cool change in weather this morning I decided to take an early hike to Goolman Lookout. This hike is part of the same conservation estate as Flinders Peak but leaves from a different picnic area known as Hardings Paddock.

The hike to Goolman Lookout was pleasant and not at all difficult. The trail was wide and accessible, with some steep sections but no climbing or scrambling required.

I walked back via the ‘Rocky Knoll’ Lookout which, true to its name, was a rocky knoll which you can only access by climbing over a barbed-wire fence 😳

flinder’s peak take two

I took my mate Mike up to Flinder’s Peak this morning to kick-start 2017. Even though we began the ascent before 7am it was still really hot by the time we reached the top and we were lucky to make a quick descent before it got crazy hot. We both carried about 2.5 litres of water which was just enough for the temperature which reached about 36 degrees Celsius.

It was great to have some company (I usually hike alone) and I hope I have piqued his interest in climbing some more mountains (perhaps when it cools down a bit).

mount ngungun

I did a quick hike up Mount Ngungun, one of the Glasshouse Mountains, early this morning (after a failed attempt at climbing Mount Tibrogargan 😞).

I really enjoyed the walk up and the view at the top. It wasn’t at all challenging compared with other hikes I’ve been doing, but that didn’t make the view any less special.

There are great views of the surrounding mountains. I’m planning to take the boys up here when it cools down a bit: I’m sure they’ll love it.

mount warning 

I hiked to the top of Mount Warning in Northern NSW this morning.

It’s about 9km return and it took me a bit over an hour up and a bit under an hour coming back down. I had hiked this about 20 years ago and it was a bit steeper than I remembered at the top where they have some chains part of the way to assist with vertical rock scrambling.

The views at the top were mesmerising, particularly as I love the Northern NSW landscape so much as it’s so green and stunning.

I was lucky enough to have the summit to myself for about 20 minutes whilst I was up there which is very unusual for such a popular place to hike. As soon as I started my descent I saw about 50 odd people heading up so I imagine it would have been very crowded at the top.

I wouldn’t rush back to hike Mount Warning again anytime soon but I’m glad I revisited it today. It’s too popular to start with, and I think there’s better more challenging shorter climbs closer to Brisbane (Mt Blaine, Flinder’s Peak).

mt blaine

I’m taking this week off work to unwind, unplug and recharge. I’ve decided not to go anywhere per se, but rather stay in Brisbane and just do some really enjoyable things.

My new favourite thing is climbing mountains so this morning just after breakfast I headed south to hike to the top of Mount Blaine: a mountain on the  Northern side of Flinder’s Plum and that offers fantastic 360 degree views of South East Queensland and some of the best views of Flinder’s Peak around.

Whilst it was a short hike – about 4.5km return – the trail to be summit was very steep and very rocky so there was plenty of rock scrambling happening.

The summit was pretty amazing – quite a few butterflies and lots of large prickly pear cacti which were all in bloom and covered in bees. Beautiful.

There was a small rock cairn on top (this isn’t a very popular mountain – I saw no one else the whole time and the track is slightly overgrown) and I was happy to add a rock to the cairn as I always do at a summit.

I was originally planning to take another path down but couldn’t find any track markers so I ended up returning the way I came up. Coming down was harder than coming up since the rocks were easy to dislodge so I had to be very careful not to slip which I still ended up doing a few times. I imagine hiking with others this could be rather dangerous with loose rocks rolling down the mountain.

All in all this was a very enjoyable hike that I’d happily repeat if I was looking for a hike that doesn’t take up an entire day but still offers inspiring views and a challenging scramble.

choices

I really enjoyed this page on permanent weight loss, particularly this part (emphasis added):

Here are two views on healthy eating.

First, the demonic view: Look at everything you are currently eating. Delete the foods that are too sweet, too fatty, or junk. Oh no! There’s almost nothing left? We’re going to starve! Must find food now! Must eat now! Eat to live!

The other view is that there is a lot of really good food out there. Adopting a healthier diet can open up lots of new choices.

The bad part of living in an age of abundance is that we overeat. The good part is that there is an amazing variety of wonderful, affordable, good foods available to you every day. It will take some study, but your efforts will be rewarded.

mount maroon

I took the opportunity this morning to hike to the summit of Mount Maroon: part of the scenic rim in South Eastern Queensland. Whilst Mount Maroon isn’t as accessible to Brisbane as Flinder’s Peak, the 360 degree views from the summit make the drive and the climb to the top definitely worthwhile.

I was stoked to see a large cairn at the peak when I arrived, and I was lucky enough to have the summit to myself and I felt on top of the world whilst I sat and admired the view in every direction.

The track was hard and didn’t have many markings at all so it was easy to get lost which briefly happened to me. If you visit take plenty of water and only visit on a cool dry day as the rocks would be very slippery and dangerous when wet.

Good times.

 

sandgate to south brisbane

Yesterday I participated in ‘the bloody long walk’ which is a 35km charity walk from Sandgate in Brisbane’s Northeast to South Brisbane. The walk is aimed at raising money and awareness of Mitochrondria Disease and I was able to raise $470 for this cause.

I really enjoyed the walk; especially since the weather was truly amazing: clear, warm but not hot, and sunny.

My unofficial finish time was ~4h:40m, I finished in the top 20 finishers and I believe I was the first person to finish that wasn’t running 🏃🏻

flinders peak

I’ve been wanting to walk to the top of Flinders Peak for some time; and today, Father’s Day in Australia, that opportunity presented itself.

I was a little nervous considering it’s a Class Five (Black) hike which is the hardest class of walk you can do in Australia, and there were some signs reiterating this at the beginning. But it is only 6.5km return so I thought I’d just ‘do it’.

The walk was rather spectacular; it gets increasingly difficult as you reach the summit and there were a number of cliffs you need to climb to get to the top, but luckily the way is fairly well marked with orange reflector arrows on the rocks so I didn’t get lost.

There’s a large number of huge prickly pear cacti on the way up which I believe are classified as a weed here because they spread quite easily. I also saw a lot of beautiful wattle in bloom, and also a large number of grass tees of which many had large spines in bloom.

The view from the top was amazing and definitely worth the rather strenuous climb. You can see out in all directions with Brisbane city easily seen to the North.

I managed to get up and back in less than two and half hours which is pretty good considering the guides recommend you put aside a full day. If (or when) I walk it again I’ll take some more water as the 650mL bottle I took was not enough, but luckily there was a rain water tank back down at the bottom which I used to replenish it.

A great hike; probably the most enjoyable I’ve done 😊

being a good role model for your kids

Children learn by imitating adults. They copy what they see you do, not what you tell them to do. Seeing your three-year-old stomp around in your high heels is cute. Experiencing your 18-year-old drive the same way you do is terrifying (and I really, really wish I had never ever used a mobile phone while driving with them).

~ Michelle Archard – I Wish I’d Been A Better Role Model For My Kids

I believe one of the best things you can do for your kids is to be a good role model (and not be a hypocrite). Continue reading being a good role model for your kids

beerburrum 26k walk

I did a fantastic walk today with a friend around Mount Beerburrum in the Glasshouse Mountains in Queensland.

It was an organized walk by the Trail Runner’s Association of Queensland so unsurprisingly there were mostly trail runners completing either the 26km circular route, or running it twice. We entered the walking category and did 26km (or about 27.5km according to my watch).

The walk was much more challenging than the 35k walk I did in May in Byron Bay; I believe mostly this was to do with the terrain and also some of the altitude.

I’m proud to have completed it as just a few years ago this would have been mostly impossible with how unhealthy I was. Oh and did I mention it was the most glorious weather today?

walking over running

Although I’ve been running my whole life, I much prefer walking.

And I’m a pretty fast walker: 35km in 5:02 is just shy of 7km/h.

Since doing my 35km walk last month, and loving it, I’ve been researching what other similar events are coming up throughout the year, and I noticed that a lot of marathons also allow walkers.

Continue reading walking over running

white rock spring mountain

I haven’t ever not enjoyed a hike to white rock. The secret is to hike along the ridge rather than the fire trail: it’s a much more interesting hike with amazing views and a gradual climb. It’s a bit tricky to find this trail initially, probably easiest coming back where instead of going down the stairs you continue straight along and climb up the rock and keep walking.