Sunday, June 08, 2008

Most effort for least trail distance covered

Today the roads were wet. Our first attempt to reach the trail failed, so we made new plans. Having walked 9km to reach the trail, we made it just 450m along the trail before giving up and returning.

Mt Arden attempt
Northern Guidebook, Map 4.5

The climb towards Mt Arden

We had planned to walk from The Dutchmans Stern to Eyre Depot today, but yesterday due to recent heavy rains we changed it to the second planned day, from Eyre Depot to Buckaringa Gorge. This was so we could do the longest, hardest walk of the week before it got any wetter. Unfortunately it was just too wet for the bus on the muddy track, so after driving 17km from Port Augusta down a track towards Eyre Depot, we turned around. We formed a Plan B, go to the Arganells property - a 4WD, mountain biking and hiking property - to access the trail near Mt Arden, then walk to Buckaringa Gorge.

After three hours in the bus to reach that point, we hiked a short distance before having a morning break in the an old girl guides hall that had recently been moved on site.

We then set off through Hammersley Gorge - this area was just beautiful, stunning indeed. However by the time we had actually reached the Heysen Trail, some 9.5km later, we walked just 450m along the trail before giving up. The walk to the trail was ok, it was in sheltered valleys, but now we were to walk on an exposed ridge for the next 8km or so, it was just too windy and cold. We turned around and returned to the bus.

So we had spent 3 hours driving and 6 hours hiking to hike a mere 450m along the trail. Not much colouring in to be down in the trail guide this day.

The rain had got heavier, and the track wetter as we returned to the bus, so Monday's hike was canceled, pending better weather on Tuesday.

View photos as full screen slideshow


  • Distance: 19.3km
  • Odometer: 24.59km
  • Start time: 9.46am
  • End time: 3.41pm
  • Moving duration: 4h 22m
  • Stationary duration: 1h 32m
  • Moving average: 4.4km/h
  • Overall average: 3.3km/h
  • Max speed: 14.1km/h

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