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Mt Barney is calling.....

PostPosted: Mon 08 Sep, 2014 12:40 pm
by ofuros
Thought I'd have a go at Bippoh Peak over the weekend as my first foray onto Barneys many ridges.

The night walk in from the the Lower Portals car park was a bit eery in the moonlight, but the pale coloured
dirt track was fairly easy to see as it snaked it's way through the dark bush.

Slept-in a little and took in this morning view.
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The ridge also provided views to Bippoh via Midget ridge, my overnight goal for the day.
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Ridges to the east & west came into view as I climbed higher, (Barrabool long & short, Leaning short & long & Eagles).
Took lot's of photo's for future reference.
Looking up towards the summit....
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Looking back down at the ground already covered, at the bottom of the pic.
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part 2 to come......

Re: Mt Barney is calling.....

PostPosted: Mon 08 Sep, 2014 12:57 pm
by ofuros
A cool breeze picked up & clouds scudded overhead, so I set up camp early on Bippoh's small summit, expecting
deteriorating weather.
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Now, at this point, if you can imagine a hammock & tarp strapped to the outside of a Japanese bullet train...well
that's the kind of night I had on top of Bippoh ! Fears of no-sew tieouts tearing out, the ridgeline seams parting down the centre or even the
whole tarp being blown off peak. In the darkness, wide eyed, backup plans & what if's, ran through my mind. :lol:
The wind roared & blustered all night long, I could hear the gusts coming & gritted my teeth.
The trees I was anchored to flexed & swayed under the ferocious gusts, my hammock did the same, bouncing up & down & swaying to & fro. :shock:
I pulled the warm downy goodness over my ears, muffling the chaos outside, closed my eyes & tried to sleep.

In the morning I surveyed the damage....tieouts all good, no ridgeline tears, not bad for a tarp held together with just a thin layer of adhesive.
I consider my DIY tarp well & truly tested !
There was some wear to the surface of the tarp...the side taking the brunt of the gusts was fine & smooth, but the other side flapping wildly in the
wind was looking aged & felt very crinkly to my touch.

Barney's East & West peaks were still draped in morning cloud, so I headed downward, on the lee side of the ridge,
away from the cold gusting winds.

Came face to face with my first Taipan about half way down, in a very aggressive mood. No slithering away like most snakes do,
with no hesitation it came towards me.
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I refuelled with Laksa + extra noodles on a creek boulder, soaked my feet, splashed my face & neck, then rock-hopped my way down
to the Barney Gorge campsite & headed out.
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Challenging, exciting & tiring weekend, loved it !

Re: Mt Barney is calling.....

PostPosted: Mon 08 Sep, 2014 5:42 pm
by iandsmith
Though pathetic by ofuros' standards, this is a report of my little skirmish to Lower Portals.
The outrider peaks stood stark before the misty soft white doona that enveloped the otherwise commanding Mount Barney. The reason for the area not being farmed was clearly evident in the ruggedness of the facade, a veritable rock climbers’ delight.
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Mount Barney
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The walk was underwhelming; one gully succeeded another and I longed for some sign of the promised gorge. Continually negotiating exposed tree roots and stranded rocks meant there was no respite from the varied terrain. Most of the trees were straight, which surprised me given the seemingly poor nature of the soil and the variance of the weather.
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On the track
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Yet another gully, then another until, at last, a sound rent the air; sounded like a large waterfall. There are few sounds in life that lift the spirits like rushing water; hopefully the gorge wasn’t far away.
Not long after I reached the thrashing stream where the water bounced off one rock after the other, creating the roar I’d heard earlier. It had been written somewhere that you don’t stop here. No indeed, you have to cross the stream.
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Mount Barney Creek at the crossing
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Though I looked up and down the waters there was no easy crossing so I removed the lower part of my trousers after divesting myself of shoes and socks. The water, though bracing, only caused problems because of the force and at one spot it was upper thigh deep. Maintaining footing due to the flow was a brief, if disconcerting, issue and soon I was across and heading west.
It’s only a few hundred metres further on before you come to the original Lower Portals camp site, my goal for the day. I saw a lesser used track heading steeply away from the camp and decided to tarry a little longer in the region.
It’s only about 4 minutes to the top but I had to stop three times en route to gather my breath. As I rolled across the apex I was glad I had made the extra effort. Here the mountains were seen at their majestic best, part bare buttresses, part cloaked in hardy vegetation, all the way to the raging waters that echoed around the granophyre rocks.
A shaft of light, like a lecturer’s highlighter, drifted slowly across the walls of Barney, taunting me, luring me, but to no avail. I simply sat and watched the show from downstream, filled with awe at its ruggedness and full of admiration for those who have climbed it, something I would never do.
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Mount Barney from Lower Portal
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Thus sated, I retraced my steps, finding an easier crossing downstream, only getting wet up to my knees this time and then pacing it out as I longed to return to the motorhome. A cup of tea, a rest and hit the road; it’s almost formulaic for me when I’m touring.
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Mount Barney Creek
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Re: Mt Barney is calling.....

PostPosted: Mon 08 Sep, 2014 6:10 pm
by ofuros
Yes iandsmith, it's not the most exciting walk in....that's why I did it in the darkness. :lol:
But once you get past the Lower Portals, the glimpses from the rocky outcrops
of Mt Barney's ruggedness takes your breath away.

Re: Mt Barney is calling.....

PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2014 9:22 pm
by Mitchc
Ofuros - May I ask what hammock that is?

Re: Mt Barney is calling.....

PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2014 10:04 pm
by ofuros
Mitchc wrote:Ofuros - May I ask what hammock that is?
...or if your handy with a sewing machine you could have a go & try to make something similar, Mitchc. :wink:

Re: Mt Barney is calling.....

PostPosted: Tue 16 Sep, 2014 11:14 am
by cams
Sounds like an exciting night ofuros. Great report.

Re: Mt Barney is calling.....

PostPosted: Tue 16 Sep, 2014 4:43 pm
by ofuros
Thanks cams.....I'm glad I took my undercover with me on this trip, would have been a cold & sleepness night without it.
Bring on the next ridge. ;-)

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