Follow the progress of passionate environmental supporter and hiker Campbell Gome as he treks the Australian Alps for Climb It For Climate.
We continue our trek through the Australian Alps and I near my target goal of $1000. Should my walk inspire you, feel free to donate to my Climb It For Climate adventure here, or join up yourself!
The interpretive signs at the abandoned gold mining towns of Red Jacket and Blue Jacket are noncommittal as to exactly how the names came about.
But they were obviously vibrant, productive and competitive in the second half of the 1800s.
In my mind I am already writing the screenplay for a Gippsland version of Deadwood.
In 1865 a visiting reporter offered the following review of Anne O'Keefe's Red Jacket Hotel:
'For this wild district a comfortable sort of place and a great acquisition to a thirsty traveller whose tea-total principles in no way interfered with his choice between dirty water and good clean grog.'
After stopping for a swim and a bit of laundry in Jericho River at Red Jacket, there's plenty of daylight left and we're feeling good so we load up with water and head up Victor Spur for a dry night camped out under the stars.
Elevation gained today: 1175m
Total elevation gained: 3280m
Distance today: 15km
Total distance: 73km
Alpine waterfalls. Picture: Campbell Gome
From the top of Mount Victor we had clear views in all directions and for the first time the sense that we really are surrounded by mountains, as we will be for the rest of the walk.
At a lunch break a bit further along, surrounded by thick snow gums coming back after the 2003 fires, I pointed out a bird to Brad, who it turns out is a talented twitcher.
After careful observation and with great excitement, Brad identified it as a Swift's parrot.
We took a grid reference and will record the observation of this endangered species.
Amazing to think of the journey these little parrots make and we can only hope they are brought back from the brink of extinction.
The last two kilometres of our day see us descend 500m down a steep spur to the Black River, which is part of the Goulburn catchment.
Forty years ago today, when I was ten, my brothers and I took our sixty-year-old Zayda (Yiddish for grandpa) camping for the first time in his life.
Before heading off on this walk, my mum gave me the painting he did of our night under canvas in a pine forest up past Lilydale.
Elevation gained today: 750m
Total elevation gained: 4030m
Distance today: 22km
Total distance: 95km
Mountain brushtail possums are big, and the one that acts as guardian of the campsite, where the AAWT crosses the Black River, was not at all shy in keeping an eye on us and marking its territory –wandering in and urinating at either end of Marc's tent as we prepared dinner.
The lyrebirds kept us so entertained as we climbed the spur away from the river this morning – we were halfway up before we realised they'd lead us astray. Rather than walk back down and then back up the right track we plotted an alternate route, adding several km to our walk, but avoiding a pretty grueling descent and ascent. A well played April Fools Day prank for the Lyrebirds of the Black River.
Picked up our first food drop and a bonus packet of hot cross buns at Rumpff Saddle, big thanks to a key member of our support team. You know who you are.
Elevation gained today: 1240m
Total elevation gained: 5270m
Distance today: 18km
Total distance: 113km