- Start date: 16 March 2012
- Age When Completed: 63
- Direction Walked: South to North
In October 2011 I had abandon my through End to end in Pemberton due to illness. Although I had and already completed the sections from Pemberton to Albany & technically I had completed an End to end, for me it was still unfinished business. It was back to the drawing board, cooking, dehydrating and planning my net attempt at the full through E2E. I decided to go from Albany to Kalamunda in March/April. I could not have planned it better as the weather was perfect for the entire 50 days with 1 hot and 2 rainy days.
The South coast was a challenge as usual and made me earn every fantastic scene along the way. Those sand hills are enough to test the patience of a saint. DEC have replaces stairs and refurbished a lot of nasty sections but there are still some serious challenges left. One of the highlights for me it the transition from coastal plain to forest when you cross the SW Hwy heading up the hill to Giants. The cool shade and multitude of scents that assault your senses is amazing. The coastal sands are not finished with you until you exit at Mandalay Beach and head inland to Woolbales where the terrain changes again to the flat lands of the Pingerup plains.
The climb up Mt Chance is worth the effort with 360 views over the surrounding plains. Sadly Lake Maringup & Gardner had to be by passed due to fire closing that section of track. The track form Northcliffe through to Balingup is, for me, the most spectacular section. The forest and the bird life is amazing, with the terrain changes from testing Beedelup to Beavis hills to gentle meander beside the Donnelly River. Culminating in the spectacular views at the Blackwood shelter. The rest of the journey is also fantastic through mostly mixed Jarrah, Marri, Sheoak forest etc and amazing views from Boonering Hill and Mt Randall to mention a few. A was surprised how green everything was despite the long dry spell. The Murray River was flowing and was about 100 mm higher than it was in late February. My walking partner, Sludge, from my string attempt met me at Hewetts for my last night on the track with some fresh food and a slurp of port. Both were greatly appreciated before being escorted in to Kalamunda by ‘Sludge’. I was met by my family including 2 granddaughters who had trekked the entire journey via daily smoke signals sent from my SPOT messenger
Your Best Equipment
I had changed a few bits of equipment for this journey with my new Osprey Exos 58 backpack being the most significant. It was so comfortable even fully loaded with 7 days supplies. My Exped Downmat was well worth the slightly extra bulk & weight. I would not walk without trekking poles for a number of reasons but without them I would have had a few spectacular falls.
Your Worst Equipment