Saturday, November 14, 2009

AUSTRALIA - Warrumbungles - Grand High Tops Circuit - HIKE - september 2008

Pincham Trail, Alex Goulds Circuit, Grand High Tops, West Spirey Creek – 6 hours

The trail starts with a camp to the left of the trail. Soon the trail turns into an easy bricked-laid path with bridges spanning the dry watercourse. Taking a turn off, the trail becomes rougher and steeper. The first lookout is Febar Tor with nice views of the eastern side of the Warrumbungle.
The trail descends into a treed, flat area where the vegetation looks soft and there are the calls of many birds. The trail ascends steeply and progressively becomes even steeper still until it is a near vertical rock scramble to reach the summit of Macha Tor. The view is circular of the range, being akin to the throne of the world. It is very quiet except for the soft sounds of the bush creatures and the rustling of the wind.

The track becomes a series of steep descents and flat areas that are dominated by small oaks and soft looking vegetation. Birds abound and kangaroos can be heard thudding away. The trail joins back with the main trail which changes from dirt, gravel and pavers. The trail gradually becomes steeper until reaching raised metal steps. There is occasionally a rest sport of a small lookout or bench seat. The walk reverts to dirt and rocks following the bottom edge of the Bread knife. At this distance, the height with its vertical sharpness gives credit to the name ‘Breadknife’. The track becomes steeper still over bare rocks with yellow markers showing the way climb to the top. The view at the top is sensational. Looking back at the distance and the terrain covered in the walk. Looking to the south, even larger features like Buff Mountain are at eye level. Even more dramatic is the domination of flowers between the boulders of this relatively flat apex over the trees and shades of green that are prevalent below. Insects are buzzing in large numbers. It is a place to sit and wander and wonder on the beauty of this earth.

The high ridge trail continues in a series of steep ascents and descents. More lookouts give new perspectives on the ranges and the volcanic outcrops. Buff Mountain is the dominating feature with its massive sheer drop. At Ogma campsite, there is a trail continuing to Exmouth Mountain. The track to the right is very rough and steep following a dried creek. It is more like a second creek than a track at times being deeply rutted in places. Eventually, it flattens out relatively with soft-looking vegetation and grassed areas while criss-crossing the creek at various points. Birds are plentiful flittering amongst the oaks and wattles. The trail joins with the main trail after a bridge crossing and it is a short distance to the carpark.

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