Reverse Mt Solitary Traverse (in a day)

Crew: Bloom, Bos, Dan, Idi and Richie.
Mt Solitary in the Blue Mountains has become an annual pilgrimage for me and, as I’ve written before, has a special place in my heart. It was an overnight walk here in the winter of 2013 with a group of friends that triggered an epiphany as to just how rewarding and rejuvenating bushwalking can be for both body and soul.
Bushwalking has all the ingredients of a good adventure but my preference has always been for a recipe requiring generous amounts of blood, sweat and tears in order to test one’s physical boundaries and build camaraderie among mates. The romantic notion of an enduring and arduous walk has been gnawing at me for some time and though Reverse Mt Solitary in a Day did not qualify as sufficiently challenging, it did offer a taste of what is to come when I finally convert this idea into practice in the future, whether it be via the classic Three Peaks, K2K-in-a-day or one of the ‘multi-dayers’ in Tasmania.
On this occasion, we reversed the classic Mt Solitary traverse by starting somewhere along Kedumba Valley Rd and finished atop the Golden Staircase (as mapped below). We also threw in a ‘bushbashing’ detour near the Kedumba River, which tested our navigational skills. It was a powerful reminder of just how quickly one can lose one’s bearings in this oceanic woodland …
… this tangled network of fallen leaves, dense underbrush, sudden crags and soaring trees blocked and obscured landmarks leaving us unable to reconcile our physical location with the map. The intention had been to reconnect with the Mt Solitary Walking Track but after roaming through this undulating leech-infested terrain with no sign of said path, we decided there was only one way to end our predicament. And so, we followed one of the many tributaries of the Kedumba River back to our position pre-detour. All said and done, this circumbendibus cost us 2 hours 36 minutes but was priceless in adventure gained and lesson learnt – always travel with a compass!
Having previously written about the beauty of this isolated sandstone plateau, I’ll let the pictures and accompanying captions tell the story for the 2016 experience. Overall, we spent 11 hours 51 minutes in the wilderness covering 26km and accumulating 1,816m and 1,656m in vertical ascent and descent (respectively).
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