Saturday 23 July 2016
Photos by Rob L
You know you are on an Ian B ‘Hard Walk’ when you leave a perfectly good forest road and jump straight into bush bashing in the first five minutes. This was the start to a very interesting and challenging hike for 10 members.
The rainy weather all week cleared to a sunny and windy day for a hike that launched us off Clyde Mountain down a very steep spur 5km to the valley floor 540 meters below. The varying geology of the coastal ranges and steep terrain have combined to produce some really interesting forest vegetation. At the top of the Clyde we started in sparse trees and dense underbrush. As the slopes got steeper the underbrush thinned out and forest cover dominated. Further downslope the surface changes to a scree slope of small brown rocks (shales) that made hiking more of a slide and hang-on to the nearest tree. At the base of the spur we entered a cool temperate rainforest of coachwood and sassafras.
This continued till we hit Sugarloaf Creek which is a great lunch spot. We then climbed 230m up the other side of the valley over a distance of 1km (very steep terrain) and the volcanic geology (breccias) supported very different vegetation types. We emerged onto Misty Mountain Road and enjoyed a nice ‘warm down’ hike of 5km back to the Kings Highway for the car shuffle. The Iron Woman award goes to Erika who carried a large heart shaped rock (for her garden) up the hill. We are waiting to hear how many kilos this rock weighed.
A great hike, well done Ian.