At nearly 1000m above sea level, Mt Maroon stands out because of its jagged rocky parapets.
Today’s my second walk in the Mt Barney National Park, having walked to the Lower Portals yesterday. Similar to yesterday, I arranged to meet the group at the sleepy town of Rathdowney.
Once the small group had arrived we drove to the trailhead. The walk begins at a pond and as ducks frolicked in the water we headed along a grassy path. The path turned quickly to dirt and then to rock as it climbed, initially at a slight gradient before getting steeper.
The four of us climbed slowly up the slope of the shorter rocky spire beside Mt Maroon. The dirt, rock and root steps led us steadily through the sparse tree-covered slope, giving the occasional peek at the surrounding land and the rocky parapet of the main mountain.
Grass Trees began to appear as we climbed and the terrain turned more rocky. We climbed around it and over a small series of boulders.
It was here that the trail changed. We headed down across the top of a steep gully towards the main rock face. The trail became sand mixed with ash from a fire several years earlier and soon began to climb again. The trail turned quite steep and there were several places we had to scramble over rocks. This was the hardest part of the hike and we quickly made our way up through it, working our way along the rocky wall.
Small bamboo-like trees began to grow in a grove as we climbed through more rocky out crops until we eventually arrived at the saddle where the trail flattened out.
To our left, a short path led to a large flat rocky out crop. We climbed it and at the top we had out first real taste of the views. We also discovered that the rocky parapet we’d thought was the summit was only the middle peak of three. The top peak beckoned us higher.
The climb to the top peak was not hard compared with the rest of the climb. More of a scramble over large slabs of rock lying on top of each other. Following one of our racier companions, we quickly climbed the distance to the top and just stood in awe at the view around us. At the top of Mt Maroon, there are few trees, a large cairn…
…and 360º views across the fantastic landscapes around us.
Just to the south on the state border the peaks of Mt Barney.
To the side of Mt Barney and across the border is Mt Lindsey with its unique rocky spire.
To the west we could see Mt Greville, Mt Edwards and Moogerah Lake.
To the north, the parapet of Mt Maroon, the middle peak being part of a rocky crater.
The only downside of the Mt Maroon climb was the number of people waiting for us at the top. Several groups had all decided to climb the mountain today and there was a veritable party going on up there.
The four of us kept to ourselves as we ate lunch. Then after 30 minutes of the glorious view the thought of a beer persuaded us to begin our descent. The steeper parts were trickier coming down but didn’t cause any problems. After about 90 minutes we arrived back at the cars and headed back to Rathdowney for a well-earned beer.
The Trail Wanderer.