Sunday, August 22, 2010

Glasshouse mini-adventure: recurring lessons.

We headed up to Tibrogargan on Sunday morning so that I could introduce Bogdan to the kind old grandfather.

I made a mess of the navagation, sending us on a backstreets course through the Northside, when we could have gone on the Bruce Highway. For some reason, I had thought that Old Gympie Road started near brisbane, and that we could follow it to Beerburrum. I was wrong.

We parked at the side of Steve Irwin Way and ran/walked to the base of Tibro (I had no shoes on. The beginning of the climb is the usually the hardest part, and today was no exception. Bogdan kept up really well (considering that, from his account, he was out of form), and we made it to the top in moderately good time. The view at the top was better when shared, but not as good as the climb down (at least in my opinion). It was at the summit that I suggested - forcefully - that we have a crack (with all due respect to the mountain) at Beerwah - the pregnant mother, as there really couldn't be a better day for it. Bogdan reluctantly agreed to have a go as we were making out way down. There were fewer people on the mountain this time around, so it was a lot safer and easier than the time before once we arrived at the most technical section near the bottom.

I put my shoes back on and we hightailed it back to the car, as I knew that we would be pushing it for time if we wanted to complete the climb of the Mother Mountain and get back to Brisbane in time for the start of Bogdan's shift at Coles (2:30pm).

We arrived at the end of the tarmac shortly thereafter, having snacked on the meager rashions that we had brought, then running to the trail-head and running/walking to the beginning of the climb. Like the first time that I climbed Beerwah, I shat my pants (figuratively) on the first small pitch of smooth rock with a few handholds. After that, we both made light work of the weathered and amply hand-holed (not strictly a word) section of the mountain. I kept encouraging Bogdan, but I probably did it frequently enough to make it very annoying for him. I then selfishly pulled away from him, as I really wanted to make it to the top before our pre-set turnaround time. Bogs caught up on the flat section, but I separated myself from him greatly on the final rocky-outcrop-filled section of the climb. When I saw the summit a few hundred metres ahead, I broke into a run/scramble, bloodying my big toe in the process (yes, I had removed my shoes at the base of the climb) without really noticing until I arrived at the top. I said hi to the people who were savouring the view, kissed the summit rock, and skipped back down to Bogdan to drive him to the top. He got there about two minutes after the turnaround time - seemingly exhausted, and had a quick glance at the beautiful 360, while I had started to descend. In doing so, I was full of arrogance, and not revering the mountain in the way that I should have been. As a result, she taught me a lesson. I stepped on to a boulder quickly with one foot, slipping, pivoting and then "SMACK", landing on my stomach knees and elbow. There appeared to be little damage, so I was able to keep going, with Bogs in tow. I should have been more alert, as if I had fallen a few metres ahead, it could have been off the side of the mountain. I had a lot of trouble finding the right trail down, so I let Bogdan take the lead, and we managed to take a wrong turn. We were making our way down the mountain, unknowingly, towards a cliff, when we should have been going across it. The scrub got thicker and thicker - Bogs suggested that we turn around, but I thought we could navigate our way back to the path. Eventually, after I had started to become a bit negative, we decided to head uphill again (I should have listened to Bogdan at first), and found the gradually sloping trail with a fair amount of effort. The rest of the descent was pretty uneventful, except for a few unintended bumslides, and some difficulty deciding the best way down for the final 20 metres of vertical. Hitting flat ground with no more mountain beneath me was quite a relief; we chugged down our water and ran/walked back to the car. Bogdan's knees flared up a bit, as I had predicted, and mine started to swell because of the fall. The one on the right was hit right in the middle and it feels quite sore when walked/run upon but it is responding well to ice.

I feel quite guilty that Bogdan may have missed the first few minutes of his shift because of me, in detail: 1. my poor navigational skills in the car, 2. Our poor concentration on the mountain (I was supposedly the experienced one and should have made better decisions) and 3. my forceful suggestion that we climb Beerwah. However, being the good bloke that he is, he seems not to be pointing the finger.

In any case, that was an enjoyable adventure with some important lessons (that I should have learnt by now anyways):
1. Read the map properly,
2. Bring more food and water,
3. Respect the mountain,
4. Stay alert for the right trail.

Anyways, here are the stats: about 7km in 3:50 (what an incredible time!) with approximately 620m of climb and the same of descent.

My feet were externally munched after this outing, but were structurally alright. They look pretty cool though.

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