Everyone needs a goal to work towards and my goal as the leader of Fittrek is to provide a goal and a challenge for my girls every month.
For February it was to do both The Castle and Pigeon House Mountains down on the south coast of NSW.
The Castle looking over to The Pigeon House Mountain (high peak on the right)
The beauty of doing both mountains is that you can look across and see where you have been from both mountain tops.
We rented a gorgeous house in Mollymook right by the beach so we were able to take in all of nature’s elements.
The Castle and The Pigeon House mountains are in The Moreton National Park.
“The Castle Walking track is one of the most challenging yet rewarding days hikes along eastern Australia. The trail is technical and diverse across varied terrain, with some open woodland walking, tight crawls through vegetation, and steep climbs toward the summit not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced.” All Trails
With the above in mind we hired Chris from Big Nature Adventures to lead us up the mountain.
He is a very skilled rock climber, surfer and trekker, light on his feet, nimble and always there to help the girls navigate any tricky parts, which there were a lot of.
He told us that this trek was “legit”, at times “gnarly” and could be “messy” if we got the technical parts wrong. Right we thought we can do this……..
Saturday morning we were up 4.30am to be ready for a 5.15 departure to The Castle. The road there is a rough dirt one where all wheel drives are needed, our city cars meet country roads.
We arrived at the Long Gully Campsite in time to use the facilities, a long drop…
We were on the track at 7am and after about 100m it’s shoes off to cross the Yadboro River.
A refreshing way to start the day, shoes back on and off we go.
The first section is graded easy and follows a well established trail with occasional scrambles over fallen trees and the vegetation was thick with palms and vines.
The first couple of kilometres was relatively flat and then the climbing started, getting steeper and steeper.
The most amazing views over to Mt Owen when we ascended the Kalianna Ridge.
It was then more climbing up to the saddle before we got to experience the “OMG” technical part of the trek.
It was our own choice whether to lean into a rock and put one foot there and the other one there and swing yourself off to the side, remember “messy” if we got that wrong, or abseil up on a rope that has been put there to make it a bit easier….
We didn’t get “messy” we did it!! It was then ascend to the top to be on the tip of the “tapole tail”.
It was at that point that we decided we would not climb any further to the real summit, the day was hot, it was going to get more technical and there were 9 of us to get through the “gnarly” bits and it was getting late. We still had to get back down the way we had come up.
We high 5’d each other, happy with what we had achieved and then headed down and repeated the could be “messy” bits and then all the way back down to the cars walking through much appreciated waterfalls.
The trek took 8 hours to complete.
What an achievement and a brilliant day out.
Sunday morning and it was time for our Pigeon ascent.
We were back out on the same dirt road heading to The Pigeon House Mountain.
Didthul (Pigeon House Mountain) carries the Aboriginal name that translates to Big Mountain.
This trail was affected by the 2020/21 bushfires and the stairs up to the top are being re-built. They have put in a sweeping trail with a nice incline for about a third of the way up and it was then onto the bush stairs and finally the 60m of vertical metal ladders that cling to the side of the mountain and take you to the summit of this mountain.
Once up there are the most stunning views back over to The Castle and the Budawangs.
The view from on top of Pigeon House.
A very successful and action packed weekend was had by us all. The south coast has so much to offer and I know that we will be back there again to explore more.