Dad & I were keen to go up to Agfest & I had never been before, mostly due to clashes with work. We decided to combine it with a walk up Mt Roland. Dad had been up before from the main track from Gowrie Park so we decided to try the 'face track' that goes from Kings Rd at the 'town' of Claude Rd which is a couple of k's away from Gowrie Park.
After the day of wandering around Agfest we headed to the ex-hydro accommodation at Gowrie Park. There are cabins & backpackers accommodation but all we needed was a roof & a warm room - and we got both.
The backpackers rooms are small & cosy & were $30 for a single person or $20 each for a shared room. They had a heater and were very comfortable. The hot showers there were $1 for 5 mins & had good pressure in their newly built amenities block.
After a very rainy night we headed to the walk start. The sky was clear & we could see a good dusting of snow on the mountain. It towered above us so we knew we had our work ahead of us. You start this track at 380m & the top is 1233m.
The track was in great condition & you climb steeply on a well-cleared, wide track for about 45 mins (at our pace). At this point there was a giant round boulder with a flat top that was great for a drink break. From here you head up into the gully that the track uses for this way up Mt Roland. The Gowrie Park route uses a different way up. I haven't been up that way but Dad said that this way was steeper.
The route up this gully was a constant, steady climb. It became more narrow the higher you got & eventually you emerge at the top onto a flattish plateau. The track was a creek due to the overnight rain & there was snow all around us & alpine vegetation with lots of scoparia.
The route on the plateau was easy & marked by 1m high poles (so you can see them in snow) and the track wound its way around a few hills until the summit cairn appeared just after you meet up with the track from Gowrie Park.
On the top it was blowing a gale and it was bitterly cold. We only stayed for a couple of minutes and had to get back into some shelter from the freezing wind before we lost use of our hands.
We then headed back to the gully & on the way down we had trouble because there were lots of rocks covered with moss & lichen that were extremely slippery. At one point Dad (who was a couple of metres below me, slipped and lost his balance and started falling down the steep, rocky track out of control, yelling as he fell. He went down over a rock ledge & came to rest a metre or so below. When I asked how he was all he could say was "Winded".
He lay on the ground assessing the damage. He said he was feeling a bit sore & battered but couldn't feel any major damage or breaks.
After about 5 mins he got up & was able to continue, very carefully down to the car.
Down at the car the sun was out & we had a great, clear view back to the top. We enjoyed a feed at Deloraine on the way home. During the trip Dad thought that he may have broken a rib or two as it hurt when he coughed or stretched.
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