Brief – Day 1
The day prior to the start of the tour – briefing session at 7:00pm at Merrijig Motor Inn.
Day 1 – 11.6km (challenging – hard)
Time on track – approximately 9 hours including stops and breaks
Depart Merrijig at 6:30am from our meeting point in Merrijig Motor Inn car park (be at departure point 15 minutes prior).
Travel approximately 1 hour to the intersection of Circuit Road and The Monument Track on Mt Stirling. Most of the drive is on an unsealed road.
Get ready and start walking at 8:00am.
Day 1 starts on Circuit Road, but after only about 1.5km you will turn left on to a disused 4WD track that heads up Mt Thorn. This track is overgrown in places with couple of challengingly steep sections before it completely disappears. This is where you will enjoy a short break in a lovely forest clearing before picking up a walking track that will lead you to the summit of Mt Thorn. This track is also overgrown, but little bit of bush bashing only adds to the adventure. As you get closer to the summit of Mt Thorn, the vegetation thins out and the views open up.
It will be somewhere along this section that we will settle down for lunch.
As the track follows the ridge line over the Thorn Range with some steeper up and down sections, you will enjoy magnificent views of Mt Buller, The Bluff, Mt Magdala, Big Hill, Mt Howitt, the West side of The Crosscut Saw, Mt Buggary, Mt Speculation, Mt Koonika and Mt Cobbler before descending to what used to be the Queen Spur Road, now another disused 4WD track. Here you will take another well deserved short break before embarking on the hardest section of the day, the assent to your overnight camp site. By now you will be exhausted and the only thing on your mind will be taking off the backpack and not having to put it back on again until the next morning.
On arrival at the camp site, you will set up tents, prepare dinner and relax with a view of the North side of Mt Howitt.
Elevation at highest point: approx. 1474m ASL
Total ascent: approx. 685m
Total descent: approx. 445m