Despite the masks we all wear, mountains change a person.
Once you lace up your boots and clip up your pack, a freedom that is irreplaceable engulfs you and nourishes your soul in ways that cannot be described.
Mount Bogong is no exception. It demands humility, and garners respect. Towering over its neighbours, the peak quietly sits 1986 meters above sea level with nothing but an unassuming pile of rocks at the summit.
It is one of the tallest mountains Australia has to offer and makes sure you appreciate that fact before it allows you to fully absorb its majesty.
Summer and Winter Offer a Very Different Experience
4 hours from Melbourne, Bogong sits in the heart of the Alpine National Park. For most of the year, it’s a harsh, frigid landscape covered in a thick layer of snow and ice. During the summer, the snow recedes and reveals a gorgeous sea of green, red and brown hues.
Staircase to The Top
Beginning at Mountain Creek Picnic Area nestled at the base of the mountain, the vehicle service road led me through a number of quaint little streams that breathe life into Bogongs quiet, but vibrant forests.
After 3 kilometres, an inconspicuous sign that read ‘Staircase – 6km’ marked the beginning of what was to be quite an experience.
From here, I began a formidable climb. Through the forest and up into the mist, the track unapologetically carved its way past Bivouac Hut and straight up to the peak. Eventually the tree line dissolved, revealing stunning panoramas.
The thin gravel track weaved its way up through rolling green alpine hills that just seemed to evaporate into the horizon and when I finally reached the summit, the last 5 hours began to make so much more sense.
A View That Just Keeps On Giving
Experience is subjective, and experiencing a summit is no exception, but for me, the catharsis and serenity of being at the top of a giant like Bogong is unrivalled.
I unpacked, set up my camp for the evening and spent the rest of the afternoon just quietly sitting on the rocks, staring out in awe and appreciating the magnificence of the Alpine National Park.
Waking up to sunrise on the summit – on any summit – is a truly magical experience, and Bogong certainly didn’t fail to deliver.
Thick fog had settled into the valleys overnight and by morning, blankets of white smoke seemed to float across the landscape.
A Sad Farewell
I said goodbye to what became quite a magical place for me and set off down Eskdale spur. While it isn’t technically as steep, it is not to be underestimated and offered me some equally remarkable views that continue to exceed expectation, the entire length of the track.
Finally reaching the bottom was an unwelcome relief; unable to continue and desperate for more.
After winding down through the forest, I found myself at the service road once again, and slowly made my way back through the forest, over the creeks and streams – finally arriving at the carpark and the end of another journey.
If being out there truly feeds your soul – then Bogong is where you need to go.
Outside of hiking, I am addicted to barbecuing, woodworking and a decent book but ideally, my passions are most powerful and rewarding when enjoyed together, and with friends!
Stay safe and keep hiking,