We made it out alive!!!
On Saturday morning a group of us from GEO – AB, Blair, Luke, James, Alice, Kiri, Adam – were joined by Kurt, Brian and Anthony, to set off on an overnight trek in the wilds of the Blue Mountains.
With Mother Nature on our side – we did not get a single drop of rain – the cool weather and cloud cover provided perfect hiking weather.
This particular hike – the Golden Stairs to Mount Solitary via the Ruined Castle – is considered extremely hard (as rated by National Parks and Wildlife), but for us CrossFitters, we took it all in our stride and treated it just like a long WOD. There was lots of climbing and a hell of a lot of “Leg Day”, so it was a welcome relief when we could actually use our arms to grab rails or trees or roots to help pull ourselves up certain parts of the trail.
Whilst the walk was arduous, the views were magnificent, and we all made it to the campsite in one piece at about 2pm. We quickly got a fire going and set up our tents, then settled in for the night. Being away from devices and the normal distractions of urban living, everyone was ready to hit the sack around 6pm, but we managed to put our big boy and big girl pants on and stay up until 9pm.
What we soon discovered whilst hanging out around the fire is that:
(a) Mee Goreng Noodles are the hiking food of choice;
(b) Blair likes to eat sandwiches whilst hiking, and …….James likes to watch;
(c) Kurt does not own long pants. The guy wore shorts the whole weekend. WTF?!
(d) It is possible to open a drinks bar atop a mountain in the middle of nowhere – we had Port, Whiskey, Red, Bourbon, and Negroni. Lack of alcohol was not an issue.
(e) Pistols and weighted step-ups are great training for a hike like this.
(f) You can warm yourself in your tent by peeing into a vessel and then snuggling with it in your sleeping bag;
(g) A fire on top of a mountain away from society has a way of eliciting deep and meaningful conversations and discussions which allow you to really get to know someone.
After a cold and restless night (speaking for myself), we woke to the sound of a Lyre Bird impersonating about 10 different local birds (such a great way to wake-up) and the sun rising over the escarpment. We warmed ourselves around the fire and scoffed down some brekky before commencing our trek back the way we had come.
A few hours along and many conversations later we were back at our cars a little weary but very happy for the experience. Fist bumps, handshakes and hugs were passed around with a commitment to make overnight hikes like this a regular thing moving forward.
Thanks to everyone who came along. It was a great weekend with a top group of people.
Experiences like this give us all an opportunity to put our training to the test in an environment outside of the gym, and the opportunity to detach ourselves from the stress of our everyday life to be really mindful and aware of the people and surroundings around us.
If you missed out on this one, watch this space for future treks.
Forge your Path. Journey Strong!