The Cathedral Range is a mountain range that is part of the Great Dividing Range. The range is formed from a 7 kilometres ridge of upturned sedimentary rock, consisting of mainly sandstone & mudstone. This has given the range steep sides, and a narrow razorback ridge. My wife & I camped at the Cathedral Ranges for 4 nights and we had the place to ourselves for most of the time. On the way up to the Ridgeback I was having a blast. The terrain was incredibly hilly and gave me a chance to test out my climbing legs. On the way up I bumped into a guy I knew from Bicycle Superstore in Knox. You can walk through a place like Knox dozens of times and never see anyone you know. Out here in the middle of nowhere what were the odds…..
Our first hike nearly killed us.
I could not have imagined how extreme the climbing was around here. I underestimated how long the hike we were on was, and Serena started to run low on water after 6 km’s. She started to really tire, and had no water. I still had 3/4 of my bottle, so sparingly gave her all of my water over the next 6km’s. Making sure she rationed it.
When I worked out that we were still 6 km’s from camp, and we had the Razorback to climb (see photo above). We had to crawl, climb, scape, jump, amongst other things to get across it. There was no path, there were obstacles.
The views were incredible, but being late January it was extremely hot. There was no shade & we were getting cooked up there. Serena was really doing well considering how hard the trekking was. I was still moving well, but noticed that I was starting to feel dehydrated, but I couldn’t drink my water. I knew that if I did, there was a risk that Serena wouldn’t be able to get down in one piece. So I kept telling her I was fine and insisted she drink.
If I could run down to the tent & fetch some water I could, but we were still at least 5 km’s away from the camp.
I preyed for some running water somewhere, but no luck.
It was such a relief, to finally get to the other side of the Razorback. The hope that kept us going was the fact that it was going to be all downhill from here. Be careful for what you wish for.
That incredibly steep climb we took to get up here, I didn’t factor how hard it would be to physically descend such a steep slope. I had to use so much pressure on my knees. My right leg is a bit bodgy since my Achilles snapped off many years ago, and my legs were pushed to the max. It was a real struggle on the descent, and with about 2 km’s to go started to bonk. I had just hiked close to 5 km’s on a really hot day without any water. Eating the last of the food that I had brought but desperately needed water. My throat was parched, and I had probaby 50ml of water left. I took the tiniest of amounts to give me a tiny bit of fluid in my mouth and made Serena finish the last.
The rest of the descent was a bit of a blur, and I was a bit delerious. We hiked over 12 km’s, and climbed in excess of 620 metres which is the height of Mount Dandenong. Under different circumstances this would have been one of the most incredible hikes that I’ve ever done. In the end I was thankful that we got back in one piece unscathed, & straight to bed.