Benalla hikers get back to hiking – part one.

Back to their roots: The Benalla Bushwalkers have ditched canoes and bikes and been on some scenic hikes in recent weeks. Photo by contribution

For the past few weeks, Benalla Bushwalkers have been walking, rather than boating and biking, as noted in a previous post.

The club organized two night hikes in the High Country as well as a weekend camp in Mitta Mitta, the latter being particularly successful, with 10 participants enjoying the nearby trails and the hospitality of the local pub.

At the end of March, Helen Spinks took a group on what was to be a three-day trek to three of the High Country’s huts and included a section of the iconic Australian Alps walking track, which winds from Walhalla to Tharwa in the ACT, covering 650 km.

But as Ms Spinks said, sometimes the best-laid plans can fall apart.

“We left our vehicles at Rocky Valley Dam on Tuesday and in the beautiful afternoon sun we drove to Johnston Hut,” Ms Spinks said.

“We did an overnight camp with backpackers from Sydney and a bunch of crimson rosellas bustling gumballs above our tents.

“The next day we continued to Roper Hut, meeting two school groups and a couple walking the Alps Track. Our mountain trails are certainly popular.

“Then, as can happen quite quickly in the mountains, the rain and wind came overnight, the wind really roaring through the trees.

“The next morning the plan was to hike to Edmonson Hut which is on a side trail on the way back to Rocky Valley Dam.

“But with the rain now horizontal, we voted and decided to go back to the vehicles, even though we were all toasty warm in our rain gear.

“The rule of thumb when walking in alpine areas is to always wear quality rain gear; the weather can change so quickly.

“Back to the cars, we elected to go to Falls Creek for hot showers and lunch, then home.

“So although the rain shortened our walk, it was still a great few days in the mountains with good company, backpack and views.”

Keep an eye on www.benallaensign.com.au for part two.

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