Rumble in the Jagungal #2

Over the Easter weekend I joined my friends Chris (from canyoning adventures) and Ollie (from my ride across Wales) on a bikepacking adventure through the Jagungal Wilderness. The ride was organised through Omafiets bikeshop which they happen to run, and is one of their 2018 Shop Rides which is an awesome initiative. As it was the second year the ride has been run it was called the Rumble in the Jagungal #2.

The ride they’d planned out was to me big and intimidating – although nothing like the Hunt1000 or the Monaro Cloudride – it still aimed to tick off 124km with over 3000Vm in four days. Given the number of injuries I have sustained over the past year or two I honestly wasn’t sure how I would go, but with a lot of physio and my new pilates classes plus a little bit of training I set of with the bunch on Friday morning ready for an adventure.

Day one started with a long slog up from Dension campground on a good fireroad – at 15km to the top it was a nice way to warm up the muscles before heading onto the double track out to Mackay’s Hut where we camped the night. Until we got to camp I hadn’t really realised the number of people who were joining the ride (39) or the diversity of fitness, experience and gear of those people. It was amazing to watch the faces of everyone as they arrived to a chorus of “Yewww’s” from those who were already there!

Day two was probably the toughest -the steep ascents and descents meant a whole lot of hike-a-bike when the hills were just too steep and too loose to ride up, and then some brake testing descents. But once we’d made the Mt Jagungal turn off the ride along the ridge line was beautiful and not something I’ll forget – just riding along chatting to other riders and enjoying being on a bike. At Round Mountain Hut we were treated to an absolutely stunning sunset!

Day three proved to be my un-doing. A short section of road, followed by an epic descent and then we were on the climb out of Happy Jack’s pondage. This hill wasn’t so much steep as relentless and the fatigue was enough to bring back the knee pain I’d avoided the past few days. After hanging out with Ollie and a few others for lunch I decided I would bail back to the car and head home.

A massive thanks to everyone for making me feel so welcome on the ride, and to Chris and Ollie for organising!

Mt Jagungal Loop

On the Canberra Day long weekend four friends and I headed out for a three day stroll from Round Mountain to Mt Jagungal following the route described on Greg’s Walks Blog. For three of us it was set to be a relatively leisurely stroll with hills, and swims and lots of chats. For the other two it was set to be a three day run with some side trips to explore the more crazy approach routes etc. Luckily I was in the group of three taking it fairly easy!

We started very late due to a trip to see the balloon festival in Canberra in the morning so day one was more of a push than I had hoped. 16km after lunch was a bit of a shock to everyone’s systems but we arrived at O’keefes Hut to be met by the maintenance crew who were fixing windows, cutting firewood and wallpapering the walls with newspapers from the 1930’s to 80’s. An evening of port around the fire left everyone in a wonderful mood.

Day two was a late start with a leisurely stroll to the base of Mt Jagungal – a fairly big push up to the summit – and then a swim in the afternoon! What luxury!

Derschkos Hut was another great spot, and lying out on the grass at night we saw a meteorite come down quite low over the mountains which was something special indeed.

Day three was a splendid stroll out along the ridge lines. We were back at the car by lunch time and made a detour to Yarrangobilly before heading back to Canberra.