Climbing Mount Bruce

We have driven the whole day through the red, dry Western Australian desert to reach Karijhini National Park. It’s only a few hours till sunset and we don’t feel like paying for entry into the park at this point. There is however a cool mountain that is begging to be climbed šŸ˜‰

A photo report of the climb:

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Mount Bruce in the distance on the right. Doesn’t look that high from here…

Mount Bruce (Bunurrunha to Aboriginal people) is part of the Hamersley Range.Ā Standing at 1,235 metres, it is Western Australiaā€™s second tallest peak. The highest would beĀ Mt Meharry but you can almost drive all the way to the top of that, so that’s no fun.

It’s a 10Ā km round trip that would take approximately 6Ā hours according to the sign. This would mean we have to go down the mountain in the dark which does not sound that appealing. We decide Ā to take our sleepingbag and mat up there and find a spot. That way we can enjoy sunset and get a bonus sunrise! Now just keep our fingers crossed that there will actually be some place on the top flat and wide enough. Otherwise we will have to eitherĀ stay up all nigh or walk back in the dark šŸ™

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The first part of the trail runs though the Spinifex-covered plains. Not a good place to go off track as we accidentally did.

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Nice views from the ridge over the Hamersley Range

After roughly 45 minutes we reach the foothill of mount Bruce from whereĀ you have an excellent view of theĀ Marandoo mine. This is a huge open pit iron ore mining operation in Tom Price. The sun is already quite low at the horizon but the mine is still very busy.

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Marandoo mine

Continuing on we came to a steep rocky section with a couple of rock cairns to show us the way. There was some fun scrambling up, I was glad we still had the light. At some points there are chains hammered into the rocks here for safety.

After about an hour of climbing we reached the ridge from where it is only a short spurt up to the summit. We arrive there just as the sun is setting!DSC04450

Now all we have to do is find a spot to sleep. There appears to be a small chasmĀ a bit further down the path which offers excellent shelter and a flat sandy surface for our mats. So we gather some wood and warm ourselves by the fire before curling up in tour sleeping bags. Now just hope it doesn’t rain…

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Our small shelter on top of Mount Bruce

The next day we get up just before sunrise and after a quick breakfast we start our descent. Around 8:30 a.m we are almost down at the car park where we meet some day-hikers on their way up. “You guys already been up there? That’s fast!” Yes, the sunrise was amazing!Ā šŸ™‚

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