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 😉
A photo report of the climb:
Mount Bruce (Bunurrunha to Aboriginal people) is part of the Hamersley Range. Standing at 1,235 metres, it is Western Australia’s second tallest peak. The highest would be Mt Meharry but you can almost drive all the way to the top of that, so that’s no fun.
It’s a 10 km round trip that would take approximately 6 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 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 either stay up all nigh or walk back in the dark 🙁
After roughly 45 minutes we reach the foothill of mount Bruce from where you have an excellent view of the 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.
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.
Now all we have to do is find a spot to sleep. There appears to be a small chasm 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…
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! 🙂