We can’t remember who had the idea to walk the historic 46.5km Six Foot Track in the Day. A mix of single track and fire trails, the total ascent on the Six Foot Track is some 1600m. Hours after we set off from Katoomba, high up on the Black Range, we are tired and freezing from the wind and snow flurries. Our support crew feed us hot tea and homemade anzac biscuits. We don’t stop long, as we want to reach the finish line, Jenolan Caves House, before dark.
There are eight of us, all women. Our support crew is two family members in 4WDs, and another on a motorbike. After a night in the hospitable Katoomba Youth Hostel, we set out from the Explorers Tree at dawn, around 6:30am. The Six Foot track drops down the escarpment to Nellies Glen, then crosses paddocks in the the Megalong Valley to reach the Cox River. We cross the swing bridge one at a time. Our first brief stop is not long after, at the 15km mark at the Cox River campsite, where we have something to eat and refill out water containers.
From Cox River, there is a long 10km climb up the Black Range to the Pluviometer. It’s a tedious uphill slog. One of our group takes ill and hitches a ride in a truck. At the top, around the 27km mark, our kind support team have chairs ready for our use and water on the boil. After our break, its about 10km to Black Range campsite, and we have all types of weather along the way: wind, ice, snow flurries and rain.
After Black Range campsite, it gets very cold, and we all layer up. The distance is adding up, but we’re still smiling. There are a lot of trees down across the path from recent storms. Our support team surprise us by appearing in a couple of unexpected spots to feed us chocolate.
Finally we start the steep descent to Jenolan Cave, and arrive before sunset to enjoy a hot shower, a drink and tasty meal in the restaurant, and a good sleep.
After that good sleep, we wake up in the morning ready to plan the next adventure, and no, it wasn’t my idea.
Thanks to our families for their support, and our great, fit walking mates for their good natured company.