Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Finishing off the Larapinta Trail

Two years ago I had to pull out of completing the 233km Larapinta Trail though the West MacDonnell Ranges, west of Alice Springs. I returned mid last year to finish off the eastern half, but wildfires closed the trail, so we occupied ourselves with other hikes. Now, for a third - and successful - attempt, I tackled the more challenging section of the Larapinta Trail.
SUMMARY - Larapinta Trail, Ellery Creek to Alice Springs Telegraph Station (Sections 6 to 1)
Previous trip Redbank Gorge to Ellery Creek (Sections 12-7), 2010
National Park West MacDonnell National Park
Location West MacDonnell Ranges, west of Alice Springs
Start Ellery Creek (Section 6/7 Trailhead)
End Alice Springs Telegraph Station (Section 1 Trailhead)
Time 6 days
Distance 138km
Day 1 Ellery Creek to Rocky Gully (Section 6), 4h20m 15.2km
Day 2 Rocky Gully to Fringe Lily (Section 6/5), 7h40m 23.6km
Day 3 Fringe Lily to Brinkley Bluff (Section 5/4), 8h5m 17.0km
Day 4 Brinkley Bluff to Jay Creek (Section 3/2), 9h15m 23.4km
Day 5 Jay Creek to Simpsons Gap (just west of) (Section 2), 6h15m 27km
Day 6 Simpsons Gap to Alice Springs Telegraph Station (Section 1) to nearby caravan pak, 6h15m 27.2km

When you've done half a trail, you think you've got a good feel for it. I'm not sure I had with this one, it held more surprises than I imagined. My week was filled with tough climbs, glorious views, cool breezes on hot days, pregnant rain drops on hot climbs, good company at campsites, plenty of other hikers on the trail, and, as with any Central Australia walk, rocks, and plenty of them.

This time, I'm telling most of my story through photos, and their captions.

View photos on Google+.

View in full screen format
Download GPX file of entire Larapinta Trail - for use as a navigational aid in a GPS unit
Download KML file of entire Larapinta Trail - view in Google Earth


Pei said...

Hi Jez, I met you briefly at Rocky Gully campsite (the Asian girl from Melbourne hiking westwards) but didn't realise until the next day that you were the same Jeremy behind this website (which I had come across pre-hiking the trail). Thanks to your previous notes on the "true" summit of Mt Sonder, I bush-bashed my way up there to finish my hike - great experience. The log book box is still there, and I've put it in a new ziploc bag :)

Jez said...

Hey Pei, yeah I saw your name in my Inbox and thought "hey, it's Pei from Rocky Gully!".

Good to hear you found the Mt Sonder track notes. A few people have used them now, I got them from someone else too, it's good for people know how to safely get out there. A great place to finish, top work! Nice for the log book to get some lovin'. Some other friends went out there a month ago and said they saw my entry from a year ago as the last one, but I think that has much more to do with hikers not having pens then people not being there! They too couldn't sign it.

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