Disappearing Firebreak Tracks
Many of the firebreak tracks that were used by walkers to gain access to the more remote peaks, or simply to form walking circuits around the peaks, are now disappearing. They are disappearing from the maps and becoming unused and overgrown.
The Barnet track that runs between the Yetemerup and Middle Spring tracks is now very overgrown and difficult to follow. It once provided access to Barnet and Henton peaks as well as making a really good walking circuit, linking the Yetemerup and Middle Spring tracks and returning by the North West track. The start of the track at the Yetemerup track is really hard to find and the western end disappears altogether before it joins with the Middle Spring track.
The Yungermere Walk Trail has also fallen into disrepair and is no longer useable. The entrances to the walk trail from the Mount James track and the East Chester track have been blocked off to deter walkers from entering the area, which has been declared a special conservation zone.
The Stirling Range
The Stirling Range lies on the edge of the Southern wheatbelt, about 80kms north of Albany and about 400 kms south east of Perth. It starts as a ragged string of peaks stretching east from Cranbrook and rises to the consolidated mountain ridge that includes Bluff Knoll, the highest peak, at 1073 metres.
The Stirling Range National Park covers an area of roughly 18 kms by 65 kms and contains within its boundaries all the peaks of the Stirling Range. The WA Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) manages the park and they have put in place a management plan that aims to protect the parks natural environment, while still allowing as much public access as possible.
Further information can be obtained from DEC
More Peak closures.
Since Publication of the "Mountain walks in the Stirling Range" books some changes have been to the access to the National Park. Toll Peak and Mondurup Peak have been included in the die-back protection areas. A permit is now required to climb these peaks. As a general rule permits would only be given to groups involved in scientific studies, and then only after prolonged dry conditions.
Changes to the Glenelg entrance to the National Park. outlines the revised access to the eastern end of the Stirling Ridge, from Gnowellen Road. The Glenelg entrance is now closed, even for walkers. Unfortuneately this change puts many of the far eastern peaks out of reach of the day walker.
The Stirling Ridge Walk gives more details on the tough 3 day hike over the spectacular mountain peaks between Bluff Knoll and Ellen's Peak.
The Stirling Range Mountain Bells
Most of the hills and valleys of the Stirling Range are home to localised colonies of these special wildflowers. They are a subgroup of the Darwinia family and only one of them occurs outside the Stirling Range.
Arthur's Knob unveiled
The low featureless hill on the far eastern extremity of the Stirling Range, that got left out of "Mountain Walks" part 2, has now been explored.
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