Prior Posting: Victoria’s Grampians Mounains
Mt. Stapylton is named after the second in command of Major Mitchell’s expedition to explore the Grampians, Captain Stapylton. As the second in command, Stapylton was in charge of the base camp while Major Mitchell led expeditions to explore the Grampians. Captain Stapylton was a bit jealous about the exploring party getting all the glory of exploring the mountains while he stayed at base camp. Sensing the tension Major Mitchell named the most prominent mountain in the north of the range after his second in command, Mt. Stapylton.
The main trail that leads from the Mt. Stapylton campground, where my wife and I were camped out at, is of course named the Mt. Stapylton loop trail. This trail is 12.2 kilometers long and classified as hard trail that takes 5.5 hours to complete.
The trail begins by crossing a field of high bushes towards a rock formation known as the Mt. of Olives:
As I was crossing the field the amount of flies became quite apparent. I had to take out my fly net and put it on around my head. My fly net is one of the best things I have bought here in Australia. It doesn’t matter where you go in this country, there are always flies. Here is a picture of the field I had to cross:
After crossing the field the trail began to climb up the mountain:
As soon as I got up to the top of the mountain, I was treated to a fantastic view towards the south of the park. Halls Gap is on the opposite side of the far ridge line seen in the picture:
This is what the view towards the north looked like:
I continued heading up the trail and dropped into a valley of thick trees and then had to climb up another rock outcropping:
Here is the view looking towards the south and over the valley I had just walked through:
Here is the view looking towards the north:
Notice the flat farmland. The Grampians are literally an island of mountain wilderness in the midst of the surrounding farm land. As I continued up the trail I began to reach the lower slopes of Mt. Stapylton:
At about this portion of the trail it became increasingly difficult to find. I found myself breaking a lot of brush and climbing many rocks because the trail was non-existent. This picture gives you an idea how rough the terrain in front of me was:
As I continued along I dropped into a valley with steep walls on each side:
The opposite side of the valley was colored a bright orange and black:
Once I passed through this rough valley I then began to climb up the side of the steep slopes of Mt. Stapylton:
I continued up Mt. Stapylton and here is a view looking towards the south from the upper reaches of the mountain:
The summit is within sight:
On the way up to the summit I passed right by an old Aboriginal cave below this impressive rock formation:
Here is a close up look at the cave:
After the cave I had to do some rock scrambling up to the summit of Mt. Stapylton:
I continued climbing up the rocks and here is a view looking towards the south from near the summit of Mt. Stapylton:
Notice the massive rock face pictured. I would later have to climb down this rock face to get to Mt. Zero. Once I reached the summit I was impressed by the views of all the trees covering the plains:
Here is the view from the summit looking towards the south of the park:
This is all national park land which has saved the trees from being cut down and turned into grazing land. Immediately outside the park boundaries the farming and grazing land begins for as far as the eye could see. It was easy to imagine how before the arrival of European settlers this entire land was covered with trees.
Here is the view looking towards the north overlooking Mt. Zero:
Now that I had reached the summit of Mt. Stapylton my next goal was to summit Mt. Zero as well. However, before I could do that, I would have to climb back down Mt. Staplyton and pass through the Taipan Walls just to get to the bottom of Mt. Zero.
Next Posting: Through the Taipan Walls and On to Mt. Zero