Precipitous Bluff Loop
(Mid December 2009)
Day 7

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Susan's Diary:

Surprise Bay to South Cape Rivulet
Sunday 20 December
8am – 15:30

We were off at 8am for a potentially tough day over the South Cape Range. The climb over to Granite Beach from Surprise Bay felt pretty tough first thing in the morning, and very steep. We nonetheless got down onto Granite Beach in 40 minutes, so I thought we must have made good time as Chapman says it takes 1 to 1.5 hours. However the last one-and-a-bit kilometers is across the beach on smooth round rocks, and it took what felt like a very long time to cross, especially as it put quite a bit of strain on my sore ankles. It was a relief to get to the waterfall at the end.
We had good weather so were hoping to get views from the South Cape Range. After the initial slog up the first 400m we were pleased to see the plateau and views of Pindars Peak and Precipitous Bluff, although Precipitous Bluff was largely obscured. From the plateau the worst of the climbing is over, but the track undulates over the range a bit, which makes the day quite long. The track was quite muddy, certainly more than we remembered (although in hindsight perhaps the track had been muddy the previous time too).
We passed a very scenic creek in a saddle where we stopped for lunch, and soon after that we passed Track Cutters Camp, which looks to be a very nice campsite. From there the track goes downhill a lot. It then undulates for a long time, before dropping out at South Cape Rivulet. We noticed that there has been a bit of track work with duckboards through some of the open muddy sections.
When we reached South Cape Rivulet Luca eventually decided against crossing with his boots on. The water was only up to our knees, but it was very cold. I took the opportunity to wash the mud off and assess the ‘damage’ caused by the new bruises and scratches.
South Cape Rivulet is a beautiful spot, and we were lucky enough to get a campsite in the forest immediately next to the sand. As is the custom on the last night, we made a big dinner, finishing off the parmesan, and Luca even finished his salami. For desert we had been having the assorted chocolate bar balls, but since the second day when they melted, they had been a little worse for wear. We melted down the remaining balls in the spare milk powder and made a very unhealthy hot chocolate. It was pretty good, definitely a case of the total being better than the sum of the parts!


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