Gapsted Winery : November 24

On a sunny and warm Sunday on November 24th twenty-seven Warby Range Bushwalkers joined for the walk commencing and finishing at Gapsted Winery. It was not surprising to have such a decent turnout, as the walkers have established themselves as connoisseurs of all things white and red, particularly when in liquid form.

Today’s walk had several possibilities. The major walk would be almost 12km with an ascent of 400m gained. There was the newly established “easy as” category, which merely entailed opening the car door and bolting immediately for the cellar door. The group, however, choose to participate in something a little more challenging and savour the cellar door delights on completion.

Rarer than a Dusky Woodswallow or Black-faced Cuckooshrike was the welcome return of club walkers Guy & Robyn.

This walk also welcomed new walkers in Sara, Leonie and Toni. Most of whom would still be speaking to me by the end of the walk.

The walk begins from the car park back towards the road where we commence along the rail trail. After several hundred metres we reach the turnoff for the Gapsted Track.

At this point there is the option to follow the track back towards the winery for about a 4km walk. Although no-one chose this option at this point, there were some that later wished they had.

Continuing towards Myrtleford along the track and you begin to climb up into the forest. If we were walking in the European Alps somewhere, we would be gazing down upon some crystal-clear lakes. The view of Myrtleford’s effluent ponds does not quite have the same appeal.

Gapsted Track meets West End Track at a junction where morning tea was proposed. However a tumble from one of the walkers necessitated an earlier stop while some repairs were carried out.

Fortunately for our club we have our fair share of Florence Nightingales who shifted into action. This minor mishap led the person involved decide not to continue and they returned with another walker.

Before long the West End Track was reached. The major ascent of the walk now began. My short-term memory has obviously gone. Having only done this walk in the past two months, I seemed not to recall the number of short steep sections of this track. We passed the aptly named Christmas Gift Track on our right, which would be well worth another visit on Dec 25th.

This section of the West End track which meets the Link track was particularly challenging with the warm weather. Frequent stops were necessary to catch one’s breath and consume the obligatory Allens snakes.

Another group of three walkers along this part of the track decided to turn back. The distance they would cover by turning back would be about the same length of the walk had they been able to continue. When challenged on a walk it is sometimes remiss not to stop, take a breath and admire your surroundings. Through the trees there were some wonderful views of the Ovens Valley, Mount Buffalo and alps in the distance.

Upon arriving at the Link track junction a lengthy lunch stop was enjoyed by all. The descent from this point had a significant purpose as there was an animal track to the left which would reduce the walk by some two kilometres. I have never seen so many would be detectives look and search for this track to save some walking. In the end it was rather easy to spot and apart from five walkers, most chose this option.

The remaining few walkers continued along the Link track which soon met up with the Gapsted Track again. This small group made good time and caught the last of the animal track walkers converging back onto the Gapsted track.

Back at the winery for a well-earned rest and I doubt very much that Gapsted Winery has catered before for so much royalty. Today we had in attendance Glenda (Countess of Chardonnay), Jeanette (Princess of Prosecco) and June (Marchioness of Moscato) along with Andy (the court jester). The group forewent Pat’s afternoon tea.

I am not sure that this has ever happened in club history, so there may be consequences. In its place was the sipping of wine, iced coffees, iced chocolates and tales galore.

Michael Braendler

Coming Events

Thursday, 5th December. Corowa to St Leonard’s Winery, Wahgunyah. Chris, 0418 503 802.

An easy walk on The River Track, following the Murray River from Corowa to the Winery at Wahgunyah, and return. Lagoons, native flora and fauna along the Murray, and wines for tasting. Lunch in the gardens at St Leonard’s.

Sunday, 8th December. Mt Porepunkah from One Mile Creek Road. Marita 0427 521 122.

Options of easy, medium and hard return walks from One Mile Creek Road, Porepunkah, with a steady ascent to Mt Porepunkah along a single lane bush road lightly shaded by trees.

Views of Mt Buffalo along the way, 360 degree views from the summit of the surrounding valleys and mountains.

Easy: approx 9km ascending 350m. Medium: approx. 12 km ascending 485m. Hard approx. 17km ascending approx. 700m.

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