Mt. Buffalo holds a very special place in my heart. I never tire of visiting and if I go too long without touching the top I get withdrawal symptoms. I’d venture to say I’ve been up there hundreds of times. I’ve ridden it, walked it, crashed tobogans on it, run it, flown off it, climbed it’s ledges, skiied it’s slopes, abseiled off it’s rocks, caved it, sung on it!…
– but there are a few times that stand-out to me as highlights and I will never forget.
- Three of them have been with my son Jack on his recent cycling climbing feats, the first of which was in the snow last winter and the most recent just last week.
- I’ve had a couple of more memorable hangliding flights off the Buffalo launch where I’ve climbed to over 10,000ft above and flown to distant places, one where I landed in the legendary ‘shot-gun farmers’ paddock in Harietville and another where I had such a disastrous scratching finish to the flight that I had to land in the ‘ticket-box’ paddock (not fun).
- In about 1985 when travelling with a heap of mates up the mountain, we came across a car hanging over the edge and promptly went about posing with bodies all over the place for morbid, but fun, photos (after checking there was nobody in it of course!).
- When I was 12, I sang with the Southern Cross Boys Choir at the Chalet to a whole bunch of old foges and later split my knee open running down to the lookout. Then I had an horrific ’emergency’ trip down the mountain for stitches at the doctors where I vomited for the whole journey.
- At 13, I was waiting to get on a school bus at Noonameena Lodge and watched the massive front tyre of the bus roll over my school bag which contained my mum’s very precious Pentax SLR camera which I’d pleaded for her to lend me. Squished and destroyed completely.
- A visit to Dingo Dell on a warm summer night to picnic and watch Mum sing in Opera in the Alps will always be a special Buffalo memory.
- Two cycling climbs up the mountain have resulted in my best times on the Alpine Classic where I’ve cracked the 7 hour barrier for the 200k Classic (6:59 in 2008 then 6:52 in 2009). Those I will never forget, along with the associated cracking descents!
- Another, an Alpine Classic climb where the day was 44 degrees and people were fainting and spewing on the legendary final climb – trying their guts out to finish the challenge.
Another unforgettable Buffalo visit was yesterday; I rode up on a gorgeous sunny day as I’ve done many times before but this time, all the way to The Horn car park which is about twice the distance and finishes with about 4 kilometres of gravel road.
I stopped for an obligatory photo of the Cycleworks socks at the top and enjoyed the vistas to the south, rather than the normal views out to the north.
It was a magnificent experience once again – riding in the best country on earth. Good preparation for the Alpine Classic in two and a bit weeks time and wonderful… wonderful memories.
- Climb – Gate to Gap – 1:02. Was thinking I might crack the hour but didn’t quite bury myself enough. Not bad for a 100kg bloke though! Did it once years back and reckon I can easy do it again.
- Descent – Quick, but not as quick as I’ll do in the Alpine. Loving Strava!
- 75km – 2200m of climbing – 2 and three quarters hrs of riding.