Ascent of Neds Peak on 2016-12-10

Climber: user 1

Date:Saturday, December 10, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Neds Peak
    Elevation:2493 ft / 759 m

Ascent Trip Report

For this trip to the Cathedral Range, I had planned to knock off all the remaining peaks I hadn't climbed to that point, beginning by climbing two peaks in the north of the range, and then heading south along the ridge to bag the two Jawbone peaks. The idea was to start and finish at different points using only one car, so one of our group dropped us off at the start, parked the car at the finishing point, and then rode their bike down to join us. Things didn't quite go to plan though, as he got a puncture on the way and had to walk the remaining distance! It wasn't a big delay, and we were soon climbing up the northern end of the Cathedral Range towards Neds Saddle. I've always found this ascent a punishing one, even though it's neither particularly steep nor a large climb, but something about the gravelly path and equal gradient the whole way made it especially tiring. It was also a shame that the bush had yet to recover from the bushfires and still looked quite denuded compared to the rest of the range. At Neds Saddle, I was the only one interested in climbing the minor Neds Peak, a 15 minute side trip with some limited views.

Instead of heading directly to Cathedral Peak, a mountain I had already climbed, we sidled around it from Neds Saddle, heading north towards Little Cathedral, another minor peak and the northernmost. The track was relatively rough and narrow, descending slightly to the saddle between Little Cathedral and Cathedral Peak. Little Cathedral was just a short distance away with some bushy sections of track to push through. Despite the low altitude, the summit punched above its weight in terms of views, with a sizeable overhanging cliff. The next objective was to climb the looming ridge up towards Cathedral Peak in the south. The track was steep as expected, and less used than the others in the area. We were concerned about out lack of water in the warm weather, and I was beginning to ration my water. Near the top we lost the path briefly as it suddenly petered out, but located it a couple of minutes later after to topping out on the ridge. The summit of Cathedral Peak is somewhat difficult to ascertain as it is so long and covered in bumps. The apparent top had some nice views westwards, but there was nothing to see in the other directions due to the trees. Better views were actually to be had at the next saddle, from where it was planned we would walk the ridge south all the way to the Jawbone peaks. Unfortunately, we were all dehydrated at that point, with very little water to spare. Judging from the rough terrain, the distance looked too far to cover without enough water. On the other hand, the alternative didn't look attractive either - descending to our starting point then walking up the road to the car. But this looked to be the best option, so we made our descent.

It was quick getting back to Neds Saddle since we were making a direct line. From there to the road it was a large descent, but it was much less dehydrating than on the way up. On arriving at the road, we starting walking towards the car, hoping to hitchhike all the way there. All the cars were driving in the other direction, so we ended up walking the entire distance. With no water left, we made rapid progress along the unsealed road, eager to get back. The final hurdle was the uphill section to the car, during which we expected to see it around every corner. Once at the car, we very quickly drove to the nearest town to get some water. As far as the hike went, I was embarrassed about turning back, especially after such a rookie error as not bringing enough water. It now left only the Jawbones to complete.
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:YDS Class 1
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Part of Trip: Cathedrals Circuit

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Neds Peak2016-12-10 a 
2Little Cathedral2016-12-10 b 
3Cathedral North2016-12-10 c 
4Cathedral Peak2016-12-10 d 

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