We set out in the morning to Katoomba to tackle the Golden Staircase to Mt Solitary walk in two sections. Initially we parked at Scenic World but soon realised it was the wrong car park with plenty of visitors. We quickly set our GPS to the “Golden Stairs car-park” which led us through tight gravely unsealed roads up to the Start sign and looked for parking off-road.
The track started with a steep decline and we soon passed many who were headed back up. Being clumsy I slipped on a rock and rolled my ankle. We had a moment of rest and analysed the injury situation before deciding to march on slowly. Along the track were also day hikers, and campers – a lot more visitors than originally expected. After the initial decline, the walk was relatively flat and the views were rainforest like.
Our first stop was the Rocky Castle which involved a 600m climb to the top. Catching our breaths a few times on the way, we decided to stop at a picnic spot near the top for lunch. The view was great and windy at the top. Two tour groups were headed back to the start as we ate our Quinoa, Pumpkin, Egg & Cheese creation. Lunch was quickly over and we decided to head on given that we wanted to reach the campsite near Knife’s Edge. The pace slowed down as the climb down was tough as it involved hand on vertical climbing. We passed many campsites along the way but given there was still sunlight for a few hours we decided to stick to our original plan.
The brisk walk uphill lead us finally to what we believed to be the base campsite of knifes edge. There was ample of space for 2-3 tents and a campfire. We had different tasks of setting up the tent, and the sleeping bags that it was complete in no time!
Eddy made his first camp fire with the help of a tree with stringy bark and a few matches. It kept us entertained and nice and warm whilst having Korean noodles for dinner. The fire was kept on most of the night and we put it out just before we were going to sleep.
Woke up nice and early for day 2! We packed our bags quickly and bumped into an early morning runner who had just come from the golden staircase … In one hours run. He was trying to complete a return trip to the logbook in 5 hours (quite amazing!).
The journey to the top of knifes edge was tough and involved using both hands with a vertical climb. We got to the top and had a breakfast snack and enjoyed the views before heading back down for a return trip home.
The return was brisk but tough, especially the climb back up the staircase. Along the way we exchanged many pleasantries with fellow hikers and runners. We bumped into a wallaby, and a peasant which was quite a nice surprise. Overall it was a good track for training and a few vantage points to see the beautiful scenery of the Blue Mountains National Park.