Sunday, November 12, 2017


Oh Beerwah, you are truly gorgeous.

And the early morning sun reflecting off the dam made the view even more beautiful.  Strange seeing my mountains from the other direction: Coonowrin, the crooked neck at the left, Tibrogargan top centre.  You can even see Tiberoowuccum on Tib's right.  I believe Ngungun is directly behind Coonowrin.

It was a much nicer climb in the dry.

Scrambling up the 'bowl' got us to the cliff face, which was incredible, sheer and impassable although people do climb it.

View straight up the cliff from below. 

We then climbed around the base of the cliff to continue our ascent along one of the ridges, as clearly, the cliff wasn't going to be our route.

We even investigated a bat cave, I have no photos of this but John had a torch and we slipped down into the cave on our hands and knees and crawled along to see the little bats.  So cool - creepy, but cool.

The bare path that looks like a river is our rocky scramble up the bowl: probably about 45 degree slope at a guess?  Definitely not as technical as Tib.

From another angle (the opposite side of the bowl)

Made it to the top!  A cool picture even if John is unable to keep a horizon straight!

Proof that I did not climb alone.  This is John, a friendly climber I met yesterday on Tibrogargan, and who helped me safely navigate Beerwah today.  

It was o so breathtaking and o so beautiful.  Dad, you will truly love this mountain!! 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

(Backup) We didn't make it

It rained.

It rained a lot.

Also, Lily threw up in my bed at 0400.  

Also, my plans of climbing Beerwah were scuppered by the rain.  We started off anyway - actually it was dry leaving Mango Hill, so the doubts only set in as we headed on to Steve Irwin Way.  

"It's a bit wet," I commented

"Oh, you noticed that too?" said Ben.

So of course we continued to Beerwah, deciding to see if it got any drier on the way (oh the dreams of fools). It didn't get any drier.  In fact, it got wetter, but that's by the way.  

My doubts started rising, but Ben seemed keen so we started climbing.  It wasn't actually raining at that point, and although the rocks were wet, my "Five Tens" were gripping really well.  When Ben realised his hiking boots were going to make him slip off the mountain and die, he took them off, deciding to attempt to climb barefoot.

It was around that point that it started to rain, the clouds came down to meet us, and the previously wet rocks became rivers and waterfalls.  Climbing up a little further, my heart in my mouth, I decided that especially as I had never even attempted Beerwah in the dry, Beerwah in the wet was not going to happen.  

Yes.  There was cloud BELOW us, and yes, those are Ben's toes.

Cloud above us too, and Ben's bare feet, as proof for Dad.

The main reason I decided not to climb any higher was that Ben told me a story of some guys who climbed up it in the cloud and lost their way and fell off the cliff and broke a leg and couldn't get rescued because the helicopter couldn't fly in the conditions.

Some of what we climbed, with added waterfalls.

A wet and concerned Kate... surely stories of people falling and being unrescuable would scare others too?

When we got back to the bottom I took a photo of Beerwah in the cloud behind us.  The cloud was lower when we were ascending: in fact you can see blue to the left, so the rain was clearly easing!  Maybe we could have achieved it!

So instead, I took Ben up Tiberoowuccum (MY mountain) and got bitten by a thousand mosquitos, all of which seemed to want to come home with us in the car.

And now, I am home, and safe, and dry, and doing countless loads of laundry on my day off to counteract Lily throwing up in my bed on EVERYTHING.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


I'm not meaning to brag, but... (which generally means I am) I completed Tiberoowuccum carpark to carpark in 36 minutes, and that includes going the long way around the back.  I also ran most of the downhill and around the back because I forgot to load my backpack into the car and therefore didn't have any bug spray (or water, sorry, Lily).  Due to running, I managed to escape with only three mozzie bites and one tick.  Which I flung out of the car window in disgust as soon as it was discovered.  I am prepared for my neck to play up due to the running... but hopefully it doesn't!

I also did not stop to take any photos, as I was in a hurry.  I also told Lily to SIT and STAY at the bottom of the cliff part at the end - only to turn around at the top to see her scramble up alone!  I then descended... and she clung to the rocks whimpering, shaking and crying, until I picked her up and hoisted her down (no backpack, remember), so that lost me a minute or two.  Dumb dog!  At least she was able to get up!

Due to the tick on me, I have given her some tick medicine despite it not technically being due for another 10 days.  Call me paranoid, but both my neighbour and colleague have had paralysis ticks on their cats, and I don't want to go through that!

Now I'm hoping to go out for breakfast (if Kaitlyn EVER tells me the plan) and then it's off to work again.  No rest for the wicked! 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Townsville Adventures

I am ever so very tired.  I woke up this morning at 0300 feeling wide awake, and ended up doing my budget on my laptop for want of anything else to do.  Today is officially my day off, but it started in Townsville - again - and so far has involved a 10k hike including Castle Hill (yes, I was tired to start off with), a doctor appointment, and now paxing home.

I wasn't staying in the normal crew hotel, so it was a nice surprise to find out that breakfast was included.  After some eggs, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and fresh fruit - and of course the inevitable coffee - I set off to find Castle Hill.

I was a little annoyed to find that they had closed the Goat Track for renovations.  They are putting in horrible man made stairs.  It always makes me sad when perfectly good trails are made artificial.

I entered at my own peril, but had to change route onto the main road half way due to the construction.  No sign of back burning.

Pano over the bay and magnetic island.  Dad, I can send you a full resolution picture.

It was a really hard climb, partly due to the few beers I had last night, partly due to lack of sleep and partly because it was almost 5k to the Goat Track in the first place!

Townsville Airport.

Me, just about alive - but barely.

Some other man made staircase that I did not go down as I ran out of time before my appointment.

I then descended via the main road as fast as I could - half running until the stitch got too bad (thanks, free breakfast) - and half walking.  I then got an Uber from the base and made it to my appointment, nice and hot and sweaty but on time.  (And then waited half an hour for the doctor). 9k total, plus the 1k walk from the doctor back to the hotel.  Not too shabby for a morning in Townsville.

The reason for the doctor was to check that I didn't damage my ears yesterday while flying.  We had a rapid descent due to various issues that I'm not going to go in to on the blog: if any one wants details, email me!  Everyone was fine, we just had to follow the process and get checked out, and now I'm paxing home to Brisbane, hopefully for days off!

I'm glad I got to see the view from Castle Hill though: maybe next time the Goat Track will be fully open.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


I guess a blog post should have a title once in awhile.  

I have been told that I should stop using my shins for climbing.  I tried very hard not to, last time I climbed Tibrogargan: I was, however, accused of using my knees instead.  I also managed to walk into a tow-bar today, shin first, mainly due to not looking where I was going and partly due to my shins' magnetic attraction to bruises.  I also pretended to everyone in the vicinity, that I had intended to stop abruptly and then squat to look at the nosegear... I'm not sure whether I pulled it off, but nobody actually commented.

I am now halfway through my third overnight of the week, of which only one was actually scheduled.  The first was Townsville, for the second I found myself in Sydney, and now I'm back in Townsville, so I do seem to be doing the grand tour of the East Coast!  In other aviation news, I almost have enough hours to not be considered "green" any more (150), and have almost flown with everyone there is to fly with: this is easy as there are only about ten first officers.  I've also broken most of the airplanes: although I have found that usually they are broken when I find them.  Also, I have killed a cane toad and a rabbit, but have yet to impact any birds.  The Embraer is a bit smaller than the ATR so it's smaller of a target: I must try harder, I know.

In non-aviation terms, I've had to tone down my climbing this week due to anti social work hours.  I managed Tibrogargan on Thursday and Ngungun today - Sunday - and am hoping for Tiberoowuccum on Tuesday but that depends how late I finish socialising tomorrow night.  Also am hoping to complete Beerwah this week... but that depends on a couple of factors outside of my control!

There are thirteen Glasshouses in total and I believe only one of them is actually closed off, so perhaps I should try to find trails up some of the others.  I must try to Collect Them All.

It is now 2042 and in keeping with the Early To Bed Early To Rise mantra, I must try to organise my life, as I have a taxi booked for 0615.  That said, I am working six days in a row - again - and with five earlies followed by a late on day six, I'm doomed!

The good news is it only has to be delayed by 25 minutes for me to get a day off payment........๐Ÿ™„

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Looks like my housemates decided Connor needed a snack.  In other news, meet Connor, my new Christmas Bear, who has joined the family of four other bears.  You can never have enough: if I get one a year for the rest of my life, it's going to be a lot of bears.  So far, I have Bertie 2013, Ollie 2014, Nameless 2015 and Hudson 2016.  Nameless only because I can't actually remember, and Hudson and Connor have their official names on their feet so really the only names I have to remember are Bertie's and Ollie's.  Maybe Nameless should be given a better name. 

Yesterday morning, Lily and I did an impromptu hike of Tiberoowuccum, which was really hard work as I set off too fast and then wore myself out, and then walked into a tree, which killed several brain cells.  Lily had a ball, returning home caked in orange clay.  Then Manda and I went Christmas shopping and I spent all of my savings in one go (it was such fun) and now have to save up again before finishing the shopping!  I have only a couple of gifts left to get.  

Also, my Indian neighbour already has their Christmas lights up, and as I'm not content to be beaten, Ceri has been instructed that his job of the day is to put our lights up!  It may not be November yet, but it's never too early for Christmas!  Ceri should thank his lucky stars that we haven't yet started on the tree...

My last two days off today and tomorrow, starting now with a massage followed by indoor rock climbing... hurrah for me!

And that is all I have time for otherwise I shall be late.


Monday, October 23, 2017

The Art of Flying

"Sometimes, falling feels a lot like flying."

Left base to RWY01 BNE just before sunset

I get that.  And, as I'm a pilot in my spare time, I feel I can reserve the right to use any quote I see fit.  I do have a few favourites.  I also reserve the right to start a sentence with a conjunction as a) it's my blog and b) beer.  PS all the best blogs are written with beer PPS not all PSs have to be at the end (my blog, my rules).

Douglas Adams in the "Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" has a good section on flying: there is indeed an art to flying, he surmises, "The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss". 

Learn more at

Or read the book, I dare you.

I'm not sure I've really worked out the missing part.  I guess I need more distractions.

My dog is demanding more Cheese and Bacon shapes.  I think she recognises that once the beer comes out, there is no more Lily-can't-have-anything-more-than-5%-fat rule and Pancreatitis-isn't-a-thing.  -#irresponsiblemother.

I have just finished six days' flying - one was a reserve - and have climbed quite a few Things.  I'd like to call them mountains but I also hesitate to call anything less than 1000m a mountain.  The Glasshouse Hills doesn't really have the same ring to it.  I also want to take Lil up Tiberoowuccum tomorrow but that depends on whether I crack open another beer - but given the amount of food I've eaten today, I should get hiking!

BNE CBD from a little bit south of GLENN.

"Sometimes, falling feels a lot like flying."  

I just thought I'd quote that again.  I really like that quote.  

"I balanced all, brought all to mind.

The years ahead seemed waste of breath

A waste of breath the years behind

In balance with this life, this death."

-W B Yeats

Probably my most favourite poem ever.  Call me morbid but, it's awesome.  

"A lonely impulse of delight 

Drove to this tumult in the clouds!" 

See?  It's not all morbid!

Sometimes you can see the turbulence 

Then there's of course Learning to Fly, by Pink Floyd.

"There’s no sensation to compare with this

Suspended animation, a state of bliss

Can’t keep my mind from the circling sky

Tongue-tied and twisted

Just an earth-bound misfit, I"

It took a long time for me to start feeling lonely.  I think I recognise it now.  I think that having Things Almost Within My Reach has brought on an attack of the Feels.  Maybe the beer is helping, maybe not.  Maybe I will die alone - Lily will only last 10-12 years and I hope I have longer than that - but who knows.  Can I be happy just being me?  Me, and just me, for ever?  My father's father used to say that Forever is a very long time.  I never realised until now how true that was.

"Sometimes, falling feels a lot like flying."

Sunrise, BNE airport 

I have to say that in actual day to day flying, there aren't a whole lot of "state[s] of bliss" or "tumult[s] in the clouds" which, for the benefit of the General Public, is probably a good thing.  But at least flying (and climbing Things) gets me out of the house.

Apparently I was mean in my previous post, commenting about someone being slower at climbing than me.  I disagree.  It's not mean to say what I think on my very own blog.  I tone down a lot of what I really want to say - that maybe I would say, with beer - because of who I know will be reading it.  I don't say what I think because I'm afraid of other people's reactions.  I don't say what I think in Life in General because of Other People.  I don't tell people what I like, what I prefer, what I want to do.  I don't tell people no, I don't say "actually, I don't enjoy this" because I'm afraid I will offend someone.  So yes, someone was slower at climbing than me.  So yes, I was bloody slow when I climbed it the first time.  So yes, I was commenting that she was slower than I would have liked, and I had wanted to climb the whole thing without stopping.  I still want to climb the whole thing without stopping.  Would I take her again?  Yes, of course.  Would I take her again on a day when I wanted to climb without stopping? No, probably not.  Is it okay to say she was slow?  Well, I don't think it would be nice for me to tell her that she was slow, but for me to comment on my very own blog about how I actually feel?  I think that's ok.  In fact, I wish I did it more often.  I don't, because People, and I don't even think that this will make me start: but I do reserve the right to do so.  Maybe that's what got me in trouble in the first place.  You know, with life, the universe, and everything.  Love, marriage, and the non-existent baby carriage.  Not saying how I really felt.  There you have it!  And now, it's me and Lily and if I decide to say something on my blog: so be it! 

Rant over.

And yes, sometimes falling feels very much like flying.

Storm tops 

And sometimes, even drinking all of the leftover beer doesn't mean that one feels any less lonely than one did before.  

And at times like these, friends saying "but I live thirty seconds away, you could hang out with me" really doesn't cut it.  Thanks, and I appreciate it, but wearing my heart on my sleeve and all that, me and Lily just gonna sit here on the couch and continue feeling Lonely.

PS: I'm not an alcoholic

PPS: I plan to hike Tiberoowuccum tomorrow.

PPPS: if it wasn't an enforced day off (day 7) I'd probably volunteer to work.

PPPPS: I'm not an alcoholic Take 2.

Sunset รก la Embraer