Climbing Jacobs Ladder (the big climb out of Jacobs River on the Barry Way) was highly anticipated. The perceptions of the ‘ladder’(from folks that we met long the way) ranged widely from ‘it’s a nice easy grade’ to ‘your f*%#ing kidding aren’t you… youse have gotta be idiots’…the latter attributed to our brumby wrangler mate Jayson! (see Suggan Buggan post for context!)
The base of Jacobs Ladder…gulp!
In reality the climb itself was fine…sure your climbing steadily..and for an extended period but aside from coming out of a few elbows, the grades were OK and the surface was excellent. On the day we rode the climb was quite ‘interactive’ as there was a major Trans Terra motorcycle ride heading in the opposite direction, which added quite a bit of interest to our ascent.
The thing that makes Jacobs ladder such a wonderful climb is that you get a panoramic view of the road ahead on the opposite spur. The motorbike headlights as they rounded the corners in the distance illuminated the mountain quite beautifully…and indicated just how much we would be climbing to get to the our first major milestone for the day in the Wallace Craigie lookout!
Looking back down the road about an hour into the Jacobs Ladder climb out of the Snowy Valley
About half way up the climb we met our Park Ranger mates again and stopped to have a chat with them – the older guy greeted us with a great old Aussie turn of phrase…”did you shit the bed or something”? an indication that he was impressed at our progress up the mountain at such an early hour!
A little further on we were passed by Michael and Tina (who we had met the previous night at Jacobs River). As they passed they yelled out that they would have a cuppa and a chocolate biscuit for us at the top…as they did which was wonderful!
Jeff, Mark, Johnno, Tina and Michael (L to R)
The view from the lookout was awe inspiring
…and the fact that we had just climbed our bikes out of the distant valley below instilled us with a great sense of achievement and of place. This was without doubt a moment which would be etched in our collective memories for a long long time!
The road left the snowy river valley and headed due north. Just past the park boundary a farmer that we met indicated that there were a good few more hills to tackle before Jindabyne including a few ‘rollers’…and he was right we were climbing at times quite steeply into snow gum country and the landscape opened up into open high plains…
Snow Gums along the Barry Way
We reached the bitumen at Ingebirah – which seemed to make Jeff well kinda happy!!!
We eventually did hit bitumen…This represented quite a moment for Jeff who got off his bike and quite literally kissed the very ground he was standing on.. hailing the wondrous achievement of the great John MacAdam the inventor of bituminous roads! Pretty bloody funny!!!
We pushed into a pretty solid headwind for the next 30k’s…+ rain for the last half hour of riding. We didn’t really know how far we were riding today and were a little surprised when we reached the outskirts of town. We checked at the Visitor Centre and were able to book a family room (eventually when Johnno got us an upgrade) at the Lake Jindabyne Motel…the first room they put us in had only two beds!
We had a pub meal, a Kosciusko Pale Ale and hit the sack pretty early.
It was Marks turn to be feeling really seedy…Good thing we had a rest day in Jindabyne planned for the following day – it was needed!
Rest Day in Jindabyne
Gurgling tummies and all manner of wind were the order of the day!
- Mark headed to the chemist to get something to help his tum.
- We had brekkie with the probus club bus folks –
- We walked around Jindi
- We visited the bike store
- and the visitor centre
- Johnno searched in vein for a SD card reader
- We had nice coffees
- We ate at a good Indian restaurant
- We dodged the rain
- We had a much needed rest day!