Made famous by a bet in a pub, the King of the Mountain race in Pomona is a wonderful testimony to the phenomenal achievements that the human body can be pushed to.
But what about for mere mortals? What is the climb like for your average Joe/Joelene? I started todays ascent with this blog in mind.
For anyone who hasn’t yet tackled the track, Mt Cooroora rises 446m, and is located in the Tuchekoi National Park. Don’t be fooled into thinking it must be an easy climb by the record times for racing up and down - currently 22.43! It is a mixture of a lovely, enjoyable, scenic trail, and a slightly less relaxing scramble and climb that usually involves a significant sweat and some heavy breathing (that’s the nice way of putting it!). I recommend taking plenty of water with you.
The first part of the trail is all birds singing, wildlife spotting and glorious trees all around, it is everything a good hike should be. You are filled with excitement and optimism about the path ahead. Sure, there are some steep-ish areas, but for the most part, this is a relatively comfortable climb. But sometime after the first bead of sweat trickles into your eye, you will reach some metal stairs at around the half way point, and this is where it starts to get a little bit more *ahem* challenging.
I highly recommend a pause and breathe break once you have climbed the stairs - you will see a path off to the left which leads round to a little look out. From this spot you get a cracking view of Noosa Eco Retreat site below! A great excuse for a rest stop!
Once you return to the main path, you start a steeper incline, and you will find a rope up the side of the more challenging areas to give you a little help to haul yourself up. It’s a rocky scramble and sometimes it’s hard to know which foothold is best for you...but there are normally options so you can pick and choose. Or, like me, heavily rely on your arms to take some of the strain! It’s usually in the last quarter that you get lots of first timers asking if they are nearly there yet...with hints of desperate hope for a positive response.
That said, the views from the top are worth any pain felt by getting there. You made it! You can stand tall at the top and take in the beauty of the Hinterland, the neighbouring mountains, Lake MacDonald and Lake Cootharaba, and look right across to the white sand and turquoise water beaches of Noosa. It is a 360* view that will take your breath away...if you have any breath left! There is plenty of flat space at the end of the track to sit, drink a few dozen litres of water, and take in the awe-inspiring vistas. Spectacular!
It’s suitable for people of average fitness, but for anyone who self admits to being on the lower end of ‘average fitness’ - expect to take your time and feel your legs for the next couple of days! Sturdy shoes are recommended, but I do know a guy who climbs it barefoot - to each their own!
Oh - and for those that assume the hardest part is getting to the top...be warned...the thigh burn on the way down is very real! But at the bottom you can reward your hard work with a coffee and some delicious food from the cafes in town....knowing that you conquered that trail like a boss (albeit a hot and sweaty one!).