FKT: J. Taylor Bell - Grampians Peaks Trail - 2024-01-28

Route variation
Point to Point
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
2d 14h 6m 50s
GPS track(s)

Just did the GPT in 3 very full days Fri. 1/26 5:51am - Sun. 1/28 7:57pm. Having done this trail in a leisurely 4.5 day stroll last year and having hated every moment of how totally brutal that hike was, I decided to suffer a little more and see if I could do it in 3. Forecast looked perfect for the long "holiday" weekend, so I figured it'd be a good window to take advantage of mild temps and long days. Ended up getting totally dumped on for half an hour on the first morning, which soaked everything in my bag and definitely made the push to halls gap a bit harder, but it was warm and windy enough that I dried out eventually. Then Sunday ended up being 6 degrees hotter than the original forecast, and along with no wind and full sun, made for a totally brutal finish. Probably could've cut this time down by 3 or 4 hours if it had been milder for those last 3 climbs, but I've almost died way too many times in the desert at this point to know when to find some shade and chill out. Some other folks looked they were having a rough go of Mt. Abrupt and Signal Peak in it. That stillness is just lethal on those exposed climbs.

Trail is in fine condition, all the reptiles were out, and water tanks were all stocked. Apart from the insane physicality of this hike, the hardest mental aspect of it was definitely having to resist the temptation to neck a cold beer or grab an ice cream in Halls Gap. And on that note, it's worth mentioning that, since I also am not sure if the full official route for the GPT goes all the way down to the visitors centre, I decided to go give it a little kiss just in case. Also paid my respects to the flushing toilet since I was there. Eating cold soaked noodles next to a bunch of holiday weekend 4WDers at the brewery was a big mood. And for whatever reason, my sunrise photo from Mt. Rosea looks really photoshopped? Extra heartbreaking, because my hat blew off the cliff in the wind there, as you'll notice it's missing from the rest of the photos afterwards lmao. Idk what this new google pixel is doing with the selfie camera, but the auto-processing is garbage. Takes good night selfies and photos though. 

In terms of track notes, I have to flag up that there is about ~2km missing from my Strava at the beginning of day three, between Yarram campground and the random point on trail where I realized it wasn't recording. Hopefully this doesn't disqualify all this (I might cry if it does). The proof is mostly in the pudding for it anyway though, because if you look at the map, there's not really any feasible alternative route/fudging of the trail I could've done in that section, as it would've been insanely pointless/gruelling/time consuming to bushwhack or backtrack from the closest road up to there.