Pomonal to Middle Gap

Starting Point: Tunnel Rd, Pomonal
End Point: Middle Gap, Mt William
Highlights: The Flume, Seven Dials, Redman’s Bluff
Distance: 21.2km
Total Elevation: 1374m
Time: 5 hours


When you have 3 hours to do on the training plan, you decide to run from Tunnel Rd, Pomonal, to Middle Gap, Mt William along the Grampians/Gariwerd Peaks trail (aka GPT).

Except for the fact that you miscalculate how long it’s going to take you and instead of being 3 hours it blows out to 5.

While it did blow out time-wise, it was the most epic adventure I have had in a long time, and there is so much I gained from this experience.

The Start

Having done a car drop the day prior, Tom dropped me off at the base of Tunnel Rd, Pomonal, and I made my way up and over the mountain, heading towards Borough Huts.

I arrived at the turning point at around the 80minute mark which was about 9km. Heading towards the Duwul hiker campsite was 12.4km away (about 2km further from Middle Gap).

This was the section of the GTP I was really looking forward to.

The Flume

The flume network is a great piece of history on the GTP.

Constructed by engineer John D’alton in the 1870s, it was designed to transfer water from Fyans Creek weir to Stawell, as Stawell was in the midst of a gold boom.

It wasn’t until an inspection in 1955, that it was discovered that the flume was in precious condition. It was decided to replace it with asbestos piping.

While this flume is no longer in use. It’s a great piece of history to hike along on the GPT.

If you do decide to camp at Barri Yalug you will hike along the flume network to get to the hiker campsite.

With the flume now behind us it’s time for the climb towards Redman Bluff. But first, we must get to Seven Dials.

Seven Dials

Distance: Approximately 10km
Elevation to Seven Dials: 524m
Elevation from Seven Dials to Redman’s Bluff: 302m
Total Elevation to Redman’s Bluff: 1005m

It’s hard not to stop and take in the views. They are truly breathtaking.

By the 15km, and at the top of the 3rd Dial, I had achieved my 3-hour target, however, I still had 6 more kilometers to traverse.

With 360° of the park, the views from the 3rd Dial are just magic.

From here, track conditions from the top of the Seven Dials down into the valley are questionable, and experience is recommended for hikers and trail runners.

Look out for the bright yellow arrows. They are placed at regular intervals.

With the Seven Dials now behind us, you will continue to Redman’s Bluff.

Redman’s Bluff

You will know you are are Redman’s Bluff because there is a massive cairn (you seriously can not miss it). It’s believed that saw millers built this cairn back in the day (possibly early 1900’s, but there is no record of this, it’s all hearsay).

From Redman’s Bluff, you will get magnificent views of the Mt Difficult Range, the Mt William Range, including the lakes of Bellfield, Fyans & Lonsdale.

In the cooler months, or after rain, you will pass a mountain tarn near the summit of Redman’s Bluff (on Mt William’s side). Being summer, it was completely dry. One day, when I do this track again, I’d like to see it with water in it.

At 4h09m, and 17.93km, I reached the GPT emergency marker GNP250. I could see my car in the distance. It looked so far away.

By this point, I knew I was running low on water and fuel. I was also starting to tire. The goal now was to get to the car unscathed and under 5 hours.

I arrived at Middle Gap (and the car), with 2 seconds to spare. Called Tom to let him know I was ok and that I was heading home.

Was I expecting to be out there for 5 hours? No.

Did I have an adventure? Hell yes! And I would do it again!

Every one of my trails runs is an experience, and there is always something to learn and gain from.

I look forward to hiking from Redman’s Rd Trailhead to Middle Gap with Tom in the near future.

If you do choose to this part of the GPT as a day hike this is what you need to know.

Redmans’ Rd to Middle Gap Day Hike

Start: Redman’s Rd Trail Head
End: Middle Gap, Mt William
Distance: Approximately 11 km one way
Distance to Mt William Carpark: Approximately 13.8km
Grade: 4 (experienced hikers)
Time: 5-6.5h

Notes
  • I recommend doing a car drop at either Middle Gap or Mt William car park
  • Pack a minimum of 2l of water
  • Carry enough food for the duration of your hike
  • You will have phone service for 90% of the trek
  • Enjoy the views

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