Bibbulmun Yoyo Summary

A summary of over 2000km hiking

How to sum up over 3 months of hiking during one of W.A.’s wettest winters in decades? Wet! And cold! Perhaps a little predicable, it certainly added a degree of difficulty to the hike especially in area along the south coast like the Pingerup plains and the coastal beaches. Here’s a short video giving you an idea of what it’s like hiking the plains in winter.

Yep, it’s wet

The trip up during Autumn was lovely in comparison to the trip back down, not so much rain through there were a few good showers, this is a little selection of clips from the trip up.

But boring…  Nothing like the winter walk along the south coast from Walpole to Albany. This section was filled with bypasses because of flooded rivers, flowing inlets, and extremely rough seas with gale force winds. It certainly turned this section into an adventure, please excuse the language.

Yes the Bibbulmun track has huts along the way that makes life so much easier, but I stayed in my tent quite a lot, even when the weather wasn’t so great as the tent gives you your own space, here’s some of the my tenting spots over the trip. I got fairly proficient at setting it up and taking it down.

Tenting in all conditions

And perhaps one of the most commented on aspects of my hike were the sandals, yes I wore sandals almost every day of the 2000km hike, mostly with socks because of the strong fashion statement you make when you rock the sandal with the sock. Though also because of the extra protection from wearing socks.

Sandals

Notice that little image over on the right after taking off my sandals?  This was after a day walking through dark sand in the dunes.

Dirt

Oh yeah, nothing like slipping those feet and legs into your night clothes, then slipping into bed.

A standard on facebook groups is to list stats from your hike once you are finished so here are a few of my stats.

  • Start to finish – 108 days.
  • Kilometres walked officially – 2006.2 ?
  • Kilometres walked according to Google fit – 2415. Hmmm Don’t think I walked that far in towns.
  • Steps taken – 3,569,704 ? Google again.
  • Base weight – was just over 10kg, not 100% sure what it would be now as some changes were made along the way.
  • Days off – too many, about 11 or was it 12
  • Hiking poles lost – 1/3
  • Noodles packets eaten – 73
  • Sandals worn out – 1.3
  • Days walked in trail runners – around 10. Why did I carry them for over 2000 km? 😳
  • Neck deep crossings – 1, Torbay
  • Packets of ibuprofen consumed – 2.5
  • Days with wet feet – pretty much the whole of the last half of N2S leg.
  • Days waking up to ice – 3
  • Blisters – 1, on my hand from the walking pole
  • Injuries – 0
  • Days walking in rain – too many!
  • Contiguous days walking in rain – about 21 perhaps more, lost count.
  • Ticks removed – 3, go the tea tree oil
  • Falls, slips or trips – 1, within sight of Albany finish, damn those slippery boards at West Cape Howe
  • Nights spent in tent outdoors – 43
  • Favorite piece of gear – ghost whisperer puffy jacket, completed 3 x E2E still looks like new.
  • Least favorite bit of gear – sea to summit ether squeaky rubber mat from hell.
  • Episodes of trench foot – 2. A couple of toes are still sore red, swollen and sore.
  • Lifts accepted – 1, highway section of diversion between parry’s and William bay.
  • Longest day – 44km
  • Fastest day – averaged 5km/h over 20km
  • Favourite hut – mount dale or West Cape Howe, it’s a tie.
  • Least favorite hut – sand patch, only because of the weather, the icy winds blow straight through it.
  • Favorite track food – pizza. lol carried it out of town a couple of times.
  • Favorite photo – a toilet (see top of page). 😁
Walking the Bibb is certainly a great privilege and learning experience and I continually swing from the thought that it’s pretty damn simple and no major thing, to the fact that it’s quite an achievement, testing and difficult. Now I’m done on the yoyo I guess I’m settling on the notion that it’s as hard as you make it. Pare back your gear so you’re not lugging a heavy pack, get a reasonable level of fitness before hand and pick a time of year when the weather is mild and it’s pretty straight forward finishing an E2E. Winter adds a huge degree of difficulty and brings out a different class of person on the track, the crazies, myself included. Lol
Met loads of people along the way of course and made some great friends. It goes without saying that thanks go out to the traditional owners, the volunteers, the foundation and all who help make the track what it is.
My advice, for what is worth.
Try not to have a rigid schedule. Some days you feel like you can walk forever, other days you wish you could rest your weary limbs. Or perhaps you meet up with someone you might want to go hut to hut with and it’s great if you can. I did longer days than I ever thought I would or could with the encouragement of those I was hiking with at the time. I would probably never have done those long days by myself, they were exhausting but such a sense of achievement to complete, to step out of my comfort zone and push myself.
My one piece of advice from the last E2E I completed which still rings true. All you have to do is get to the hut at the end of the day. Don’t get wrapped up in the long distances ahead, just get to the next hut/town, then start the next day with the same goal and before you know it your done.
Huts are there for everyone, so yes bring a tent, always!
Don’t get hung up on the planning, gear choices, food preparations, etc.. Just do it. You are usually not far from a town and so long as you have the basics you’ll get by.
In the words of Ali G, Big ups to those I hiked with along the way. Ross, Meg, James, Sail cat, and all those I can’t think of at the minute.. See you out there next time. Will be nice to not be checking the weather app multiple times a day.
Rest now….
This whole section was cut and pasted from a facebook post I made, recycling, it’s what we’re meant to do.. I may add more to this later but for now, I’ll post..

Me on the last day

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2 Comments

  • Reply Dave Kyslinger August 19, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    Amazing Joel! Bit of a soul pilgrimage that. The dunny pic is tops 🙂

    • Reply joel September 6, 2021 at 9:59 am

      Hey Dave, hope you’re well mate.. Yes was a crazy trip spending so long walking, keen to do it again though. 🙂

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