Mount Warning sunrise climb

Mount Warning had been on my list of things to do for a while and I was looking for someone as keen as me to climb it. Unbeknownst to me I found out I had known that person for a while – Kelly, aka the Mt Warning mountaineering expert after climbing it countless times already.

We quickly made big, bold, brash plans to conquer the mountain in a month’s time in the darkness – yep be on the top at sunrise. Very exciting!

Soon we had seven of us braving the cold and predicted rain, Kelly, Jay (not the one from Mt Barney), Josh (the one from Mt Barney), Avin, Sarah, my brother Matt and me.

Although it must be said just how close we were to losing Avin, “It’s gonna be terrible weather, we won’t see anything once we are at the top”. But in typical adventurous trips spirit he went for the exciting option. Good stuff.

A great trip really is about the journey not the destination.

I quickly figured it was going to be a sleepless night for all of us.

29/9/2012 – The crew. From left: Josh, Avin, Me, Kelly, Sarah, Jay and Matt.

So the day of much anticipation finally arrived. All excited like little kids allowed to stay up late, we prepared ourselves.

We left Brisbane at midnight on Friday night and had plans to catch up with Josh and Jay an hour down the motorway. As it turned out I had a navigational nightmare the whole way down to Mt Warning and we ended up taking the most twisty, dark and isolated roads one could imagine.

“Hey Dan, are we going the right way?” and “Where are we?” were common phrases.

At long last we got to the base of the hike at 2:40am – quite surprised there were at least 10 cars there already!

Jay, quite the photographer was not going to miss the sunrise so we quickly made headway.

Up and up, heart rate went faster and faster, body got hotter and hotter, and clothes disappeared more and more. Put your shirt back on Jay!

As you can imagine it’s a completely different ball game climbing at night. Kind of like mountain biking at night which is awesome too. It makes the climb seem shorter because you can only see your next step – you have to live in the moment, one step at a time.

29/9/2012 – Mt Warning, NSW
Photo by Jay Ferguson. Website:

We made fast progress, passing a couple of groups along the way and soon found ourselves at the last 100 metre chain rope section. I had envisioned this section quite different to reality; it was a winding steep path up rock ledges through bush. More than achievable for most.

We made it up at 4:30am or so, a good half hour before first light and joined a dozen fellow climbers. It got chilly fast and like survivors on a raft we huddled together to keep warm…no, make that less cold. Thinking he wouldn’t need a jumper, Jay left his jumper in the car – what a mistake that proved to be! Brrrrrrrr

The clouds on the horizon cleared just in time to see the sun raise its head, it all happened so fast and a few minutes later we were the first in Australia to see the Saturday sunrise.

29/9/12 – First rays of sunlight on Australia. Mt Warning, NSW.

Bobbing along to the tunes of Kelly’s backpack, and thinking “I don’t remember this track or these stairs?” we scaled our way back down, stopping by to take in the views and listening to nature.

A very memorable experience – would be great for a first climb at 4 hours return.

I felt underwhelmed though after seeing the light at Mt Barney. It was too touristy for me with the deck built at the summit and the occasional handrails throughout, and the degree of difficulty was quite low.

All in all though I loved getting out on our adventure and I had so much fun hanging out with mates. Thanks all.

29/9/2012 – Kelly on her home turf. Mt Warning, NSW.
Photo by Jay Ferguson. Website:
29/9/2012 – Taking in the scenery. Mt Warning, NSW.
Photo by Jay Ferguson. Website:
29/9/2012 – Mt Warning, NSW.
Photo by Jay Ferguson. Website:
29/9/2012 – Summit views. Mt Warning, NSW.
Photo by Jay Ferguson. Website:
29/9/2012 – Josh descending in style.
Photo by Jay Ferguson. Website:

One thought on “Mount Warning sunrise climb”

  1. To all the Grandma’s in the house. Get over to Mount Warning and climb that thang! Its really just a bushwalk – go for it!

Put your thoughts here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s