In this post-industrial world built from concrete and steel, exposure to nature can only be achieved when escaping the comfort of suburban life.

The dwindling natural areas in rural Australia not only have to battle the threat of overpopulation but the harsh weather elements as well.

A huge bushfire burnt through Mount Canobolas in January last year, destroying many of the tracks that make up the Mountain Challenge course. The earth was scorched, the trails were unidentifiable, large trees had fallen across the path, and wooden steps had been burnt out.

The 2018 Mountain Challenge was cancelled.

Twelve months later – while much of the region is in drought – the high country around Mt Canobolas has attracted rain. The landscape is slowly recovering – trunks are sprouting new leaves and branches.

National Parks have been busy restoring the trails and replacing the burnt steps, and through their hard work and dedication, they have repaired the course just in time for the 2019 event.

The 2019 Greater Bank Volcanic Challenge on March 31st marks the rebirth of Mount Canobolas. With less undergrowth you might even set a new PB – that is if you can avoid taking the extra time to appreciate the regenerated alpine bush environment.

 

Family Trail Run 

While most would like to be able to complete the Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge, it’s undeniably beyond the capability of some athletes.

With this in mind, the organisers have developed a new, less challenging event – the Family Trail Run.

The unfluctuating five-kilometre track follows forestry roads and is suitable for children, parents pushing prams, and possibly wheelchairs – though that is yet to be tested.

The Family Trail Run also visits an unnamed peak that few have ever visited – one super fit member of the Orange Runners Club suggested calling it Mount Undulation due to the cruisy ascent.

If you visit the anonymous summit on Sunday 31st March, you will have an opportunity to name the peak – the organising committee will consider all suggestions and pick a winner, and the mystery hill will finally have a name.

When else in your lifetime will you get an opportunity to name a mountain?

For more information and to register please visit – https://www.runnsw.com.au/event/2019-volcanic-challenge/