Mount Toolbrunup in the stirling ranges is one of my favourite hikes in the whole range. The mountain is cone shaped and doesn’t see hardly anything near the amount of hikers that tackle Bluff Knoll each year. With it being only 40m lower than Bluff Knoll, it still presents a huge challenge for people looking to climb its slopes. With the final kilometre to the summit coming in at 42%, its a serious mountain and a fun one at that.
I hiked Toolbrunup way back in 2009 and I went back in August 2019 to give it another crack. Here is my account below.
I had driven all the way from Busselton to try and climb as many of the major peaks in the Stirling Range as possible. I had arrived on Sunday afternoon at 4pm and booked into the Stirling Range Retreat. For an unpowered campsite it set me back $16 and is certainly worth it compared to the $10 a night government run campsite down the road. You get full access to the kitchen, hot showers, TV, wood fire they have it all. a
The hike to the top starts through the forest and is very gentle for the first 30 minutes or so. As it was dark I couldn’t see a whole lot but when I went down the views up to the peak are very impressive. A huge rock wall emerges from the right of the trail and the views on the trail are really nice for the entire walk.
After 30 minutes is where the trail turns from being really nice to a 40% slope up big boulders and right up the guts of the mountain. If there was ice or snow on the rocks then this would become treacherous so it would be advised to avoid these types of weather events if you’re going for the summit.
Once you leave the main path and enter the rocks there is no way that you could ever become lost. There are marker poles that reflect in the night with a torch spaced every 20m or so and it is very helpful as there are a few different ways that you could end up going.
The final section skirts around the base of the summit cliff before coming out onto the true summit. Once you get to the top you’re greeted with 360 degree views of the whole range and it is something quite amazing. It had taken me 1 hour to get from the car park to the summit and I was on top at 6am. As it was August the sun wasn’t rising until 630am so it was the perfect time to be on the top to watch the sun glow and light up the eastern sky.
The summit area is quite small but you can walk around and explore different areas. There are a lot of drop offs around here so it should be noted that care needs to be taken. I spent around 45 minutes on the top taking it all in and enjoying the views, they really are something magical.
I was back at the car just after 715am and back at the camp ground by 730. Not a bad start to the day if you ask me.
Would I recommend this hike?
On the other hand, if you’re up for an adventure then this is the peak for you. The top is a cone shape and the summit area isn’t that big at all. You can explore the top and even do some bouldering on the summit rocks.
Logistics for the trip
How to get there
For the exact starting point of the hike click here.
Where to Stay
How long is the hike
Rain proof jacket and pants (the weather may be clear but you want to always be prepared. Mountain weather is unpredictable)
Breakfast and snacks
2l water minimum
Hiking boots or trail shoes with really good grip