Went for a bit of a stroll after New Year to burn off some Christmas cheer, and knock over one of Australia's longest vertical descents. We set off from Dead Horse Gap around 5pm on the 1st, and wandered up to the Ramsheads for a look around. We pushed on a little further and set up camp. Awoke in the morning to strong winds and rain, which (as always) sounds much worse inside the tent than it really is. Soon the rain eased off and the wind dried the tents out nicely. I was quite impressed that my companion's little One Planet Gunyah tent had stayed upright throughout the night, despite the predicted winds of up to 75km/h. After packing up we set off along the rest of the Ramsheads towards Mt K, stopping in at Cootapatamba and the Rawsons Pass bunker enroute. We were fortunate enough to reach the summit before the tourists started streaming along the boardwalk, however this left us with a fair bit of time to fill in. So we walked along the walking track for a km or two before dropping down to Lake Albina for a leisurely lunch, and a brief foray down to the outlet to check out the start of Lady Northcote's Canyon. Returning to the packs, it was time for a bit of a climb up to Townsend for a look around. As usual, there was plenty to see up there, including something which seemed strangely out of placeâ€¦ Headed across to Alice Rawson, then descended down some delightful rocky bluffs to our campsite near the saddle 1km north of the peak. Gathered some water from the nearby creek, and killed some time by going out to the old SMA trig station to the north. From here we could inspect our route for the following day, which didn't look too bad from the top. Satisfied, we returned to cook dinner and admire the sunset from our wildflower-carpeted campsite. The next morning we dragged ourselves out of bed, admired the view some more and packed up to go. Before leaving I made sure we were both carrying sufficient water for the day, and a little to spare. Last time I walked in this sort of country we were forced to spend a night partway up Watsons Crags with no water, which was not a pleasant experience. We set off at 8am. Beyond the trig station we were entering new territory, and the ruggedness of the country immediately became apparent. There was rock-scrambling down bluffs and good amounts of scrub to bash through, some of which pre-dated the 2003 fires. In some places the rocks and scrub combined to create some interesting obstacles. In general the going was slow, and it took us a solid hour to travel from the trig to our turning point, 1km to the west. [ Near this point the main spine of the spur ends, making it necessary to head north to pick up a secondary spur that would ultimately take us down to the Geehi River. We had to fight through scrub every step of the way, ranging from snowgum regrowth at the top to wattles at the bottom, and a good smattering of blackberries here and there just to add to the unpleasantness. The only item of note we encountered during the descent was this little nest. Does anyone know what sort of bird may have used it? The dense regrowth made navigation an issue; despite the narrowness of the spur it was hard to tell where the crest was, and we seemed to spend quite a bit of time off on the edge. The previous day I discovered that my poor old compass had lost all its vital fluid, making it virtually useless, and my ancient GPS wasn't up to the task of providing directions because of our slow speed. We had to resort to using the electronic compass function on my companion's altimeter watch, which wasn't a patch on even the most basic bushwalking compass. We stopped for lunch at 12:30pm, at around the 900m altitude. It was starting to get warm, so we had a brief siesta before setting off again at 2pm. The last 2.5km down to the river were some of the worst, and it wasn't until 5pm that we spotted moving water. Initially I had hoped for some open river flats along the banks, but this was not to be; we had to drop down a 10m embankment to reach the water's edge. Here we rested, and I went exploring for a campsite. After a bit of a search it became apparent that the only place to camp was a large rock in the centre of the river. I returned to share the good news with my walking partner, who had recovered sufficiently to suggest we continue up to the Geehi Dam road for the night. Though the concept of spending the night in the middle of the river appealed to me, the thought of reaching some form of civilisation was all too tempting. So at 6:15pm we waded the river (waist deep and quite fast flowing), then set off up the side of the hill. Partway up there was a great view of the potential campsite we had rejected. Fortunately the vegetation on the northern side of the Geehi was less dense than that which we had come through, but it still took us until 7:30 to climb the 200m to the road. After a short break we decided that the temptation of the cars at Geehi were too much, so we set off along the road. There were some beautiful views enroute, including one of the lower part of the spur down which we had descended. The rest of the trip was uneventful; we drop packs at the locked gate beside the Alpine Way, walked most of the way to Geehi before being picked up, and ultimately ate a belated dinner with the support crew by torchlight. Overall it was a great trip, but not one to be undertaken lightly.