At the start of this track is a sign - “Very Steep” it reads. I brace myself, but I have done “steep” before. And besides, one of my earliest lessons as a writer was to never use the word ‘very’. Something is steep. If it is steeper than steep then the writer’s job is to find a better word, not add ‘very’.
As we begin walking, there is no warm-up. The acclivity starts metres from the carpark as the track begins its climb of 900m in elevation from the wall of Corin Dam outside Canberra, ACT, to the 1,855m summit of Mount Gingeri on the edge of the Bimberi Wilderness. The first 500m in elevation is the boldest and most sudden. Fortunately there are excellently wrought steps. Not too big, not too small. Slowly but surely we gain height as the morning wears on. I have hours, and many steps, ahead of me, to come up with a better word than ‘very’ steep.