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Stage 289 – Cranbrook to Mount Barker

Another stage with not much, if any, flat road at all. Stage 289 slides by the western fringe of the Stirling Range National Park, which is elevated, and that translates into a very up and down stage, particularly towards the end.

The rollout is steeply downhill, which suggests there’s water nearby and you’d be right. Pinjalup Creek passes by, running east west, after three miles, by which time the stage has already done up and down by a couple of hundred feet in either direction. After the creek, there’s a four mile climb up to Yenmore which nestles between Orchid Nature Reserves and Tenterden, which is sited on the railway line half a mile to the east of the Albany Highway. Sitting at over eleven hundred feet, Yenmore is by far and away the highest elevation of the stage.

The descent off the top is equally dramatic, losing all of the elevation previously gained, down to more water at sixteen miles. After a short up and down, there’s what might just pass as the flattest mile of the stage before the big lumpy stuff kicks in at eighteen miles: five very sharp climbs coupled with five very sharp descents in seven miles create a real rollercoaster effect to the end of the stage.

The undulations start as the road passes through Tambo Parkland, and each trough in the road is associated with a creek running east/west at ninety degrees to the highway. The road curves left after Willinga at twenty two miles at the top of the highest of the five climbs before passing through Greystones and bisecting the gap between Egypt Estate and Chateau Barker at yet another water crossing: but there’s still enough time in the two miles that remain for a further up/down/up before ending the stage on approach to Mount Barker itself.

Distance: 24 miles / 38 kilometres

Ascent: 869 feet / 265 metres

RGT Magic Road: z5N2np6jFjPI

Total distance: 24.93 mi
Max elevation: 1120 ft
Min elevation: 899 ft
Total climbing: 869 ft
Total descent: -887 ft

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