Horizontal Hill 8 Feb 2016
Angela on top of Horizontal Hill, the Guardians behind
Our friend, Mark, first mooted the idea of climbing Horizontal Hill in the dead of last winter, when the nights were frozen and the days icy. I wanted to climb this too, but had decided reservations, for the route involves a 350ms wade through Lake Marion before you begin ascending. I thought about wearing my wetsuit, and meanwhile bought a pair of light, padded Wellingtons. I was not looking forward to the ordeal, but, as Malcolm Fraser said, “Life wasn’t meant to be easy”, and well, you take what comes in this business of trying to climb all the Abels.
Now, the dreaded icy lake was a delightful warm bath. Padded Wellingtons were replaced by open crocs and the wetsuit allowed to continue gathering dust in the laundry. The wade was fun, even if I did keep sinking, and then we left the water behind to head upwards on bearing through rather lovely pandani forest, travelling towards the head of a pointy spur. Punishment for the unexpected ease here was the inevitable band of scoparia, but I have seen a lot worse and we swallowed our medicine, and in under two hours were doing the last climb up a sandstone cliff to the summit area, to at last sit up there and eat and drink in both view and water.
Next morning, after a relaxed beach breakfast, Angela and I set off for our next goals, vi.z, Falling Mountain and Castle Crag.
It was actually too hot to climb them that afternoon, so we got ourselves into position for an early assault in the coolness of the next morning. It was good we didn’t go up that afternoon, as Angela was not feeling at all well, and the next day she found a tick on her body that we assume was the cause of the malaise.