Achilles 2014 Jan

Mount Achilles January 2014

Near the summit of Mount Achilles
I climbed Mount Achilles on the rebound after summitting Perrins Bluff. In fact, we wasted so much time that afternoon waiting for two people who were not actually with us that I feared we had timed ourselves out of this climb, and I was full of a combination of impatience and disappointment. I felt a particular attainment to Mount Achilles – perhaps because  the name Achilles is so well known from Greek mythology and I greatly enjoy the whole story, and additionally because it is so very visible from the Overland Track at Frog Flats. I love the fact that Achilles’s Heel is so prominent; after all, you couldn’t call a mountain Achilles if it didn’t have an attractive heel. Achilles without his heel is almost nobody. I also like it the Achilles is next to his mother, Thetis. I wanted to climb this mountain full of mythology and connotations.

View down to the heel.
But, we let the sun drop and drop as we waited for these people and I gazed out at Achilles, wishing myself there but giving up on her as a possibility. At last the two arrived from the mountain they’d climbed and chatted with the people I was with, and finally, we got to move on in my desired direction.

The heel on the way down.
And yes, when we reached the base, there was definitely time for an ascent. Full of desire and impatience, I scrambled quickly up the nearest possible chute, which was definitely not the best possible option, and was, in retrospect, quite dangerous, but I was so full of summit angst by this stage, I cared for nothing else, and forged on, soothing my frustration in purposeful movement up the very loose slope.

Achilles from our tents below.
Once on top, I was very glad the sun was in its current position, as that meant the light had a golden tinge to it, and interesting shadows were starting to fall. I was at peace at last, and the small group I was with lingered there until practical considerations (like light and dinner) forced a descent. We did not descend via the self-destructing chute of our way up, but used the bushes to retard our progress down the very steep slope to camp.

Mount Achilles, as seen from afar, along with Barn Bluff and Pelion West.
For  description of many aspects of the full trip, see

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