Mt Marian and Trestle Mountain April 2015.
People climb mountains for many reasons. Some climbers, when asked why they did it, merely respond: “Because it was there”, which is not altogether helpful. Perhaps if I may attempt to articulate the unarticulated, I think they probably mean that the very presence of the mountain issues a challenge that they just couldn’t resist. Possibly at the other extreme are people who maintain that they only ever go up a mountain to have “a lovely day out” and that they don’t care which mountain it is, or whether or not they reach the summit. My first born daughter used to refuse to stop climbing anything until she had reached the top – and that was when she was still in nappies. I decided watching her that a drive to the summit was a genetic thing, as I had never taught her to behave like that.
I set out after breakfast, and was ready to roll at Myrtle Forest Picnic area by 10. (For those from the north and foreign visitors, if you head for Collinsvale, there is very clear signposting after that.)
The first part of the track was glorious, beside a ferny creek with, hardly surprisingly, myrtles here and there. However, my eyes were decidedly groundwards, as there were many colourful fungi popping their cute umbrella heads out from wood and moss, and I was enjoying them. All too soon the track split, and my route, the right hand one, turned away from the creek and the forest became drier until, 35 minutes after leaving the car, I bumped rather unexpectedly into the Collins Cap track start. However, this was like the sirens tempting Odysseus. My goal was Mt Marian, not this one, and I would not be turned off my course. On I marched, happy with the unexpectedly short time for this section. Business-mode was working well.
Mist started gathering as I approached the under girth of Trestle Mountain. Should I do this one first whilst there was still maybe the possibility of a view? No. If I do, I might not do the further one. Hardest, furthest first was my self-made rule. All my eggs were now in the Marian basket. If the weather closed right in and it poured with rain maybe I would get no mountains for my drive. “No”, I told myself, “You’re summiting two mountains today, whatever the weather”, and on I went. No wussing allowed for people in business-mode.
Back down I went , through the glorious patches of pineapple grass, and past countless bushes of berries (Leptecophylla juniperina – red – and snowberries: Gaultheria hispida – white). We could have had a modern-day Aussie-variety House of Lancaster vs York up there. The road was festooned in red and white. On I strode, continuing on 100 ms past where I had originally joined this East-West highway to the narrow path that said it led to Trestle Mountain. Up I climbed, still making excellent time. By now I was a bit peckish, but it wasn’t quite lunchtime, and besides, the wind was nasty up there, and my hands were aching with the cold, despite my relatively fast movement. I retreated back to the fire trail and began my return trip to the car, my work intentions satisfied.
Because I had now completed my mission, I was more relaxed, so when I spotted a nice creek on the descent, I plopped down beside it, and got out my food, enjoying the little grove of richea dracophylla that surrounded me. It’s good that the nearby minutiae pleased, as there had been no grand vistas on offer today (even minor vistas were absent).
Perhaps that kind of “efficiency” in mountain climbing is some people’s idea of hell, but I enjoyed myself greatly. I like both kinds of climbing. The former athlete in me still delights in a good workout; it’s a hard habit to break.
Note, there is no track on the map underneath all those blue lines, but there is a path or road (dirt) underneath all. Neither the gps nor the paper map has all of the roads marked. I felt pretty cheated having bought the paper map of Wellington Ranges especially for the purpose of not getting lost, only to find it hadn’t done me the courtesy of putting the useful information on the map, yet feeling quite at home with charging me money for it. If you want to go there, I suggest you print off a larger version of this and have it in your pocket.
Total climb, 1000 ms. horizontal distance 18.4 kms. Km equivalents: 28.4 kms.
Another useful source of information in helping me work out what was feasible given my timeframe, and providing a map similar to this one with his route on it was at http://hikinginsetasmania.blogspot.com.au/