Attempt 1, Aug 2014
Not for the first time (see two other links below) one of my best walks in terms of beauty and fun has been a walk where we failed to reach the summit. I was going to write “our goal”, but isn’t the goal actually to have a wonderful day in the wilderness rather than necessarily to reach a summit? The summit will wait for me. I’ll get there some other time, but we had a beautiful day in the bush, that’s for sure.
For me, the day began very, very early, as I had to get up at 3.30 in order to meet my friends at 6.30 at Kingston, and then drive some more with them. We all knew there had been a heavy, fresh dump of powder; we also knew that there was a possibility that we could not even reach the starting point of our walk due to deep snow or floods or a thick tree blocking our path, but we were all ready to give it a go anyway.
Tasmanian rainforest with a cover of snow is a very beautiful sight. We worked our way through the snowy fairyland, stopping to regroup, climbing steadily, but not speedily. My main impression of the day was just the joy of being there in such a fabulous environment. Towards our turnaround point, the snow was chest deep and it was becoming even slower, and extremely tiring for anyone in the lead to force a passage through. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. We were all enjoying the moment, and also all aware that we were starting to get pretty cold. It was time to head for home.
Working the thick snow
As I enjoyed the downwards trip – made significantly easier by the fact that we just had to follow our own snow ditch – I pondered how good it is to be doing this with other like-minded people: people willing to get out of bed early and enjoy a couple of minor hardships (like being cold, carrying a pack, being fit enough to enable the project) in order to be in supreme beauty and have fun while being there: it would be much too dangerous (idiotic?) to go into an extreme environment like that solo.