We giggled as we jaunted along. This was funny. We were supposedly climbing a mountain (Parson and Clerk) – one that one friend had failed to reach, and others had taken a very long time and over double our height gain to summit (hating the hakea spikes while they did so) – but here we were on flat, open, prickle-free land, having a pleasant Sunday stroll (well, Saturday, actually), yet steadily progressing towards our goal. Whilst the Abels book has you moiling up countless contours, our route would involve a mere 261 metres “climb” between the car and the summit, and a tidy 2 hrs 20 in each direction. Lest you think I’m bragging originality for this route, it is now time to give credit to “north-north-west” from the bushwalking forum, who suggested it to me. Brilliant, thanks.
The only scrub we had to negotiate was in the final hour of ascent, and really, as far as scrub goes, it was not too bad. It was possible to connect boulder lines that avoided most of it.
The only negative factor was the view from the top, which was about as enormous as the climb had been. My husband was not having a good day, so we had left him at the top of the first rise, giving him time to rest while we finished the mountain off, and he had enjoyed a much better view from there than we had from the peak. Angela and I agreed we’d rather be down in the south west, but you can’t be there every weekend. That said, it’s good to experience all the different mountains that Tasmania has to offer – that’s precisely why we keep enjoying this fantastic smorgasbord of possible mountains rather than climbing some favourite one every single weekend. Variety is the spice, as the old saying acknowledges.
As with a food smorgasbord, you taste everything once (well, I do) and return for seconds of the dishes that most pleased you. This is what I propose to do with mountains: try each one once, and then spend my remaining mountain life returning over and again to my favourites (I have already, of course, begun on the second half of that programme whilst undertaking the first).
We won’t bother re-climbing that summit, but I think you may well find us camping one day near one of the two little huts in the plains. There was a lovely sense of space and peace out there.