Thetis 2014 Jan

Mt Thetis, Jan 2014.

Mt Thetis and Paddys Nut from below.
Mt Thetis is a mighty mountain, and, like many mountains in this area, has a name whose provenance rests in Greek mythology. For there, Thetis was a female immortal and the mother of the famous warrior, Achilles.

Thetis and more from Urquarts Messa
Thetis must have been rather lovely, as both Zeus and Poseidon (gods) courted her, but they backed away when they heard that there was a prophecy predicting that Thetis would bear a son that would be greater than his father. These gods were a little insecure, and couldn’t cope with the notion of having a son who would outshine the paternal glory.

Thetis (et al) from Mount Massif
Luckily for Thetis, King Peleus didn’t seem to have such ego issues, and was content to father such a son (named Achilles, once born). Why am I telling you this? Because I find it very sweet that the mountains Thetis and Achilles are next to each other. I find it very interesting that the mother is bigger and more important than her son (with respect to mountains). The mountain Achilles has a heel, so I guess that explains the name there, and so the neighbour was going to be Thetis whatever its size.

Thetis from Mt Achilles
I wonder if the real Thetis was as unapproachable as this mountain. It’s obviously not impossible to climb – we got up – but we had to think and plan our route, past the many palisades protecting the summit area, and we needed to negotiate thick scrub below, and cliffy obstacles up high. Sometimes you felt you were in a bit of a maze and wondered if you were going to find a lead to the summit area.

Thetis from below (Leonards Tarn – zoom)
Once we saw the gully we wanted, we knew we had succeeded. By the time we got there, it was already too glary for nice photos. The photos here are a selection from that summit day, and from other days on which I looked back at Thetis with pleasure, knowing I had summited her. I will go back one day and do it again. I’d actually like to camp on top and see the sunset views. Lugging a pack up there, however, would be one awesome task. Some of the cliffs require a huge oomph factor, which I am not sure I could do with a full pack on.

Thetis: summit view
To get the climb in the context of the expedition, on which we climbed Perrins Bluff, Achilles and Thetis, see:

Detail of route up and down Thetis from Leonards Tarn.

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