I am getting good at third climbs. Thurs-Fri, I slept on Mt Rufus with a friend for my third climb of it (see blog below this one), and next day, Kirsten, Gussy and I set out to climb and sleep on Trestle Mountain. For me it was the third time; for Gussy the second; and for Kirsten, whose choice it was, it was the first, which is why she chose it.
I am delighted to report that it never occurred to Gus for a single second to be reluctant to go on the grounds that he’d already done it. He reads books many, many times over and has no problem with repeat mountain climbs. I actually find this a very important character trait. People who always need something new, who dislike something on the grounds that they’ve already “done” it are the ones who bother me. (HATE that world “done”.)
In actual fact, the three of us were supposed to be rogaining this weekend, but it had turned into an event requiring goggles, flippers, a wet suit and possibly even snorkels, and the organisers had decided to cancel. So, we had a weekend that had been kind of dedicated to a threesome bush adventure, so decided to combine my love of sleeping as near to the top of mountains as possible with Kirsten’s desire to add another Abel to her collection. Off we set.
Gus is only in fifth class, and it is hard work climbing Trestle right from the base at Mountain Creek with a pack on, but that is the route we decided on, it being the most beautiful – and, as all of us enjoy a good workout and lovely scenery, that is the route we chose.
After 35 minutes, we gave Gussy’s shoulders a break, and after 46 we crossed the first creek. I decided that, even though we’d just had a break, we should have a drink, so we took the packs off again and had some fresh running water. If my memory serves me correctly we didn’t have another shoulder break until the 2 hour mark, when we found a spot incredibly suitable for camping. It was definitely time for food and a drink, as well as a shoulder rest, but while the other two rested properly, I went off to search this spot for camping possibilities. It was ideal in one sense – it was flat, with running water and smooth ground for both tents – but we weren’t on the mountain and we didn’t have a view. I was not completely happy.
I suggested they stay there while I go up further. I was sure we were about to top out any minute, so I’d see if I could find a spot up higher that suited. Off I set. It was further than I thought (12 minutes more), and then I had to explore all around the place. No spot yelled out that it was perfect, and all spots lacked the essence of beauty, but I could feel the fresh air of being on a mountain, and although it was all closed in weather-wise so there was no view, it still had that feeling of space around it that height generates. It looked like the tripod would stay in the pack yet again. Sigh.
I started back down to report on what I’d seen, and there they were. They are like me, and would much prefer to walk and explore than sit and wait. Seeing’s we are talking about my daughter and her son, that is hardly something to be marvelled at. Genetics will out. I showed them my spots. Kirsten used her power of veto, so we explored some more. She examined a patch of pineapple grass, but Gussy and I saw a kind of clearing, headed for it, and discovered what we felt was the perfect camping spot.
There had been snow up ahead on Collins Bonnet, but there was no snow here, which was a bit disappointing, but everything else was perfect. We pitched our tents, collected water, cooked and ate dinner, and then played Hannabi, a favourite card game, before it was time for bed.
The next morning was very misty and raining a bit, so we didn’t hurry at all, but were on the summit well before 9 o’clock, so Gussy was happy that some of his friends might still be in bed, but he’d already climbed a mountain. It was foggy and cold as we did the last bit from the tent to the top, but it cleared while we were playing around on the rocks, so we did get a view.
The sun was now shining, but we were still cold back at the tents, so decided to have hot soup before descending. Kirsten’s pack was very heavy indeed, and mine was not light, so divesting ourselves of that tiny bit of extra weight was also welcome. Meanwhile, we had managed to eat a whole box of chocolates that I had brought up, so that helped my cause.
When I asked Gus during lunch (had at his choice of cafe back in Hobart) what were his three favourite aspects of the walk, he said, in order: camping, being on the summit, and singing all the way down.
For some reason I had asked Kirsten what was the carol that the Christmas Eve service always started with, and instead of telling me, she sang. Gus and I stopped in our tracks to listen to her pure angelic voice giving us the boy soprano rendition of Once in Royal. Tears came to my eyes, and I could see Gussy was also affected by the beauty of what he was hearing. Kirsten prefers alto, but she sure did the soprano part justice here. We then sang canons and rounds the rest of the way down, in a pretty high key for Gussy, as he has a gorgeous little soprano voice too.
I think his favourite two were (1) “Black socks. They never get dirty / The more that you wear them the better they get.
Sometimes I think I should wash them / But something inside me/ Says No No not yet, not yet, not yet, not yet”.
(2) One bobble bop etc for those who know it. Both have primary school humour.
Before we’d blinked we were back at the car and nobody had asked for a break. Singing while you walk does that. Bruce and I always used to sing on bushwalks, and it took me back to many, many happy bushwalks of yesteryear.
Back when I was pretty fresh out of uni, I started a bushwalking club for inner-city, concrete-jungled girls (Sydney). We used to sing around the campfire, and we would make up songs about the hike to tunes that we knew ,and sing as we went along. “It’s a long long way to Blue Gum forest” remains my favourite.