Distance to cover: 8.2km
Forecast: Fine and sunny
Dinner to look forward to: Tuna with pasta and rehydrated veg
Socks and Boots: Wet, despite being next to a heater last night
In happy news, the old couple have decided to rest up today at New Pelion Hut. Some of the other hikers have kindly donated them spare food so they have enough for an extra day. This officially makes them S.E.P. (Someone Else's Problem), so we will notify any rangers we see along the way of their situation and not be surprised if we hear helicopters overhead in the next day or so.
Today is a fairly easy trek from hut to hut but most people choose to check out the side trips along the way; a couple of waterfalls and Mt Ossa, Tasmania's highest mountain at 1617m. On setting out today we are both feeling a little sore after the long stretch yesterday and decide we'll have a look at the falls but not climb the mountain. The ranger we saw on day 2 recommended that people at least climb the first 20 mins of the 4 hr Mt Ossa side trip, as the view from a small "shoulder" mountain is pretty spectacular too. That sounds like a good compromise.
|waterfall near Douglas Creek|
|Lunch stop at Pelion Gap. |
Beware the currawongs that are adept at opening zips!
So we leave our packs at the track along with all the others who have already departed for the climb. They look very colourful as everyone has put their pack covers on to keep the currawongs from stealing muesli bars. We take a small bag with our lunch, "scroggin" (a healthy mix of M&Ms, clinkers and liquorice bullets) and a water bottle. And out cameras of course. But we won't be long, since it's just a short way up to Mt Doris.
|From Mt Doris looking toward Mt Ossa. It doesn't look that big or far away! We can do that easy!|
|It's hard to get perspective of how steep this is... but those guide posts are vertical|
It took ages and my legs were quivering when we finally scrambled up the last bit. There was indeed a little lake and some clean snow to refill the water bottle. Sean is sunburnt but scrounges some sunscreen off some of the others who made it up before us. And the view is Magnificent. You can see all the way back to Cradle Mountain to the north, where we started, and Frenchman's Cap and Lake St Clair (our destination) to the south. Womby enjoys the view too, but the climb wasn't very hard for him as he was in the backpack the whole way. I guess we have been extremely lucky with the weather again as there wouldn't be too many sunny days this high up, and you certianly wouldn't do the climb if it was wet and foggy.
|Still climbing! Looking back to Mt Pelion West|
|Finally!! View from the top of Mt Ossa, looking north. Cradle Mt on the horizon to the right.|
|Sean is less than impressed with my decisions|
Since it's a fine night and I have been carrying the bloody thing all this way, we decide to put up the tent tonight. The relationship is still intact after all parts of the tent have been slotted, tied, zipped and secured so I think we are doing pretty well. A "bird bath" in the freezing cold creek (where you fling it around a lot but don't actually get very wet) and we are definitely ready for some dinner.