Day 114 Views Forever
Saturday 1 February Starveall Hut to track above Old Man Hut Start 8.15am Finish 5.15pm Distance 13km Total 1,869km Steps 21,027 Elevation up 850m, down 700m Weather: sunny, some cloud cover, calm then a little windy Today we had pretty much every type of track except flat. Steep hill in the bush and exposed, both up and down. Rock climbing, sidling, and ridges. Full of variety with staggering views.
We are camped on the track above Old Man hut which is 300m down off the trail. The idea of voluntarily going down, and coming tomorrow back up was not appealing to either me or Chad. So here we are, with our tents up on a ridge, on kind of flat sites (not really flat but good enough), and with a bit of protection from the wind by some beech trees munted by the constant wind. The wind is getting up, and in view of how minimally I was able to get my pegs in the ground, I hope the wind doesn't get any stronger. Otherwise Chad might find he has company in the middle of the night.
Other than the fact I am very tired and can't be bothered doing the blog right now, I really think the photos do a better job of showing what it was like. So less words and more photos. One of the brilliant things with having company is I have a model to give some of the photos perspective and there are photos of me for a change. It is sometimes a pain in the butt to get the tripod out when I am tired, so photos of me are minimal.
Chad and I have worked out that he is faster on the uphill (that is not a hard ask), and I am faster down, so between us we sort of average out the same and have found a comfortable pace that suits us both. Throw into the mix a ton of photo and food breaks and all in all a pretty amazing and relaxing day. We both reached our point of exhaustion around the same time so are camped up and in our sleeping bags ready to sleep at 8pm. Ahhhh, the life of a tramper. We were fortunate that some incredibly clever person put a barrel that collects rain water at the top of Old Man Peak. As there are no streams up this high it meant we didn't have to go to the hut for water. Granted, not everyone would have been happy to drink it, and Chad is a bit dubious, but we filtered it, and it tastes okay, so we have used it in our cooking tonight, and it is a good backup if we run out before the next hut. For the last two days we have filled extra water bladders because of the minimal water in the tanks at the huts at the moment. So that is 4 litres I'm carrying. I can feel the extra on the uphill along with the food!
We have been incredibly lucky with the weather, and the wind we did get today was a relief from the heat. Tomorrow is going to be hard. Up three peaks, with Mt Ritnoul being the highest we cross in these ranges. I am hoping for a good night sleep. Last night wasn't too bad. There were four humans in the hut , plus a number of mice. Once we all had our food hanging up, the mice quieted down and let us sleep.