Day 117 Someone was having a laugh
Tuesday 4 February Rintoul Hut to Porters Creek Hut Start 7.10am Finish 5pm about. Forgot to check again. Distance 17km Total 1913km Steps 24,084 Elevation up 1500m, down 1200m
Weather: Overcast in the morning, rain in the afternoon When they created this part of the track someone at DOC was having a laugh. They decided if you put a few orange poles at regular intervals over a large rock slide, at least 700m wide, made up of large sharp boulders with gaping holes between, you can call it a track. There are times I look at what we are about to traverse and all that goes through my mind is, "What the @#%%^€£, how the hell am I supposed to get through, over or up that?"
I had a great day, despite starting to feel in need of a rest day, and the variety of terrain we had to cross was incredible. From the rock slips, boulder strewn rivers, moon landscapes, steep shingle banks, mountain crossings and boggy mud to the extremes of weather including gale winds, mist, rain and a tiny bit of sun. The first part of the day was a steep climb culminating in reaching the peak of Mt Ellis at 1615m. The day was overcast and the ridges covered in mist and again there were very strong winds. So we only got views from time to time when the mist momentarily parted. After that climb, just before lunch there was another climb, and then after lunch more climbing and finally just a bit more before descending to Porters Creek Hut. A bit of a pattern occurring. I think today has been the most elevation gain in a day so far.
The rain started after lunch, first a drizzle and ultimately horizontal rain. It was warm and despite the rain it was hot wearing a raincoat. Unfortunately the rain did prevent taking as many photos as I would normally. I have had such stunning weather most of the time I can't complain. Chad and I were relieved to get a bunk in the hut. There are only 7 of us in this 6 bed hut, so it isn't too crowded and it is a lovely group of people. As much as I don't wish injuries on to others, it is reassuring that most people have them, and I'm not the only one who regularly massages their feet and takes ibuprofen to keep them going. The rain has also cooled things down so I am hoping for a better nights sleep. Last night was shocking. Between feeling unbelievably hot to the constant wind flapping the tent, I didn't get much sleep at all. It is still raining and that will make crossing the rivers tomorrow interesting. One more day of this section and we exit at St Arnaud tomorrow. Eight days is the longest continuous tramp I have ever done. It has also been the most physically demanding part of the trail so far. Also reached the 1,900km mark today. Nearly two thirds of the way there!