Monday 15 March, 2021
A long day to bag the last 4, of the ten highest peaks in Australia.
Alice Rawson, Mt Townsend, Abbot Peak West, Abbot Peak East.
Another chilly morning but we were greeted with a clear, glorious blue sky. A day when it is impossible not to feel elated, whatever you are doing. We were however, all feeling a little tentative about the long day ahead of us. Thankfully, at the end of the day, we realised it had been an unnecessary worry.
8.30 am saw us back at Charlottes Pass. We were to retrace our steps to Seamans Hut, where we would head off trail for the remainder of the day. It would take until midday, to reach the point of ascent of our first peak of the day.
Our first view of the day was that of the Snowy River and the trail of our very first day. Was it just three days ago?
Yeah, we could actually see the Snowy River this morning. No fog as on Saturday.
We bi-passed Seamans Hut and headed down the slope behind.
Down, down, down!
After crossing the stream above, it was another slog up and over the next ridge, with still a ridge ahead of us.
Finally, at about 11 am, we were dropping into the next valley with its stunning views across the New South Wales / Victorian border. This valley was less strenous to hike, with gentle slopes and a narrow path to follow. Rocks and bolders abounded, as did the variety of alpine flora. The day's magic grew!
Bottom RHS, - our packs were dropped here. Mike wanted to show us his favourite viewpoint, before we made our ascent of Alice Rawson.
Thank you Mike!
An unbelieveable panorama opened up before us. Seemingly endless valleys and ranges, bathed in our Aussie blue mist. [Created by sunlight and eucalyptus oil] The crisp mountain air gave an intense clarity to all we were viewing.
I felt quite light headed from the awe inspiring beauty surrounding me.
I think we all had a Julie Andrew's moment.
There had been several conversations over the previous few days re the groups ages. For some reason noone actually asked me. I did not comment.
My husband had bought me this special shirt to wear on my birthday. It had been covered all morning by my warm jacket. As we reached this point on the climb of Alice Rawson, I felt now was an opportune time to reveal how much these 4 days meant to me, and especially today.
The group immediately burst into the birthday song and congratulated me on my milestone, achievement and energy. Tears of happiness flowed and for the remainder of the day, it seemed my feet hardly touched the ground.
1pm at the summit.
LHS - Alice Rawson. Dave and Delyce are approaching Mt Townsend.
Slow progress was made to its base, because of the rock formations and glimpses of the Victorian ranges.
2pm - Mt Townsend is bagged. Eight peaks now climbed.
Mt Townsend, 18 metres lower than Mt Kosciuszko, was definitely the most challenging!
Our view from Townsend was an awe inspiring, 360 degrees from its small pinnacle.
By sheer chance, my friends in Tasmania just happened to Facetime me while I was standing so incredibly high in Australia. - 2209 metres!
We descended to our packs and hiked lower into the valley.
At this stream, we again downed the packs. It would be an hour before we returned to them, after climbing Abbot Peak West and East.
Looking back to Townsend.
Dave leading the way again.
Guess who is slowest?
It was quite an open, continous, steep slog up to to Abbot Peak West, but with very little rock clambering, to reach the summit.
Halfway, and a breather was very necessary!
I love these images.
Wow! The silvery grass [?] in full bloom.
3.30 pm - Finally, Abbot Peak West bagged.
Fleet footed Dave heading down.
Abbot Peak East is in our sights.
These images were taken to give the perspective of these gigantic boulders.
Final rock scramble.
4pm - Celebrations all round! Abbot Peak East summitted, completeing the ascent of the ten highest peaks in Australia, in 4 sensational days of hiking!
The views matched our feelings of exhileration.
Alas, no time to waste, we still had another 4 hours of hiking to return to Charlottes Pass.
Nearing our packs.
Descending lower into the valley, to make our way to the ridgeline on the far RHS, to drop back into the Snowy River Valley.
It was at this point that Dave felt a blister develping.
This was my view as I relaxed, listening to gurgling of the little stream and soaking up the incredible view in front of me. All too soon, Dave's first aid was completed and we continued on.
Final views of this valley and the Victorian mountain ranges.
5.30 pm - The Snowy River Valley appears and the reality of the distance still to complete.
Down, down, down!
Up, up, up!
Almost back at Seamans Hut.
7 pm - the last rays of sunlight shimmered on the boulder ridge, as the shadows rushed to hide them. The remaining kilometres were downhill, on a wide gravel road. Perfect!
The afterglow of sunset was so magical that it put a lightness to my step, but I did not want this day to end. The others in the group were soon out of sight, as I took time to savour every last moment of this amazing hike.
Night arrives, as the the day's adventure ends.
Receiving our Ten Peaks Certificate from Mike.
My husband's card rings very true!
I think there is little more to say. It was the most unbelieveable 4 days and I am just so grateful that all my hot, humid training, saw me through. Since returning, I have had the confidence to climb 2 of SE Queensland peaks, that have been on my radar for a long time. Both were steady, steep, rock scrambling climbs, taking about 6 hours each. I believe they are far harder than any of the Ten Peaks but I am certainly thrilled to have been able to summit each and every one!
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