Sunday, 12 September 2021

Day 4 - Australia's Ten Peaks Walk

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. 


I had found utopia. I did not want to leave. 

BUT ...........   Alice Rawson called.

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.

8 pm.

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!

I would love to read your comment.


  1. You are a constant inspiration! When I grow up…

    The landscape is so different from the usual Aussie landscape you feature too. At elevation it’s not surprising though. You can almost see into next week up there.

    1. You are very kind, Marie. I love your expression, "You can almost see into next week"! It is perfect for these vistas. The landscape and temperatures were a complete opposite to hiking in SE Queensland. HOw I wish I were closer.

  2. Huge congrats for completing the 10 peaks! What a great way to celebrate a milestone birthday. Love your birthday shirt!

    1. Thank you, Linda. It was pretty sensational. I would love to return in summer for the wildflowers, but at present Covid numbers down south don't make it look too promising.

  3. My congratulations, and a great deal of envy that you were able to do it. Again I thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks Bill. I love that you are still out and about with your camera and if it is any consolation, I am presently hindered by sciatica. A real bummer.

  4. What a fabulous day to end the challenge with sunshine and success - well done! They look like challenging wild terrain up there.

    1. It was brilliant. So glad MIke reorganised the days. Would have hated to have done it in fog. You would cruise it!

  5. Wow, just wow! Congratulations, dear Helen, and belated happy birthday wishes! What a hike! Those views, the crisp air, the beauty of the flora... and the challenging achievement. You certainly are an inspiration. :)
    Big hugs!

    1. Thank you Sara. It was the crisp air, the beauty of the flora etc that made it so special for me.

  6. Congratulations to all who succeeded in making it to the peak. A great accomplishment!

  7. Thank you David. The group hadn't met previously, but we jelled immediately, and this added to success of the adventure for me.

  8. You are amazing! Happy birthday to you, indeed!The color of the landscape near sunset made for amazing photos. Several of those would look great blown up on canvasses and would be a daily reminder of your birthday bash walk Kudos to you, Helen!