29 May 2010

Overland Track Jan 2000 - Day 7

Mt. Oakleigh

Pah! I dunno which day we’re up to now. But I remember that the dusk the night before (remember? Mt Pelion West was pulling his doona over) I saw the biggest, fattest, meanest, most determined looking possum I’ve ever seen. He looked like he’d rolled up his sleeves. He’d obviously sorted out who was boss of the camps… it was whoever could stay awake the longest! We were extra careful with storing our food that night, deciding to eat the last five days food then and there… … er… …stuffing the chocolate deep into our sleeping bags … er … well, just tying up packs really tightly, actually - so he left for the adjacent campsite where they fed him port and cigars.
The next day, after passing a rather bilious looking possum, we started for Mt Oakleigh. This was a very strenuous climb, not so much for the height, a mere 540 metres, but because of the added weight of the mud sticking to our boots, and the extra effort to lift them out of knee deep bogs.

Mt Oakleigh Panorama - Overland Track, Tasmania
Looking south, west and north from Mt. Oakleigh. LtoR: Mt Ossa, Macs Mountain (bg), Mt Thetis, Mt Achilles, Mt Pelion West (with the scar), Pineforest Moor, Barn Bluff (the bump), Cradle Mtn. Forth River Gorge is in the foregoround.

Between that and the baking heat at the top, we were exhausted upon our return, and strolled off to Old Pelion Hut for a bath in the creek (below the lowest water gathering site, and thus widely accepted as the place to swim).
We bumped into a very friendly and fit young blonde Scandinavian woman, who seemed to know many people on the track and who also wanted to have a swim. It was very interesting the number of fathers who came over to chat with me whilst I was swimming. I never knew I was that popular!

As seen on Andrew Purdam's Bushwalking Treasure Box blog.

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