25 May 2010

Overland Track Jan 2000 - Day 6

Mt. Ossa and Pelion East

Following the mosquitoes’ shrill dipteric serenade, we set off next morn to Pelion Gap, where we dropped our packs - along with about forty other trusting folks, (every man and their quoll stops here) - and headed towards Mt Ossa.

The breathtaking views from the top were tempered only by the fact that the climb had already left us breathless, and there are similarly stunning views on the way up. The approach to the summit is like something out of a Wagner opera - and similar perhaps in the sense that the awesome ├Žsthetic rewards come after some sustained arduous efforts! The circle shows two people, to give you an idea of scale.

It is true though that you can see half way across Tasmania on a clear day. Even on a clear sunny day, the wind at the top was icy, and we were very pleased to have a reason to don some of the clothing we had packed with such meticulous forethought.
On the left, Glen, Andrew, Joseph and a huge cushion plant in flower. Mt. Oakleigh is in the background, looking very small.

Mt Ossa Panorama

LtoR: Mt Pelion West, Barn Bluff, Cradle Mtn, Forth River Gorge, Mt Oakleigh, Lake Ayr, Mt Pillinger, Pelion East, Dean’s Bluff, Joseph & Helen Purdam, Cathedral Mountain, Falling Mountain, Mt Massif Click on the pic to see a larger version, where the banding is not so obvious.
We followed this climb with an afternoon ascent of the much hairier Pelion East - the large dark nipple on the above photo - a peak we were glad to get up and down safely. We took the wrong ascent, and had to contend with fairly loose scree and exposed climbs.

We headed down hill to Pelion Plains, pitching camp - after Joseph’s compulsory daily dummy-spit - where we could watch the sun set behind the ominous Pelion West. This awesome mountain entertained us that night by wearing a beautiful hogsback cloud that would continuously form on one side, curl its fingers over the top and evaporate on the other side. As the sky darkened, the cloud took on more the tufted look of an old man’s shock of silver hair, before settling like a comfortable fluffy doona to keep him warm overnight.

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

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