The aim of this trip is to introduce two new awildland team members to the world of wild places. Blue and Yella are secondhand packrafts purchased months earlier. They have been waiting patiently in the garage as winter cold fronts have swept, one after the other, over the Tasmanian mountains. They’ve heard rumours of snow camping and frozen boots. They’ve seen the awildland team returning wet to the bones. They’ve glimpsed photos of white-capped mountains and ice-covered tarns. Now it’s spring. This is to be their maiden voyage. We choose something simple for this first adventure, and, it turns out something totally sublime.
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
Saturday, 31 October 2020
“A lot happened today” is the opening, understated sentence in my journal on Day 3 of an eight day walk in the Jagungal Wilderness of Kosciuszko National Park.
“Up at 5:30am,” it continues. “The sky east was clear, the sky west dark with clouds. The frontal edge of the approaching storm is drawn in a straight line directly above us. Re-checked the weather and not much change but, hints that the bad weather should be gone by the afternoon.”
So, of course who wouldn’t set off walking into that uncertain sky. We started walking that day at 7:30am, leaving the safety and shelter of O'Keefe's Hut with plans to stick to our Plan A, which was to climb the epic 2,061m high Mt Jagungal and spend a night on its impressive summit; despite the menacing pall, despite the storm warning and with us using the untracked, steep, thick-scrubbed direct approach from the weather station on Grey Mare Fire Trail.