Anything hot at the end of a long cold hike

The Trek, looking back where we came...seems impossible!

The Trek, looking back where we came...seems impossible!

Wedge tailed eagle

Wedge tailed eagle

I’ve been away from the computer for a while, work, exam study, boyfriend home from a stint up north for work, more exam study, changing stations for work, and oh yeah, the exam! But last weekend I was out and away hiking. Thereafter I was much to sore to walk, let alone type, especially with all the cuts from brushing through prickly bushes, making me look like I had a new kitten at home. I literally hobbled around for the first day back at work, seizing up if I sat still too long. It got a little better after that, but it took three days till I could start to move whole steps without pain, and sit down by bending my legs rather than leaning back and falling into it.

Dawn day 2

The group

The group

  Dawn day 2

The hike was the ridge walk in the Stirling Ranges in WA, starting, I”m not sure where, maybe Elen’s peak? Or the bottom atleast, and finishing at the Bluff Knoll carpark (after a rest and great view at the top of course). I went with two friends, Michelle and Naomi, as well as navigator extraordinary, and Michelle’s boyfriend, Steve. Steve not only navigated us through the unmarked walk, up and down the peaks, and around the side of the mountains, but also knew the right scout knots to tie to lower our packs down cliffs before we climbed down after them, and to tie the tarp to trees above us, before the wind blew it down halfway through the night. It was cold, it was steep, and I wondered if it was all going to be a bit much for my current fitness level when we first set off, but after a horendous first night on an exposed windy plateau on top of Elen peak, it did, believe it or not, get better, if not any easier as far as the climb and descent went. I have to say the worst for the legs was the first day hiking up Elen peak with 6 kg of water, plus a 12kg pack, and then the last 2 hrs slow descent down the steep stairs of Bluff Knoll, with our legs shaking like jelly and our knees screaming at the weight coming down on them. The bits in between with the great views, and where we got to de-pack and mountain climb, or atleast have trees and bushes nearby to use to haul ourselves up the side of the hills, were pretty amazing, as was the company around the small camp stove, and the warmth of my instant hot chocolate coming through my gloves to warm my hands after a hearty meal of instant pasta.

The Camp

The Camp

The Hike

The Hike

If you are considering the walk seeing some of these awesome photos, I advise some practise on steep hills, and with a full pack first. Also take ALL the water you need, as we found you could not rely on wells on the way for water. And go with good friends who know how to navigate, and are so selfless they will lend you the gortex wind proof jacket they have been carrying around in their heavy pack, just to keep you that little bit warmer. Thanks Steve for the warm jacket, thanks Michelle for keeping us fed, and thanks Noams for keeping our spirits up, and encouraging me to keep following one foot with the other.

The END!

The END!

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