Friday, March 28, 2008

Mt Kosiuszko

Mount Kos is Australia’s highest peak, and by default, also the highest point on the continent. If your goal is to traverse the highest points of all continents, Mt Kos is a great start, because there is a comfortable trail all the way to the top starting from a from a spot called Charlotte’s Pass. As the weather was a bit windy and cold up there, I donned every bit of my cold weather gear and wandered up the mountain while Glenda made a cup of tea and read a book stretched out comfortably in the back of the van. After a two hour/9km walk (the round trip is 18km, or about 12 miles in dog years) that ended well above the clouds I successfully summited the peak. It was extremely cold and windy on the peak, so I stayed all of 30 seconds. The walk back down was highlighted by numb fingers and toes. I briefly pondered how screwed I would be if it started raining or snowing before I finished the trek. Other than one stone cabin erected in honour of another hiker who failed to make it back and Australia’s highest bathroom, there was not a speck of shelter anywhere as we were above the treeline for most of the trip. All in all, it was well worth the journey.

That night we found a bush camping area in the Snowy Mountains. Again since we were far from civilization, the night sky was beautiful, although not nearly as bright as the Nullarbor. After the days adventures, I slept quite well that night, broken only when the Northern Territory’s Leadership Teacher of the Year and 2008 NT Tribute to Women Honoree who was sleeping next to me, let out a variety of expletives in an effort to describe how little she was enjoying crispness of the cold mountain air.

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