Monday, October 25, 2010

Pack horse

Yesterday I took my recently acquired 65-litre Macpac backpack for a test walk, as I resumed training for the upcoming Wild Women on Top Mt Kosciuszko and Mt Townsend climb. The weekend trip is to commemorate the centenary of mountaineer Freda Du Faur's historic climb of Mount Cook, and it's only 6 weeks away! The hike itself is by all accounts not difficult, mostly metal pathways and walked by thousands of people each year. The bit I need to train for is carrying a full pack with all the gear required for the trip - 16 kilos all up - so just over a third of my own weight. Normally I just walk with a day pack.

The recommended training program includes a weekly 4-hour "undulating trek", which is what I did yesterday. I headed into the forestry area and attempted to walk behind our property and back in a circle. I won't bother trying that again. Most of the paths are just bogs. At one point I was surrounded by pools and bogs and not keen to go back through the bogs I'd just walked through so had to push on. Ugh. The one benefit was that I saw some great animal prints in the deep mud - see the Tasmanian Devil footprints in the photo! On the way back I walked up Phillips Hill (493m), which was much nicer. We can see it from our house. It is the most recently logged area and has been replanted, but the trees are still tiny. I saw an echidna, but the photo I got was blurry, as he scuttled off through the bush. The tracks and views were lovely, and the hill is a good challenge. I'll do that again for training, next time trying out some of the other tracks.

Our house can just be seen peeking out from behind some trees

View east towards the Huon from felled area on Phillips Hill

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