The only Huon Valley link to this post is that each of the 40 women on last weekend's Kosciuszko climb was asked to take a treat to share with our group, and I took some delicious honeycomb chocolate from Cygneture using local ingredients, purchased at the Franklin Growers Market a couple of weeks before.
Organised by the brilliant team at Wild Women on Top, the climb of Australia's highest mountain was in honour of Freda du Faur. Three groups of women set out early on Saturday morning, taking different routes up the mountain and meeting on the summit at 2pm to celebrate the achievements of Freda as a female mountaineer and pioneer, and indeed to celebrate our own achievement of carrying a full pack (16- 21kg) to the summit. For many of us, me included, this was our first time carrying a full pack and our first wilderness camping experience.
Saturday dawned with blue skies and some storms over the horizon - but no rain. One team set off to do 5 summits on their way to Mt Kosciusko and two other teams started their scenic, but longer route via Blue Lake. Snow drifts still covered many parts of the range, and we had great fun traversing the snow on our way to Mt Kosciusko. Beautiful, tiny wild flowers spread out from either side of our trail. The views were spectacular. Glacial lakes below us and snow covered passes in the distance. Amazing rock formations and swirling clouds made for an atmospheric climb.
From the summit we trekked off track down the valley to our camp site at Wilkinsons Creek. A thunderstorm was growling around us, so we set up camp then headed (minus pack) up Mt Townsend, Australia's second highest mountain.
We woke the next morning to warming sunshine and another day of trekking across untouched terrain, with stunning views in every direction. There was time to squeeze in one last summit of North Rams Head on our return journey, which ended with a peaceful ride on the ski lift down to Thredbo.
As a group we raised more than $4000 for an Australian Himalayan Foundation project to improve the education of girls in impoverished areas of the Himalaya. It was a challenging trek but so much fun with a group of motivated, healthy, positive and fun women working as a team to make it happen. I feel so lucky to have been able to join them. I took a lot of photos, so here are just a few for those who asked.