Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Overland Track

is an 83km track running from 'the waldheim hut' past cradle mountain to lake st clair/cynthia bay.
most people who walk the track do the first 62kms and get the boat over the lake.
did the trek with TOH last week with the cradle huts group/guides.

first and foremost (and knowing she will read this!) want to say how proud i am of ruth for doing the trek.
we had just the best time in a lovely part of the world.
2 days in a row we hiked for 10 hours+.
recovery was certainly easier with the fantastic food and accomodation.
its not the hilton but compared to a wooden bunk in the public hut and a 'bucket' cold shower it was!!
the guides work their arses off: from 5am til 11pm every day.
a very impressive operation.
fantastic weather: not a cloud in the sky on 3 days and only 1 hour of light rain.

of course i had run the track last year but its just not the same.
you dont see much looking at your feet for 14 hours!
the side trips are what really make this trek special.

the group we were with was somehwat strange yet entertaining!
the usual group of 10 was reduced to 8 as there was a (female) journo and (male) photographer from 'le journal' (france) doing a piece on the track.
as they were work colleagues it meant they slept in separate rooms (usually having 2 each) and it also meant we had an extra (3rd) guide to help carry the camera equipment.
i thought it somewhat strange at first that one of the guides was carrying the photographers tripod and all his camping gear until we found out he had had his appendix taken out 3 weeks prior!
of the other 6 travellers 5 were doctors (ourselves included) - not planned!

one medical couple were from brissie and although looking familiar i didnt recognise the guy until day 2 as a former 'big boss' at work.
both of us felt quite awkward with this especially since i dont have a great record of being too friendly with the bosses in my old job but we enjoyed one anothers company and had a nice dinner together post trek in our last night in 'launie'.
the couple from england were particularly annoying.
they were the quintisential whingeing poms.
example: they would be telling the guides how hard they were working cooking dinner and suggest they sat down.
we would all sit down to eat together then they would whinge that the tea was too weak or too cold and they would have to get up again to 'fix it' even tho it was fine.
they also had a thing about discussing correct grammar and pronunciation of words.
i guess when they complained about the indemnity form in the first 10mins of being together we knew they would be trouble!!
absoulte fcking pratts!
maybe the fact that they brought a litre (a litre!) of whisky with them on the trek highlighted some underlying issues!

the trek is 6 days/5 nights with sidetrips on days 2-5.
the best bits...
day 3 we went to the top of mt oakleigh (1386m) - a 30min walk thru muddy swamp then a steep but steady and sheltered climb.
day 4 we went up mt ossa (1614m) the highest point in tassie - much more of a rock scramble/bouldering expedition in exposed areas. can see lake st clair from the top.
funniest moment was when the guide was telling us about not stepping 'off trail' thereby widening it and saying we needed to walk thru mud.
yep the predictable happened: one of the group ending up in hip-high mud.
unfotunately not one of the poms!!
the guides seemed impressed with my previous run experience on the trail.
they were all extremely fit and i tried to convince them to enter one year.

have given more thought to doing a 'double cradle' some time.
now that would be a cracker!!
a few issues to explore: noticebaly the fact that south-north walking is not permitted :)

photos to come...

mt glorious 32km run tomorrow.
hardrock ballot draw monday morning.


Blogger Jen_runs said...

I've always wanted to do the trek - hiking not running - well, not yet anyway ;-)

Sounds like you both had a fantastic time!

Good luck with the draw - fingers crossed

5:01 PM  
Blogger Spud said...

Nice one UCB, one day.
Glad Ruth enjoyed it so much, you must be in DTI heaven . :P
Also looking forward to the "draw" on Monday morning.
Good luck!

5:05 PM  
Blogger Tesso said...

Well done Ruth! And you too I suppose ;-)

More good luck wishes coming from this way re Hardrock . For some reason every time I see that word I think of Cold Rock (as in ice cream) ....

11:26 AM  

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