Sitting down by the open fire now after an amazing days hike to Mt feather top passing through 22 km of god’s country, dead woods and shale ridden pathways making the walk all that more challenging.
By the first 2 km we were graced with a sighting of 2 young fallow deer a shimmering healthy dark red/brown moving away from the smells and the activity of a family filled Easter holiday period in the alpine region. A quick look back at us and of they were off taking safe refuge in the lower gully for the day.
The rest of the day was a picture painted landscape and hard to take in all the depth and beauty in at once, slowing down from time to time to take in as much of valley and ridge lines, trees birds and bees that filled the views. The long walk still ahead shown by the towering view of Mt feather top made us all the more keen to get cracking on, as we do; walk fast, sit slow and enjoy the company of whom we are with and meet along the way.
Taking a break at the 11 km mark for miso soup, trail mix and a photo or two at the base of the summit we assess the hot spots in our shoes and finish our snacks and move on, strait up and the lungs started to work hard, big steps and big breaths as we charge for the summit. With very little people around, we breach what became the false summit and realized there was another ridge to go. Slightly out of breath and keen for broader view, half hour later we were gifted the best of the best of what’s on offer, 360 degree uninterrupted views of Harrietville valley, Mt Hotham, Mt Buffalo and Mt Bogong to just to name a few.
Sitting on top prepping for the knee damaging descent we checked boots, toes and water remaining, and headed back down for the 3.5hr return. Passing a mass of late start hikers and overnight campers meant shifting to the side of the thin single trails to make way and not slip of the exposed edges. The perspective of the same trail in reverse is always amazing, finding details in the spectacular rock walls splintering away for the mountains and catching glimpses of a small beautifully bright orange chested finch that stood out like a night light.
Huffing up the hills and finding reprieve for the lungs downhill, the walk becomes a little more difficult as fatigue sets in the feet don’t lift as high. The toes start to get the stubbing of their life on what seems like a mountain designed as a tripping hazard, we navigate the tips of shale rock washed and eroded over time we make it to a nice clearing and a few generous sized logs so we decided to call this lunch. Dark wild rice packets and tuna are the staple of a simple but necessary hiking meal packed with protein, carbs and nutrients and legs are screaming for rest. We called a short stop this break, wanting to finish the final 5 km.
We finished strong in just over 7 hours smashed a mandarin in the car for the healing powers of vitamin C for your body and muscles and headed of a well-deserved balancing meal of a pint of beer at the General pub on top of Mt Hotham.
Amanda & Shannon