I was feeling that my fitness levels were slowing slipping away and it was time to do something about it. Got up early, made breakfast, packed lunch and departed the house before the rest of the family stirred. Drove up into the nearby Mountains and parked at Corin Dam. It was interesting to watch the outside temperature plummet, the higher I drove.
As I left the car, it was registering a balmy minus 5 degrees and my walk was going to be basically upwards so it wasn’t going to get any warmer. As I started up Stockyard Spur, it was hard to regulate my temperature with the physical effort. My beanie was off and on, as were my gloves but grasping my trekking pole with a bare hand illustrated that the air temperature was not getting any warmer.
The target for my walk was Pryors Hut, one of the few alpine huts to survive those dreadful fires of 2003. The Hut has special meaning for me as I was a member of the ACT Bushfire Service during that season and my first operational experience was doing an overnight shift, with our mission being to protect the Hut and its nearby Arboretum. I was a bit dismayed that the night as I only lit fires with a drip torch, under supervision of course. On that smoky January morning, I ended up having a ceremonial pee on a smouldering log so I could feel I actually helped put something out.
As I climbed, I knew there was going to be Geocache hidden some 300 metres of the trail that was on my “to do” list. I also noted the higher I climbed, the more snow there was on the ground. I remembered there had been a filthy weather day earlier in the week that must have dumped a truckload of snow.
The narrow foot trail I had been following eventually eased into a more gradual climb and then doubled so that it resembled an overgrown fire trail. However, when it came to leave the trail to find the Geocache, there was 100 % snow cover. As I was travelling alone, I walked very carefully, prodding with my pole to ensure I didn’t fall down a wombat hole. I do carry an EPIRB so I wasn’t being totally full-hardy. The cache found and logged, I returned to the trail and pushed onwards and upwards.
My destination was found, looking lovely in the snow. Found a spot to hide my own Geocache and then turned to retrace my steps. By the time I got back to the car, I had covered over 16k in 7 hours and the air-temperature was a tropical zero degrees.