Sunday, October 28, 2012

I may have been absent, but I haven't been a slacker

Sure, my lack of posts here and you may be thinking what on earth is she doing, just kicking back, relaxing, not doing much.

Not so. 

I TOOK ON A MOUNTAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That trek in the Otways the week before was a lead up to a mini milestone challenge a group of the 12wbt girls set and I was so in for the ride, for sure.  I'm ready to tackle anything at the moment, Mike is calling me an "event junkie" !!  I just love pushing my body to the limits right now, to the point of near exhaustion.  And each and every time my recovery time is getting quicker.  So that's a great thing.

And so it began.

Seven eager women met at Dunkeld last Sunday and onto the mountain we went.   Woah, up close they looked even bigger than I know them to be in my jaunts up to Halls Gap.  I don't mind telling you I was nervous.   The smile here on my face belied the fact my legs were already turning to jelly at the thought of the climb.  But I was full of bravado, all the while thinking I was older than probably all of these girls and Mike had put the thought into my head earlier on "know your limitations".  I know he believed I could do it, but I think he was worried that climbing a mountain was a bit beyond me.

Mr. Google says that Mount Abrupt has an elevation of 460 metres (and yet other websites say 815 metres, so who knows??), I think it's something to do with height/elevation/sea level.  The grade is listed as hard and it is marked as a strenuous climb.  I asked Casey (who arranged our gathering) as to why we chose Mount Abrupt over the other Mounts in the area and she told me "because it had the prettiest views"  Eeeeek.  And of course because if we're going to do a milestone challenge, we ought make it a good one.

One thing though that the 12WBT program has taught me is that I have no limitations.  I can do whatever I set my mind to do with determination and strength and sheer mindedness.  

So we set off and soon we were steadily rising and the heart rate was rising with it.  There were spots where the track was pretty good.  Hey this wasn't going to be so bad after all.  Right?

Then there were parts where the track, do I dare even call it a track? was a bit more strenuous.    It was a matter of pick a rock and step and hope it didn't wobble.

Then there were parts that the track was downright ridiculous!    It became a matter of hauling up a rock, grab onto a tree and hoist myself in parts and just pray I didn't tumble.  

There was a sense of feeling very miniscule against the mountain.  I love this photo of Alison and Delise waving to me.  I wonder at the time if they realised that there wasn't much under that overhang they were on!!!

And this just made me giggle, in a rocky clearing someone had decided it was a good place for a Stone Henge to take place.  Despite the wind I can't believe it balanced like that.  It teeter tottered in the wind, but didn't fall.  Crazy!

Alison turned around and took this photo of me a moment after I lost my balance and regained it again.  I must have been delirious, because I thought it was pretty darn funny that I could have rolly polly'ed all the way back down.

It's a funny climb Mount Abrupt, you have spectacular views of the neighbouring mounts, but not actually to the top of the one you are climbing.   I actually thought we were getting pretty close to the top, then round a bend and this view hits you.  HOW THE HECK AM I GOING TO GET UP THERE????  Those were the words that were ringing in my ears.  Are you freaking kidding me?!!?   THAT was the top?  I thought we were nearly there already!

But steady as she goes I kept plodding along, until this beautiful sight hit me.  WE WERE AT THE TOP!!!  We had made it.  So that neither of us were last, Alison and I who were bringing up the rear at that stage, stepped onto that final rock together.  Yahooooooo.  We were on top of the world.

And the view was magnificent.  The wind was strong, the air was cold, and I was elated.  I think I was flushed with achievement.  I wanted to jump up and down, but the wind was so strong I'd probably slip.  I soaked in the view all round, it was just beautiful. 

What a reward seeing how high we were up and that tiny snake of a road all the way down there where we had started from.  Words really can't describe the elation I was feeling.   I quickly took a photo with my phone camera and sent a message to Mike and Sonia (my bestie) ... "I DID IT!!!!".

I can't even describe how windy it was at the top, the photos really don't show it.  My feet enjoyed the view too!!  At this stage I was sitting down as the wind had gotten up and I swear the mountain was moving!!

One of the cameras were carefully placed on the ground and we got in for a group photo.  We were at the point at that stage that our fingers had started turning blue from the cold and it was time to head down.

Well heading down was a feat in itself.  It was a lot harder getting down than up.  Having to step and land on a rock and a few times my knees buckled from under me, once over balancing and my thigh hitting a tree trunk.  Ouch.   Must admit I did love my new walking boots, I am really going to make good use of them.

Beautiful wildflowers everywhere, tiny miniscule flowers, I only had my point & shoot camera, but made sure I took a few pics on the way down.

Oh and just to make this climb somewhat scary, these signs were placed in the perilous areas where the landslide of 2010 took place.  Trust me I didn't need to avoid stopping during heavy rain, I wouldn't have been up there in the first place!!  :-)

So for me, I went up and back (and a bit of time taking photos at the top) in 3 hours 16 minutes.  Not bad going.   What can I say, we girls became "Queen of the Mountain" last Sunday.   What a milestone.  



Anke said...

it looks awesome, Carol! I wish I could climb with you, your landscape is gorgeous!!

Polly said...

How fabulous, I think I would have been petrified. Amazing carol, you are a wonder

Lynne said...

All I can say is "you're amazing!"