Southern Ranges: Day Four

Ooze Lake to Wylly Plateau via Pindars Peak

Sidle Lake Mountain to summit Pindars, the southern oceans spreading forever. Watch fine white mist roll in along the ridge towards Wylly. Descend to Pandani Knob on noon.

Force for five hours through fucking brutal terrain. Follow a false lead. Verify that four metre high scrub is impenetrable off the twisty, unmarked pad.

Get turned around with the scrub closed in overhead and unknowingly retrace steps in the wrong direction. Refer to a compass more frequently.

Tear a gaiter down its length. Endure the bludgeons of hateful teatree. Scoparia excoriation.

Breach Leaning Tree Saddle just inside the window for a feasible advance on Wylly. Trust scrub to ease on the ascent after a further period of flagellation. Encounter open, rocky ground, with mist returning to create a closed–in moonscape.

Summon Wylly to emerge dead ahead floating up out of a band of fog, Precipitous Bluff gleaming on the left like an ocean liner plunging through white caps.

Miss the route around the west side to Wylly Plateau and climb up high on loose shale in lengthening shadows. From near the summit spy the route below, slide down to intersect and collapse into the plateau. Nestle in an alcove with soft white moss underfoot. Body tagged and brain burnt, cook dinner facing a pink–tinged Victoria Cross catching the setting sun across its imposing southern face.

Approximate walking time and distance: 10 hours, 10km