I had a few things to prepare for my book launch presentation, and a few buckets of coffee to help focus my attention. Exercise and plenty of oxygen put my thoughts into perspective.

Packing up took all of five minutes, one of the joys of a weekend tramp with little food, no tent, not much in my pack at all.

Then why did it weigh so much?

I left my pack in the hut as I went along to inspect Lake Sylvester and a few other unnamed tarns. Still some snow in sheltered spots above the lake, but the velocity of the low cloud racing over the landscape precluded all but a cursory look. A more summery day would have charged changed the scene below from a murky brown and occasional whitecaps into something entirely picturesque.


Then a brief flurry of fine rain had me turn tail and I headed on back. I had other places to be.

That breeze certainly blew away any cobwebs.

An easy stroll back down the hill where I met an enthusiastic tramper keen on a traverse of the Lockett Range, parallel to the Cobb Valley, and ending up in for Fenella Hut. I reassured him that it was a common summer excursion, even overseas people with limited experience seemed to make it through okay. The weather would be a determinant.

Near the car park a family were starting the long uphill trudge, dad pushing a twin stroller with a two year old, and three other boys all under school age. I thought the stroller was a great idea, at least on the downhill part, they could all jump aboard. I warned the guys to have fun, but not too much. Some people start ‘em young.

I had some climbing of my own to do, heading up the hill to Balloon Hut, which for some reason I had omitted from previous itineraries.

I had lunch in Myttons Hut, then plotted my way up the hill through the beech forest towards the ridge.

Bursting out of the forest Lake Cobb was stretched out in its entirety and there was a view to the other side of the valley where I had been last night.

Lake Peel was pretty, with a fringe of late snow just below the ridge behind, but with the wind and my summary attire it was better to keep on marching to shelter. Even with my raincoat and Lawrence of Arabia style headgear the wind just cut right through.

Serious windchill.

After the lake it was boggy underfoot, I had left my boots behind and come in lightweight runners for a change.

Along the ridge down to Balloon I was almost blown over a few times.

Once again the hut was otherwise unoccupied. There had been two parties the night before.

I discovered I had climbed 1000 m from the car park. I would be retracing my steps the next day, hopefully with better weather.

Should sleep well tonight.

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