Tue, 13 Mar 2018
“The views from the top will be amazing.”
The top in question being Roy’s Peak. It’s in the guidebook and the excellent “best day hikes” leaflet we picked up from the tourist info place. Both make sure to mention that the path is a bit steep. Neither, understandably, mention that the weather is unusually hot. As in hot enough to make sitting doing nothing on the toasty side.
“If we get up early it will be fine.”
This would be more reassuring if our idea of early was actually early. We were thinking getting to the bottom by half eight was early. Our AirBnB host thinks six would be better. That is never happening.
We make it to the bottom for eight which is, frankly, amazing. The path starts off really quite steep. I sort of assume it’s just an initial rise to the start but no, it just carries on being steep. Apart from the bits where it gets steeper. My hamstrings are unsure what is happening but are not impressed.
A group of young shirtless men pass us really quite quickly. And then stop for a bit while we catch and pass them. This process will be repeated for the rest of the climb.
The views are opening up quite quickly, unsurprising given how quickly we are gaining height. Concerningly the top is not getting closer anything like as quickly. The radio mast looks really quite a long way away vertically and not very far horizontally. This does not bode well for my hamstrings.
Incredibly it seems to get steeper. A couple on the way down reassure us it’s worth it, and then let slip they got engaged at the top which seems like it might skew your perspective. More incredibly are the people who have clearly run up and are now, even more incredibly, running down. I cannot phathom their reasoning.
The views continue to be quite good. More importantly they provide a reason to stop and regroup before the remorseless steep continues.
So far the track has been nice and wide and well made. As we get near the top this seems to stop and the good path heads off in one direction and the path to the top goes up a ridge. It is even steeper, a bit loose underfoot and has quite a bit of what is euphemistically called exposure to one side. It’s not exactly a drop but it’s close enough to one to make me uncomfortable. I am not looking forward to going down this.
A third of the way up this last section in becomes clear that the good path also goes up to the top too. And is easy to get to. And has no exposure at all. And is only steep.
We get off the ridge.
Shortly after we get to the top the shirtless men arrive and proceed to remove a remarkable amount of food from their bags. We don’t spend too much time at the top, conscious of the growing heat, although it’s quite pleasant at the top due to the breeze. I’m also conscious of exactly how edgy the edge, and the people who are blasé about it, is making me.
About 5 minutes from the top we give some water and snacks to a chap who “didn’t have breakfast this morning” and hasn’t brought food or much water. He is very happy. My sense of good Samaritanism conflicts somewhat with my feelings of WTF.
Down is about as much work as up. Quicker but almost as hard work walking down something so steep and it is the turn of my knees to be underwhelmed. It is also getting quite warm, and yet far below us we can see tiny people starting the climb. Our early is still earlier than some.
About half way down I begin to spend an inordinate amount of time staring at the lake far below and thinking how cool it looks. Plans are made to head for the lake as soon as we get to the bottom. There are still people starting.
Two thirds of the way down I wet a cloth in a stream and drape it across the back of my neck. I am not sure anything has ever felt so good. We do our best to dash the hopes of the people we meet with a nearly empty bottle of water when they inquire if it is far to the top. “Look, look, you can see that it’s far away” I think but do not say.
Finally we get to the bottom. I am really quite warm and there is a slightly odd sensation in one of my knees. I have definitely had enough.
posted at: 23:20 #