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Sweat, snow and sunset - a long-awaited mountain walk

I have been avoiding Mount Wellington/kunanyi since the reserve opened a few weeks ago, due to the hordes who would descend on it. My one previous part attempt was a drive up to Fern Tree to find it packed with vehicles. As people seem to be irritating me even more than usual since the easing of lockdown restrictions, walks in the bush are really a search for peace and solitude for me.

When I saw the crowded car park at the Springs and had to park in an overflow area, it seemed my worst fears would be realised. Even at 2pm on a Thursday, clusters of people filled the area around the car park, gawping at snow as if it were something be wondered at in winter in Tasmania.

Anyway, I chose to take the Icehouse Trail up towards the pinnacle. The snow didn't look too bad, but I figured if it got a bit deep, I would just turn back. I've done this trail on may occasions and rarely do you meet many people. I didn't meet a huge number of walkers, but certainly more than I've seen before...all going down of course. I've decided on these walks of solitude to take a vow of silence, partly due to discourage over-friendly walkers from invading my Social Distance Zone.

As I got higher up the slopes the snow did get thicker, but was never impenetrable, and the hard trek up the steep slope to the top yielded some really magnificent views. With my camera I tried to capture both the small details along the track - shards of ice like broken glass, icicles cradled between leaves and boulders sugar-coated with snow..and then the sweeping panoramas from higher with the glorious light of late afternoon and the clear skies that enabled you to see the hazy mountain tops for miles towards the south.

But by the time I reached the peak, other than the icy cold wind blowing, the sun was going down fast and I made my way swiftly down the ZigZag track - a quicker but treacherous option in the snow, and the first, steep and rocky part of the track required some ginger going.

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