I’ve been wanting to climb these two mountains for a little while.. because they’re there, and they’re relatively close to home.. and especially after having had an aborted attempt (due to time constraints) that involved riding bikes part way up the road because we didn’t organise a key. So it became a club walk, and I was definitely going. And what an interesting day it was!
The road up is much much nicer in a car, compared to riding (read pushing) bikes up the steep gradient), and you get to the top relatively quickly. We headed to Abbotts first, thinking we were in for maybe 500 metres of light scrub. Ha, what a nice surprise this one was.. we drove all the way to the top, jumped out of the cars, and wandered a bit further up the road before ducking to the right 5 or so metres. And there we were.. on a mountain. There were jokes all round about the footwear we were sporting (no, we hadn’t donned our boots and gaiters yet) and about our leader’s reputation (known for leading long, hard, scrubby walks). It was windy, very windy, but we went to check out the Eagle place first (a few metres away), which meant checking out the views just as much. It’s an interesting perspective you get on Mt Field and the mountains out to its west, as well as those to your south, including the Snowy range, and south west, including Anne.
When our ears started to freeze we jumped back in the cars and drove a short distance along the road towards Marriotts. We did don boots and gaiters, and they were to be much needed! After a bit of mucking around trying to decide which way to go, we found what looked like a pad, and headed down.. straight down. It was steeper than I think any of us had imagined, and steeper than the contour lines suggested.. so much so we found a different way back up (not sure some of us had long enough legs to get back up some of the drops 😉 ).
When the terrain started to level out a bit, we were in openish scrub, and then it completely flattened and we were mostly in knee-waist high baura. That lasted for the flat section, always too short, and then we were climbing up through more scrub, which thankfully was easy enough to move through.. When we popped out on top of the climb, we had nice open walking to the somewhat flat summit. On getting to the waypoint marked in my gps we decided to check out one other ‘bump’ and a cairn, just to be sure. After lunch, it was decided that the waypoint was in the right spot.
And then we had the nice little wander back, with a fun clamber up the last hundred metres to get our blood pumping again and wake us up.. a message from my knees – definitely a long pants walk ;).
All up to Marriotts, 6.4km, 5.19 hrs, 400 metres ascent.. and some nice views :D!