Sunday, May 08, 2016

Pre 2002 Geocaches

For a little while now I’ve been slowly finding all the geocaches that had been published in the year 2000-2001. Due to their rarity and sparse localities it’s turned into a long-term goal.

With this in mind there were 2 geocaches that needed to be found in the Kosciusko National Park above the snow-line which means for a few months of the year they are inaccessible and for the other part of the year I seem to always find myself busy with other activities. So it was pleasing that I’d finally got the planets to align and I was heading south for a walk in the Alpine region.

In early May I found myself leaving home at 3am with a plan to drive straight down to Charlotte’s Pass where I’d leave the car and head off for my walk along the Main Range. To my pleasure I made good time and by 8am I was sitting in the carpark of Charlotte’s Pass doing a final gear check before setting off. I started for the Blue Lake under clear skies but very crisp and cool conditions. Puddles were covered in ice and plants were crisp with frost. The conditions made walking a little slippery, especially the river crossings where stepping stones were icy slippery….. the last thing I wanted was an early morning dip in the Snowy River. Making good time I was soon approaching the Blue Lake and my first geocache. The 2-Dogs cache of “Great Southern Land GC26E4” was on my to-do list. After a short search perched looking down on Blue Lake the cache was in hand.

With more ground to cover I was soon gaining altitude as I headed towards the track junction of the Main Range. Shortly after reaching this point I headed northeast and climbed Mt Twynam where the 360deg views were amazing. The mountains went forever and the valley’s disappeared into the abyss below, but I needed to keep going as my ultimate goal lied atop of Mt Anton. The “Australia’s Used to Highest GCF7” cache and my last year 2000 published cache were still ahead of me. With Mt Anton in sight the weather started to change with a strong wind blowing in high cloud and chilling temperatures, but alas it didn’t hamper my efforts as I soon had the geocache in hand.

After the obligatory photos it was time to start heading back, the wind had strengthened and on a number of occasions the cloud blocked out all views and with so many thoughts of bad luck stories rushing through my head I didn’t to add my own chapter. Descend off Mt Twynam I was slightly disappointed to see the serenity of my walk shattered by a massive school group that was tackling the Main Range walk in the same direction I had hoped to do. I wasn’t in the mood to share this walk with 60+ school kids so opted to bow out and head back to the car where I could continue my adventure in a different direction.

5½ hours after starting my walk I was back at the car having completed a 20km walk in some of Australia’s most spectacular countryside…. I certainly wasn’t complaining.