A couple of weeks back I was somehow persuaded to climb a mountain. The mountain in question, Mount Zeehan, is not particularly large in size (702m) or striking in appearance, when compared with some of Tassie’s more famous climbs, meaning that it is mostly overlooked by walkers and hikers passing through.
It had been a good 2 months since I’d done any form of hiking, or even had a decent breath of fresh air, so this was a good place to start. My hiking buddy, Sabby picked me up on a dreary midweek morning and we drove for about half an hour before pulling onto a small gravelled area. There were no signs whatsoever, just an uphill path winding up and away out of sight.
As we set off, the mountain(s) came into view. For the majority of the hike we were confused by which mountain we were actually aiming for.
We think it was this one…
The track started off reasonably in tact, though very loose underfoot. The weather however, continued to worsen and as we climbed higher, we could actually feel the cool clouds dampening our skin, hair and clothes.
The low clouds did obscure the views somewhat, but this didn’t make them any less stunning. That, mixed with the fact that there was not another soul for miles, other than the occasional passing car in the distance, really made the whole experience even better.
It wasn’t long before the path became hidden amongst the overgrowth and we were scrambling up rocks and squeezing through the vegetation, stumbling and getting snagged on branches along the way.
We continued on regardless, Sabby boldly leading the way until the path suddenly disappeared. The end was in sight, but there was no clear, safe way of getting there which didn’t involve resorting to methods even Bear Grylls would question. So we accepted the fact that we had ‘nearly’ climbed Mount Zeehan and settled down on a rock for some lunch. I also needed Sabby to help remove a leech from my sock at this point.
The walk back down was even more challenging than the hike up and tested my leg muscles to the max (I paid for it for about a week after). Miraculously, I only managed to fall flat on my arse once.
On the way back to Strahan, we dropped by Henty Dunes, a bizarre mix of forest and sugar-fine white sand dunes reaching up to 30m high. The climb to the top almost killed me, so I opted for an all-fours approach.
The views from the top were a treat; a mixture of sand, forest, mountains and ocean.
And that concluded our day of climbing. I spent the next week hobbling around work like a peg-legged pirate. The moral of the story? If you aren’t going to exercise in a while, it’s probably not the best idea to assume you can just climb a mountain without there being any temporary physical repercussions. But saying that, it was totally worth it.