Overland Track Trip – Day 3
Windemere to Pelion Hut
25th Nov. 2016
I have definitely been colder than I was today, and I have definitely been wetter. Im just unfamiliar with being that cold and wet at the same time.
The morning was quite magical though and despite the challenging weather we were both in great spirits. We awoke early to discover there had been moderately heavy snowfall overnight and it was continuing to fall as we ate breakfast and packed our bags. It was a complete transformation from the view we had gone to sleep with.
Today was deemed to be tough enough without the added challenge of weather but it couldn’t dampen our mood. We were the first to leave the hut in the morning. We made cracking pace away from camp. It wasn’t until we reached the open moors that we truly felt less than optimistic. The wind picked up to a level that threatened to blow us off the path and cold snowy rain persisted with us throughout the morning.
By mid morning my hands were so cold they were red and swollen and my leggings had frost forming on the lower half. Finally we reached the tree cover and the relief of being out of the wind was worth commenting on. The time we spent crossing the moors was beautiful in its own way and occasionally we would glimpse some awe inspiring cliff faces. It looked like a place straight from a Bronte novel and despite the freezing cold and the icy droplets that cut into my face and hands, I was honestly still enjoying myself.
We ascended through the mossy trees in what could have been a secret faery forest. A unicorn would not have looked out of place. The wind still roared above the treetops and the cold rain still fell but out of the wind we were safe and could take in our surroundings with easier appreciation.
The rest of the 16.8km passed quicker than I would have thought with bouts of wind and rain and cold. About 5 hours after we left in the morning, we stopped for lunch. I didn’t think my hands would eve be warm again. Gloves, were one of the items that I seemed to have forgotten to pack. I wrapped the space blanket I had only packed for emergencies around my legs in an attempt to hold on to some heat. The cold had infiltrated my body all the way to my bones and they ached more than I had ever experienced before. But as all hardships in life do, it passed and I managed to enjoy the long slow ascent up to tonights campsite – Pelion Hut. Despite the cold and the 15kg on my back, the path we followed up the flowing water and rocks was my favourite part of the day. For the hour before we arrived this afternoon we even had blue skies and sunshine. For some reason, I also had renewed energy and walked into the hut feeling refreshed and smiling.
Once out of my wet clothes and having downed a nice warm cup of tea, I am feeling quite content with life. This is the feeling I miss when I am not on a walking trip. When I am home and the drudgery of the day to day starts to creep back in I hope this most recent feeling of bliss can stay with me long enough to have some effect.