Spin the Globe with Justin Butner

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Day 4 – Mt. Ossa

[HOUSEKEEPING NOTE: I’m uploading half of the Overland Track blogs today, half tomorrow.]

I’m not sure where it comes from, that voice inside that says, “Just one more.” If I did, I’d ask it questions about motivation and how it balances risk and reward.

When I reached the highest point of Day 4 on the OT it was starting to snow. Hard. An experienced trekker advised that 30 minutes into the 2 hour side trip up Mt. Ossa – Tasmania’s highest peak – was a scenic vista from which I’d get good pictures, assuming I was patient enough to wait for the gap in the weather.

So as everyone else headed for the warmth of the next hut in the snow and sleet, I layered up and headed up the track to Mt. Ossa.

Much as advised, at 30 minutes (after 20 of questioning why I was doing this) the vista looked down on the trail, to valleys on both sides, with mountains all around. The snow had stopped and the sky around the sun was blue. The world seemed warmer and inviting. All except for Mt. Ossa itself. The highest portion had long since lost all plants and dirt. At that elevation with those conditions all that survives is stone. But these cracked column dolomite peaks weren’t just barren of life, they were looming. As clouds rolled in and out, the peaks seemed perpetually fogged in. Looking like a set from King Kong, it beckoned me to gather my camera and move closer. Just one more trail marker then I’ll turn around.

Countless ‘one-more’s got me around the neighboring mountain, then across the depression between them and up past the vegetation line, to a point where plants didn’t grow and snow rested in patches on the rocked I needed to use as steps on my path. Once my feet no longer found reliable traction I halted my forward assault.

The clouds cleared and I took pictures. Just before the rain, I put my camera away.

Then the clouds rolled in and I quickly took more pictures.

Then another layer of rock disappeared and the terrifying unknown world of the mountain top demanded to be captured in pixels.

I thanked Nature for holding out on the assault long enough for the pictures, fully aware that I would be paid back for my delay. Nature responded by opening up rain. The furthest peak was now gone.

Backpack loaded I turned to leave post haste. Slipping on snow covered rocks, I carefully planned my footing. Looking back the next peak had been eaten up. As I flew down the mountain chased by the Cloud of Doom I felt alive. Adrenaline pumping, I nearly died for my art, and I’m not even serious about it.

I’m interested to see how far I’ll go for something I’m truly passionate about.

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This entry was posted on January 18, 2012 by in Australia, Overland Track, Tasmania (Hobart) and tagged .

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