14. Halfway – Lake Roe (Dusky Track 2/8)

Friday, February 24: Sunny the whole day

Tramping: 7.8 km

Lake Roe Hut (Doc)

We were up around 7:00. There had only been one snorer, Nico, and his snoring wasn’t particularly bad. I had gotten up once, and tried putting on the anaesthetic because I had been bitten to bits changing sox yesterday, and that set off one cramp in the calf and another in the thigh. However, with the ointment applied, the bites were much less itchy.

The Dutch couple were surprisingly quick off the mark, as was Murray, who may have been first. Then Jack and Nico were off with a promise to wait for me at the next hut.

I left @ 9:00. Track condition was very poor just out of the hut, and also just before the first of today’s two three-wire bridges. Was trying to negotiate some logs in a bog, when I slipped & fell, hurting my right hand. Had to apply first aid as often as I could (cold water immersion) and I can at least write with it now. One hydration break was taken @ 11:00, drank the bottle empty @ the second bridge & refilled it with stream water. The track now climbs a considerable height and starts to lessen off near the tree line. Just then I could hear some voices & I had caught up with Jack & Nico. The last 15 minutes were across various alpine meadows to the hut. Here we met up with everyone again including Quinn & Matt – only Murray had gone directly to Loch Maree. The two who had come up last night had spent the morning climbing a couple of extra peaks. There were also three Doc staff somewhere in the countryside banding rock wrens and checking on predators.

I elected to stay the night here and set off on a photo expedition – all except that the camera didn’t work as planned. No bracketing in continuous mode – seems like a change in firmware previously unrecorded. In any case there is no more delayed shooting of x shots, and I don’t even think the intervalometer would do anything useful. At least I had the pol filter with me and was able to take one full panorama and one hand-bracketed sequence with all the woes of the Kepler Track walk-on of 2009. In any case it was a spectacular day and just had to be photographed, no matter what.

Back at the hut the Doc personnel were moving their stuff to the helipad, and Jack & Nico were packing up ready to go. Nico remarked on my cramping condition & gave me some lolly to chew every 2 km – will see if that has any effect, and off they went. The helicopter arrived soon later, and those guys were gone, too, leaving me with the hut for myself.

Washing (shirt, trouser bottoms, sox) had to be done today and part of the inventory here is an aluminium washing pan which was successfully deployed for this purpose. Then I had a lie-down – just over an hour, without really sleeping, and I had foggy vision again which I think must be salt. Sandflies were not as bad here as down in the valley.

Today’s tramp. GPS quality: 30/30, coverage: 100%, download: Halfway - Lake Roe GPX (64 downloads)
Can’t see map? Click here!

Dinner was combo spaghetti with instant noodles, and I think the oxo cube has to go in while there is still water from the spaghetti in the billy, otherwise it will not dissolve. Sprinkled generously with salt. Noticed that this time the vitamin tablet has no magnesium.

Nice hut with spectacular views, but it will be very cold tonight, so will have to put on the pullover as soon as it is no longer a toasty 28°, which is what it is @ 7:30.

Darned a sock, photographed the Bench to Nowhere and on setting up the camera see that there is only a very simple intervalometer on it and no rawopint, so had to shoot the sunset with that. There is at least one program for HDR which might be used to take brackets, we’ll see when I get to Loch Maree tomorrow after a good six hours.