AAWT Day 18 – Gill Creek to Mt Wills

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Going up! Photo Meg Wettenhall

Something must have changed, 2 days from the end of the walk and we have hit our sweet spot where our legs are strong, we are fit and our packs are light, or at least they do not feel like weights dragging us downhill. We climbed 1150m today over 12kms and arrived at camp by 1.30, a new PB for us!

Gill Creek was just as mosquito-ee this morning as when we went to bed, we hastily packed up and started plodding. The climb up to Omeo Highway seemed to go quickly and before we knew it we had popped out of our egg and bacon (native pea) hiker highway onto the regular car kinda highway. We sat around on the verge and (maybe) confused one solitary car that came by.

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Obstacle course, Photo Mia Schoen

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Break, Photo Mia Schoen

The cloud was still low and it was too cold to stop for long. We continued our uphill plod up the highway, I have never noticed that they put glitter in the white line paint. Our turn-off led us along old grassy jeep tracks full of fallen trees, around the back of Mt Wills. We then started our 2nd climb for the day through blackberry brambles and more egg and bacon, requiring us to pull stealth moves to make it through the prickles unscathed. The scenery slowly morphed from bushfire regrowth to beautiful alpine snow gums and a carpet of snow grass. We explored the rocky outcrop of South Will which gave us excellent views of Bogong and the High Plains from our precarious perch.

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South Wills, Photo Phoebe Robertson

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So many photos, Photo Meg Wettenhall

The track between South Wills and Mt Wills was the nicest track we have walked all trip! I didn’t mind in the slightest that it wound its way steeply up at times, it felt like I was on a mysterious treasure hunt through boulder tumbles, weirdly stunted and twisted snow gums (from the altitude). The track kept to the ridge offering us regular views of mountains upon mountains. We reached the hut and made a hot lunch of salami and left over mac-n-cheese. So delicious.

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Treasure hunt trail, Photo Phoebe Robertson

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Luxurious camp kitchen, Photo Mia Schen

We spent the afternoon on the summit looking at the Main Range on the horizon and trying to pick out all the mountains we had crossed in-between. It felt amazing, and was a hard view to leave. We are at the same level as a front of towering cumulus, but the cloud seem to be moving parallel to our position, fingers crossed for nice weather tomorrow. Mia painted a portrait of me and the view.

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Kosciuszko views! Photo Phoebe Robertson

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Soaking it up, Photo Phoebe Robertson

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The artist, Photo Meg Wettenhall

I had gotten quite high and so was quite alarmed when a low generator buzz started out of the blue while we were cooking dinner. I immediately thought of aliens. It stopped about 2 hours later, or ears are so sensitive to man made noise. We stayed up chatting around the camp fire eating green curry, but are now in bed watching the changing colours of sunset in the clouds. Mt Wills is an excellent campsite and our afternoon of doing nothing has gone so quickly, I would love to return.

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Setting sun colours, Photo Mia Schoen

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