I am writing this 2 days after returning to the city and I still feel weird and removed from this life, but this feeling is lessening every day.
With the promise of a pub lunch we were all pretty eager to get going, yet the whole 1500m descent was still bittersweet as we watched the foliage change from alpine to planes one last time. My hopes of the cloud clearing overnight did not come true and we walked up the final 200m climb to the summit of Mt Bogong in wild winds and swirling mist that wasn’t quite rain but managed to sneak under our collars and into our raincoats. Reminding us of our time on the Main Range but not as extreme, we were all pretty relaxed and took selfies in the terrible weather. I was secretly disappointed as the last two times I was on Bogong I was in similar weather. We passed Hells Gap and were reasonably well protected but as we approached the Staircase Spur turnoff the wind practically pushed us off the mountain.
The Staircase track was beautifully made with many stone steps and a gentle gradient for such a long descent. I said goodbye to my favourite stunted snow gums and green grey snow grass and arrived at Bivowack Hut for a quick knee break/time-out. This is my first hike with poles as I previously thought they were only for oldies, but I am now a total convert and love them. I have had very little knee pain this whole trip and I have had a knee reconstruction.
The Hut heralded lower elevation forest and the trees suddenly became huge and the mist broke up and we saw the sun! We passed many people climbing up and shocked many of them with our weather reports from the summit as apparently it has been excellent weather in the low lands. Some day-hikers weren’t even carrying jumpers! I don’t think they will make it far past Bivowack Hut. The ground was littered with many skeleton leaves and Mia and Meg saw a satin Bower Bird.
Down in the valley we crossed Mountain Creek numerous times on our final jeep track walk to the car park. We saw 3 snakes in 3kms (one a 15cm long bb tiger snake) and decided we had entered snake pit #2! Da da dahhhhhhhh! Bye.