Left Hobart at 06:20 to make the 2.5hour trip to the start of the Mount Anne circuit, a 25km round circuit in the South West National Park including the highest peak in the region (1423m).
We deposited our bikes 7km down the road at the end of the route, and drove back up to the started. After only about 15mins it started to rain, and then hail and sleet! Not a good omen for the beginning of a 6-8 hour day! Just when it got bad, we arrived at the climbers hut and waited until it passed.
15mins later we pushed on to the summit plateau, where visability was a delightful 20m. However, like the earlier squalls, the cloud lifted after about 45mins up there and stayed clear for the rest of the day!
We didn't manage to summit Mt Anne as it involved a particularly slippy traverse across a slanted ledge with a 3-4m drop off it.
At 1pm we had a snack on the descent back to the col. It dawned on us that this might be more than 6-8 hours as originally thought! After another 2hours we had traversed along the ridge and the infamous "notch" which wasn't actually that bad, but might have been a different story if it was wet and slippy.
Now 3pm and not even half way around the route, we knew that we should pick up the pace a little, but this is very difficult when it's so incredibly rough! The descent off Lightning Ridge was very steep through thick bush filled with pencil pines, after which we arrived in the incredibly scenic Lonely Tarns. This would have been a nice time and place to camp if we had brought our tent...
Nevertheless we push on up and over the shoulder of Mount Sarah Jane, having at snack at 5pm and hoping that the downward walk out after the col (blip taken here) would be fairly easy.
Sadly it wasn't, and tempers got quite frayed here, with Charlotte lashing out at a tree after it ripped her OMM bag. After the heavy rain of the last week, the track was a boggy river, and thus crossing the 800m marsh was fun! We then lost the tack a couple of times which tested our patience a lot.
Now getting late, at 7pm, we hoped we were having our last snack before being back at the car, all was left was 4-5km more bushbashing and a 7km cycle ride!
To our delight, there was about 3km of boardwalk that sped things up nicely, and finished just as the sun set.
Incredible views, exciting scrambling, and man eating bogs sum up this very challenging day! Definitely the longest day for both of us, exactly 12 hours on the go from leaving the car and returning at 9pm.