By rowan, 16 September 2009
Starting the tramp at a very laid back 9.30am we realised we had to go fast if we wanted to make Mungahuka Hut by dark, a good 9 hours away and when Alyn actually started RUNNING up the first hill we realised how fast we had to move!
It was therefore not much of a surprise that we reached the Field Hut in record time after overtaking several other tramping groups. But then we slowed our pace to a more suitable rate as we started along the ridge. This was a ridge that was both fantastic as it was depressing, fantastic because of the great views and the (for me and David anyway) unexplored terrain but depressing because after each minor hill we tramped over a new and more formidable one rose in its place...
Near the end after actually rock-climbing up/down the now truly awesome ridge line we approached the ladder. I should point out that I had been filled with some dread of these after hearing storeys of clinging to the rock and climbing down a rusty thing to reach safety.
Turns out it was an almost child-safe item, all very new and shiny as Doc had decided to take all the fun away with an assortment of hand holds and chains.
Finally we reached the hut to find, to our disgust, NO FIRE! At all, just triple glazing on the windows to ensure we stayed absolutely freezing at 0.8 degrees no matter how warm it got outside. Well we warmed up the hut a little after making dinner causing only a few extra simultaneous fires on the way as the gas burner tried to show us what it could do...
8.30am, what can I say, I’ve got a love/hate relationship with early starts but this was when we started tramping and you should remember this?!
So after backtracking along the ridge we decided to head down the old Vosseler Ridge track That just was not a path, just the odd mark on a tree every few hundred meters or a lump of stone. Thus it was hardly surprising that we veered too far to the left and ended up going down a stream/old slip that was heavily overgrown. This was where things went wrong!
Alyn, unable to see where he was placing his foot due to the surrounding bush, fell and fractured his ankle, but being the guy he is, managed to walk to Penn creek Hut while we decided what to do. It should be stated that we didn’t think he had fractured his ankle at this point as he could still walk, just very slowly.
After having a very late lunch or very early dinner we decided to move on and try to make our way to the car. This would involve walking up the side of the valley and down the other side to the car park. I can’t remember much of this trip except it was very tiring and everything hurt so when we arrived at the car at 5.30am or so after 19 hours of tramping I fell asleep almost instantly. I woke up only to make the decision for Alyn to go to the hospital after one look at his ankle and to be dropped off at my house...