Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
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Because you can never have too many hikes

The weather over Easter has been awesome, and with a good friend and her husband visiting from Queensland in search of hikes, I grabbed my brother on Monday and the four of us headed down to the Hartz Mountains National Park. It was here that we realised that the weather wasn’t universally awesome … or, at least, that “awesome” has multiple applications, and that in this case it was going to apply to the awe we felt about the much cooler temperatures and rather stronger winds that we experienced when we got out of the car.

So we rugged up and set off anyway.

We visited Lake Esperance and Ladies Tarn, and various other little tarns along the way, with clumps of pineapple grass and the occasional cushion plant.

With the summit cloud lifting, we then started heading up to Hartz Pass, having some close encounters with pandani on the way (as seen in the next photo). The climb to the pass is steep (both up and down!) and when we reached the saddle we were hit with a strong gale hurtling up from the west and channelling through the gap. Walking was occasionally unsteady and we were grateful for the small sheltered spots that we passed and for the views which rewarded us.

We reached the summit at about 12:45, and found ourselves a sanctuary on the eastern side of an outcrop, where we had a yummy lunch of cheese and rolls that Jill and Clive had brought along. The clouds were racing overhead and sometimes getting lower, so we headed back down, although our fears of worsening weather did not actually eventuate.

Mount Snowy.

Summit crag with the distant mountains of the southwest (Precipitous Bluff, one of the south-west’s distinctive peaks, is towards the right end of the horizon).

Distinctive outcrop, with Hartz Lake below.

Clouds heading over the summit towards Geeveston.

Return from the summit.

Precipitous Bluff, from the slopes of Hartz Peak.

Dolerite outcrops on the way back to the pass.

Skeletal branches of alpine plants.

View back to Hartz Peak from the pass.

Cushion plant and dolerite (not totally in focus, sorry).

Sunlit pandani at the pass.

On our return to the car park we decided we had time to pop in to Arve Falls, since Jill and Clive hadn’t been there before.

And then it was time to head homewards, via Geeveston for a hot chocolate, and then a pleasant dinner together in the evening.

I really needed the two hikes (well, three, kind of) that I’ve had over Easter. They’ve been good for my psyche.

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