‘Iam­be­gin­ning to rel­ish the hike and en­joy the pace’

The Press - Escape - - ESCAPE -

so I rea­son it is slow mov­ing and will likely by pass us.

Imen­tion it to Fa­ther An­toine and he seems a lit­tle sur­prised at the prospect of thun­der­storms, but I haven’t no­ticed any slack­en­ing in his pace or any talk of abort­ing the mission. Af­ter all, we are al­most half­way up and he is still talk­ing about beat­ing that 90 minute cut­off.

I cau­tion my­self that I am go­ing to have to be more care­ful about times. Tramp­ing mates say I un­der­state them, but I al­ways main­tain that’s ama­li­cious ru­mour. it seems to be van­ish­ing any­way in the thick­en­ing cloud. At 1500m we close on the sum­mit ridge – a long and frus­trat­ing crest of gravely rock in sum­mer that never seems to end.

The sum­mit at 1741m is just 240m higher but the steep, loose slopes make it tir­ing travel.

Lake Lyn­don, which lies be­low on the eastern side of SH73 and was plainly vis­i­ble ear­lier, has now slipped out of view un­der the cloud.

The wind is up a lit­tle and there’s the odd spot of rain, but noth­ing bad and we are still un­der time. The sum­mit comes up quickly, though you wouldn’t know it.

Rounded with a small cairn to mark it, we are dis­ap­pointed that there’s no view.

Glanc­ing at my watch I com­ment that our elapsed time is just 75 min­utes. He’s ec­static. For­get the view, thun­der­storms, or even Ar­maged­don – it’s all about the time.

‘‘Now let’s get down re­ally, re­ally fast,’’ he en­thuses.

Qui­etly I prom­ise my­self I am never, ever go­ing to men­tion times again.

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