‘Iambeginning to relish the hike and enjoy the pace’
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.