A wild and woolly afternoon hike up Hartz Peak!
To be fair heading off at 3pm to climb Hartz Peak on a Winter’s afternoon was always going to guarantee a fun adventure. A series of storms followed by a cool change blinked across the weather radar. Not to mention I had just over 2 hours of daylight to complete a 3-5 hour hike, without factoring in snow drifts, snow melt flooding the walking trail and whatnot. Just your average Tassie Winter hiking conditions!
The thing is you just never know what magic will happen in the mountains when storms are around. You can feel it in your bones. The experience and possibility is well worth the risk, which more often than not amounts to being cold and wet. Minor discomfort in the scheme of things.
I had made an agreement with myself to turn around 1 hour 15 mins into the hike so as to make it back to my van before dark. I found myself however hiking on towards the summit. So close yet so far.
Not that reaching the summit matters. It’s just that I’ve been up Hartz Peak before and know how great the 360 views once you clear the surrounding elevated plateau.
The clouds lifted briefly on the summit revealing Mt Snowy nearby, and layers of surrounding mountains. The wind then swung around and before I knew it the temperature dropped dramatically, thick storm clouds closed in and it started to rain… heavily!
The walk back to the van would be a cold, wet one. I somehow managed though to arrive back at the van just on dark, and just as the rain turned to icey snow. Saturated but stoked!