Mt.Rintoul part one (Day 21)

Clear sky around Rintoul
Promises a good day
For what’s been called
The most challenging
Part of the TA.
We set off in good spirit,
With optimism
And some trepidation

On the lower slope of the mountain
Gale force winds
Let rip

Here is the first
Of three baptisms
By fire

Being pinned
By gale force gusts
Of storm
To the sharp uneven
Unstable rocks
That are the path
On the lower slopes
Of what we think is Mt Rintoul
Is no joke

Taking a few uncertain steps,
When the wind
Lets up
From time to time,
In fear of being
Tossed aside
And rolling down
The ragged
Mountainside
Is terrifying
Hiking poles,
Feeling hopelessly
Inadequate to
Keep me safe,
Are dangling on
One arm
While I use all fours
To brace myself
Against the force of the gusts or
To scramble another couple of feet
Further up the mountain.

Can’t stop this madness
‘Cos’ my walking bud’s
Ahead of me
Bracing herself
Bent over
Legs wide apart
Hands gripping poles
With each howl
Cast
Like a giant spider
In moments of determination
To win this battle

Inching forwards
I finally
Reach the top
Of this rockfield
Exhausted
Traumatised
And in tears

Nothing a few drops of
Rescue Remedy won’t solve
And on we go

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