With our previous failed attempt echoing at the back of our minds, we spotted a window of good weather at the Prom, and the decision was made – this time, we were getting to the summit of Mt Latrobe (the highest point of Wilson's Prom). Having learnt our lesson from our previous attempt however, this time we came properly prepared. *cue dramatic music*
They were our secret to success. Other important ingredients included light packs – we were going fast and light to make it to Mt Latrobe and back in a day (although we did have enough extras that we were prepared to stay overnight if we had to), and it made the acrobatic manoeuvres required when scrub bashing on steep slopes oh so much easier. We carried plenty of water, M&Ms, jelly beans, as well as some other more boring food (and the emergency tube of army ration condensed milk).
Spending Sunday night at Tidal River, we woke up early and drove to the Oberon carpark for breakfast, before finalising our packing, donning our scrub-proof hiking attire, and setting off finally as the sun rose. There was an early scare as Megan’s large dinner the night before combined with a muesli breakfast obviously hadn’t been enough for her: with plummeting blood sugar she struggled to walk the graded path to Windy Saddle. This problem was solved with an impromptu second breakfast, and all was fine again, the mission could begin.
With memories of thick impenetrable scrub from last time, we found this time round it was comparably easy going. The light packs helped, and we were a bit more canny when it came to picking the best route through the scrub, and the best line up the mountain. In general it was a bit less damp than last time as well, which helped as well.
Having reached Mt Ramsay in about an hour, we quickly admired the view, then set off again. We only made the mistake of sitting down in leech territory once – the saddle between Ramsay and Latrobe is a BAD resting spot people, even if reaching it does feel like a significant milestone. We didn’t feel the scrub in the saddle area was particularly bad. From memory (repressed though they are) the worst scrub patches we hit were near the summit of Ramsay, with a few nasty bands coming up Ramsay from Windy Saddle, and a few more unpleasant bands coming up on the south side of Mt Latrobe.
Finally we reached the summit of Latrobe shortly after midday. There was much rejoicing, photo taking, lunch eating, and claiming of the mountain for the great pirate nation.
Our return journey was relatively uneventful, as we passed by the site of the Great Leech Battle of 2007 (where we had fought of the two leeches Megan had somehow acquired, and there was much singeing of leg hairs), and by the Campsite of the Great Summit Attempt of 2006.
By the time we got to the summit of Mt Ramsay, we felt like we were almost on a graded path it was all so familiar. As the scrub finally spat us out into Windy Saddle there was much rejoicing and consumption of jelly beans. As we walked back to the carpark, the sun sunk lower in the sky, and we had a lovely sunset to watch, silhouetting the burnt tree trunks. We reached the van just before the sun started tipping the edge of the horizon. Aaaahhhhh.
Return time from Mt Oberon carpark: 11 hours 20 minutes
Attached leeches found on person: 3
Unattached leeches found on person: Innumerable
-Megan and Alex-