Mt Rintoul ( and Little Rintoul on the approach ) is a mass of loose rock, sharp scree, very very steep exposed slopes, and boulder fields. When you climbed the boulders, they wobbled. Their rough volcanic surfaces grating your legs as you tumbled around them, sticks clattering. When you climbed the ridges, there were steep steep drop-offs for hundreds of meters, and brittle ledges of slate you hoped would take your weight as you shimmied round clinging on, butt swaying in the wind, fingernails clamped in and curling under your grip. When you sidled the slopes of loose scree the depth was thin, not enough to kick a step, or wedge a boot, just to press your foot flat and pray the marble-like balls of rock wouldn’t slide out from under you before you had the chance to place the next step. The perspiration was of a different sort today – pure fear! My heart beats faster even writing this… :)
PHEW! I thought to myself as we swung into Rintoul hut. I’m sooooo happy that’s over! Buzzing with exhilaration, adrenaline, and grinning with relief we plopped ourselves down on the grass outside the hut, groaning. “Heya!”, it was Andrew. In ahead of us by a full two hours. “How was that?”, “Yeh brilliant! You?”, “Yeh pretty good! Challenging eh.”, “Yeh, that was ‘hard’ :)”.
Happy it was done, happy with myself for surviving, and happy with the sense of post-epic calmness washing over me, it was time for noodles, and bed.