Friday, January 8, 2010

Down but not out

With reflection several things led to our giving up on our attempt to complete the entire AAWT. And like reflection on any failure there are many 'what ifs'. On Day 5 as the sun sat low in the western sky we raced against time to skirt around the Razor, ascend and descend the Viking and find Barry Saddle to set up camp before dark. We realised we weren't going to make it back to the crew van that night. Our planned one-night camp out was now extending into the third night. We had already rationed our food down to meagre amounts (dinner would be instant porridge and breakfast an anzac biscuit each) and we were hungry beyond belief. We reached 'the chimney' high up the steep face of the Viking. I looked at Phil and asked incredulously if this was the route up. There was no other way. Up we went, clinging to the steep rock, bracing, heaving, straining every sinew to pull ourselves up the treacherous cavern. When we emerged into the warm late afternoon sun we grinned at each other. We were pumped, high on adrenaline. We knew we were quitting the next day but we didn't care. Right now we couldn't be more alive. We had taken on our biggest challenge ever and given it our best shot. We would sleep cold and hungry that night but walk into camp the next day content with our effort.

We have learnt many things about the trail that will be invaluable in our next attempt. But more importantly we learnt many things about ourselves.

Thank-you to all those who followed our, at times slow, progress. The net access was very patchy. Thank-you to Injinji for helping kit us out and supporting us. Thank-you to those who donated to help save Pungalina. But most of all thanks to Kathy, later joined by Dave, for crewing us. The crew were an integral part in making this all possible.

As time permits, we will add more detail and pics about how our adventure unfolded. Of course we are already making notes in preparation for our return attempt. We are now more resolved than ever to complete this amazing trail.


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