The never-ending sorting-packing-shuffling is nearly complete. I have food and supplies for 22 days. I hope not to need that much but I learnt last time not to underestimate and it is miserable out there if you are really hungry. Really miserable. The logistical changes from a crewed traverse to an unsupported one are immense. I have gone over the topos, the guidebook, Karl's blog (and notes he sent last time), feedback from other runners and several other recorded traverses many times trying to anticipate how long each section will take, how much I will need, where I can camp and most importantly, where I might find water. I have bagged up each days food (700g/day) with a stash of treats at each drop barrel to top up the calories. My pack has come in heavier than I wanted with a base weight of 7.7kg before food and water are added but I also hate being cold so have a full set of dry thermals/clothes to change into each night. And I have gone with a slightly heavier but more robust Aarn pack that will allow me to move more freely and reduce back strain because of the balance pockets at the front. And I am expecting the blackberries to be rampant so the heavier material might pay off. I can still run with the pack up to 12kgs but it becomes too much after that.
Turns out I can't get my silly little phone to send pics to the blog so will be relying on others to forward those on.
I will set off tomorrow driving to Canberra via the mountains to deposit the drop barrels. I have to admit that the excitement is being drowned out by a healthy dose of fear as the start looms so close. I think having seen the worst last year is not helping as I now know what I am in for until I reach the clearer ground after the first week. But with fear comes respect and this is a trail and a course that cannot be approached without that. I have trained hard. Done my homework. Now I will see if I am up for the challenge.