31 May 2014
It was a cool morning when we set off for Mt Lady MacDonald at 7am. Before long, we had step off the granite-ridden bank of Cougar Creek – the effects of the rebuidling efforts of the June 2013 floods, and headed into the forest trail. Less than a hundred metres into the trail, we had gained quite an elevation, so we turned back to look, and The Three Sisters were in full view. What a sight!
It was a wonderfully pleasant trek as we made our way into the sheltered forest. Light streaming in through the branches provided a welcome warmth in the cool morning air.
Soon we were out of the forest shade as we begin to approach the tree-line. Three mountains goats grazing on the slopes were unfazed when we came upon them, just metres away from the trail. They looked curiously at us (at least I think they were) and continued grazing.
Not long after, we arrived at a scenic viewpoint, still less than halfway to the summit of Mt Lady MacDonald. But, boy! the view was simply awesome!
We continued on, our hike gradually turned to a hard rocky ascent above the tree-line, and the sky above us was all there was, as the summit lay between that blue expanse and our determined selves. An hour or so later, while we were on the scree section of the trail, and beginning to be challenged by it, we couldn’t help but looked back ever so often to take in the astonishingly spectacular view, and savour the sensation of being so high above everything else.
We finally made it past the scree, and found our way to the false summit of Mount Lady MacDonald. This is where most hikers will stop after an arduous four hours or so of trekking. The knife-edge ridge to the summit can be a treacherous scramble and requires focus and balance.
Nevertheless, I decided to make my way to the summit on the knife-edge ridge and it was truly an incredible experience!
This trek with my buddy Nigel was one the most fabulous, sensational, and awesome experience that I ever had, that could fit in a single-day of hiking. There was a nice cool start in the early morning, a beautiful walk through the forest, encounters with friendly wildlife, magnificent mountain scenes, challenging scrambles on scree, sensational views, and an incredulous scramble on a knife-edge ridge, to reach the peak of Mt Lady MacDonald.
What a hike!