Day 5 - High Moor to Haven Lake
|High Moor from Mt Columba with the not-so-distant Sirius Ridge and Pegasus Minor peering from the mist.|
A quick stroll and scramble led to the summit in time for a sunrise which was almost imperceptible through cloud draped over the surrounding peaks. Views back along the range were mostly obscured although Pegasus Minor and the south ridge of Mount Sirius protruded from the mist. These peaks, which cradle Lake Oberon, appeared deceptively close as memories of yesterday's efforts made it feel they should be further away. A map check proves they are a mere 2.7 and 3.7 kilometres distant from my early morning vantage.
|Beggary Bumps from Mt Columba|
A lengthy sidle around The Dragon was followed by more up and down in steep forest. At one point there were clear tracks heading both up and down. It is generally a good rule of thumb to try the up track first. At least if/when you discover it's the wrong option you have a downhill walk/scramble back to where you first faced the dilemma. In this case the uphill track led to the affectionately named Lovers Leap. At this point you emerge on a 4 metre high cliff facing a lower ledge a tantalisingly short but committing leap away. While it was tempting to 'test-drive' this obstacle I remembered Chapman saying it could be bypassed with a steep scramble down and up. Back down we went. Twenty minutes later we arrived at the lower half of Lovers Leap making all of two metres forward progress in that time!
Having dealt with Tilted Chasm and Lovers Leap my subconscious was clearly getting a little over-confident. A break in the cloud revealed a lake, seemingly close below us and, beyond it, a distinctive peak which I had seen in Chapman's photos of Haven Lake. Had we just nailed the Beggary Bumps an hour quicker than 'Chappy slow time'? A check of the notes revealed I was indeed getting ahead of myself. The contours on the map belied the series of little bumps yet to be encountered. The next two hours were spent going up and down like a yoyo. In several places only a step or two seperated the bottom of one awkward descent before engaging with the next challenging climb. Kylie looks back at the Beggary Bumps as a highlight of the entire traverse. Masochist!
In one of the steep descent gullies toward the end of the Beggary Bumps Kylie was leading when she heard an ominous crack. I had straddled the top of the chasm with my feet on a narrow ledge and my arms holding a tree branch. The branch gave way and Kylie looked up just in time to see my pack-laden body swing through 180 degrees and back as I became suspended by my arm pit in a fork of the tree overhanging the five metre vertical drop. Amazingly my feet swung back onto the ledge I had been descending towards and, apart from increased heart rate and dented pride, all was well. Much thought was expended considering how else this may have worked out. It was also a great example of why we were always careful not to end up directly above or below each other.
Once we arrived at the broad saddle marking the true end of Beggary Bumps we then had the relatively simple climb over Mount Taurus and down to the tent platforms at Haven Lake. With my overly optimistic assessment of our progress earlier in the day and my near death dangle my head was in a bad place as we approached the top of Mount Taurus. It took encouragement from Kylie before I made the five minute detour to claim my two peak baggers points. I can't believe I almost passed it by. The view back along the Bumps was most satisfying and Aldebaran looked decidedly stately presiding over Lake Jupiter far below.
|Zig Zag Cliffs above Lake Ganymede with Mt Columba above. Lovers Leap is near top right.|
|Approaching the summit of Mt Taurus with the Beggary Bumps in the background.|
|Mt Aldebaran from Mt Taurus|
Day 6 - Haven Lake to Promontory Lake
|Haven Lake with its distinctive unnamed peak.|
|Lake Sirona hiding in the mist.|