Lost on Mt Buggary

'What sort of a two-bit honeymoon are you taking me on??' I asked my Jason as I lost feeling in my hands halfway across the Crosscut Saw. In fairness it *may* have been my suggestion to go hiking...

We drove to the Upper Howqua camping area on Monday, which was a bit of an adventure in the corolla. (Incidentally, Jason tried to name the car Nora in a bid to prevent me naming any future daughters Nora but I shut that down pretty quickly).

Tuesday we were supposed to hike to Mt Buggary and then across the Mt Speculation, which has a campsite and a creek for water. At about the 8km mark the track deteriorated. We were climbing over or crawling under large fallen trees every 15 metres in some sort of 'It's a Knockout' style obstacle course. Then half way up the Queen Spur we lost the track completely and ended up bush-bashing through waist-deep scrub to the top. By then it was 6pm, and we hadn't found the trail.

So we set up camp, lost, halfway up Mt Buggary. Note the storm clouds looming.


Jason said he knew things were serious when I decided to forgo our dessert, in case we ran out of food. To be honest, my primary concern was that we should not appear on the channel Nine news. I'm pretty sure that honeymooners lost on Mt Buggary would be a big news item in early January. I was also concerned that if we were on the news, the reporters would comment that I was wearing red nailpolish and was therefore an ill-prepared bushwalker. Even though we were also wearing zip-off hiking pants which everyone knows is the sign of a well-prepared bushwalker.

We got up early Wednesday morning in order to climb Mt Buggery and hopefully find the trail. It was freezing cold, and a dense fog obscured all of the landmarks we'd picked out the night before. On the bright side: amazing wildflowers!



We found the trail by about 9am, and had a couple of minutes of jubilation, arrogance even. Then it started to snow. As we hiked across the Crosscut Saw we were pummelled by ridiculous winds that forced us to adopt an awkward hunched-over gait. Our faces were lashed by hail and snow that seemed to be falling upwards. There was no view! But there were still awesome wildflowers, being rapidly covered in snow.

Foolishly, we didn't stop to put our thermals on because we wanted to keep going until we were off the ridge. In fact, it was a good 3 hours of walking before we got off the ridgeline, and by then I had developed full-body shivers.

Anyway: we survived. We resolved that I needed a better raincoat, not just the promotional slicker Jason's dad got at a conference. We ate salami with the enthusiasm of the very cold. And when we made it back to camp and changed into dry clothes, we sat in the car and watched 'Crazy Stupid Love' on the laptop. Warming up with Ryan Gosling!!

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