The Former Fifth Summit

Published: October 12th 2013
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First Snow PatchFirst Snow PatchFirst Snow Patch

~1600 meters and 45 minutes into the hike. Good place for a rest, H2O, sunscreen, and a nosh.
When the first person tackled all of the Seven Summits back in the 80s it was mostly accepted that Mount Kosciuszko was the highest mountain in Australia. However, since the Indonesian province of Papua on the island of New Guinea is considered to be located on the Australian continental shelf many climbers insist that Puncak Java at an elevation of 4,884 meters (16,024 feet) is the highest summit of Australia. In addition to being a technical climb, Puncak Java is much higher than Kosciuszko, which I just summited this morning, and also infinitely more expensive to summit due to its remoteness. So this could have been my fifth of the seven summits but present convention dictates otherwise.

Even though this was just a walk up, I was very fortunate on 2 counts. First, the weather was incredible: not a cloud in the sky, beacoup sunshine, and a stiff wind to keep me from overheating like last week's hike of much lower but much tougher Mt. Bartle Frere (highest mountain in tropical Queensland). Second, it was an extremely low snow year in Southern Australia so the trail was almost entirely snow free and what snow was left was very well consolidated due to
Rawson PassRawson PassRawson Pass

2100 meters and a quick 20 minutes up to the summit behind me.
the recent heatwave.


Merritt's Nature Track trailhead: 7:19 am
Eagle's Nest (whoever came up with that name needs to brush up on 1930s German history): 8:40 am
Rawson Pass: 9:58 am
Summit: 10:17 am
Bottom of chair lifts: 12:28 pm

Came down with a minor modification as I did not want to deal with the steep parts of the ascent trail on the descent. About a third of the way down from the Eagle's Nest I stayed on the cat track then did the last ~100 meters of vertical on one of the gentler grade snow free ski runs which was much more forgiving on the knees than the trail.

Next week on to Tasmania and next month Patagonia after a 12½ hour non-stop flight from Sydney to Santiago, Chile.

Almost forgot... GO SOX!

Additional photos below
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Summit BlockSummit Block
Summit Block

2228 meters ASL (7310 feet). Highest point down under.
Australian AlpsAustralian Alps
Australian Alps

View from the summit.
Awesome Red Sox Closer Koji UeharaAwesome Red Sox Closer Koji Uehara
Awesome Red Sox Closer Koji Uehara

Shuts down Tampa Bay for the series clinching game 4 of the ALDS. Detroit next.

19th November 2013

Eagles Nest
Hi Jon, You might want to visit the Eagles Nest in Bavaria. According to the Huffington Post the Bavarian government will begin a 22.5 million dollar renovation of the place in 2015. Martin Bormann, Hermann Goering, and Albert Speer also had their own mountain retreats nearby. Bloody infested with Nazis. Continue having fun. Retirement Beckons Philip

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