Been over Moss Pass three times in my life and that may be the last.
From the D’Urville River side it’s just over 1000 m climb from the river to the pass. The first part starts slowly but soon it is at quite an incline, when you get to the rope, installed as a joke, except it might not be for real, and you are in the middle of the steep ascent, using those roots to drag yourself up, convenient hand holds actually, straining those arm muscles for a change, after all it’s the equivalent of climbing a 300 storey building and there aren’t too many, any, of them built that tall yet.
Eventually it levels off for a stretch, you cross a small creek, an hour and a half of non-stop effort expended, I look at the altimeter, humm, that’s about halfway.
Once out of the forest, at least for me, it seems easier, not quite as steep perhaps, that bit before the creek was ridiculous and unrelenting, exactly what I was built to power on up.
It’s cloudy, misty, but always moving, glimpses, then for a short while it opens out, man, I’m way up here, that landscape is mighty spectacular. No big opening up of the view, just teases, but I get the picture.
Following the snow poles, up above the bush line, a big day’s effort, these sharp cliffs, big scree slopes, this tussock, snow grass, Raoulia, the dreaded Acephylla, my steady breathing, no big thoughts or anticipations.
This is where I want to be, I appreciate this moment.
This is living.