Distance today: 15.8km
Distance total: 2133.8km
Time hiked: 9h 12min
Time total: 632h 02min
To bend my thoughts from the weather (and the food - the Müesli Bars are tempting me ;), I started reading "San Andreas", a book lying around in the hut. It's about the hospital ship San Andreas, which, with the help of a saboteur, is beeing attacked by the Luftwaffe during WW2. Really captivating and I make it to page 70 until I get interrupted by a Czech girl, tramping in the Ranges and staying in the hut as well tonight. As the book is heavy and I don't want to remove it anyway, I guess I have to find it in a book store to know who the saboteur is.
I shouldn't have worried too much about the weather yesterday. Despite some heavy showers overnight, when I commence climbing Little Rintoul. Initially through bush than on rocks. Steep, very steep. And all this just minutes after getting out of my cozy sleeping bag. But that's alright as it was another freezing night and I really needed something to warm up. And believe me: Nothing works better than a 500 meters climb ;)
About 200 meters below the peak, I notice some fresh snow on the rocks. No problem at all but quite surprising nonetheless.
To reach the top of Little Rintoul I have to get a little out of my comfort zone by some scrambling. Drop-offs leaving little room for errors. Step by step. I've got plenty of time.
An odd snow shower welcomes me at the top. So without a rest, I descend right back down again to a saddle 250 meters below, connecting Little Rintoul with its bigger brother. And it's a hell of descent. Unbelievably steep over loose scree. I have to be extremely careful not to slide down uncontrolled. My knees are shaking upon reaching the saddle. They had to work hard and it's not over yet. They get challenged again on the 350 meters climb up Mt Rintoul. Still steep but not nearly as difficult as Little Rintoul. Staggering views at the flat top of Mt. Rintoul made the whole effort more than worthwhile.
I sit down, enjoy the views for a few minutes. Simply amazing!
An easy stroll on the flat top of 1731 meters high Rintoul leads to another scree field that needs to be traversed (it looks much steeper than it really is) before descending down to the bush line and the hut. The sandy soil gives me the the feeling of sliding down a giant sand dune. So much fun!
Well, this was the apparently most challenging section of the Richmond Track. It surely had it's fair share of tricky parts but overall I enjoyed it a lot. Fantastic weather and views and it really reminded me of Switzerland. Sure enough a hiked a very similar trail there two summers ago. From St. Moritz via Fuorcla Suvretta to Jenatschhütte and on via Fuorcla dAgnel and Fuorcla Grevasalvas to Malojapass. So if you want to experience the Mt Rintoul feeling in Europe, I can recommend this hike.
Not much to write about the remaining hike to Tarn Hut. Mostly through bush with another open rocky section over Purple Top.
Tired but happy I arrive at Tarn Hut. What a great day it was!