The bitumen road ahead circles the mountain’s substantial girth, climbing steadily toward the summit, its wet surface pockmarked by potholes paned with thin sheets of carbonated ice.
The summit, at last. You step from the car, swaddled in layers. Still the shock of the icy blast catches your breath as salt-laden winds, fresh from the Great Southern Ocean, sheer off the mountain’s craggy edges.
All is slate grey. The lichen-covered rocks like slippery beached seals; the misty swirl of cloud that threatens to envelop you; the grim face of the toiling park ranger, too long immersed in this unforgiving landscape.
image and words ⓒ SWS