Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Alpine of Australia

Alpine of Australia by andiwolfe
Alpine of Australia, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

Steve and I climbed Mount Kosciuszko, the highest mountain in Australia on March 28, 2012. Given that the altitude of the peak is only around 7300 feet, that doesn't seem like much of an accomplishment - especially after having climbed Kala Patthar at 18,500 feet in 2009.

However, the alpine zone of the Snowy Mountains of Australia is absolutely charming. The day we climbed Kosciuszko was rainy and cold, but that was good on several fronts: 1) there weren't as many people up there, 2) the lighting was awesome, 3) I had the fun of falling on my butt several times because the steel mesh walkway was more slippery than snot and my boots were definitely not the right ones for that track. I ended up throwing away those crappy boots. They're the ones I wore in Nepal that gave my feet such grief, too, so good riddance.

I was really thrilled to be able to see and photograph Euphrasia - one of the parasitic plants in Orobanchaceae I've studied. It's common in this alpine zone, and I would love to do fieldwork sometime to really have a chance to study it, but, alas - not likely to happen.

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