As TimP jugged out, euce and I set up our much anticipated bivouac for the night ahead.
Bivy ledge location in perspective. Look for the orange coloured circling of it!...
It was great having the time to leisurely arrange our minimalist basics, rehydrate, and savour the colour changes of sunset on the alpine panorama spread before us, while simultaneously savouring the continued whispering of Crystal Brook. We kept her spell at bay with an excellent meal of home made muffins, chocolate, and a nightcap of PI's excellent purchase of scotch afterwards. I reflected again that meals always taste better on a wall.
As we both lapsed into silent reverie of taking in our surroundings I reflected too, that quiet moments in such locations are a rare and much to be desired highly worthwhile commodity. I was extremely appreciative of our circumstance and perhaps for the first time in a long climbing career thought to myself that camaraderie of the rope, while being all encompassing, at the same time is an unjust description of intangibles that are so good to experience.
Perhaps I too had been seduced by Crystal Brooks spell, as although euce drifted off to sleep and I found myself occasionally dozing off, I also found my appetite to absorb this extended moment was insatiable. Normally I sleep well on a wall, and although comfortable and tired enough to do so on this occasion; this night I woke often, because I wanted to savour as much of it as I could. In short I couldn't get enough of it, as my recognition of the intrinsic value such experiences have sparked prolong periods of trying to stave off sleep as it tried to overtake my senses. I continued to drink in the subtle movement of stars, the setting moonlight receding up the south wall, the rising of familiar constellations, and after a while Venus, and then the incredible colour hue changes of approaching sunrise.
My heightened senses finally found a balance point but not before I also noted that for the first time my observation awareness of star trails was actually a visually-measurable commodity. Time lapse photography clearly shows celestial light trail-paths, but to the naked eye this is generally imperceptible. However this night with the north wall in silhouette from my fixed point location, I was not only able to viscerally follow specific stars from east-rising and westward travel, but also their upward sweeping trajectory due to the earths rotation. I marveled that I had never actually observed this with such clarity and awareness before now. Was it due to heightened senses, or was it perhaps the magic of location and company I shared it with?
Morning came far too soon.
Sunrise was great.
The view that the night-void masks...
I intend to immerse myself in such experiences again, as a wall can be so much more than just the climbing of it.
In the days that followed while sorting my climbing gear, photos, and writing this; I have had the chance to ponder the experience, and it returns in waves of varying intensity, but none so clear as the actual doing of it. Indeed, I feel the need to undertake such immersion again sooner rather than later.
Crystal Brook still calls for company...
Although the planned bivouac was the major highlight of my weekend, I thank all the Buff'15 Aidfest participants for making it the memorable occasion that it was this time; as all the participants were impressive in their willingness to extend themselves to further their experience.
Their adaptability, self belief, and inclusiveness of each other made it easy to enjoy such a shared experience, and I look forward to renewing our acquaintance again, as well as to the next Aid Climbing Festival planned for late November 2016.
Warm afterglow Mt Buffalo in hindsight...
Oh, and the supplement!
Heh, heh, heh.