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A higher perspective

Richard O’Leary continues his vertical exploration of the Sunshine Coast, this time taking on Mount Beerwah on the first cold day of the year.

Opinion

A higher perspective

Richard O’Leary continues his vertical exploration of the Sunshine Coast, this time taking on Mount Beerwah on the first cold day of the year.

Sometimes you just need the wind whistling across your face.

The thought came to me as I stood atop Mount Beerwah, the last mountain on my must-climbs of the Sunshine Coast.

Only a few hours earlier I was trying to navigate the hot winds of debate in the family home.

It was my birthday, but that didn’t stop my kids from trying it on, in particular the eldest as he pushed to change the rules for his hour of screen time each day of the weekend.

He’d helpfully drawn up a contract. Knowing I was going for a walk, he wanted to have proof to show his mum if he won his way.

Seeing the handwritten contract my youngest appointed himself as my lawyer, and although I consider him the best negotiator I’ve ever met, he wasn’t proving to be particularly helpful in what was already a difficult discussion. So I exercised my legal rights and dispensed of his counsel.

My young lawyer didn’t appreciate his dismissal and showed his discontent in a rather colourful way, which I won’t detail for fear of future litigation.

But I wasn’t deterred from my main goal of the day. I don’t know what it is about me and mountains but every time I drive to one my GPS sends me the wrong way – maybe it is a sign of artificial intelligence and with all the known inputs, it determines a 40-something, averagely fit man, with limited climbing experience would be better not arriving. Eventually I made it and wasted no time setting off.

The early part was easy enough, a designated path leading to the climb proper, but once the slope became more vertical, the route was more discretionary than determined.

Complicating matters, recent rain had made the surface more slippery, so I had to bush-bash a bit to ensure I had firm footholds – the only downside of that being the small paint blobs that guide you up disappeared from my path, which meant I really was going it alone.

Halfway up I had to recalculate. Climbing can be like life – sometimes you must go back down and find a more suitable path before making it to the top to enjoy the view.

But what a glorious sight it was on the first cold day of the year, everything calm and quiet, the sun bright despite the hint of a chill. And for a moment, total relaxation. Sometimes you just need the wind whistling across your face.

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Richard O’Leary is a journalist, a political advisor and a father who knows there’s a deeper meaning to life but struggles to find it.

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