Winter in Tassie (or even Victoria for that matter) can make it a little hard to get psyched, so some times you have to be a little inventive. Usually it’s about searching for a north-facing, well protected, rain sheltered haven that isn’t peppered with every other bone-frozen climber hunting down the same winter fix. Or you can just accept that you’re going to freeze your arse off and embrace it.

That was pretty much our plan the other weekend when Lani and I decided to make a dash up Rysavy ridge, a classic 400m ridge ramble on Mount Roland in northern Tassie.

I’m not quite sure how, but Lani convinces me that it will be a good idea to get up at 4 in the morning to start the drive. Yes. That’s why I stopped mountaineering. (That and the slight absence of mountains in Australia.) But, after the three hour drive and the 45 minute hike in we don’t end up starting the climb till 10. I’m not sure how the maths on that work either but it turns out Lani had a point.

The rock is some of the most intriguing we’ve climbed in quite a while – large conglomerate pebbles, held together by moss and mystery. We’re a bit sketched at first by the fact that it looks like every hold is going to come off in our hands. But after a few pitches we realise it’s surprisingly solid. We simul up easily along the ridge through the clouds, moving fast to stay warm. The clouds whip us with the odd splash of rain, so thick it’s often hard to see more than 10 metres. I lose sight of Lani quite a few times in the mist, just following the rope and the odd piece of gear as we weave our way up. We could be anywhere in the world on a mountain in the clouds. It’s chilly, windy and alpine and I love it. Even the decent is stunning, a few raps down a dry canyon of moss and twisted trees.

When we make it back to the van a few hours later we finally get a glimpse of the whole mountain, the striking knifeblade of Rysavy ridge splitting through the middle of the conglomerate mass. A gift from the climbing gods for just getting out there amongst it.