plateau - Garlic and reflectors
At the col, Will, Philip and ? followed Philip B's col-to-garlic GPS track. Somebody else was with us (memory hazy, is this true? [correct later editorially]). All OK until we hit the hill in the middle where we followed cairns instead of the GPS track, and got in a bit of a mess leaving the hill and getting to HC. (Found an isolated reflector which seemed to just be confusing.) And getting away from HC towards Garlic, but once on the hunter's track it was easy to follow the green paint all the way to Garlic cave.
At Garlic, Will and I were disturbed to find a complete absence of teabags or instant coffee so we made a pot of instant custard which we shared with great enjoyment while we appreciated the marvellous ambience of the bivvy. Will's ankles were troubling him (he had carried a big pack up to (Garlic) whereas I was still a bit sprightly (but this would change later) having carried nothing at all.
Leaving Will to recover a bit before his return to TopCamp (see another logbook entry for the consequences of this), I returned back to HC, the col and the carpark leaving garlic at ~16:00 and arriving col ~19:00 and carpark ~20:00 where Jana very kindly collected me in her car.
The trip back was meant to be a re-cairning and reflectoring trip, the main purpose of me going up there. But the late start, and general slowness and multiple failures at route-finding meant that time for re-cairning and building intermediate cairns was strictly limited. Following a GPS track is really very difficult, if not impossible. My GPS was OsmAnd running on a Pixel2 and this was totally inadequate: losing signal, stopping track recording, jumping and general uselessness. It seemed fine at base, but the cliffs and uncertain track-following effectively killed it. (Yes we had essentials.gpx too, and a Silva compass).
I put 2 or 3 reflectors on the HC-garlic section on the way back, but lost the way getting to HC itself in the last ~50m or so. Struggled to HC, then reflectored a bit until I lost the track again (following cairns not PB's GPS track) and found what I think is a 4th way across the hill which was not bad at all, parallel to the 3 ways already recorded (seen on PB's GPS ) . I did not put any more reflectors as this whole area needs some better decisions on which of the many routes we want to standardise on - and more to the point - I didn't know whether my route would work until I finished it.
I was a bit hasty on the climb up the cliff (not the same place as the route to topcamp) and faffed a bit there. Coming off the plateau towards that climb could do with a couple more cairns, esp. if there is low visibility. Knee a bit stiff but otherwise fine after 10 hours of walking.