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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mount Wellington - Pinnacle & Sawmill Circuit

Pleasant morning with plenty of Christmas Bush (Prostanthera lasianthos) and Cheeseberry (Cyathodes glauca) on display. Went down Sawmill to the large sandstone monolith below Sphinx Rock and also walked under the cliffs of the latter. Took 3 ½ hours with morning break and lunch

Photo album

Prostanthera lasianthos on  Pinnacle Track
Organ Pipes viewed through the trees
Senecio Sawmill Track

Cyathodes glauca Cheeseberry

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Monash Valley 2016

Fabulous Scoparia in flower this year

Thursday 29 December 2016

Apart from the timber track for the 350 metres the walk was off track over country where animal pads are the only sign of wear.  The day was quite misty making navigation harder, but having a GPS made a big difference it allowed certainty as to the direction we needed to go.

Richea scoparia in a variety of colours

The Richea scoparia at our destination was superb and has not looked any better.  The approach over Wombat Moor was colourful, particularly the Epacris  serpyllifolia  and Boronia citriodora. 

The walk was 6.2k with actual walking time 2:30 for the day.

Boronia citriodora

Epacris  serpyllifolia  

Photo album

Monash Valley 2016

Route taken

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hartz Peak

Superb Weather Day

Saturday 29 October  2016
The weather was looking good and a walk to Hartz Peak sounded nice and the day turned out to be delightful and calm.  Once we had decided on the venue, it sudden thought sprung to mind that maybe there were some geocaches in the area and a check on the web revealed several, so this was a bonus.
Hartz Lake

One side of the car park at the end of the Hartz road was almost full suggesting that there would be quite a few out walking to the peak.  It was only a few hundred metres along the track that the first returning walker was passed and this continued at intervals with the last just leaving as we reached the top.  We weren’t alone for long though as several others soon arrived.

In such nice weather the views were really good with the best being down to Hartz Lake from the edge of a saddle of wind pruned vegetation a little off to the side of the track.
Wind pruned bushes

Over a number of years, we have made the short detour to Lake Esperance and I have taken a photo of the recovering cushion plants from the same fenced off spot each visit.  Since the first one in 2003 there is a steady improvement, but it is a slow process.
View up to the summit

Before starting the walk we stopped at Waratah shelter and it seems such a nice spot that it prompted us to make a plan trip in December to walk to Lakes Perry and Osborne

On the drive back we noticed a large number of people in the street at Franklin and when we got closer realised that many of them were dressed up for Halloween; it seems this event has become popular in some locations in Tasmania.

Hartz Peak

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Granite Tor & Mount Proteus

11 17 February 1996

With flooded rivers and creeks in the south we headed for Granite Tor, instead of the Eastern Arthur Range  A short first day, with a few showers, brought us to Lake Rodway and the Scott Kilvert Hut, where we intended staying the night.
With plenty of afternoon left I wandered over to Little Lake Valley and discovered an appealing camp site set amongst snow gums. More than ever I regretted the idea of the hut but, with thoughts of stopping here some other time, continued to explore the edges of the valley.  Arriving back at the now crowded hut persuaded me to move to that more congenial spot.  Clive and Lyn felt the same urge and the three of us spent a comfortable night well protected from the wind.
Sunny breaks in the morning and a sheltered climb did not prepare us for the shock of the wind and cloud rushing over the cirque.  Debate took place on the best option, with the majority favouring stopping in Waterfall Valley.  This certainly was not my choice and, when the conditions out in the open proved to be better than expected, I was delighted that we could continue on the planned route along the Barn Cirque to Mt.Inglis.
A short sharp climb was involved in reaching the yellow daisy decked summit.  From there an easy walking ridge lead to a lovely campsite ringed by pencil pines.  They were part of a quite extensive forest stretching half a kilometre wide by one kilometre long and I couldn’t wait to explore it.
Although a fire had spread its destructive fingers into the forest, most of it was unburnt and in one of the burnt areas small pines between 0.5 and 2 metres were growing healthily.  Within the depths of the pine thickets I spotted a few quite small specimens, but could not find any really baby ones.  I always had the impression that pencil pines were being defeated, but here at least they looked to be winning a bit back.
Originally our decision was to take the tents to or close to Granite Tor, but the consensus was now to attempt it as a day walk.  After a beautiful snow gum ridge extensively carpeted with Boronia and not unreasonable button grass plains, Dave Hs predicted the summiting time as 12:30.  Thick bands of scrub ahead ensured that this became unachievable and if it wasn’t for picking up an old pad we would have been later than our 3 pm arrival time.  The summit was marked by two or three unremarkable granite rocks, just a shade higher than the sea of scrub. 
During the short spell on the top I thoroughly enjoyed digging into the scroggin; jelly beans were especially tasty.  Sue had mixed it for me and along with homemade jam provided a link back to her, that was most comforting.

On Granite Tor

In an endeavour to save time it was decided to descend off Granite Tor in a more direct route, even though this meant a long steep drop into a creek and back up the other side. One advantage was that scrub was replaced by rainforest.  The plains were reached some time after 6:30 pm and I suggested a route to avoid a scrubby hill but, although it was good most of the way, it ended in a thick belt of tall Melaleuca.
Our gum ridge was reached in the dying daylight and as darkness descended progress became a bit slower, until finally torches were needed.  A tired party was relieved when the group of pines sheltering the tents came up out of the darkness; it was 10:15 and the outward journey took 71/4 hours with the return 63/4 hours.
A late morning (10 am) start was agreed upon and it was about 3 pm when we arrived at a saddle on the ridge leading to Barn Bluff.  With weather fine and warm we decided to set up camp and climb the Bluff.  In retrospect I regret not having passed the early part of the morning exploring the plateau below our Mt.Inglis camp. Next morning a scrubby descent tore Dave Hs’ new trousers and led us to Lake Will.  Clive and I sat beside the lake under some pencil pines whilst the others headed for a beach and a swim.  I gather Lyn’s washing technique caused some amusement.
From Lake Will the plains were crossed to lunch beside the lovely Lake Windermere and the afternoon spent reaching a camp site on the edge of Pine Forest Moor.  I used the free time exploring the magnificent forest of tall pencil and King Billy pines.  The forest started with smallish pencil pines, quickly graduated to very large trees and beyond the King Billies started.  Among the huge trees stood one pencil pine of enormous proportions; five of it’s six trunks the size of ordinary trees and it must have stretched some 3 metres in width at the base.

On Mount Proteus  1996

Dave Hs and I left in the morning mist for Mt.Proteus whilst the remainder climbed Pelion West.  Only low scrub was met and it was only some sections of button grass that dogged us. Mt.Proteus is a most unpretentious mountain (hardly warrants a name) but in contrast the views from the top are good and present a different perspective to the surrounding mountains.  We lunched by a waterfall, on the way back, and were astounded to see an airforce Hercules appear just above our heads.  On reaching the tents Dave and I had a relaxing afternoon (once we discovered a spot to avoid the marsh flies), with the others returning about 4 pm, after some confusion arising from not knowing if David Hy and Storm had already descended the mountain.

Our last day involved walking to overland track to Dove Lake.  Dave Hs and myself ascended and looked about Mt.Campbell, Clive peaked Cradle Mt., Little Horn and Mt.Campbell, Robyn, Lyn and John went for Cradle whilst David Hy, Gail and Storm opted for an early return via the Ballroom Forest.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mount Faulkner

Wednesday 19 October 2016
Mount Faulkner was suggested as a walk by Greg, but we knew that many parties had problems with access.  In fact, some reports indicated that some property owners were downright nasty, however Greg was aware of a walking club leader who had a route that avoided private land and that was to be the way we would go.

After a perusal of the map a possible route that went through the bush from a fire trail was to be tried, but on arrival at that point the bush looked thick and we kept on the fire trail to a ridge, hoping it would be more conducive. It had been mostly sunny but no sooner than we arrived at this high point on the trail, the weather changed and snow began to fall. This was a discouragement, but within minutes it had stopped and sun returned, so we set off.

Wellington Range beyond Collinsvale  in the valley viewed from near the summit of Mount Faulkner

More photos at this link

Now this ridge route was 800 metres to the top and very soon after commencing it became scrubby but generally not too bad. Then we met an area of large rocks and some thick scrub which went on for some time. Just as we were in thick of it hail began and if it wasn’t for the fact that Mount Faulkner was only 130 metres away I think we may have packed it in. By the time we did reach the top our trousers were very wet, but for a brief reprieve the day brightened up. Dark clouds however foretold an end to this and sure enough hail by the bucket load began and we began to feel cold and decidedly not keen to have lunch. Abandoning the top, we headed back down finding a much less scrubby way. My fingers were feeling really cold made worse by the need to grip hail covered rocks for support; Greg K mentioned his hands so it wasn’t just me feeling it.

When the sun returned we passed up the chance to have lunch and were keen to reach the fire trail first. At least once there we wouldn’t be out of the wet scrub and trousers would at le3ast begin to dry. During our quick lunch 2 quad bikes could be seen and, after doing a couple of spins around, one of them headed our way. Someone said well at least there is four us; but in fact the driver only wanted to check that we were OK and then spun around and drove away.

To my way of thinking it turned out to be quite a taxing under the conditions. Our route up was slightly longer than return, about 7k as against 6.7k back. It took roughly 1:15 each way through the 800 bush section.

On looking at the map and remembering John said his walk was quite long, it seems likely he continued on the fire trail all the way to the fire tower then 300 metres through the bush to the summit. The additional distance from our departure point would be 4.6k, plus the 300m through the bush from the fire tower to the summit, each way.

Route taken to Mount Faulkner.  Red is up blue is down.

Nomenclature  - Mount Faulkner

For information regarding John Pascoe Faulkner (or Fawkner) and family, see Journal of Tasmanian Historical Research Association Vol 4 Number 3 for article entitled John Pascoe Faulkner in Tasmania by R C Sharman. Also spelt Falkiner in Century of Glenorchy, page 14.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wellington Circuit

Tuesday 11 October 2016
The previous day had been quite showery with strong winds and the day after was unpleasant as well, but Tuesday was mostly good.  It was a brisk breeze early but a clear sky, which last for a couple of hours during which time the wind eased lot. However, by lunch time we had a light shower.

The walk went to New Town Falls, Lakins Lair and Crocodile Rock then up Hunters Track and the steady downhill on the Old Hobartians back to the cars at Lenah Valley. The consensus was that we had done enough to justify feeling tired.

Mudstone cliffs  near New Town Falls

Cheeseberry Cyathodes glauca

Bossiaea obcordata at cliffs

Monday, September 26, 2016

Freycinet Ridges

26-28 September 2016

On the last occasion that we walked to a favourite campsite on the ridge above Bryans Lagoon there was little daylight left, so breaking the journey into two days sounded quite appealing. It worked well for us with arrival at Lagunta Creek at the end of Hazards Beach about 3:15 pm.  After checking the small bay some 400 metres south a decision was made to camp there; especially as it was half expected that a school party would turn up at the main camping area.

Small bay used as campsite
The walk through to Cooks Beach next morning was a delight with this section of track one of the richest in flowering plants. Masses of Thryptomene were on show as was the yellows of Hibbertia and Aotus.  From Cooks through to the creek at the bottom of the climb to the ridgetop was also splendid with the greatest number of orchids and a section with heaps of waxflower. It is a steady 1.6k uphill from here and took 50 minutes for a height gain of close on 200m. After lunching a route was taken to a campsite with a delightful aspect with great views over Bryans Lagoon and Schouten Island.  A short afternoon walk to the southern swamp which is a bit over 2k return but in this terrain took 75 minutes and this allowed lots of time to cook tea in the sun.
View of Schouten Island from campsite
Bryans Lagoon from camp
A different route was taken to reach East Freycinet Saddle and the track followed to the junction with Mount Freycinet where after a short distance up this track we headed off to pick up the ridge leading down to Lagunta Creek camping ground. It was a scramble around the steep side for a while until a rough pad was reached.  Several times whilst going down from here we lost the pad, especially when having to evade fallen trees, but each time the nose of the ridge was eventually regained.  It is 4.5k between tracks this way.
By the time the car was reached it had become quite cloudy and a shower could be seen in the far distance to the west; our timing between weather systems had been fortunate.

Over the 3 days the walking time was 15½ hours for the 17k.
Philotheca  - waxflower