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Friday, July 4, 2014

Cathedral Rock via Andersons

Friday 4 July 2014

After parking outside the farm gate, where there was plenty of space, we walked up to the owners home to seek permission to do the walk through to Cathedral Rock. The previous day I had attempted to ring a number that I was given but must have copied it incorrectly, however the woman we met could not have more amenable and friendly and we were soon on our way along the farm track leading into the bush.

At the first junction there was a little uncertainty, but the GPS settled the matter. The ascent was very gentle and quite minimal and once an open sunny area was reached it seemed appropriate to stop for morning tea. What did come as a surprise was the amount of clearing that had been done all the way to the Cathedral Rock junction; it made for easy walking and some cutting had been done in the recent past. We did wonder who was maintaining the track and enquiries made next day revealed it to be the land owner with help of walking clubs.

Montagu Thumbs from part way along the ridge

View along Cathedral ridge to Montagu Thumbs

The walk to this point had been very pleasant, going from tall forest then on to the top of a dry ridge with some open areas and stretches of lower growing vegetation, including plenty of Bauera and tea tree. After the steep climb to Cathedral Rock we continued along the Thumbs ridge to a sunny and fairly sheltered rocky perch for lunch. This is quite a delightful ridge so returning the same way was good as was the whole walk back, with one minor exception. A slippery slope was reached that caught Pam unawares, then Peter was down in a flash followed by Neville and then Pam again; only Greg was able to keep upright. Soon after I got home I did notice a stiffness in the thigh, which I suspect was a result of the slip.

We were fortunate with the weather being so nice to start with, although cloud moved in and a few very light spot of rain just as we approached Cathedral summit. However soon after arriving on top the sun was back out and it stayed that way for the remainder of the walk.

All up the walk was 5.25 km each way.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Simmons Hill

Thursday 19 June 2014

On the eastern shore of the Derwent River the Meehan Range offers quite a number of walks and we decided that the Meehan geocache series would constitute quite a good one as well as allow a swag of caches to be attempted.

Things didn’t go quite as expected because we were looking for a bike track going uphill near an old munitions store site and missed it. A cement base was eventually spotted but no bike track and we decided to just climb up the slope through the bush, a 180 metre height gain. It was only on the return walk that it was realised there was a track that had been put in since our previous visit; this would have allowed us to do the walk in reverse.

The main drawback from the way we went was that the first two caches had already been bypassed and this necessitated a 450 metre each way double back to collect them. From then on it was easy walking along and over Simmons Hill then down the switchbacks of the fairly new bike track, which still had the track makers ribbons attached to trees. In all a 10.75k walk.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Thark Bush Circuit

Tuesday 17 June 2014

When we looked at the mountain it was fine and with only a wisp or two of cloud, so the decision that Greg and I made was to walk over the northern end of Thark Ridge and follow the animal pads down to the old fire trail. I told Greg that when I last went there the pads went most of the way down and avoided all the plentiful rock screes. As the descent started a large scree was soon reached but fortunately by veering left an open area was located and from then on it was mostly not very difficult; the exception was one small patch thick bush growing in a sheltered spot.

One surprise was the amount of ascent that was involved once on the old fire trail to the track junction coming off the Thark saddle; which we both thought was fairly level. I could remember beyond this junction that the old fire trail became obscure in places and obvious in others, but could not find any clear bits. After searching about for a while we decided just to climb back up to Thark, where I had told Greg we should see an old large cairn. However that could not be found and I intend going back to try to locate it.

We returned by the Thark track and were pleased to see the rerouted sections of track in good order. The whole area of the walk must have had a lot of recent rain, because there was fast flowing water and plenty of ponds full of water.

The walk was just over 8K

 

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The little circuitous bit near waypoint 270 was where the wrong route was chosen and we had to change course to avoid scree

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Scree above morning tea stop with the bush line on the right

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Scree that was sidled above before heading down on the bush on the left side of photo

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Jubilee and Middle Island Ridges

Tuesday 10 June 2014

It was fine and foggy but fortunately the fog was soon left behind once at the departure point at the Cascade Track. At the first junction I was unsure if it was the alternative track I was planning to use, but fortunately Adrian was aware of the correct one and we made our way up to cross the fire trail. In due course we were at the start of what I have called the Jubilee Ridge track, which to my surprise Adrian was aware of. This track must get a bit of use as it is quite obvious and mostly clear, although there were a couple of trees down and one covered over several metres of track.

Once over the north south bike track the way forward is all over scree, but a series of cairns does mark the 270 metres to the Lenah Valley track. It is only a short walk to reach the spot where the Middle Island track descends and we stopped just before Johnsons Hut site on a sunny outcrop for lunch. Then down to the hut site and from there we continued passing three more old hut sites before picking up the Cascade Track for the last leg.

 

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Pelverata Falls

Monday 28 April 2014

As a nice day was in the offing we decided perhaps a bushwalk might be the go.  However it was not until breakfast that the thought of Pelverata and Slippery Falls would be a good option. We seemed to recall there was a geocache there and a check on the web revealed two in fact.  Being not a long walk we thought that a few more caches could be picked up during the drive back from the walk.   All this investigation and downloading data to the GPS ended up taking longer than expected, with the result that it was close to midday by the time we started walking.

Scree  encountered on ascent to top of Pelverata Falls
After reaching the viewing platform at Pelverata Falls, we then commenced the ascent up the scree to the top of the falls.  A lunch stop in the sun on the way up of course took a bit of time, plus the distance up the scree was longer than our memories, which meant there was not really sufficient time to venture as far as Slippery Falls. 

 

The scree slope

And of course by the time we got back to the car the idea of stopping for further caches had been wiped from the agenda

Pelverata Falls

Pelverata Falls

A photo album can be viewed by clicking the image above.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mount Rogoona

12-14 April 2014
A bushwalk where I fell into a creek, missed the intended track and took a photo of a snake without realising it was there.
The walk was to Mount Rogoona via the Jackson Track, a way we had been in 2011 and found quite pleasant. There are a couple of steep sections but plenty of good views, initially of cliffs and then of Rogoona and other mountains once up on the high valley leading to Lake Myrtle.
At the crossing of the creek flowing out of Lake Myrtle I was almost over the creek with just one more log to step on, when it rolled over and had me stumbling in vain to get balance. The result was a stagger into the creek followed by a tumble into the water. My trousers were pretty wet and splashed shirt. Wet clothes and time now 4:30 made the decision to stop at Lake Myrtle to camp more enticing and remaining sun dried my clothes off well.
Mount Rogoona and Lake Myrtle late afternoon
Lake Myrtle and Mount Rogoona
After a fairly cold night the morning was sunny setting off the lake and Rogoona from the attractive camping area. The intention was to walk to the high point of the valley though to Lake Meston, but not far along the track we spotted a rock cairn and followed it and the next one before realising that this did not seem right. Nevertheless we decided to continue this way and found it to be easy enough to ascend, with the rocky spots not a problem. A small attractive valley with a tarn was reached and from there we were on the known route to the summit.
Small valley leading off mountain
Small valley on Rogoona  plateau
During the part of the walk over a ridge and past some more tarns leading to the top, I stopped to take one particular photo of a creeping pine. It was not until viewing the photos back at home, that a snake was distinctly visible in the foreground of the photo which was quite close to where I stood to take it. Admittedly it was only a whipsnake, but it sure came as a surprise that I hadn’t realised it was there.
View down to Lake Myrtle du Cane, Ossa, Paddys Nut, Pelion E & W  , Barn Bluff, Cradle and Pillinger
Panorama from summit
Although by now it was somewhat cloudier, the views were still good. Our return was by the originally intended route along the gently descending plateau, where snow gums gradually found conditions suitable to grow, and finally along the delightful valley leading back to Lake Myrtle. The mix up spot was reached and it was easy to see why the rock cairn mislead us.
The morning of the walk back on Jacksons Track started with valley mist rolling around the area, but fortuitously the tent site remained in the sun. Quite good time was made, with the route back all either flat or downhill.
Click the image below for the album of selected photos.

Mount RogoonaMount Rogoona

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mount Styx

Thursday 20 March 2014

From the top of the head it sounded plausible; go on a bushwalk to Mount Styx and because it is not a long walk collect some geocaches on the way, plus stop for a coffee at Mount Field. On the return stop for coffee and get some caches by taking the alternative road back to New Norfolk.

But I had forgotten how much longer it takes to get from Mount Field through to the Styx Valley and didn’t factor in the stopping times for each cache. The result was the completion of in first half of the plan only by 5:00 PM and obviously the second half was completely out of the question. That will have to wait until another day.

It was early afternoon before we set off on the walk. Beforehand some web information provided a couple of road approaches and the Andromeda one was chosen, but it had a locked gate at the start. Back at Jacques Rd we passed an unlocked gate and then the large tree that had been reported over the road a couple of months ago, but had now been cleared. On the day before the trip a call to Forestry revealed that the area of the intended walk had been handed over to PWS and a call into the Mount Field visitor centre gave us hope that gates would be unlocked.

Once past the forestry area, the walk up was through a nice bit of forest before lower scrub with some rocky sections requiring the use of hands to get up and over at times.

Forest in lower section of track to Mount Styx

Eventually the low scrubby plateau, typical of Tasmanian mountains, was reached and the summit cairn could be readily seen not far away. There were good views of the Snowy Range and the length of Wellington Park could be appreciated. It took 1:25 to ascend and 1:10 back down for the 4.3k return, including 600 metres each way on old logging track.

Snowy South and Nevada Peak

Nevada Peak from Mount Styx

Mount Styx had never had an appeal to me which accounts for 40 years of bushwalking having elapsed before making the first ascent. It was only after seeing a few photos of the top that sparked an interest. Quite glad to have done the walk.

Mount Styx

Click the image above to view the photo album