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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Schnells Ridge

Wednesday 27 August 2014

What good fortune we had with a superb sunny and calm late winter day.

About 70 minutes after setting off we were seated for morning tea at the base of the climbing ridge to Schnells before starting on the unrelenting ascent. After 45 minutes of this I was quite looking forward to a breather and Alan mentioned that the spot ahead, with a view over the small tarn, would be a good spot. However when the assumed point was reached we realised there was another level to go and a stop now was preferred. The tarn lookout was a further 15 minutes on and gave a good excuse for another spell.

One of the peaks on the plateau of Schnells

Peak on the high plateau

The first high plateau was reached soon after and at last some views of Smiths Tarn. From here we also appreciated the surrounding mountain ranges with really good views to the Anne Range with Lake Judd at the foot. Further afield were stunning views over Lake Pedder to the Frankland and other ranges whilst to the south the Western and Eastern Arthurs ranges dominated the horizon.

The elapsed time to walk the 6.5k was 3 ½ hours and the return a bit less at just under 3 ¼ hours.

 

Shadows on the ridge to the south of Schnells

 

 

Hills south of Schnells ridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unnamed tarn on ridge

Tarn on ridge

The photo album can be viewed by clicking the photo below.

Schnells Ridge

Schnells Ridge photo album

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sarahs Waterfall

Thursday 7 August 2014

The final plateau leading to the waterfall was very pleasant open eucalypt with spacious low grassland.  The big v shaped valley below the falls was scenic as was the view of Table Mountain, which seemed quite close beyond the trees.   At the start of the walk the breeze was quite chilly but once we had a bit of tree and hill protection conditions became most pleasant, especially when in the sun.

The falls had a reasonable sloping drop of 40 metres and a good flow of water was going over.  The views were particularly good from the sheltered western side which had a number of edges in convenient viewing locations.

The walk started on a logging road then an old vehicle track and eventually through a section of fairly untouched open woodland.  It took almost 1:15 to get there and much the same to return. Although the return distance was 9k the wandering about the falls area added well over another kilometre.

 

You can view the photo album by clicking the image below.

Sarahs Waterfall

Sarahs Waterfall

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.