Mount Remus and Back Peak
Wed 30 October – Fri 1 November
The delightfully blue sky that we had seen all morning changed to grey drizzly looking as the Cradle area got close and stayed that way for the remainder of the day.
Pre-trip information suggested that after a section of buttongrass it should be pleasant walking, with just a bit of scrub on the last part getting to the top of Mount Remus. However we discovered that the buttongrass went on for longer than we envisaged and the scrub covered a longer section and was thicker than expected.
Both Neville and I had been to Reynolds Falls Many years ago and recalled following a very distinct vehicle track over the initial part of the walk until entering the forest. On arriving at the sign at the walk start indicating that this was the way to the falls we were stumped by the seeing only open buttongrass moor with the old vehicle track not anywhere to be seen. Prior to this when we reached the sign pointing to Reynolds Falls and also the Penguin to Cradle track, we reread the notes and although things did not precisely match up the logical way seemed to be to take the falls way.
Once out on the moor we followed a staked track to a lunch spot at Carter Tarn where we could get some shelter from the strong wind. The staked track was followed for a short while longer before it became apparent that it wasn’t going to take us in the right direction. The stakes it would seem are there to mark the Pencil Pine track. In reducing visibility the GPS was used to aid in crossing the buttongrass moor to finally reach the remnants of the old mining bombardier track.
True to the notes this old track was a bit obscure amongst the buttongrass at times and as height was gained so did the exposure to the wind that was now driving a heavy drizzle at us. Low scrub mostly below calf height was now dominant and the thought of where a suitable camp might be found was occupying our minds. Fortunately a hollow protected by a ridge provided several spots on pineapple grass and coral fern. It was only 3PM but we were all quite pleased to be in our tents and out of the elements.
Frequent showers prevailed overnight but had stopped by morning as had the strength of the wind. Gradually the day became nicer as cloud lessened and more blue sky appeared. The climb over the ridge from our camp and down the other side brought us to a pool with good tent spots just 600 metres on; however we weren’t aware of that the previous day. Back Peak was saved for the return leg and the steady but gentle ascent to Recondite completed. At this point my GPS suggested that Mount Remus was the plateau to our left, until I realised that the GPS settings had got altered and the GPS was set to point north rather than the target. So Remus was in fact the peak that we had looked at but thought it was too far off to be it.
Beyond the top of Recondite Michael located a continuation of the track through scrub, but soon the end was reached and it was discovered that there was quite a bit of scrub to negotiate and even on the crest to Remus summit it was shoulder high in places. We managed an easier way back up to Recondite but even so it was way short of the easy stroll expected. The descent from there to the point below Back Peak was a heck of a lot longer than we had remembered, but getting to the Back summit was fairly quick and simple. We had left camp that morning at 8:25AM and were back at 5:20PM, so we had taken a good chunk of the day.
Our final day was reasonably leisurely with several stops to enjoy the area in the warm, calm conditions. Although we spent 4 hours getting back to the car, it entailed 2:20 of actual walking.
Pandani and Heap of Rocks