Mount Charles

Wednesday 22 January 2014

It was an ideal day for a walk, with sunny and calm conditions without the temperature getting too hot; nevertheless we took advantage of the shade for rest stops and lunch. It was pleasant walking up to the Collins Cap firetrail and the area where steps have been put in, near the firetrail, was looking good and continuing to recover.  Even though we were walking at a reasonably good pace a couple of blokes much younger than us strode past.

A section of bush running beside the firetail was still very much showing the damage from the bushfire of last January, but recovery was underway and most of the gums were shooting.
Near dam view to Trestle March 2013Recovering from bushfire 12 months after event  site photo 4
Before and 12 months after bushfire

Beyond that, the slashing beside the trail that had taken place at the time of the fire, was  somewhat of an ugly sight.   Once on the shortcut that avoids the big  arc of the fire trail,  we were quite surprised at the amount of growth of the vegetation there.  Once back on the firetrail the slashed sides and the combination of thick recent growth caused me to miss the turnoff to the Pineapple Grass area that I hade planned for morning tea.; it was eventually taken just off the track near the Mount Marian turnoff.
Mount Charles looms into view with Greg and Adrian

 The firetrail had more ups and downs than either Greg or I could remember and it seemed to go on for longer.   Mount Charles remained out of view until we were getting fairly close and once at the base the walking was a complete contrast, with scrub and scrambling now involved. Greg located the pad and we managed to follow it for much of the way arriving at the top about 12:30, some 3:45 after leaving but that included a morning tea stop.  After the effort of getting there it was good to be able to spend a bit over an hour on top in the nice bush.
Summit area of Mount Charles with a walker of skyline

Soon after starting the descent we spotted another walker approaching over the top of the rocky southern peak and when we got closer realised it was a woman, but she didn't want to speak to us and waved us on; we think she may have had poor English. I missed a few bits of the pad down but it didn't make a lot of difference.  Whilst passing beside Trestle I managed to locate the Pineapple Grass field that was missed on the walk in and the access now had more bush and tree impeding access than once.

Large area of pure Pineapple Grass Astelia alpina LILIACEAE at foot of Trestle Mountain with Collins Bonnet in distance

The route taken to (red)  Mount Charles and the return (blue)
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