26-28 April 2016
After such a disastrous walk to Cape Pillar in October 2007 I was anxious to only go there in light winds. On that trip I was blown into a rock and suffered deep cuts and a broken nose and considerable lacerations and of course an abandoned walk. A four-day period was set aside to pick out three for the walk and fortunately the weather was suitable for them all.
|Crescent Bay from Arthurs Peak
The idea was to use the old Cape Pillar track for an hour then branch off turning west across several plains on northern side of Crescent Mountain with final short ascent to Arthurs Peak by this time using the new Three Capes track which will be followed through to the junction where it meets with the old track. From there is not a long way to Lunchtime Creek where the new track swings away on a new route.
Soon after setting out Agnes Creek was reached where it was surprising to find a tree had knocked the bridge down and all traces of it had been removed. The creek is however a very simple crossing on rocks and after a drink we were on our way up to the plains where the old track had been quite recently trimmed back quite wide. It was on the return walk, after passing two hut rangers, that it dawned on us that one of the reasons for this would probably be to make access for them easier.
Once past the junction the cleared track ended and the next hour and a bit was mostly pushing through scrub varying between waist high and well over the head and it was not until close to Arthurs Peak that it got lower and drier. We cut off from the pad for400 metres to intersect with the Three Capes Track and from there it was high quality track. Initially involving a climb to get great views to Crescent Bay and surrounds then down to the sidle Crescent Mountain where the gravel and rock steps. Once over the plain of Ellarwey Valley a delightful shelf on the northern edge of Tornado Ridge went through forest on mostly a gravel track to the junction with the old Pillar track and then the refurbished part of the old track was followed to the turnoff to Lunchtime Creek where we camped. I did make a blunder here by telling Nigel I would leave my blue drink bottle on the track at the turnoff, but after passing some walkers heading the other way, I thought someone might pick it and take so just put a few logs over the track instead. When Nigel failed to appear I realised that something had gone wrong, and sure enough he had kept going as my bottle was not there to mark the spot; however, he eventually backtracked and reached camp before dark.
Another nice day and a most enjoyable walk, initially following the old track, then joining the new one for the walk to The Blade. There was one quite extensive section of boardwalk bypassing well to the east of Perdition Ponds, but the rest was good to travel on and the views from the cliff tops just so splendid. On return we went via the old Perdition track which is overgrowing rapidly then went on the check the swanky Munro hut, where the ranger invited us to inspect it, before completing the circuit to arrive at camp at a more respectable time of day. We met a lot of Three Capes patrons during the day and over half of them were in the 20-30’s age bracket with the remainder over 50’s.
The final day was cloudy but nice for walking and we arrived at the car at 11 just as rain began, which soon became quite heavy; good timing.
|The upgraded track along the clifftops
Click on the image below for the photo album
Cape Pillar April 2016