Long Tarns

25-28 February 2010
Conditions were quite pleasant for walking as we ventured past Rina Dina Falls and up the valley to Long Tarns to camp.  I noticed that someone in fairly recent times had lit a fire at one of the camping spots. On the second day the route taken was south easterly past the remainder of Long Tarns to Lake Butters where a change of direction was made to the south west then north west to camp by a small tarn at the edge of the wide valley leading to Zion Gate.  We could clearly see the end of lake Fanny from the campsite.
Although cloud had rolled in from the south by morning it did not take long to clear and we were again in bright and pleasantly warm sunshine cooled by a light breeze.  The route was via the delightful old pine forest at Lake Tyre before dropping into Zion Vale, visiting Lake Sidon with it's many islands and then on to Tiger Lake for lunch.  Up to until the latter turn off the track seemed to be much less used than once and a few small sections were not now as obvious to follow.  However the pad to Tiger Lake seemed to have had quite a bit of use with many footmarks.  The log book in the hut, which is half way down the eastern side of the lake, indicated that quite a few people had made a visit.  Evidently the track is written up in one of the guide books.
The hut is Solitary Hut at Tiger Lake, the builder being known as the solitary man hence the name of the hut.  He spent time on the central plateau with his grandfather. He was called up national service but the troops were pulled out of Vietnam before he had to go.  He had a liking for bushwalking and wanted a place with lake and mountain views   He lived in a tent while building the hut and then continued living there for 18 months  Jan 84 to July 85  but with frequent visits back to the city for provisions and so on.  He doesn't visit it much nowadays.
From here we headed in a fairly direct line to the Pencil pine forest clothing the side of the plateau between Mersey Crag and Clumner Bluff, but I made the mistake of walking up the slope at a point too early and as a consequence we had more scrambling to do than should have been the case.  On top of that we arrived on the plateau a bit far west and had to continue over it to a delightful campsite beside a tarn surrounded on one side by  a pine forest and views of the Mersey valley cliffs on the other. 
A short period of rain fell overnight but it stopped well before morning and soon the clouds cleared away.   We took to the scrubby ridge down off the plateau, eventually entering old Myrtle forest as we followed the creek past several small waterfalls before arriving back at Rina Dina Falls and soon after back to the car.

Day 1 Little Fisher River to Long Tarns  7K
Day 2 Long Tarns via Lake Butters    7.7k
Day 3 Valley to Mersey Crag plateau  tarn  11.6
Day 4  To Little  Fisher R    5.8k

Walls North