November 30, 2001

Cape Hauy and Mt Fortescue

Marian Harradine Sunday, 30th September, 2001

7 hours.
Very scenic on a good day. Our aim was to walk to Cape
Hauy and climb Mt Fortescue from Fortescue Bay return.
Fortescue Bay is about a 1 1/2 hour drive from Hobart on the Tasman Peninsula.
We set off at about 9.50,
After about 10 or 15 minutes we started climbing quite steadily for about 20 minutes after which it was less steep. After slightly under two hours of walking we got to the signposted junction which pointed to Mount Fortescue and Cape Hauy. We decided to walk to Cape Hauy first, as it was quite misty towards Mt Fortescue and we hoped that maybe it would clear.
It was 11.45 when we left the junction and we got to Cape Hauy at 12.30. The visibility was pretty misty there too but the cliffs were still spectacular. However we were unable to see much more than Cape Pillar in the distance to the west and a misty coast to the north. On good days one can see Maria Island to the north from there.
We left at 1.00 after looking around (mostly down) from various vantage points.
We got back to the Mt Fortescue turnoff at about 1.30. After walking for about 10 minutes we arrived a very nice lookout where we had our lunch. By then Cape Hauy was invisible because of heavy mist, as was Cape Pillar. By the time we had finished our lunch it was quite misty between us and the water below too.
We continued along the way, coming across some more great lookout points just past the lunch point. The track goes inland for a while and then returns for more cliff top views, one of a large arch where the sea has carved a tunnel through the base of one of the protruding cliffs. We are also supposed to have come to a point where there are views to Maria Island through a saddle in the hills to the north but didn't see that due to the mist. It was pleasant walking though.
We then started gradually getting into damp forest and also climbing steadily. We started to spot the odd leech and had regular leech stops to check ourselves. There were quite a few fallen trees across the track and the mosses on the ground and on the trees were very prolific. We seemed to have passed the leech territory after a certain point as in the last half hour until until we got to Mt Fortescue, when I found one on my boot, we did not see any more.
We spent a bit of time up on Mt Fortescue, which we reached at about 2.40. Mt Fortescue is really a high point on a cliff 490 m above Munro Bight. Cape Pillar did not seem so far away. A sign there said it was 5 to 6 hours walk away. We watched the mists moving rapidly around Cape Pillar and around us too.
We left to return to Fortescue Bay at 3pm. We had read of a shorter return via Mill Creek track and kept an eye open for it. We noticed a cairn after about half an hour's descent, and found a track we presumed to be the Mill Creek track. It was not very easy to follow as we kept having to look around for the ribbon markers. I also found that it was much more leechy than the other track up. I must have pulled off at least thirty of the blighters, in varying sizes, during that descent to Fortescue Bay!
The track veered off to the right after about half an hour and descended steeply through more open country, but not very pleasant walking due to the very rocky track and vegetation scratching my legs, I was wearing shorts. There was a lot of that cutting type grass which did its best to trip one up if it got caught around the boots. Leeches were still plentiful. Our vigilance with them paid off with none getting attached to us.
We eventually got to Mill Creek, when we were near the end of the walk. No water in the creek though. Throughout the six hours of walking we had not seen any fresh water anywhere. Just as well we carried enough. A good lesson learnt on our Western Arthurs trip during a heatwave.
We rejoined the main track close to Fortescue Bay, arriving back to the car at 4.45 so I guess we did save a bit of time coming back that way. However I think I would go the longer way back next time as that track was more pleasant walking.
We really enjoyed the walk, in spite of the lack of views due to the mist. There is a beauty in misty bush and coastlines too.

Summary

Actual Walking time: 5hrs 35min.
Fortescue Bay to Mt Fortescue junction:1hr 55min
Fortescue Bay to Cape Hauy: 2hrs 40min
Junction to top of Mt Fortescue: 1 hour
Total time taken 7hrs

November 21, 2001

Mt Field West

Marian Harradine
Wednesday 21st November '01
6 ¼ hours on tracks
We arrived at Lake Dobson at 1.40. Put on our boots and were on our way by 1.45. We did not really enjoy the steep ascent up the uninteresting 4WD track after leaving the Urqhart track to the left of Lake Dobson car park. After about 15 minutes from the start though the route gets off the road and onto a track. We took a signposted track to Mt Field West, but it seemed to be a rather roundabout route up, on a rocky/stoney track.
Once we got to the duckboards we felt we were going somewhere and made good time towards some more ski slopes. Then it became more rocky from then on up Rodway Range when we had to rock hop rocks and boulders.
This led to the part of the range called Lions Den, a sort of a rocky ampitheatre, and then down some more boulder hopping to K Col. There were great views there especially to the south west peaks. Mt Anne, Federation Peak, Arthur Ranges, We descended the Col and noticed the Gordon Dam ahead of us in the distance. At this time we met a couple of other walkers in that area. One who had done the Tarn Shelf / Newdegate circuit and another who was coming back from Mt Field West and told us it would take about an hour from Peterson's Hut which we could see below us. This emergency hut was on the shoulder between Mt Field west and Florentine Peak. We were pleased to hear the time information as we were wondering how we were going as we wanted to get back to the car before dark.
The track had a junction at the bottom of K Col to Tarn Shelf / Newdegate circuit.
We got to the hut at about 3.45 and proceeded on after checking it out. 500 meters from the hut we passed Clemes Tarn which was a bit higher than the path we were walking on right beside it. Very pretty.
The weather was looking as though it might close in. We had been walking in some sunshine a lot of the way up till then. The climb gradient from the hut was a nice steady, stoney uphill and after stopping for a bite to eat at a scenic rocky place with a view, we headed off again up the rocks, following an easy to see path. It is 2 kms from Clemes Tarn to the top of the plateau and over the shoulder of Naturalist Peak. Then it is about 1 km walking across the plateau, avoiding little tarns/puddles along the way. The summit is like a west facing ramp or bluff so is not very dramatic from the east. Mt Naturist is more showy.
We climbed the rocks to the top of the mountain and got there at 4.45. Good views were enjoyed, although a bit hazey north and east. The weather stayed reasonably clear with patchy sun making the views interesting. As well as the earlier mountains mentioned we saw lots of others including Mt Mueller, Denison ranges, Frenchman's Cap in the distance and nearer to the east of us was The Watcher just across the gully. Mt Wellington was under the clouds as was the rest of the south east. Florentine Valley, below us was a bit disappointing with clear-felled patches from forestry activity.
We left at about 5 oclock and popped up Mt Naturist on the way back just past at a large cairn, which added another 20 minutes to the return walk but was well worthwhile. There is a trig on that.
We retraced our steps back and got to the car at 8pm. A bit footsore after 85 percent of the walk was on rocks or stones, but very happy with our afternoon walk.

November 8, 2001

Cradle Mountain Area Day Walk

Marian Harradine 
We left the Dove Lake carpark at 12.20 to walk the circuit of Mt Campbell, Hanson's Peak, the face track around Cradle Mt and to the top of Cradle Mt. The weather was fining up after rain earlier in the day.
The climb up to the shoulder of Mt. Campbell and Hanson's Peak was quite steep but not very long. We decided to skip Mt Campbell, but after ten minutes or so climbing toward's Hanson's Peak, we changed our minds as it was clear then for views, and might not be so when we got to Cradle Mt. We went back along the saddle between the two mountains to the start of the track up to it.

We decided to stop and have lunch in a sheltered spot before the final ascent. While we were looking for one I nearly stepped on a neatly folded large black snake. We moved away a bit from him and enjoyed lunch. It took about twenty minutes to get to the top of Mt Campbell from the saddle, getting there at about 1.50. The views were great, surprisingly so. It was well worthwhile going there.
Some of the main mountains were, starting from Cradle Mt clockwise, Mt Inglis,Granite Tor, Marion's Lookout, Mt Beecroft, Black Bluff Range, Mt Roland, Western Bluff, Clumner Bluff, Mt Pillinger, Mt Oakleigh, Pelion East, Mt Ossa and Mt Emmet.
Mt Campbell is a very bare mountain, very smooth grey rock gives it a grey look. When we were looking at it from across the valley the next day it reminded me of a whale.
We also saw what looked like Frenchman's Cap in the distance, south west, with two blobs of snow looking like two eyes. This was found to be right when we got to the top of Cradle Mountain later and where there was a large dial giving the names of mountains and their distance away.
We headed down after some time and climbed over the top of Hansons Peak and over towards the north eastern side of Cradle Mt. Lovely views on both sides of the shoulder of lake Dove and Twisted Lakes and further vistas.
We followed the face track deciding that if we got to the start of the Cradle Mountain ascent by 4.30 we would climb it. This we did, getting there just before that time. We climbed Cradle Mountain, one hour up and 40 minutes down and twenty minutes there. It was lovely to have the views and the dial I mentioned earlier to identify the mountains. Barn Bluff looked pretty inviting to walk to.
We descended and got to Kitchen Hut at about 6.30. It was freezing cold as it always seems to be at Kitchen Hut, and we met an older German couple who were staying in there for the night.
When we looked back we found that Cradle Mountain had mist all over the top so we were very blessed that it was clear while we were there.
We returned via Marion's Lookout and arrived at the car park at Dove Lake by 7.45. It was a cold evening, 6 degrees. A very satisfying 7½ hours.

June 10, 2001

Mt Eliza

Marian Harradine
Sunday 10th June 01.
It was clear and sunny when we left Hobart at 10.30am after a 3 degree frost.
We were on our way to Strathgordon but on the spur of the moment, when we got to Scotts Peak Road, we decided to turn in there to check out Mt Eliza. We got to Condominion Creek, the start of the walk, at midday. Mt Anne, the top of Mt Eliza and surrounding mountains were under low misty cloud and it was 6 degrees.
We signed the book and started walking at about 12.10. We had not climbed for more than 20
minutes when we stopped to catch our breath and turning round saw an amazing view of Lake Pedder below with beautiful reflections of the mountains. A good photo stop. If we had gone no further it was worthwhile climbing to that point to see the views that day.
The steep climb soon warmed us up and we got to the part where the track goes downhill to climb again to another shoulder after about 35 - 40 minutes climb. After that the rest of the climbing though still steep did not seem as hard as it was not as constantly steep. We got to Mt Eliza hut at about 1.35 and decided to climb up the steep rocky ascent behind it for a half hour to see how it went, the weather beginning to close in somewhat. We stopped for lunch up on a rock in a sheltered spot for a few minutes and continued up. It got rather exposed and cold with a light drizzle and the cairns were not that easy to find in thick mist so we turned back after about half and hour with not much more than an estimated ten minutes of climbing to the top of the plateau.
We made our way down to the hut with little difficulty rather regretting that we did not go that bit further up to the top. But there is always another time, better safe than sorry. The return walk from there took a bit over an hour. We arrived back at the car park at 3.40.
A very pleasant way to spend a Sunday in winter.

January 23, 2001

Mt Gould

Marian Harradine
Sunday 23rd January:
We left home (Hobart) at 6.55, arriving at Lake St Claire at 8.45. We caught the ferry to Narcissus Bay and arrived there at 9.30.
We set up the tent not far from the jetty in a sheltered tea tree area near the river. It was such good weather that we decided to go up Mt Gould today rather than tomorrow as the views would be good.
We set off at 10.30, taking the turn off to Gould Plateau and Lake Marion soon after. It was a nice track through light bush along the edge of button grass plains and the occasional bit of dried out bog. Eventually we crossed Marion Creek on a log bridge and then came across some quite boggy areas in the next few minutes before we came to the sign post pointing to Gould’s Plateau and Lake Marion at 11pm.
We took the Gould Plateau track which soon went into lovely old rainforest, very gradually climbing, and cool as the day was warming up, following markers which were fairly recent as well as old blazes on trees.
After 25 minutes of rainforest, we walked through a more open area of button grass for about 15 minutes before once again coming into the rainforest. From then the track became steeper and and after half an hour, at 12.05, a bit over one and a half hours from the start, we reached the plateau. The last 10 minutes before reaching the plateau was through scrub and tea tree. The track to this point was quite good and quite well marked.
We spent some time admiring the views, and then continued on north across the plateau towards Mt Gould at 12.18. Within 5 minutes we passed a tarn on our right, with a nice camping spot nearby. Another larger tarn was passed on our left soon after. The southern end of the plateau was raised and the unmarked track, which was now a reasonable pad, descended and then as it neared Mt Gould started climbing. The Acropolis and Mt Geryon made a spectacular backdrop to the north east.
At 12.50 we heard running water near the track and were happy to drink our fill and to refill our bottles. The track continued on and at 1.05 we came to a very scrubby section where the track was very hard to find. I was wishing I had a few ribbons on me to hang to help with our return. We passed through that onto nice green cushiony grassy areas which were like little gardens and quite damp. We stopped there for lunch as we were going to start more serious climbing from there. It was 1.10.
We resumed at 1.25 and within 5 minutes were on steep slippery scree ascending the western side of the mountian along a cairned route up towards the boulder strewn summit ridge. We could see Lake Marion down below to the west, nestled below the Guardians. We reached the boulders at 1.50 and continued towards the northern end of the ridge towards the highest point. The route was still cairned but it was not always easy to find the best way round some of the bigger boulders. The views were breathtaking as we made our way along the ridge. We were enjoying the day.
When the ridge descends before the final summit ascent we moved to the eastern side of the ridge and covered some ground through roughly tracked scrub as well as rocks. We reached the top, still on boulders, at 3pm, 4½ hours from Narcissus. The views were fantastic, in all directions with good visibility. The Labyrinth just below to the north, Pine Valley to the east, the Ducaine Range, Ossa, Hyperion, Eros, The Watchmen, Walled Mountain, of I took photos and we enjoyed half an hour up there before starting our return at 3.30.
We looked down to the eastern side as Brian was a bit tired of the boulder hops, with a view to go down there and sidle our way round back to the plateau as an alternative, but decided that the tried route back would be safer.
We lost a bit of time going back because we stayed on the eastern flank a bit too long and had to backtrack and climb up along the skyline until we eventually, at 4.45 started to descend back down the slippery scree on the western side. We came to our lunch spot at 5.15 and managed to lose the track in the very scrubby area we had trouble with on the way up. We floundered around off track for about ten minutes before luckily joining the track, but having somehow missed out on the fresh water supply that we were looking forward to. We were happy to not have lost much time and being on the track though, and walked south, gradually climbing to the other end of the plateau. We filled our bottles from the larger tarn and continued on to the end of the plateau where we took a last look at the views.
We started our descent down off the plateau at 6.15, coming into the rainforest at 6.22. We lost another 10 minutes when we got to the open area down below after crossing a creek, and followed a false pad. It took us a while to backtrack and find the real track. I think that was a sign of tiredness. By 7.26 we came to the signs pointing to Lake Marion and Narcissus. A few minutes later we crossed Marion Creek, again on the log crossing, arriving back at Narcissus hut at 7.55 very happy with our day.
We realised when we set up our tent this morning and found a lot of mosquitos bugging us that we had forgotton to pack the Aerogard. We decided to call into the hut and ask if anyone there had some insect repellent we could use. While we were gratefully applying some that an English girl had offered us, a Chinese boy called Tung offered us his to take with us, saying he did not need it any more as he was leaving first thing in the morning for Cynthia Bay on the ferry. We were most grateful and found it kept us bite free and blessing Tung for the rest of the trip.

January 1, 2001

Turrana Bluff

Sunny Prospects

Driving

  • Mersey Forest Road, to the Dublin Road junction, about 2 km south of the Rowallan Dam;
  • Travel east on the Dublin Road for 4.5 km to its junction with Little Fisher Road;
  • Turn right into Little Fisher Road and travel for 6.5 kilometres past the bridge over the Little Fisher River;
  • Turn right and then turn right again, past a sign for the Walls of Jerusalem National Park;
  • Continue for 4 km until the car park where the road is blocked.

Walking

  • Walk along the old road and cross the bridge over the Little Fisher River;
  • Turn left up the valley and follow an old road which eventually becomes a track;
  • The small but attractive Rina Dina Falls are reached after about an hour of walking; and
  • The track continues to Long Tarns on the plateau at the top of the Little Fisher Valley and is reached after a further 1.5 hours of walking.
  • The routes to Turrana Bluff and Mersey Crag are untracked but open.

Mount Anne - Day Walk

Allan Wise

Introduction

Regarded as Tasmania's premier day walk, Mt Anne attracts experienced bushwalkers for three main reason. One, amazing scenery and great photo opportunities. Two, It's subjected to absolutely foul weather conditions and intense exposure. And Three, The final ascent is very steep, making it hard in the best of times and almost impossible when icy or snowy. Ropes may help at the summit, most confident climbers will find it manageable.

Access

A permit is required for travel in any of Tasmania's national parks. Permits can be purchased from most outdoor shops or on entry to the national park. There is a Toll booth just out of Maydena, the gateway to the south west. About 19.3 km from there - along Scotts Peak Road - is Condominium Creek, the start of the walk. At the start of the walk there is a car park, camp area, toilet, and walker registration booth.

High Camp Hut - 1 to 1.5 hours medium walking

From the car park, walk east along a track that is mostly duckboard for 400m. There is an abrupt start of the climbing spur. The climb is 3.6 km in length and rises 600m. Here there is a hut in a patch of small trees know as High Camp Hut. The toilet has a window and faces north overlooking lake Pedder. It has become know as "the loo with the view". The hut walk is a good day walk in it self. well worth the trip if you are not keen to climb all the way to the summit.

Hut to Mt Eliza - 1/2 to 1 hour medium climbing

From High Camp hut it is a slow ascent to reach the Mt Eliza plateau. the track rises rapidly nearly reaching 45 degrees. Small rock cairns (a pile of rocks) define the easiest route. The route leads directly to Mt Eliza, 300m elevation from the hut and 1289m above sea level. Mt Eliza is rated 2 peak-bagging points.

Mt Eliza to Anne circuit track junction - 45 mins easy walking

Heading in a north-easterly direction the track is basically flat and follows the ridge to the base of Mt Anne. There is a number of small rises and some boulder hopping. There are plenty of tarns, where you can refill water bottles. It is quite exposed to the elements along the ridge, It is a good indication if you are having trouble here that you are unlikely to summit Anne on this trip. The Circuit track junction is just past a very large unnamed crop of rocks and just before a largish rock jutting out of the plateau. This rock provides some wind shelter, good if you are waiting for friends. The Circuit track heads down into the valley to your right.

Circuit track junction to Mt Anne summit - 1 to 2 hours hard walking/climbing

Traveling a short distance we reach the boulder-covered slopes of Mt Anne. Cairns show the access route up. Through an absolute chaos of rocks the awe-inspiring summit block of Mt Anne towers above you. The last section is quite tricky, ropes may help those not totally confident in there free climbing abilities. The summit on a clear day has a panoramic view of virtually all south-west Tasmania. You are surrounded by a plethora of jagged ranges, lakes and button grass ranges. There is a log book at the top.




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