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.


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.
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