March 1, 2002

Florentine Peak

Marian Harradine

Started walk at 12.30. There were a lot of cars in the carpark as it was long weekend and lovely weather.
After leaving the Urquhart track to the left of Lake Dobson car park we went up the steep ascent of the 4WD track. We went up here in November but were surprised at how much fitter we were than now, after a summer of bushwalking, as the steep ascent did not bother us at all.
The track winded its way through light bush to a duck board track. We got to the top of the ski slopes near Rodman Range at 1.16pm. It became more rocky from then on up Rodway Range and we rock hopped along rocks and boulders. This led to the part of the range called Lions Den, a sort of a rocky amphitheatre, and on to the amazing views of the west and southern mountains at about 1.33pm. Then some more boulder hopping down K Col.
It was a perfect day, sunny and clear, not too hot for walking and it was just lovely up there. The views to the south west peaks. Mt Wedge, Mt Picton, Mt Anne, Federation Peak, Arthur Ranges, were excellent.
We got to the track junction at the bottom of K Col at 2.03pm. We met quite a few people on the track.
We got to Petersen Hut a few minutes later, and five minutes after that, near Clemes Tarn, we left the track and headed for Florentine Peak negotiating the slopes of the range. There was no track there, but low vegetation and seeing where you are aiming to go makes navigation fairly simple. You need to aim for the furthest darker rock part of the mountain. After that two more nobs obscure the true top.
It would have been handy to have had a track though, as we climbed up three nobs, before we came to the highest point. It was enjoyable nonetheless, as the views were amazing where ever we went.
We got to the true top of Florentine Peak at 3.55 and enjoyed the beautiful views of mountain range after mountain range and could also see the Mt Wellington range for a change as the whole of the summer it seemed to be always shrouded in cloud.
We left the top at 4.20 pm and, aiming to sidle round the nobs we had climbed up on the way up, we made much quicker time coming back to the track - 55 minutes as against an hour and thirty minutes up.
We got back to the track at 5.15, the hut at 5.20 and the car by 7.00. It had been a most enjoyable walk, one of the best this year, and we have had some good ones.

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