March 11, 2002

Three Peaks day

Marian Harradine
Monday 11th March 2002. (Long weekend)
Collins Bonnet, Trestle Mountain and Collins Cap from Myrtle Forest. Total time: 5 1/2 hrs
I contemplated doing an afternoon trek to Trestle Mountain as I had not been there before.
I left home at 1.05 and started the walk from Myrtle Forest at 1.30. It was a warm day at home, about 26 degrees when I left but it was a bit cooler up there.
After I had been climbing for 20 minutes I came to the area where the Collins Bonnet track goes one way, left, and the Collins Cap track goes the other, right. However I managed to miss the Collins Cap track, as it is now a deviation, rather than the Collins Bonnet being the deviation as it used to be from memory.
So up to Collins Bonnet I went. It was a good ten minutes before I realised my mistake.
I got to the East-West track at 2.25. I fiddled about a bit there for about 8 minutes. They have rebuilt the old hut, which is near where I hit the track. It is a more effective emergency shelter now.
I decided to climb Collins Bonnet first and then see how I went. I got to the start of the track at 2.40 and to the top at 2.55. There were lovely views, but a bit of smoke haze to the west and north. It was very windy up there and after 5 minutes I descended back to the East-West track.
I walked back past the hut and the cairn that marked where I got to the road, getting there at about 3.20. From there the road descended quite steeply for a good kilometre. Trestle Mountain soon became visible up ahead.
At 3.32 I got to the Collins Cap fire trail junction and then continued going down for another 8 minutes before the road started sloping up again as we neared the Mountain River trail junction. This had a sign on it to say it was impassable due to extreme washouts.
A couple of minutes later, at 3.48, I came to the starting cairn of the Trestle Mountain ascent. The track, though not too clear, was not too bad, a bit in all directions here and there. I thought my gaiters might have come in handy but I did not have them with me. After climbing quite steeply up the slope, it gradually became more rocky with a lot of slippery scree further up. Cairns started to be a bit more frequent, but not always easy to see. Collins Bonnet looked pretty impressive across the valley.
Along the top of Trestle Mountain is a long ridge of tall jagged dolorite columns. I lost the cairns when I got to the first of the high columns. I went to the left of the top, rather than the right. I eventually picked my way over to the top of a section of the columns to the other side, and found some cairns which, on following, led me eventually up to the highest point, which was a column sticking up a bit higher than the others. It was a bit of a scramble in the last bits, but not difficult.
The top was reached at 4.20. It was blowing quite fiercely up there so I did not stand on the top but squatted down low. Views were pretty similar to Collins Bonnet, except Collins Bonnet looked spectacular as mentioned previously. Also an interesting view of Mt Montague. Mt Anne and Mt Field West and Florentine Peak were visible but not as clear as earlier at Collins Bonnet. The weather was starting to cloud over that way and also south of Huonville.
I left the top at 4.30 and, keeping the cairns in sight, made a more direct and quicker return down and back to the road, getting there at 4.52. By then it was cloudy but very pleasant walking.
I made my way back up towards the Collins Cap fire trail, getting there at 5.05. This part was also very enjoyable, as was the walk back down to the start of the ascent up Collins Cap or the descent to Myrtle Forest. I got there at 5.22. I then decided that I might as well nick up Collins Cap as well and do the trio.
The track up was very good in comparison to Trestle Mt. It was very enjoyable too with good views soon evident. I reached the top at 5.45. Lovely views of the New Norfolk and the Derwent River and east of Hobart. The west was closing in and Mt Anne disappeared in the rain as I watched.
I left the top of Collins Cap at 5.50. Got to the first 4wd track at 6.07. I walked a little way along to the south on it to see where it went. I started the descent to Myrtle Forest at 6.15, got to the place where the track meets the Collins Bonnet track at 6.28 and got back to the car at 6.40. I was jogging parts of the way as it was easier than walking. The trails and tracks are typical Wellington Park, very stoney, a bit hard on the feet.
Myrtle Forest to East-West trail: 55 minutes
From there to start of Collins Bonnet ascent: 6 minutes. Collins Bonnet ascent: 15 minutes
Point of contact on East-West trail to Collins Cap trail junction: 12 minutes
Collins Cap trail junction to Mountain River junction: 13 minutes
To Trestle Mt ascent cairn: 3 minutes From there to the top: 32 minutes (descent took 22 minutes)
Collins Cap trail junction to Collins Cap walking track junction: 17 minutes
Collins Cap ascent from there: 23 minutes (descent took 17 minutes)
4wd trail to junction of Collins Cap and Collins Bonnet walking track: 13 minutes (probably 25 minutes up)
To car park at Myrtle Forest: 12 minutes (20 minutes going up)

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