Thursday, 29 August 2013

White Timber Mountain

Thursday 29th August 2013

Okay, I know you can drive to within about 600 metres of the summit of White Timber Mountain and take a short walk of about half an hour to reach the peak, but that does not present much of a challenge, so I thought I would take the longer option. Incidentally, if anyone does want to drive there just follow Judds Creek Road out of Judbury to its end and turn right onto White Timber Trail and drive 1.7 kms. to the track start.
I arrived at the start of the walk, at the intersection of Crabtree and Mitchells Roads at about 0730 and set off immediately. After crossing Crabtree Rivulet, which is quite pretty, Mitchells Road was follow for some time and then it became the Jefferys Track. It was quite steep but in good condition for a 4WD track. It was a grind uphill for about 3.5 kms. and took 1'10" to reach the White Timber Trail. From here the White Timber Trail was followed for 4 kms. until a new gravel section of road was reached. Up to this point the trail was in poor condition with many bog holes full of water caused by 4WDs using the track when they are not supposed to when it is wet. It was not a problem to walk around the water and I did not fall in once. About another kilometre on the right I came across the cairn marking the start of the track to the summit. The track was tapped and cairned all the way although it was quite overgrown and does not appear to get much use.
After a look around at the top and some photos (The best view is from the north east side) I started back down and noticed all the snow capped mountains to the west that I had missed on the ascent. I took more photos but it was quite hazy so they don't show up clearly.
During the walk back to the car on the old section of White Timber Trail I came across a couple of 4WDs churning up the track as previously mentioned. The had come up from Crabtree, the way I had walked, and were heading for Judbury. The walk back to the car was uneventful except for my lack of concentration when I tripped over a small sapling that was jutting out and ended up spreadeagled on the ground with a couple of grazed knees. The wattles are all starting to flower and the sight of them all in blossom was quite picturesque on the walk back down. I arrived at the car at 1340.
Distance: 18.6 kms.
Time: 6'10"
Ascent: 880 metres
Click here to download GPX track.
Crabtree from Mitchells Road

White Timber Trail

White Timber Mountain

White Timber Trail where I encountered 4WDs

From summit looking NW

Mountains to the west

Mountains to the west

Jefferys Track

On Mitchells Road

Crabtree Rivulet

Crabtree Rivulet

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Little Lagoon Beach

Saturday 24th August 2013

Today's walk did not turn out as planned. I should have had more sense really, because I new it had been raining fairly regularly for a few weeks and I knew the area where I was planning to walk would be wet and muddy. Did I listen to myself. Definitely not as I went ahead anyway.
The weather was supposed to be fine today and that is how it turned out. I started the walk at South Cape Spur 1( the same starting point as Big Lagoon Beach) at about 0730 and walked along the road to the second gate, and just after this started heading south east along an old track which was wet and muddy but nothing like what was to come. After a while it became a 20 metre wide area that had been flattened in the past with machinery, but was being covered with new vegetation. I missed the track I was looking for, mainly because it is almost non existent now, and carried on up the track I was on for 300 metres before sloshing across country to pick up the required track. This proved to be a bad idea as the track became wetter and muddier and when I sank almost up to my knees a couple of times I decided that a retreat was required. I went back to the track I was on previously, and, as it was heading towards Blackswan Lagoon I thought this might be a good alternative. Wrong again. The track petered out after a time and I did manage to find some old tapes in the bush and followed these for a while but the scrub was quite thick with lots of cutting grass so I eventually made another retreat.
After a bite to eat I thought I would head back to near the second gate and walk along the Leprena Track to find out what was up there and maybe get to Southport Lagoon that way. All was going well until I came to this massive area of water where the track should have been. I skirted around this on an old track but when I came back to the original track the water was still there. With no way of getting around it I opted to call it a day, and, after lunch, I walked back to the car.
It was disappointing not being able to reach Little Lagoon Beach, but I had fun anyway. I will attempt the walk again, but will wait until it is much drier although I can't wait too long as the old tracks are being overtaken by vegetation.
Distance: 15.6 kms.
Time: 5'10"
Ascent: 240 metres
Click here to download GPX track.
Mountains to the west

Mountains to the west

Lagoon on the track

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Platform Peak

Tuesday 13th August 2013

With the threat of worsening weather this afternoon, I wanted to do a shorter walk so I could be home by the time it started. Platform Peak was chosen for a couple of reasons- it was short and it was also unfinished business as I had attempted to do Mt. Dromedary and Platform Peak together last year, but ran out of time, only getting to the base of Platform before having to turn around, as I had to be home at a certain time.
Armed with fresh information on the tracks, thanks to Becca (Blog site here) I set off walking at 8.35am from the end of Braslins Road in Black Hills. The weather was fine and cool with lots of frost on the ground and a blustery wind up in the tree tops. I knew this part of the track as I had previously walked this way. The track goes uphill on old forestry roads before making a turn and heading north until a junction is reached and then westwards to another track. From here I walked south for 150 metres to find the walking track heading up to the summit. The track was well marked and was easy to follow all the way up and had a light covering of snow most of the way. It was blowing a gale at the top, so I didn't hang around too long before finding a bit of shelter out of the wind. The temperature up here was 1 degree, but I don't know what the wind chill factor was, but take it from me, it was cold. The summit cairn is very impressive as you can see from the photos.
I was going to stop for a bite to eat up here but decided to keep going. The track descended quite steeply in places in a north easterly direction to finally reach a well maintained road. It was then just a matter of following this road for 1.6 kms. and then branching off on an old forestry track to eventually meet up with the outgoing track and back to the car. I never did get to eat anything, so by the time I reached the car I was quite peckish.
This was quite an enjoyable walk with great scenery.
Distance: 12.3 kms.
Time: 3'25"
Ascent: 550 metres
There is a map and gpx track at Everytrail.
Click here to download GPX track.

Looking Westwards from near summit

Looking SE towards Mt. Wellington

Looking Westwards

Summit Cairn

Looking towards the summit cairn

Looking Westwards

Icy pond beside road

Summit Cairn

Friday, 9 August 2013

Mount Wellington Circuit

Thursday 8th August 2013

Today I wasn't sure which walk I would be doing as I drove into Hobart because it was going to depend on the weather. I had a choice between Mt. Wellington or Platform Peak, but when I saw that Mt. Wellington was cloudless and had no visible snow on the summit, the option was easy. The road up to the parking spot at The Springs was a little icy so I used 4WD just to be on the safe side as I had seen the evidence of someone sliding and wiping out a couple of road signs. I had previously done a few different circuit walks on Mt. Wellington and I had walked all the tracks I was going to use before, but I had not combined them all into a circuit.
I started walking at about 8.20am up to the Milles track and then onto the Icehouse track. The first icehouse is now very overgrown and not readily distinguishable in the bush and the top one is also being overtaken by the bush although the remnants can be easily seen. I made it up to South Wellington summit just in time for morning tea, but there was nowhere dry to sit as the rocks were all covered in a fine blanket of snow. The weather was still clear here but the clouds were starting to roll in on the main summit. This is a very pleasant spot to sit on a good day as the views are magnificent. There was a good covering of snow on the southern and western peaks. The track into here off the Icehouse track had frozen patches of water and care had to be taken as it was quite slippery.
After a short break it was back to the South Wellington track and on to the main summit. Of course, as it has a habit of doing, the cloud really started to roll in and visibility was reduced to about 50 metres. Surprisingly there was absolutely no wind here at all. I could not see the transmission tower until I was almost on top of it. I could not get over the amount of people wandering around here as there were absolutely no views at all. Anyway it was then down the Pinnacle Road for about 800 metres to pick up the Panorama track which was followed down to meet the Pinnacle Road once again. I then walked down the road for about 1 km. to The Chalet which was completely devoid of people so it seemed like an ideal place for lunch. There was no cloud here and there were lots of people a little further down the road checking out the scenery.
I finished lunch then went down the road a short distance and on to Hunters track which was followed for about 1.5 kms. before I deviated off to Lakins Lair. This is a line of cliffs where there are some "caves"; not really caves, but more like indentations in the rock. Anyway it is an interesting place with some history. I then walked down to the Lenah Valley Fire Trail passed Junction Cabin, down the Lenah Valley track, via Lone cabin, passed Rock Cabin and back to the car which I reached at about 2pm.
Overall a very enjoyable walk except for the lack of views at the summit, but I had seen them before, so that was not a total disappointment
Distance: 14.8 kms.
Time: 5'40"
Ascent: 770 metres
Click here to download GPX track.
Top Icehouse

South Wellington Summit

From near top Icehouse

Interesting frozen pool

At South wellington summit

At South Wellington summit

At South Wellington summit

From South Wellington summit

South Wellington track

Cliff line near Lakins Lair

Lakins Lair

Lone Cabin

Rock Cabin

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Mount Misery

Thursday 1st August 2013

The normal way to walk to Mount Misery is from Huon Bush Retreats up the south side but I wanted to see what it was like to do it from the north side. On reflection it probably was not a grand plan, but anyway it was a walk in the bush.
It only took about 20 minutes to drive to the start of the walk in Bakers Creek Road, Lucaston. There was an unnamed peak that I wished to check out before Mount Misery, to see if there were any views from here.
I set off at 7.45am along an old forestry road, but soon left this and headed uphill towards the previously mentioned peak. It was quite steep with loose scree and also quite scrubby in places, but when I finally reached the summit there were no views to speak of. I then walked down slightly to find an old road and walked along this for a time before deviating off to commence the final assault on Mount Misery. It was from here to the summit that the scrub was thick and unrelenting and it took me 2'40" to scrub bash the 2.6 kms. to the top. I was so glad to finally come across the track that comes up from the Bush Retreats and it was only 50 metres from here to the actual summit. It was a clear day so the limited views from here were quite okay. I stopped here for a well earned break and soon headed back down the track to a lookout spot called Flat Rock where there are good views all around. I then retraced my steps back up the track, and thought I would be clever and try another route back to the car. This soon turned into a disaster as I only went about 100 metres and the scrub became impenetrable, so it was then back to the track and up to find the outward track. I then scrub bashed back down the slope, crossed the old road and finally reached the car at 1.20pm. This walk was all off track except for the section at the top of the range.
Overall it was not a great walk due to the scrub, but any day out in the bush is a bonus, I reckon.
Distance: 7.2 kms.
Time: 5'35"
Ascent: 515 metres
Click here to download GPX track.
From Mount Misery

From Mount Misery

From Flat Rock

From Flat Rock

From Flat Rock

From Flat Rock

Aboriginal Interpretive Sign at Flat Rock