Monday, 20 June 2016

Kunanyi

19th June 2016

kunanyi/ Mt Wellington

I had been in Hobart for the Dark MOFO winter festival and was staying at my cousin's place. She lives in Lenah Valley, within  a few minutes drive from some fire trails that lead up the mountain. I had only ever driven up Wellington, so when I awoke early to a beautiful day I jumped in my boots and hopped in the car to the trail head. I drove to the end of Lenah Valley Road and was walking by 8:30am. I headed for the shortest route to Junction cabin and then took the Hunters walking track up to the Pinnacle Road. I walked the road for around a kilometre until I reached another walking track that leads closer to the summit, the Panorama track. It was a beautiful little 15 minute walking track, and connects back onto Pinnacle Road. Another 5 minutes of road walking and I was at the summit, just under 2 hours after leaving my car. The walk gave me around 1km of vertical gain from the car to the summit. Due to that gain, the vegetation bands were fascinating to observe, starting in tall Eucalyptus, meandering into some stunted Snow Gum fields and then into the alpine zone.

The view from the top was crisp and beautiful. I had clear views deep into the south-west and all the way east to Maria Island. There were many people on top, but I found a quiet rock to eat an early lunch on. After spending half and hour on top I headed back down. This time I chose the Zig-Zag track which connects to the Organ Pipes Track. I highly recommend this walk to anyone with a spare day in Hobart! When I got to the end of the Organ Pipes Track I bumped into Roackmonkey, another keen Tasmanian mountain climber (who I met in the Spires, read her blog here) I then went back down the way I came up, Hunters track to Junction Cabin, and then took a different path to the New Town Falls. A pretty cascade that wasn't full of much water, but very pleasant all the same.

I was back at the car just before 1pm and ready for another afternoon/night jam packed with Dark MOFO fun! The whole Wellington reserve is set up beautifully for bushwalkers, trail runners, and mountain bikers. I will be back to explore the trails again sometime!

A fine morning.

A bit of a chilly start in the valley though.

Junction Hut.

On the scree on Hunters Track.

The old corduroy on the Panorama track.

The magnificent view from the summit!

So heathy.

New Town falls on the way down.

A tall fungi!

116 left.

Peace,
Zane.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Mt Picton and Hartz Peak

2nd - 3rd June 2016

Mt Picton
Hartz Peak

Day 1
For this overnight trip in the south of the state I was accompanied by 2 others who I met on an outdoor enthusiast page on Facebook; Peter, and Ben. I picked up Peter from his house in Launceston at 7am and we drove to Huonville to meet up with Ben, who lives in Hobart. Ben took a separate car as he would be leaving earlier to get to Hobart the next day. We then took our little convoy up Arve Road towards the Tahune Airwalk, then down West Picton Road, up a few side-roads and eventually reached the start of the walk up Mt Picton. It can be done as a 7 hour day walk, but we wanted to camp just beneath the summit.

The walk starts in thick cutting grass, but a large group looks to have recently been through and had trampled it nicely. After 10 minutes the rainforest is reached and the climb up begins. The walk starts at about 330m in elevation, so it is almost 1km of incline to the top (Mt Picton is 1327m high). There are a few small creeks crossed as the track gets steeper, being aided at times with permanent ropes on some sections. The track had been recently cut back with someone wielding a chainsaw, so we found it to be fair walking, but there would have been a lot more ducking under and jumping over fallen trees without the track-work. After an hour and a half we poked out of the rainforest onto a ridge sitting above Glasswork Tarn, a fine place for lunch. The vegetation was mostly snow-gum and progressively turned into alpine scrub as we got higher. Soon we were in the shade of Mt Picton, walking on icy rocks and surrounded by frozen vegetation. Only an hour from our lunch stop and we reached the small, sloped campsite near Steanes Tarn. We set up camp and by 3pm we were zig-zagging our way to the final 250m to the summit of Mt Picton. There was no obvious track and only a few scattered cairns, so we just picked out way through the boulders and cliffs. After 45 minutes we were atop, sitting on the trig-point and signing the log book (placed in 1997 and still only half filled out!) The view was spectacular, views to the Southern Ranges, Hartz Peak and the Wellington Range were all great, but the view of the Eastern and Western Arthurs stole the show. After 40 minutes or so on top, we made our way to camp for an early dinner, some star gazing, and then a long night in the tents.

My valiant companions; Peter and Ben. 

Peter crossing the mighty Cook Creek.

Classic South-West Tasmania bushwalking.

Hard Water Fern.

The ridge above Glassworm Tarn offers great views of the Picton Range.

Frosty Myrtle.

High camp at Steanes Tarn.

Moss covered wallaby bones.

Walking up Picton with views to Federation.

Atop Mt Picton

Day 2
We woke up a bit after 7am, had a quick breakfast, packed up and were walking back to the car by 8am. The view from camp in the morning was amazing, fog settled in the valley above the Picton River was very photogenic. The walk down took us only a little over 2 hours to do. When we reached the cars, Ben jumped in his and headed back to Hobart, and Peter and I headed for The Hartz Mountains National Park. We arrived at the day centre, repacked our gear into day packs and were walking by 11:30am. The walk states a 3-4 hour return, but the mostly boardwalked track made for a swift journey. The weather was beautiful, a bit warmer than the previous day, and crystal clear weather. The track meanders past many small tarns, all frozen over. We took some time to skim rocks on the ice and soak in the atmosphere. Just over an hour of walking we reached the summit, where there was a trio from Hobart. We had fun naming all the surrounding peaks from the amazing view point. The Southern Ranges looked very tantalising, and Precipitous Bluff really was the stand out feature (even thought there was an fantastic view of Federation!) After 40 minutes enjoying the stillness on top, we made our way down with the call of baked delights from Huonville in our ears. A really enjoyable 2 days, 2 very nice mountains, and 2 new bushwalking buddies. Trip well done!

Early morning light on the Eastern Arthurs.

Fog in the Picton Valley.

The day shelter at Hartz.

Beautiful boardwalk and stunning Snow Gums.

Hartz Peak and Mt Snowy to the left.

View to Mt Bobs and Federation - Bringing back memories.

The summit of Hartz Peak is amazing!

117 left.

Peace,
Zane.