With kayaks in tow, Chevi and I headed for the southern end of Lake King William. We arrived at Guelph Basin by 9:30am and organised the kayaks for our trip. We were in the water a bit after 10:00am and started following the eastern shoreline. There was a considerable wind up causing white caps on the lake, but with the kayaks laden with gear we felt very solid and powered through. About 1km into the paddle we veered away from the shore and headed straight for a point of land on the southern side of the basin (approximately 2kms away). The clouds were sitting thick and low on the King William Range, but Mt Hobhouse had sun shining on it and promised of a good day. After we pulled the kayaks ashore the daypack was filled with our gear for the day and we set off between the fill level and water-line; easy walking.
A short time of that pleasant walking was had before we found an open Buttongrass field to head into on the right direction to the ridge that leads up to the summit. The Buttongrass was quite large, and actually made for harder walking than usual (we both took several falls). Whenever we could we headed for the isolated patches of Eucalyptus forest, which had surprisingly open under-story and abundant bird life. We had a quick lunch in one of these, and kept linking up patches of similar forest until we reached an open forest dominated by Myrtle at the bottom of the ridge. This was marked on the map, along with the next feature we found, an old survey road from hydro times gone by. The overgrown road provided some easy walking for a few hundred metres and it was here that we picked up a taped route. We followed the tape as it shot away from the road into rainforest and up the crest of the ridge-line. As we gained altitude the track became more and more obvious and it was very appreciated as we headed through a thick band of Bauera and Tea-Tree just below the rocky outcrop leading to the summit. Once the final steep push had been made atop the outcrop, it was easy walking for 500m to the summit which we gained at 2:15pm (3 hours of walking). We had quite nice views, especially to the north and east, but the views west and south to the King Williams, Prince of Wales, Spires, and the Denison were hampered completely by low thick cloud.
After some summit time we headed back the way we came, only differing our route for a more straight forward approach to the lake when we reached the buttongrass flats. This cut some time and it was just over 2 hours for the descent. Once we were back at the kayaks we had a bit over an hour of daylight to set up camp on the edge of the forest. A lovely evening was spent playing cards by lantern light.
|Pulling ashore at First Bay.|
|Drift wood and mountain tops.|
|Pandani in the forest.|
|A beautifully tied piece of tape.|
|The rocky outcrop leading to the summit.|
|Looking north to Lake King William from the summit.|
The original plan had been to head up Slatters Peak and Mt King William II, but the range was firmly in the cloud as we woke and began packing up camp. By the time we had the kayaks packed, nothing had changed, and considering that the previous day they had been in cloud all day we formed a decision. The weather and a painful hip (sustained from the Buttongrass stomping) lead us to opt for a long paddle on the lake, and then heading back to the car. We paddled through the Guelph Narrows and looked at a little island in the main body of water that is Lake King William. Then on our way back to the car, we looked at an old fisherman's shack on the lakes edge. Once back at the car we headed to Lake St Clair for a coffee and then sussed out the recently completed Wall in the Wilderness.