Sunday, 17 July 2011

Ridgeway Circuit - 25th May 2011

Sixpence Cave, Ridgeway - 25th May 2011

Trying to catch up on my blogs here. In the same vein as my last post, this walk is a short one, low down on Mount Wellington, and I'm going to include it in my Mount Wellington Walks. It's good in dubious weather, and OK for a bit of bush exercise in all but the worst weather, and there are some interesting things to look at.

The walk starts at the Ridgeway Reservoir carpark and takes in Sixpence Cave, Halls Saddle, the Pipeline Track and the Chimney Pot Hill summit. Overall it takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours if you spend a bit of time looking about as you go, but can be done in around an hour if walked briskly. The walk description I suggest is here, but feel free to get the Taroona 1:25,000 map and work out your own route.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Ferntree and The Springs - 23rd May 2011

The week started off with some poor weather, rain and chilly winds. This was a good opportunity to try to piece together the best walk around Ferntree and The Springs to take in the various interesting and historic sights. This sort of walk can often be done when walks further up the mountain are likely to be uncomfortable or inadvisable due to the weather. I have provided a detailed description (PDF) of a walk that takes in O'Gradys Falls, the Octopus Tree, Sphinx Rock, The Springs, Rocky Whelans Cave, Silver Falls and other items of interest, and minimises backtracking and climbing hills twice. My current plan is to put up a website with about 15 to 20 Mount Wellington walks, including a few you can't find a guide to elsewhere. This will be one of them. Feel free to print out the PDF and take the walk if you wish. The Mount Wellington Recreation Map is strongly recommended for use with this walk, and others.

O'Gradys Falls, Mount Wellington - 23rd May 2011

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Collins Bonnet - 21st May 2011

The Saturday was a nice looking day, so I chose Collins Bonnet hoping for views into the valleys of both the Huon and Derwent, as well as some good views to the west. This walk is a good climb, and I was pleased to discover that recent weeks of much walking had greatly improved my fitness. Very nice walk from Myrtle Forest behind Collinsvale, with a chilly breeze on the summit. Only spoiling factor was the group of people on the summit who assumed that everyone else wanted to hear their attention-seeking, histrionic discussion of recent exploits. I must be getting old and crotchety.

For reference, Collins Bonnet and Trestle Mountain together are known as Sleeping Beauty in the Huon Valley. Collins Bonnet forms the hair, forehead, nose, long horsey upper lip, lower lip and weak chin, and Trestle Mountain forms the bosom. I understand the mountain has also been known as Boars back to people in the Derwent Valley.

Trestle Mountain from the summit of Collins Bonnet

Trestle Mountain with Mount Weld and the Snowy Range in the distance.

Sleeping Beauty's "nose", looking south from the summit (upper lip!) of Collins Bonnet

New Norfolk seen from the summit of Collins Bonnet

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Walls of Jerusalem - 16th to 19th May 2011

Westwall and King Davids Peak from Solomons Throne at sunrise

The weather forecasts were becoming quite changeable and less reliable, so I was trying to pick a suitable window to have a few days at the Walls, aiming to get some good opportunities for climbing mountains and taking photos. I settled on a few days and headed off.

Trappers Hut, part-way up the climb to the Walls of Jerusalem

The walk starts off forestry and hydro roads out behind Mole Creek. The carpark was previously known for car burglaries and vandalism, and there is still a sign there warning of this. I haven't heard of any problems recently. The day was slightly drizzly, but I headed off up the hill. Camping is now firmly recommended for Wild Dog Creek, rather than Solomons Jewels, inside the Walls or even Dixons Kingdom. There is a composting toilet and really good tent platforms at Wild Dog, and it takes just five minutes to walk up the hill to Herods Gate. There are also removable toilets at Dixons Kingdom, so it seems the PWS expect people to camp there. Talking to two blokes who walked in the same day as me, they had camped in a tent, and used the hut to cook in. They reckoned they were much warmer in the tent than in the hut, which was like a big fridge. Wild Dog Creek was fine for me, and it's only a little further from most of the central features than camping at Dixons.

View to the Du Cane Range from the slopes of Mount Jerusalem

Anyway, the weather was cold and a bit damp, nightfall arriving early. Very comfortable in the tent though. Day two dawned cloudy, but not raining. Went off and climbed Mount Jerusalem via Dixons Kingdom. Views were quite good eastwards, but the Pelions and Du Canes were largely obscured by cloud to the west. Climbed The Temple as well, but the weather was basically dull without being wet.

Ice on a pond, near Lake Salome

Day three was similar, and after some wandering around the Pool of Bethesda, I climbed Solomons Throne in the hope that the cloud would clear off while I was there. The cloud wasn't very thick, and at the summit the sun almost managed to break through and actually shine, although the wind was very chilly. Later, after some wanderings the sun did come out nicely at Dixons Kingdom for a while. After returning to Wild Dog Creek, the weather really did improve towards evening, so I headed back and climbed part way up the temple for some sunsett-y shots of the area inside the Walls. they weren't great, but the walk was very nice compared to the dull and windy walks earlier.

Sunrise across the Central Plateau's lakes, from Solomons Throne

The next morning dawned clear, so I set off very early. After having to change my headtorch batteries by cigarette-lighter-light part-way (duuuh!), I managed to arrive at the top of Solomons Throne a few minutes before the sun rose beyond the expanse of the Central Plateau. The views all around were superb, and I started to think the trip had been worthwhile despite the three dull days to this point. A quick climb part way up The Temple affords a good clear view of the Westwall and internal Walls area. The last photo is a stitched panorama form there.

St Davids Peak, Lake Salome and Clumner Bluff from Solomons Throne

Du Cane Range from Solomons Throne at sunrise

Stitched panorama of The Westwall (Solomons Throne to St Davids Peak) from The Temple, early morning.