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.


Keith said...

Excellent. I created a link on my blog.

Sandra Brake said...

That's an impressive view. Thanks for posting it. It'd be way to too cold for this tropical frog to stand.

Mark said...

Thanks folks, enjoyed taking the photos too. And it was certanly cold at times, but lots of clothes help. Billy Connolly said there's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing.