Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Mount Wellington - 25th June 2011

Had a nice walk on Mount Wellington with Isaac. We walked up the Zig-Zag Track, then down the Panorama Track and back below the Organ Pipes. Isaac hadn't done all of the tracks before. The light on the river around Cadburys was quite interesting.

Derwent River from Mount Wellington - 25th June 2011

Monday, 8 August 2011

Friendly Beaches - 11th to 13th June 2011

Having returned to work at the end of May, the long weekend was a good excuse to have a couple of days away. Among other activities at the Friendly Beaches, I walked to the southern end of the beach, where a four-wheel drive track comes down to the beach. There is a sequence of interesting rock formations along the beach, which I may attempt to identify some day. Not sure if someone has written about them, although I haven't been able to find anything yet.

Anyway, lovely place to stay, and the sunrise and sunset is often marvellous.

Rocks on Friendly Beaches - 11th June 2011

Seagulls, Friendly Beaches - 12th June 2011

Friendly Beaches - 12th June 2011

Earlu morning, Friendly Beaches - 13th June 2011
Early morning, Friendly Beaches - 13th June 2011

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Quick Book Review - The Abels Volume Two

This book has finally been published. I've been waiting about 12 years since I bought the first one, but it's 15 since that was published. Anyway, it is terrific, and worth every penny, especially when you're lucky and catch Fullers on a "20% off everything"day!
They've put a series of articles about Tasmanian mountains in the front, then there's a good article about each Abel, mostly more substantial than the articles in the first volume, and some additions and changes to articles from the first volume. The photos are really well chosen, and all-in-all a lot of work has gone into this. Most heartening for me is the recognition of Sharlands Peak as an actual Abel, no doubt as a result of my extensive campaign for this status...;-)

I strongly expect that the Parks and Wildlife service have attempted to keep this book unpublished. It provides a good number of walk descriptions which are not easily obtainable elsewhere, including that for Nevada Peak which I provide on email request. (More importantly for that walk, it provides road directions for navigating the bewildering array of forestry roads out behind Lonnavale.) P&W have put quite a lot of effort in past years into stopping the publication of walk descriptions for walks that were rated as 4 or 5 (as I recall) under their track rating scheme. Many of the walks in this book would be rated as such. On balance, while I might personally like to hide Nevada Peak to protect its fragile alpine plateau, it's not possible to stop the publication of walk descriptions. Probably the answer is that we need to manage all these places to maximise both the capacity for people to visit them and their capacity to withstand that.

Nevertheless, the book is great, and should stimulate some expeditions with its enthusiastic and evocative descriptions of such wonderful places. $39.95 at Fullers Bookshop, Hobart, and other sellers of Tasmaniana.

Freycinet - 26th and 27th May 2011

Pacific Gull, Larus pacificus, Hazards Beach - 27th May 2011
The plan was for a three day walk - down to Cooks Beach to camp, explore Bryans Beach and a little further south to Schouten Passage, then return to Wineglass Bay over the hills, maybe climbing Mount Freycinet on the way, and then back to Coles Bay. It wasn't to be.

Wineglass Bay Beach, Freycinet - 26th May 2011

The weather was very nice, cool and sunny. I made good time over the hill to Wineglass Bay, and then out onto Hazards Beach. Here I saw five pelicans along the beach ahead of me. They were very wary and set off across the bay before I got anywhere near them.

Pelicans, Pelecanus conspicillatus, Hazards Beach - 27th May 2011
South of Hazards Beach I realised my left achilles tendon was somewhat tender, and it continued to become more sore. I've had this before, on the Overland Track years ago in both achilles tendons. By the time I got to Cooks Beach it was quite painful. I set up camp, and hobbled about. Soaking it in the very cool water relieved it somewhat and I slept on it. Next day it seemed worse, feeling swollen and very stretched, as if it wanted to break. My choice was therefore sit quietly at the beach or slowly and carefully walk out, minimising uphill stretches. I chose the latter, Cooks Beach might be gently attractive, but it's not the most exciting venue, and I didn't even have a fishing rod, so I wasn't keen on a whole day of sitting about.

Beach detail, Freycinet - 26th May 2011
I dosed up on panadol and hobbled out to Coles Bay, via the coastal track rather than over the hill. from this point of view, I achieved some small success, as I have never bothered with the coastal track before, so I did a new track that I wouldn't have otherwise been along. The heel was annoying and tender the whole way, but the drugs helped.

View south along Hazards Beach, Freycinet - 27th May 2011
While resting the heel at home later, I read on the net that a sore achilles tendon cannot be properly relieved by making the swelling go down or taking anti-inflammatories - these merely mask the damage you have done and are doing. You actually have to rest it so that it heals itself.

Anyway, apart from the pain, the walking was easy and enjoyable. There is plenty of interest to see, and the Cooks Beach campsite is a good one. There is a composting toilet and a water tank. You need to check with the rangers whether there is water in the tank, but there generally is unless it has been very long dry spell. The rangers tend to be pessimistic about it too - "there probably is", "we haven't checked ourselves, but we've heard there is water in the tank", etc. The views from the tops of Mount Graham and Mount Freycinet are really the highlight, so from this point of view I just didn't make it this time. Never mind, there's always next time.

Banksia flower, Banksia marginata, Freycinet - 26th May 2011
At the south end of Hazards Beach are these rocks, great to sit on for a snack or lunch. However they are also an intrusion of dolerite lamprophyre (per. Leaman, Step into History, 2001) into the granite, and the first photo shows the gross intrusion of the darker lamprophyre into the lighter pink granite. This latter rock is the same as that which makes up The Hazards. The second photo shows a detail of a much smaller streak of intruded lamprophyre on the margins of the main intrusion, with an included quartz crystal from the granite. It's really worth a look as you take a rest. There is also a campsite here, and sometimes the creek even runs to provide nearby fresh water. Isaac and I camped here for an night years ago.

Lamprophyre intrusion into granite, south end of Hazards Beach, Freycinet - 26th May 2011

Detail of intruded lamprophyre in granite with large incorporated quartz crystal,
south end of Hazards Beach, Freycinet - 26th May 2011