From Pelion, a day walk to Paddys Nut and/or Mount Thetis appears possible, indeed, The Abels Vol. 1 says Mount Thetis is a mere 2 1/2 hours from Pelion Hut. Experience tells us, however, that their estimates seem to be for (i) very fit walkers, (ii) impervious to scrub, (iii) who know exactly where to go in untracked country. I suspect for me to get to Mount Thetis it is going to take much longer, even if I have no trouble following the route. Recent efforts suggest I will lose the track at least twice unless it is marked with large orange-painted stone bollards and a boardwalk... On this basis, I suspect I will climb Paddys Nut from the outset, and leave Mount Thetis for a time when I am set to camp up there.
The track to Paddys Nut heads left (south) from the Overland Track west of the turnoff to Old Pelion Hut. If you want more info, you can find it in books and online, including in Chapman's tome. Email me for a better description if you like. Blazes and other markers show the route heading south into the scrub. It heads uphill and is basically marked most of the way up the ridge and onto the saddle between Mount Ossa and Mount Thetis. Of course, I lost the track where a smallish tree had fallen lengthwise on the route, and headed a little left of the proper route. It's OK, as in general the track just heads upwards. This did entail a botanical excursion into a huge patch of scoparia, the fun of which was only marginally mitigated by the attractiveness of their flowers. At another point on my own personal route, I found Tasmania's largest leeches (no lie!), which basically jogged in formation up my gaiters as I perched on a fallen log to peruse the map.
|The Richea scoparia was in flower, but remains a total pain to move through without a track.|
|Mount Thetis from the Ossa-Thetis saddle, beyond a salty pond.|
|Mount Ossa from Paddys Nut|
Views from here were great, Mount Thetis, Mount Pelion West, Mount Ossa, Mount Achilles, Perrins Bluff, and other peaks north and east. Looking at Mount Thetis, I decided I was fairly unclear where the route went, and considering the description of the boulders as "huge", I decided Paddys Nut would do for the day. Predictably I'd spent longer getting there than the Abels team reckoned I should have spent getting all the way to the top of Mount Thetis.
|Paddys Nut, Mount Pelion West and Barn Bluff from the Ossa-Thetis saddle|
Overall, Paddys Nut is a good sidetrip from the Overland Track, although if lots of people actually did it, then it would rapidly degrade. There are already bits which are eroded too much, and would be quite boggy in wet times.
Oh, and I lost the track at a slightly different point on the return.