Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Changes proposed for management of the Walls of Jerusalem

St Davids Peak from Solomons Throne at sunrise
There are some interesting suggestions from Parks and Wildlife about how the Walls of Jerusalem should be managed in future. The area is certainly quite heavily used, and they've been trying to work out how to minimise the impact of the number of visitors for some years. There's a pdf you can download with all the details.

Perhaps most notably, they propose a circuit walk in through Herods Gate, over to Dixons Kingdom, then down to Lake Ball and then Lake Adelaide and return from there.

I will note one item I have come across in the report. At one point, in talking about the use of the area by large non-commercial groups, it notes "Anecdotal reports have also noted the poor social conduct of some large groups, their lack of adherence to an appropriate code of practice and general lack of understanding as to the sensitivities of the environment in which they are bushwalking."

This may be true, but I have encountered the well-known local school groups who take both primary and secondary students for daywalks from the Arm River campsite. The last group I saw were beautifully behaved, friendly and cheerful, led I think by Aardvark Adventures, and were enjoying the landscape. Mr Aardvark, the boss I think, correctly identified me to the group as a specimen of a Whiskered Tasmanian Bushwalker.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Chalice Lake and Twin Spires - 13th to 15th February 2013

Having circled this area in January, I was intrigued to see what was there. I met the three ladies of Warrnambool at Junction Lake, and they were headed for Chalice Lake for a night on their way to being picked up at the very end of the Mersey Forest Road. Indeed, I found their brief entry in the logbook at the start of the track as I headed upwards on this trip.

Maybe I visited at the right time - the weather was excellent - but this is one of the most spectacular and scenic places I have been. It also seems to be quite ecologically fragile, and I suspect that camping at Chalice Lake shouldn't be encouraged. I had some difficulty finding a spot to use as a toilet actually, and had to go a considerable distance before I thought any "flow" wouldn't be likely to end up rapidly in the lake.

Chalice Lake sits in a large natural bowl in the Cathedral Mountain plateau. Cathedral Mountain is the spectacular line of cliffs visible from Kia-Ora along the Overland Track. The lake itself is awesome, and working against the idea of not camping there is the fact that at sunrise and sunset it is very photogenic. From Chalice Lake, you can walk on a little higher to Tent Tarn, where there is a more obvious campsite, but the same ecological concerns would apply. Around the edge of the plateau are various peaks - mostly the peaks noted along the rim of Cathedral Mountain. Twin Spires is the tallest point - the North Spire being the true "summit" of this high area. There is basically a quite obvious route from Chalice Lake to the summit of Twin Spires, with a few spots where the way ahead isn't entirely clear. I will put up a walk description, but I'm not going to be too specific about the route, as part of the fun is finding your way there. The Abels and Chapman both have descriptions, with Chapman probably a little more complete.

For now, here are a few selected photos which show a little of the beauty of the area and the views from the summit.

Chalice Lake in the early morning.

Twin Spires at far right, from my campsite at Chalice Lake.
Twin Spires at far right, from my campsite at Chalice Lake.

The Pelions and Mount Ossa from Twin Spires summit
The Pelions and Mount Ossa from Twin Spires summit.

The Du Cane range visible behind the Southern Spire from near the summit of Twin Spires
The Du Cane Range and Mount Ossa visible behind the Southern Spire from near the summit of Twin Spires.

Chalice Lake at sunset
Chalice Lake at sunset.

Sunrise at Chalice Lake.
This one above is available to purchase at RedBubble.

Sunrise in the mist at Chalice Lake
Sunrise in the mist at Chalice Lake.