Sunday, 10 December 2006

Mt Field West - 9 Dec 2006

Mt Field West (the small distant ramp on the ridge to the left) from K-Col. Also Naturaliste Pk (L), The Watcher (R), Wyld's Craig (Centre), 9 Dec 2006 - 190KB It was a pretty warm day on Saturday (~32deg+ in Hobart, more at Bushy Park), so I went to Mt Field West! (Map here) Pretty warm there too! Great walk though, as long as you don't dwell too much on the view into the Florentine Valley.

If you haven't been there, the walk starts at Lake Dobson in the Mt Field National Park. A moderate climb brings you to the ski-fields, and a very pleasant walk across duckboarding leads towards Tarn Shelf. The track to Mt Field West branches off just before that, climbs up and over the Rodway Range, mainly on boulders, and down to K-Col. (Google Maps makes it very clear why it's called K-Col.) From there it climbs steadily along an open ridge and then across a lovely alpine plateau before a final short climb up the ramp which is Mt Field West's summit. The views are extensive from the peak, as well as from most of the walk.

Northerly view up the Florentine Valley from Mt Field West, 9 Dec 2006 - 127KBIf it wasn't for the highly visible forestry operations, this walk would be close to perfect. I recall some years ago being able to hear the machinery and the falling trees in a Florentine coupe below the peak. Yesterday it seemed quiet, with just a small plane flying past and north along the valley. I wondered who was looking for what in the Florentine Valley. It's the subject of some controversy at present. This text from a Wilderness Society media release in March this year:
Westerly view across the Florentine Valley from Mt Field West, 9 Dec 2006 - 109KB
  • However, the Government’s literature about the Howard-Lennon agreement of last May admits that the protected areas in the Styx and Florentine contain ‘4730 hectares of old-growth eucalypt against a target of 18,700 hectares’. (The Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement, Fact Sheet No. 3) “The Government admits that it failed to meet its promise by nearly 14,000 hectares of oldgrowth,” said Mr Law. “The giant trees in these forests are now being destroyed.”

And there's more information here.

Richea scoparia, with Florentine Peak behind, 9 Dec 2006 - 283KBAnd on a more positive note, the Scoparia was looking particularly attractive on the ridge up to Naturalist Peak. Hopefully got a few good shots on the film camera. It would definitely be best at sunrise or sunset, but was pretty good anyway.

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