Sunday, 10 April 2011
Cape Pillar - 7th-9th April 2011
Had beautiful weather for a three-day trip to Cape Pillar. This made for a much more leisurely and enjoyable trip than the two days I did last time. On my way out a young lady passed me with a day pack, and asked me if I thought she would get good views. Hope she enjoyed her brief stay somewhere near the end of the cape.
Day One - Walked in, with an early start. Weather quite cool, and arrived at lunch time at Perdition Ponds. Water as bad as last time, maybe a little worse, but vaguely drinkable. It could do with some salty energy drink mixed into it to make it better. Lunchtime Creek further back on the track had been flowing energetically, and if there wasn't a big hill after it I'd probably carry a few litres of that water in just for drinking. Camping at Perdition allows you to find spectacular views of Tasman Island and The Blade with only a few minutes walk, so is preferable to camping further back along the track. Apparently there are campsites at The Oasis, about another 25 minutes along the cape, but they are becoming overgrown. After a very pleasant nap, I was joined by a couple from Hobart. This being Tasmania, I had previously worked with the lady, and we had mutual acquaintances. With time to spare, I walked a fair way towards the Blade, but turned back and took photos of the cape in the sunset from one of the superb clifftop viewpoints.
Day Two - Got up early and took sunrise photos, thus fully justifying my decision to stay at Perdition rather than Lunchtime Creek... Anyway, later, after breakfast, I headed out to the end of the cape. Views from The Blade are superb, although the airy end point may not be for everyone. The big boulder on the end must fall off one day. Last trip, I ran out of time and obvious track, and never got to the lookout where Cathedral Rock is visible. This time, I headed past where the track seemed to finish, and the track became obvious again after about 10 metres. Good views were had of both Cathedral Rock and Rob Pennicott's tour boat in The Chasm below. The position above The Chasm from this final lookout is very impressively vertical. I understand you can clamber down to Cathedral Rock from near there. If you view it on Google Maps/Earth there seems to be a clear way down through the cliffs. However, I estimate the average slope is about 45 degrees, so it would be an unpleasant scrub-clamber. Day two ended with increasing smoke, thanks Forestry.
Day Three - Weather change coming, but only evident in a slightly stronger breeze and the actual presence of a few skimpy clouds. Walked out after packing up in a leisurely way. The track is in general quite enjoyable. The forested parts and the open plains are great. Hurricane Heath continues to deteriorate and presents the only (short) bog of the trip. If they manage to build the Three-Capes Walk, I expect they'll fix this, as otherwise it will become a big wide mud-wallow as hundreds of international tourists avoid the muddy water. The forest on the final descent to Fortescue Bay is very pretty, much better than the forest along the old superseded track.