Mt Picton

Mt Picton; 1327m; Abel #60

Mt Picton is another one of those mountains that I would see occasionally when I was younger and think about what was up there.  Turns out there isn’t much apart from a trig, a log book and a few hungry skinks.  However, this would have to be one of my favourite walks in the area.

On a warm and clear day in January we set off to climb Mount Picton.  Unfortunately my camera was being repaired, so I only had my not-so-trusty phone camera to document the trip.  The walk starts off weaving through the forest and involves crossing Cook Creek along a slightly slippery fallen tree.  The track then makes it way up through the forest, passing by a few smaller streams that we used to refill our water bottles.  There are a couple of steeper sections that have ropes to help pull yourself up and overall the track is well marked and in pretty good condition.

After what felt like a long time under the trees, we made our way out and into the sun, where shortly after we reached an intersection.  Seeing as though we hadn’t had lunch, we thought we would follow the track to the right down towards Lake Riveaux.  After about 5 minutes of walking the track became quite overgrown and hard to follow.  The occasional remnant of a ribbon-sometimes on the ground-was the only reassurance we had that we were still on a track.  After about 25-30 minutes we reached an area that led down towards the lake.  The track seemed to continue around but we decided against going any further as it was already quite late.  I’m not sure where that track leads but I intend on heading back up there to find out.  We stopped for about 10 minutes to eat lunch and enjoy the view of Picton and the crystal clear water of Lake Riveaux.  We then retraced our steps and pushed on towards Mt Picton.

After walking through a bit more forest we reached a more exposed area with lots of Scoparia and other smaller shrubs.  This section was a bit boggy and involved a short scramble up a rocky scree.  Before long we were at the base of Picton and surrounded by small tarns, flowering native shrubs and lots of cushion plants.  This part of the track is what makes this walk one of my favourites.  There are a few places where you could set up camp if you wanted to stay the night and plenty of fresh water nearby.

We dropped our packs for the last part of the climb and made our way up following a cairned route which was reasonably easy to follow.  Once we reached the top we were spoiled with views of Federation and Precipitous bluff.  After eating a few sour squirms and playing with the local skinks we headed back down to collect our packs and walk back to the car.

All up it took around 8 hours including the ~1.5 hour detour to the lunch spot by Lake Riveaux .

Getting there:  From Geeveston follow the signs to the Tahune Airwalk along the Arve Road.  Just before getting to the airwalk turn left onto Picton Road.  The road will then fork into East and West Picton Road.  Continue right along West Picton Road where you will cross the Picton river on a narrow bridge.  Continue along this road for about 13kms then turn right onto West Picton 1.  Follow this road for a couple of Km’s then turn right onto West Picton 1/2 just after crossing Cook creek.  Follow this road for until you see the tape marked start of the track in the cutting grass on the right hand side.

Picton spur 1/2 road has a number of large ruts.  If you don’t have a 4×4 or a 2wd with decent clearance I would consider leaving your car at the bottom and walking along the road.  It would probably only add an extra ten minutes to the walk but might save you from busting an oil sump.

IMG_6382Nice spot for a bit of lunch.  Lots of march flies.

IMG_6407Lake Riveaux looking up at Picton.

IMG_6411About halfway between Lake Riveaux and Picton, looking south towards Chapman and Burgess (right) and Mt Bobs and the Boomerang (middle left).  Southern Ranges in the far back left.

IMG_6440Clear area at the base of Picton.  It wouldn’t be a bad place to camp if you could find a slightly drier spot.

IMG_6450A large cushion plant.

IMG_6466Looking down at Lake Riveaux (large crescent shape) where we stopped for lunch.  Glassworm Tarn to the right and part of Lake Picton on the back left.

IMG_6467Looking north.IMG_6468The trig on top of Mt Picton.

IMG_6471A very high quality snap of Precipitous Bluff in the background.

IMG_6495This plant reminded me of a strawberry.

IMG_6458Steanes Tarn.

IMG_6510Cairn on the way up to the summit.

IMG_6514

IMG_6521More cushion plants.

IMG_6523View towards Hartz and Adamsons from roughly halfway between the summit and Lake Riveaux.

IMG_6530Looking up from the forest above Glassworm Tarn.

IMG_6536A small opening in the bush provides a a great view of Glassworm Tarn and Lake Riveaux.

IMG_6563Interesting light from the early evening sun on the way back down.

Collins Bonnet (Sleeping Beauty) and Trestle Mountain

Collins Bonnet; 1261m; Abel# 78

Trestle Mountain; 1164m; Abel #117

With nothing better to do on a Sunday in January we decided to walk up Collins Bonnet (also known as the Sleeping Beauty) and the adjacent Trestle Mountain.  There are a number of ways you can take to reach the start of the track up to Collins Bonnet. We chose the Mountain River side as it the longest and has the greatest gain in elevation.  This is an old fire trail that hasn’t been used for some time and makes it was up towards the East West Trail in Wellington Park.  There are a few large trees blocking some sections of the track but overall it is in good condition and very easy to follow.  There are a couple of smaller creeks that had plenty of fresh running water, even in the middle of January.  After a consistent climb the candle heath begin to appear and the view opens up to reveal Trestle Mountain on your left and Collins Bonnet on your right.  The track then climbs for a little bit longer before you reach the East West trail.

We chose to summit Trestle Mountain first so we turned left and followed the road until we reach the sign indicating the start of the track.  The climb was fairly straight forward with a couple of sections involving a bit of rock scrambling.  After a bite of lunch we went back down to the East West trail and headed in the direction of Collins Bonnet.  A short time later the road forks with one road leading up towards Collins Bonnet and the other road (Collins Cap Trail) heading down towards Collins Cap and the Suhrs Road carpark in Collinsvale.  Continue walking up past a hut and you will find the start of the Collins Bonnet track marked by cairns on your right.  The climb up is pretty easy and from memory has only one sections that requires some rock scrambling.  The view of the Huon Valley from the top is definitely worth the effort.  Although not a very challenging walk I did enjoy the scenery and the abundance of flowering natives.  We were lucky enough to also see a couple of Wedge Tails and some Black Cockatoos up close.

Unfortunately I did not have my GPS on me but I think it took ~7 hours with plenty of stops for photos.  All up around 18kms with a 1300m ascent according to the Walk the Huon Page.

Getting there: As I mentioned there are a number of ways to reach the start of the Collins Bonnet and Trestle Mountain walks.  The walk from Mountain River is probably the most challenging however I have not walked from the other locations.

From Mounatin River: Turn right onto Mountain River Road at the Grove shop on the Huon Highway.  Follow this road all the way to the end where you will see a boom gate and an adjacent private driveway indicating the start of the track.

From Collinsvale:  Drive up Collins Cap Road until you reach Suhrs Road and follow to the carpark.  Walk up along the Collins Cap Trail until you reach a T intersection and the East West trail.  Turn left to head in the Collins Bonnet direction or right to head towards Trestle Mountain.  Access to the East West trail can also be reached from the Myrtle Forest carpark in Collinsvale.

From Mt Wellington:  Drive up Pinnacle Road until you reach the Big Bend and the start of the Big Bend Trail.  Continue on this trail past Mt Connection until you reach the East West trail and follow towards Collins Bonnet.

You can also access the start of these walks in a 4×4 by obtaining a gate key and permit from Parks and Wildlife.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Collins Bonnet from the road on the way in.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
An old bride on the fire trail from Mountain River
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Candle heath appear next to the trail as we climb higher.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
There are a few large trees blocking some sections of the track.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The last section of the Mountain River trail is quite rocky.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Trestle Mountain from the Mountain River trail
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Trestle Mountain from the East West Trail
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Rock hopping on the way up to Trestle Mountain
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Interesting rock feature of the summit of Trestle Mountain
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Looking West from Trestle Mountain
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Looking towards Collins Bonnet from Trestle Mountain.  The East West trail can be seen on the left.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
A clear tarn just off the East West trail.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Alpine plants just before the start of the Collins Bonnet track.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Rock scramble on the way up Collins Bonnet with posts to guide the way.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Looking down at the Huon Valley from Collins Bonnet
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Trestle Mountain from Collins Bonnet
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Trig on Collins Bonnet
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Rocky scree on the western side of Collins Bonnet
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Flowering Tea Tree
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Just missed the candle heath flowers
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Emily clearing the track.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Black Cockatoo through the canopy.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Collins Bonnet from the start of the Mountain River track.