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.
Nice spot for a bit of lunch. Lots of march flies.
Lake Riveaux looking up at Picton.
About 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.
Clear area at the base of Picton. It wouldn’t be a bad place to camp if you could find a slightly drier spot.
A large cushion plant.
Looking 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.
Looking north.The trig on top of Mt Picton.
A very high quality snap of Precipitous Bluff in the background.
This plant reminded me of a strawberry.
Cairn on the way up to the summit.
More cushion plants.
View towards Hartz and Adamsons from roughly halfway between the summit and Lake Riveaux.
Looking up from the forest above Glassworm Tarn.
A small opening in the bush provides a a great view of Glassworm Tarn and Lake Riveaux.
Interesting light from the early evening sun on the way back down.