Nevada Peak and Snowy South

Nevada Peak; 1390m; Abel #42

Snowy South; 1398m; Abel #38.

The last couple of walks we went on were in the Franklin Gordon National Park so we decided to stay south.  There were a couple of day walks that I wanted to check out including Mt Burgess, Nevada Peak as well as Mt Riveaux.  I can’t think of any reason as to why we chose to do Nevada but that’s what we ended up choosing.  I hadn’t heard much about this walk but knew it was between Snowy North and Snowy South and, on a clear day, provided excellent views of Mt Weld.  The plan was to walk to Nevada Peak then Snowy South before heading back out again.

A quick stop in Banjos Huonville to pick up lunch then we followed the Huon River towards Judbury.  We then continued out past the Rivers Edge camping ground and began winding up Russell Road.  Unfortunately we reached a bridge over the Russell River that has been blocked.  A quick glance at the GPS showed that we were roughly 5kms from the start of the track and it looked as though the other access road would take ~45 minutes to reach.  We decided then to cross the bridge by foot and walk along the road until we reached the start of the track.  It took approximately an hour to reach the start of the track.  Note that about 10 minutes before the start you will reach a bridge that has partly collapsed,  this is where you will have to leave your car and continue on foot.

Follow this road and stay left when it forks until you reach the end of the road and the old carpark.  From here follow the blue sign posts towards the forest,  before long you will see the sign indicating the start as well as the walker registration box.  The track then slowly climbs through the mossy forest and involves a traversing a couple of logs with foot holes cut out. Overall the track is well marked and easy to follow,  it was a nice change from some of the more overgrown tracks that we had encountered in the months before.  Thirty five minutes after the registration box we reached the junction and turned right towards Woolleys Tarn.  The track then continued to climb through pandani and myrtle forests until it opened up and revealed Wetpants Peak and Woolleys Tarn.  Although Woolleys Tarn did provide a good spot to stop and refill drink bottles, it was not that interesting and we decided to keep on moving.  The climb from Woolleys Tarn to the plateau below Nevada Peak was slightly overgrown and required a keen eye to spot the next cairn or ribbon.  Once on the plateau we walked towards the Snowdrift Tarns so that we could summit from the southern side.  From what I could see there was no marked track here just a mix of pineapple grass, cushion plants, scoparia and the occasional boulder to navigate around.  To get to the summit we followed a rocky scree and before long we had reached the top.  After a quick look around and some photos from the summit we sought shelter from the strong wind and had some lunch.

At this point we had to decide whether we would try to climb Snowy South before heading back to the car.  It was already almost 1pm and we had to factor in the extra hour of walking back to the car because of the stuff up in driving to the start of the walk. We decided to give it crack and headed off along the ridge in the direction of Snowy South.  Mt Weld could be easily seen towards the west and is definitely on the bucket list of overnight walks to do in the near future.  The walk between Nevada and Snowy South involved a lot of scrambling over various sized boulders and careful foot placement to avoid slipping and I would not recommend it to everyone.  Careful route planning before ascending may help a lot and save a considerable amount of backtracking.  Dispersed between the rocky sections are flatter areas with lots of small shrubs and cushion plants that shouldn’t be walked on.  The last rocky section before reaching the summit of Snowy South is probably the most difficult as the rocks here a quite large and can be very slippery.

We reached the very windy summit around 2:30 and had a quick snack and a drink before heading back towards the Nevada Peak track.  By this stage we were planning to be back at the start of the track just before dark and then walk along the road back to the car.  On the way back I made a couple of small detours to check out the Honeybird Basin and Dungeon Tarn from above.  There is also an unnamed tarn to the north of Dungeon Tarn that features heavily in the photos taken that day.  After refilling our water bottles at one of the Snowdrift Tarns below Nevada Peak we set off back down to the car park, this time taking the more direct route.  The light was slowly fading and the thick canopy made it harder to see the track ahead.  We made it back to the old carpark then continued to walk along the road for about 15 minutes before night fell.  The rest of the walk back to the car was helped by a phone torch light as the moon was hiding.

All up 30.3km in a total of 10 hours and 14 minutes and 1565m ascent.  Note that if you take the correct route you can shave off about 10kms of road walking and approximately 2 hours.

Getting there:  The correct route as of 18th of April 2017 is to head towards Judbury from Huonville then drive along Lonnavale Road where you will reach Denison Road. Continue along Denison Road and follow all signs towards Lake Skinner.  You will eventually end up on McDougalls Road which you will follow for about 6.3kms where you will see the last sign indicating the Lake Skinner track.  Continue along McDougalls Road following all signs indicating Forrest Drive.  1.5kms later you will now be on Russell Road which you will follow for 6kms.  At the intersection turn left (turning right will lead to a blocked bridge about 1km down the road) and follow this road for 4.3kms, making sure you go left when the road forks about 2kms in.  You will reach a taped off part of the road indicating the collapsed bridge then continue walking up the road for about 10 minutes to reach the start of the track. Clear as mud.

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Start of the track just after leaving the logging coup.
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Plenty of climbing heath at the beginning of the track.
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Pandani searching for light.
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Walking down to Woolleys Tarn.  Wetpants Peak above.
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Walking up to the plateau from Woolleys Tarn
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Looking back down towards the start of the walk.  Collins Bonnet at the very back.
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Wetpants Peak
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Looking towards Nevada Peak
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Emily climbing up a rocky scree on the way up to Nevada Peak
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Looking towards Wetpants Peak from Nevada Peak
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Snowdrift Tarn and Snowy South
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Snowy South and blotches of shadow from the clouds.
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Small tarns of the way to Snowy South.
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Mt Weld and the Western Arthurs (back right).
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Getting closer to Snowy South.
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Boulders heading up to Snowy South.
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Nevada Peak and Snowy North from Snowy South.

 

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Unnamed tarn and the Honeybird Basin in the background.
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Dungeon Tarn out the back and unnamed tarn in the foreground.
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GPS route of the walk.  Note the waypoint indicating the start of the track if you drive the correct way.
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Elevation plot.

Wylds Craig

Wylds Craig;1339m; Abel#58

This was the last free weekend I had before the football season started and I was keen to finish clearing the trees on the Wylds Craig access road and walk up to the summit.  We arrived around 9am and spent the next 45 minutes cutting and clearing the remaining trees off the road.  We had hoped to clear the road all the way to the start of the track- however the last tree proved too big.

We set off at 10 on the dot and walked for about 5 minutes, before seeing a number of cairns on the left hand side of the road indicating the start of the track.  The path leads into myrtle forest and weaves its way through a mossy maze of fallen trees and rocks.  After a short climb the steep cliffs of Wylds Craig can be seen through the trees.  After 3.3kms we arrived at the creek which was bursting with water from the previous days rain.  Up until this point the track was in decent condition; however as soon as we crossed over the other side, the small shrubs and trees took over and slowed us down.  We then began to climb quickly and steeply through pandani forests until we reached the plateau.

The route towards the summit is well-marked with cairns and the lack of trees provides a great view of the surrounding mountains, as well as a nice change in walking pace.  We arrived at the top after 2 hours and 10 minutes and were surprised to find some snow on the shaded side of the peak.  The next 30 minutes were then spent eating lunch and taking in the view.  On the way back we made a small detour to try and get a better view of the cliffs, but we were somewhat unsuccessful.  After a short stop to refill drink bottles at the creek we arrived back at the car at 2:40 and headed off home.

All up 11.8kms with 853m ascent. 1338m max elevation.

Getting there: Shortly after passing through Maydena turn right on to Florentine Road.  Follow this road for about 20kms until you reach reach the turnoff to Eleven Road on the left hand side (there will be a sign saying Lake Rhona).  Continue along this road until you reach a T intersection.  Turn left onto Tiger Road (turning right will lead to a bridge that cannot be crossed).  Continue driving on this road for about 11.5Kms and you will reach a bridge on your right that was been closed.  Keep driving another 200 meters and the road will fork.  Stay on the left and follow this road for another 2.5kms as it climbs up.  You will reach a large tree that has blocked the road.  The start of the track is about 5 minutes walk past the tree.

 

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Large tree blocking the road.  There is just enough room to turn a car around.
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First glimpse of Wylds Craig through the trees.
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Plenty of fresh water coming down the creek.
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Pandani begin to appear in the forest as we climb higher.
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Some sections of the track require a certain degree of acrobatics.
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Wylds Craig
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Looking north-west.
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Trig and summit cairn.

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Looking north from the trig.
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Cliff face on the southern side of Wylds Craig.
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Cracked tarn refilled after some rain.
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Layered rock on our little detour.
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GPS track of the walk beginning at the fallen tree.
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Birds eye satellite imagery.
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Elevation plot.