Mt Wedge

Abel#124; 1147m

We had originally set this day aside to walk into Adamsons Falls, onto Creekton Falls and finally down to Duckhole Lake in the state’s south.  The night before, a friend had pulled out and the weather forecast had improved-so we changed our mind early that morning and decided to climb Mt Wedge.

Driving out past Maydena for the second time in two weeks, we were again pleased to see snow-capped peaks on the southern end of Mt Field National Park.  The closer we got to Lake Pedder, the more snow we saw.

To begin with, the walk starts in nice and relatively flat rainforest, with a number of signs indicating plant species.  This changes to a short section of cutting grass and then it’s onto the road next to the powerlines that carry electricity from the Gordon Dam to Hobart.  Be sure to turn left when you reach the road and follow it for about 5 minutes.  On your right, you will notice the start of the track winding its way up through the forest.  The first section is rather pleasant; a decent creek with easy access to water marks the beginning of what is a fairly decent and continuous climb to the top.  From here its about 2.7kms to the top with a 740m ascent.  Not much else to say really, except there are a number of trees that are over the track-but in general it is very easy to follow.  There is a slight change in gradient just before leaving the forest but this doesn’t provide much of a chance to rest the legs.

Once you are out of the forest and into the smaller alpine trees and shrubs, you quickly forget about the first part and you focus your attention on the amazing view of nearby peaks and ranges, as well as Lake Gordon.  Initially, the Sentinel and Frankland Ranges catch your eye; but the higher you climb, the more mountains are revealed and by the time you reach the summit you get a full panoramic view of The Snowy Range, Mt Field West,  The Anne group,  The Western Arthurs, Wylds Craig and Reeds Peak, The Sawback Range, The Thumbs, The Spires, Mt Wright and Stepped Hills.. the list goes on.  I would highly recommend doing this walk when you can be sure that you will not be stuck in the clouds.  Although the skies weren’t blue, we were lucky enough to be there on an overcast but clear day-and to top it off there was also a decent amount of snow.

All up 7.3kms in 3hours and 47 minutes including 1hour for lunch and couple of short breaks on the way up. 792m ascent.

Getting there: Follow the Gordon River Road past the turnoff to Scotts Peak Dam.   Ten minutes after the turnoff you will enter the Mt Wedge Forest Reserve.  The carpark is the first left after the Mt Wedge Forest Reserve Sign.

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Sign by the carpark.
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Easy walking at the start.
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Mycena interrupta – Pixies Parasol
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The powerlines near the start of the walk.
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Emily thought this looks like an old man.
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Old myrtle forest.
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A bit of snowmelt coming down the track.
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Looks poisonous.

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Out of the scrub. The first of many false summits.
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The steep part out of the scrub.
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Stepped Hills, Mt Wright and The Thumbs.  Wylds Craig way out back.
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Great view of Lake Gordon.
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Approaching the summit.
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Mt Anne and the Eliza Plateau.
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Looking back towards Lake Gordon and the emergency services telecommunications.
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At the top.
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Emily on the summit.
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Brain freeze.
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Emily threw a snowball and slipped.
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The Western Arthurs.  Mt Solitary in the foreground.
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The Sentinel Range in front and Frankland Range behind.
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On the way back down.
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Mt Wedge from further along The Gordon River Road.
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The Gordon Dam.
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Looking down the wall of the dam.
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Refections on Lake Pedder.

 

Wellington Falls

I had the morning off and the weather was better than expected so I decided to try and find Disappearing Tarn.  My hopes weren’t high given the lack of rain and snow over the past couple of weeks, but I was still keen to go and check it out.

Instead of starting at the Springs and taking the Milles Track, I decided to ride my bike along the Pipeline Track from Neika then head up the Millles Track via Snake Plains.  If I had enough time before work I would then continue to Wellington Falls to rejoin the Pipeline Track before walking/riding back out.

The ride to the start of Snake Plains was fairly quick and the turn off is well indicated.  I stashed my bike, then continued to climb along old 4×4 tracks and and into the forest.  This is where I first noticed the frost and ice from the previous night.  At first it was just a light dusting, but as I approached the open scrub of Snake Plains I could see that all of the puddles were totally frozen over.  At the intersection with the Milles Track the rocks became more and more slippery and set the precedent for the day.

I reached Disappearing Tarn an hour and 20 minutes into the walk, but as expected it had disappeared.  I decided to continue with the original plan and followed the track past the Potato Fields and onto Wellington Falls.  A quick stop for some lunch at the top of the falls, then it was back down towards the Pipeline Track.  If I had all day I would have considered heading up to Mt Montague, which looms over the falls towards the west.

Once I reached the Pipeline Track I decided to head down to North West Bay River instead of winding along the road back to the bike.  The track down was very steep and so was the hike back up on the other side.  I picked my bike up again at the start of Snake Plains then it was straight back to the car and off to work.

All up 15.8kms in 3 hours and 40 minutes with a 749m ascent.

Getting there: Continue past Fern Tree along Huon Road until you reach Morphetts Road.  There will be a small carpark on the left hand side of the road,  the Pipeline Track start on the opposite side.

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GPS route of the walk.
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Heading up towards Snake Plains.
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Candle Heath Flower.
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Frosty underfoot.
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Frozen puddles along Snake Plains.
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Slippery Hinnes Track.
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Disappearing Tarn.
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Cathedral Rock from the Potato Fields.
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Leaving the Potato Fields.
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The top of Wellington Falls.

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Wellington Falls from the lookout.
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North West Bay River.

 

Abbotts and Marriotts Lookouts

Note that access to Abbotts and Marriotts is now limited to the shuttle bus that shuttles bike riders to the top of the Maydena bike park.  I would assume that one could purchase a ride up to the top but they would not be able to drive up with their own vehicle.  

Abbotts Lookout Abel #156; 1106m

Marriotts Lookout Abel #158; 1100+m

Having read a little bit about Abbotts and Marriots in The Abels Vol.1,  I wasn’t expecting much except a bit of a scrub bash and some fairly unimpressive summits.  This type of walk is therefore better completed with a good group of people and luckily it popped up on the Pandani program.

We left Granton just after 7:30, as we were aiming to get to the Parks Information Centre at 9 to pick up the key to the boom gate, in order to avoid spending a significant part of the day walking on forestry roads.  The boom gate on Roberts Road was clearly visible from the Styx Road and made its way up towards Abbotts Lookout.  A short 30 second walk from the carpark brings you to the summit of Abbotts Lookout, just above the abandoned tourist centre.  From here, we had a full 360 degree view of the nearby peaks including Tyena, Floretine, Mawson, Snowy North and Mueller.  A short drive further along the road brings you to a signal tower and the start of the “track” to Marriotts Lookout.

The walk begins in a steep drop down to the plateau through some tea tree, cutting grass and bauera.  You can follow a taped pad down, but this stops just before the plateau-then you have to choose your own adventure for the remainder of the walk.  Crossing the plateau is probably the thickest scrub that you will encounter, particularly on the end closest to Marriotts Lookout.  The combination of cutting grass and scoparia dispersed throughout the bauera makes for an interesting path across the short stretch of flat alpine.  In saying that, at no stage during the day did I not enjoy pushing through the scrub.  Once you reach the other side it’s back into some fairly dense forest, so make sure you choose the path of least resistance.  After a short climb you reach a false summit on Marriotts before dropping back down, and then up again to reach the flat top.  The summit of Marriotts is on the southern end and is marked by a cairn wrapped in rusted wire.   Unfortunately, the clouds rolled in just before we reached the summit so I turned my attention to the interesting lichen growing in the grass and on top of rocks that are scattered across the flat top of Marriotts Lookout.

We followed a similar path on the way back; this time it was Michael in front and for the most part we avoided any serious scrub.  Overall, it was a pretty pleasant walk with a good group of people-in saying that I don’t think I’ll be revisiting these Abels in a hurry.

All up 5.8km in 5:20 including lunch and 378m ascent.

Getting there:  I would highly recommend getting a key to the boom gate from Parks.  This will save around 3-4 hours of boring road walking and all you need to do is phone a few days in advance and pay a deposit.  Drive through Maydena and turn right onto Florentine Road.  Shortly after turn right again onto Styx Road, directions Styx Tall Trees, and follow the road under the highway.  The first road on your left after passing under the highway will be Roberts Road.  Unlock the gate and continue up Roberts Road

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Floretine Peak from the carpark at Abbotts Lookout.
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Cloud sitting on Snowy North from Abbotts Lookout.
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Entering the scrub.
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Graham leading us across the plateau.  The false summit of Marriotts behind him.
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Crossing the plateau.
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Looking back from where we came. Abbotts Lookout on the left.
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Out of the scrub and onto a ridge.
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Walking across the top of Marriotts.  Clouds rolling in.
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Unique summit cairn on Marriotts.

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Coral lichen on Marriotts.
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Lunch behind the rock.
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Wedgie.

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Trumpet lichen on the rock near our lunch spot.
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Mushrooms growing out of a small tree.
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One of the four rings tails we saw that day.

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Back at the car and into dry clothes.