Florentine Peak Abel#46; 1376m
Rodway Range; Abel#45; 1377m
Two days of spring snow had us keen to go out and re-live what was a pretty snowy winter. We were keen to do something a bit closer to home, as I had to head into work later that afternoon; in the end we decided on a few peaks in the Mt Field National Park. We had intended to do Tyenna Peak via the Rodway Range, then Florentine Peak and up to Mt Mawson on the way out.
After a pretty lazy start to the day, we reached the Lake Dobson carpark a bit after 8am and were surprised to find that we were the first car there. There was a bit of snow around Lake Dobson and before long, we were walking along the Snow Gum Track towards Rodway Range. The snow started to get a bit deeper at this point, and we could see a number of large snowdrifts near the top of the Rodway tow. Getting across the Rodway Range and down to K Col hut was slower than expected and we reached the hut 2 hours and 20 minutes after leaving the carpark, making sure we bagged the highpoint on the Rodway Range.
The track then continues towards Mt Field West, but we left the main track just before reaching Clemes Tarn and made our way towards the saddle-and the first rocky climb on Floretine Peak. There is no track out here expect for a number of scattered cairns; we did manage to spot a couple of the cairns that weren’t covered in snow, but for the most part chose the most direct route. We reached the saddle to then climb up some rocks and scrubs along a cairned route for about 30 meters. Once we reached the top, we could see the true summit of Florentine Peak as well as Tyenna. We then dropped back down onto a plateau and followed the most direct route to Florentine summit, which involved another scramble up rock-once up, we had a quick bite of lunch.
Given that it had taken a lot longer to reach Florentine than expected (3 hours and 40 minutes), we decided to scratch Tyenna off the day’s agenda and make our way back toward Mt Mawson. Next time, I think we will try to summit Tyenna from Lake Belcher so that we don’t have to walk out past K Col again. We headed back the same way we came, making better time as we could follow our footprints in the snow. Once we had passed the Rodway Tow, we followed some guide posts up to the Mawson Plateau. There was significantly less snow on the Mawson Plateau and we raced across the top, dodging the occasional tarn and cushion plant before scrambling up to reach the true highpoint of Mt Mawson.
On the way back, we chose to head down the Golden Stairs rather than follow the zigzag track back. This was significantly scrubbier-but also a lot quicker, especially once we found the old track, and reached the car only 50 minutes after leaving the summit of Mt Mawson. For the most part, we followed a small creek until we were closer to the bottom where we crossed the main creek, and found the old pad on the left hand side that leads to one of the huts by Lake Dobson.
All up: 18.1km in 8 hours and 11 minutes with 950m ascent.
Getting there: Follow directions to Mt Field National Park then drive to the Lake Dobson carpark.