Category Archives: Mt Field

Mt Field East

Abel#72; 1274m

A sunny autumn day was forecast and we were keen to summit our last Abel in the Mt Field area. Instead of a simple up and back, we decided to make it a circuit and walk in via Lake Nicholls and out along Lake Fenton. We parked about halfway between the Lake Fenton and Mt Field East carparks, then walked about 1km back down along the Pack Track prior to intersecting the Mt Field East Track.  As it is a pretty quick walk all up, we decided to check out a few other spots along the way-  the first of these was Beatties Tarn, which takes about 5 minutes to reach from the main track.  This is a nice little tarn, nestled under the eastern slopes of Seagers Lookout and is worth checking out.

Our next stop was at the day use hut at Lake Nichols, which is in good shape and has a lot of information about the history of the area.  From the hut the track begins to climb up towards Windy Moor, with another possible detour to check out the crystal clear water of Lake Rayner.  As we were heading up, we noticed the cloud was moving quickly out of the valley towards us and had already reached Lake Nichols.  Worried that we might soon be in the clouds, we pushed up along the rocky scree and towards the plateau of Windy Moor.

Once on the plateau, the track continues north east for ~200m before reaching the main route from Lake Fenton.  From here we turned right and followed a cairned pad up to the summit, which we reached about 2 hours after leaving the car.  We had good views of the rest of the Mt Field Abels including  Mt Lord , which we had bagged a few weeks back in complete whiteout.

On the way back we quickly traversed the newly constructed duckboards across Windy Moor.  Once across, the track starts to drop down towards Lake Fenton and passes by old snow gum before reaching the intersection to Seagers Lookout.  We decided to go and check it out ,and spent a bit of time scrambling across the rock on the eastern side to get a good view of Beatties Tarn.  Unfortunately we didn’t find a good vantage point, so we made our way back towards the carpark.  The fagus had started to turn and the last 30 minutes was spent photographing various bushes between Lake Fenton and the car.

On the way back home we decided to go and check out the Styx Big Tree Reserve, which can be found about 20 minutes from Gordon River Road just out of Maydena.

Carpark to Lake Nicholls via Beatties Tarn 3.6kms in 55min.

Lake Nicholls to Mt Field East 1.8kms in 46min.

Mt Field East to Seagers Lookout 3.5kms in 1 hour.

All up 10.9kms in 3hours and 50 minutes with 618m ascent.

Getting There: Follow all signs to Mt Field then drive up towards Lake Dobson.  Road status can be checked by contacting Mt Field Visitor Centre.  The carpark to Mt Field East is well indicated about 10-15 minutes in.  There is another small carpark about 1km up the road that is about halfway if completing the walk as a circuit.

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GPS track of the walk
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Beatties Tarn
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Lake Rayner
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Heading up to Windy Moor
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Looking back towards Lake Nicholls
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Summit in view
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Pineapple Grass fields
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Looking towards Mt Lord and Wylds Craig
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Looking back towards the ski fields and Mt Mawson
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Nice walking across Windy Moor
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New track work on Windy Moor
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Pandani
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Twisted gums.
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Lake Fenton from Seagers Lookout
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Fagus turning
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Some fagus near the carpark
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Styx Big Tree Reserve
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Styx River
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Styx River

Mt Lord

Abel#106; 1198m

A  month had passed since our last trip to Mt Weld where I had seriously aggravated an ongoing knee injury.  I thought it would be a good idea to take some time off to go and see a specialist.  Unfortunately, I am still waiting to for an appointment; but for the most part, currently the pain has gone away.  Anticipating a pretty full Easter walking period, I decided to go and test the knee out on a shortish walk close to Hobart.  I wanted to try something with a decent climb and some scrub, as this will most likely be what the Easter walk will comprise.

We settled on climbing Mt Lord, and in the interest of time we wanted to head up from the Florentine Valley rather than walking across from Newdegate Pass.  We left Hobart after working during the morning and made it to the forestry coupe just after 3pm.  By following the right hand side (when looking from below) of the coupe up to the tree line, we were able to knock off a few hundred meters of forest walking. Initially I thought we were on a taped track, but shortly after we entered the forest the tapes stopped at a small wooden platform supported by two wire legs.  Not sure what this is used for, but it looked to me as though it supports something else; maybe an insect trap?

From here the plan was to follow the easiest route up and emerge on the plateau halfway between Lanes Peak and Mt Lord.  The climb through the forest was steep but fairly open, and it was clear that very few people had walked through these trees.  Large sections of moss covered rocks, and passing by big eucalypts and sassafras made the climb much more enjoyable. As we gained ground, the clouds rolled in and a number of large rocky outcrops began to appear. We were now in the clouds and knew we were getting close to the plateau, as bauera started to fill the forest floor.

Once at the plateau we had a choice to make; either we would first head up to Lanes Peak then backtrack across to Lords Peak, or vice versa. Given that we were already soaked from pushing through wet bauera, we decided to do Lords first and then head up to Lanes on the way back if we had the time or motivation. Visibility was low and the scrub was thick; the first step was to make it to a small, unnamed lake on the southern end of the plateau.  At this point we had to rely solely on the GPS for navigation, as we could not see more that 20-30m in front of us. The scrub only got thicker as we moved across the plateau and we were forced to weave around the worst of it.  Once at the lake, we filled up our drink bottles-I believe it is the only decent source of water around-and chucked on an extra layer as the cold started to sink in.

We then followed a couple of wombat tracks in the direction of the first of many rocky outcrops on the way to the summit of Lord. The final climb was slow and demoralising; visibility had not improved and we kept having to drop back down into scrubby gullies to reach the next highpoint.  We eventually reached the peak about an hour after leaving the lake, and all of a sudden the clouds blew away and views opened up.  We didn’t stay long however, as the day was getting late and we were keen to get back to the National Park Pub for dinner. The absence of cloud made the return trip MUCH quicker, as we were able to pick the easiest route down to the lake then back into the forest.

Car to Plateau – 1.2kms in 50 minutes.

Plateau to Mt Lord via lake – 1.6kms in 1hour and 10 minutes.

Summit back to car – 1hour and 20 minutes.

All up 5.3kms in 3 and a half hours with 547m ascent

Getting there: From Maydena, turn right off Gordon River Road onto Florentine Road.  Follow Florentine Road for 27.6kms then turn right onto Lawrence Rivulet Road.  Follow Lawrence Rivulet Road for 3.9kms then turn left onto Westfield Road before the Lawrence Rivulet bridge (you can probably access this from Nine Road and save a few K’s).  Take the first right and follow this road for approximately 2.6kms as it climbs higher up the valley.  You will reach a large coupe that has recently been cleared.  This coupe does appear on LISTmap state aerial photo but not on google maps.  From this point head straight up and you will reach the plateau between Lanes Peak and Mt Lord.  Click this link for google maps route.

 

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The clearing we followed up to the tree line.
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What is it?
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Nice forest on the way up.
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Pandani and cloud on the plateau.
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Mt Lord summit and the views open up.
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Looking towards Mt Field West.
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Looking at Lanes Peak and the plateau.  The coupe we walked up looks so close.
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Lone pandani by the unnamed lake.
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Thick scrub across the plateau.
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Not far to go.

Florentine Peak, Rodway Range and Mt Mawson

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.

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GPS track of the walk.
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The Rodway Range from the Snow Gum Track.
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The Tarn Shelf and Rodways tow.
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A large snow drift on the Rodway Range. High point on the left.

 

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Floretine in cloud.
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Looking towards Naturalist Peak.
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The Watcher.
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Looking towards The Needles and Mt Wedge.
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Naturalist Peak.
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Lake Belton and Lake Belcher.
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Heading up the first rocky section up to Florentine Peak.
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Heading up the summit of Florentine Peak.
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Frozen tarns on the Mawson Plateau.  Mt Mawson out the back.

Mariotts Falls

We were driving along Stxy Road after summiting Mt Mueller and decided to do a short walk in the area before heading back to Hobart.  We originally thought to go check out Big Styx Reserve but then changed our minds and went to Marriotts Falls instead.  I didn’t know very much about this waterfall and I had only noticed the sign on the Gordon River Road on the drive up the day before.

Initially the well maintained track follows the Tyenna River before heading across some bracken covered paddocks and into the forest.  The track here can be a little muddy as you pass under some very large man ferns before reaching the base of the falls.  There is a taped track that can be followed on the left hand side that will take you to the top of the falls.

Getting to the falls took a bit over 30 minutes but I would recommend staying there for a while to take it beauty of the falls.  All up the trip is approximately 5kms from the carpark and back.

Getting there: Coming from Hobart, continue past the turn off to Mt Field National Park and drive through the small town of Tyenna.  Just after leaving the town, turn right down Tyenna Road and follow this road over the Tyenna River (there will be a blue sign saying Mariotts Falls on the main road).  Turn right and continue for 100m to the carpark.

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Creek crossing near the beginning.
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Nice track work down to the Tyenna River.
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Tyenna River.
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Crossing the paddock.
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Lots of manferns by the track.
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Marriotts Falls.
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Last light.
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The top of the falls.
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Looking down the face.

 

 

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.

Mt Field West

Mt Field West; 1435m; Abel #24.

Almost a month had passed since our last walk up to Nevada and Snowy South; I’d been checking the weather all week and Sunday looked like it was going to be a good day for a longer walk.  Up until now, I hadn’t actually been to Mt Field when the tows weren’t  running, and the snow was deep enough to need snow shoes or seal skins.  We arrived at the Lake Dobson carpark around 9am and quickly set off towards the ski fields along the Urquhart track.  Shortly after, we reached the 4WD track that zig zags its way up towards the ski fields and continued up until we reached the start of the Snow Gum track.  The weather was as forecast- blue skies and no wind what so ever.  As we started to climb up along the Rodway Range cloud started to make its way up the valley, obscuring the nearby peaks and lakes.  Pockets of snow that had survived the previous days sun had started to melt and there was plenty of fresh water on and around the track.

The walk along the Rodway Range involves a bit of rock scrambling and was made more exciting by the frozen puddles that displayed interesting patterns of frozen ice.  We then started to descend towards the K. Col. hut and a break in the cloud revealed Naturalist Peak and Mt Field West.  Just before the hut you will reach a junction that marks the start of the Newdegate Pass track on your right.  We continued straight and made our way up and along the ridge that leads to Mt Field West, with a small detour to the summit of Naturalist Peak.

Unfortunately the view from the summit was pretty average due to the low lying cloud surrounding it and everything else around it.  While eating lunch we started chatting with a guy who had walked in carrying a full ~70L pack full of photography equipment, including a drone that he was going to use to shoot a promo for Parks and Wildlife.  This was the second time he had walked in in as many days and both times the cloud cover was too great.  We also chatted with a German guy who had spent the night in the Newdegate Hut and advised us not to ever stay in there, as it’s probably warmer if you sleep outside.

Having made it to the top of Mt Field West in 3 hours and 15 minutes we decided to take a small detour back through Newdegate Pass and The Tarn Shelf  instead of walking back along the Rodway Range. We followed Newdegate Pass past The Watcher and down towards Newdegate Lake, where we checked out the cold and crappy hut that smelt like possum piss and took lots of photos of the yellowing Nothofagus gunnii.  The lack of wind the entire day made for a nice walk despite the cloud cover, and provided some nice reflections in the lakes and small tarns along The Tarn Shelf.  The track made its way back up towards the main ski fields, where we rejoined the Snow Gum Track and made our way back down towards Lake Dobson.  The walk out from Mt Field West  via Newdegate Pass and The Tarn Shelf  took 4 hours and 15 minutes.

All up 23.9km in 7 hours and 32 minutes with plenty of stops for photos.

Getting there:  Getting to Mt Field National Park is very easy.  From Hobart follow directions to New Norfolk,  here is a good place to stop for additional supplies.  Continue past New Norfolk towards Maydena and Lake Pedder,  the turn off to Mt Field is on the right hand side between Westbury and Maydena.  To get to Lake Dobson continue past the visitors centre and follow the dirt road for 20kms until you reach the end of the road.  Chains may be required in winter after decent snow but road access is dependant on the availability of the grader used to clear the road.

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Blue skies over Lake Dobson as we head off.
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Looking towards the Rodway Range from the Snow Gum track.
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Frozen puddles all along the track.
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Naturalist Peak and Mt Field West appear out of the cloud as we descend the Rodway Range.  K Col Hut is the shiny thing on the left.
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The junction before K Col hut.  Wylds Craig poking out of the clouds.
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Clemes Tarn and Florentine Peak.
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Peaks poking out of the cloud.
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Looking back towards The Watcher from Mt Field West.
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Looking toward K Col hut and Florentine Peak from the summit of The Watcher
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Plenty of small tarns along the Newdegate Pass
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Lake Newdegate

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Backhouse Tarn

 

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Mount Bridges
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Nothofagus gunnii
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Lake Dobson as we walk out.