Tag Archives: Abels

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.


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

Mt Weld

Abel #56; 1344m

Mt Weld had been on the to do list for some time; I’d first taken an interest in it while walking along Nevada Peak, and noted it’s apparent isolation around some more well-known mountains and mountain ranges.  The original plan for this week was to traverse the Western Arthurs, but unfortunately a persistent knee injury and a pretty average weather forecast prevented that from happening.

The walk begins at a collapsed bridge on Isabella Creek and follows the South Weld Road for just over a kilometre.  The road then turns sharply to the left and a taped stick in front of a wall of cutting grass indicates the start of the track.  This old bulldozer track is now overgrown with high cutting grass, and a number of fallen trees slow progress.  Between sections of cutting grass the track passes by large eucalypts, as well as a number of small streams.  Overall it is well marked with ribbon and relatively easy to follow to the Trout Lake outlet creek.  This is the last source of decent water for a while so it is recommended to fill up here before starting the long climb.

Once the Trout Lake outlet creek has been traversed, the track then passes briefly through some horizontal forest before climbing very steeply through  Tea Tree and Dogwood forests and along a ridge line.  There is no defined track for most of this section and locating the next coloured ribbon can be tricky at times. As you climb higher, large eucalyptus are replaced by old myrtles and sassafras, and before long pandani and snow gums begin to appear.  This is probably the worst section of track as it is very overgrown and poorly marked; we spent a character-building hour or so pushing through bauera, scoparia and pandani while still climbing up towards the campsite.  Eventually the track levels off, before dropping slightly to a nice alpine moor with a number of small ponds.  From here the coloured ribbons disappear, and you need to follow a faint pad across the moorland. Views of Trout Lake and the skeletal remains of snowgum are a nice change from the scrub that made up the last hour of walking.

The plan here is to walk (in a south westerly direction) towards the outlet creek of the unnamed tarn above Trout Lake.  As far as I could tell, there was no distinct pad from here and we just followed the clearest line up towards the tarn along the creek.  The western side of the creek seems to be more open-however the rocks are slippery when wet.  Once up on the plateau, there are a number of decent camp sites on the southern side of the tarn.  After a wet, scrubby climb we decided to have some dinner before heading up to the summit for sunset. As outlined in the Abels Vol.2, head up on the northern end of the creek outlet and follow the easiest route up towards the eastern highpoint. We came across a few cairns along the way, but for the most part we just followed the most obvious path along the boulders.  As we climbed higher we were treated with a light show from the fading sun trying to pierce through the cloud. Rays of light lit up parts of the Anne group and the Gallagher Plateau, as well as the Western Arthurs. To reach the summit you need to drop back down along a nice, but windy, alpine plateau before a short climb to the summit of Mt Weld.  Remnants of an old trig were scattered around the highpoint, and unfortunately the clouds rolled in just as we reached the top.   We then walked back to our camp and settled in for the night.

My alarm was set early to catch the sunrise, but the cloud was so thick that I didn’t get to see anything and opted to stay in bed.  Intermittent rain and strong gusts of wind were another good reason to stay in the tent longer than planed.  A break in the rain gave us enough time to pack up and cook some breakfast in the cold before heading back down the way we came.

Walking back  was a pretty painful affair as my supposedly good knee must have had enough of making up for the dodgy one and decided to go about 10 minutes after leaving camp.  I resorted to walking down backwards on the steeper sections as I couldn’t bend it all and was forced to drag it over the numerous obstacles strewn across the track.  The last few kms through the cutting grass weren’t much better as the lack of foot lifting meant that I would constantly get snagged on loose strands.  Apart from that it was an excellent trip and lived up to the expectations.  Unfortunately I will have to take some time off doing some of the more strenuous walks as I wait for surgery on my knee,  it might be a good chance to go and check out some waterfalls or buy a packraft…

Getting there: Follow direction as outlined in the Reuben Falls Post.

All up 23.3kms with 1511m ascent.

Carpark to Trout Lake outlet creek crossing – 4.8kms in just under 2 hours.

Creek crossing to campsite on unnamed tarn – 5.2kms in ~4 hours

Campsite to summit – 1.4kms in 1 hour

Campsite to carpark – 10.2kms in a painful 6 hour and 15 minutes

Heading into the cutting grass. Emily in her anti-leech fortress.
The final creek before the climb.
The track through bauera, scoparia and all other things nice.
Small tarn on the plateau.
First view of Trout Lake.
The outlet creek from unnamed tarn.
Setting up camp.
Unnamed tarn and our campsite.
Pineapple grass below a rocky outcrop


Looking towards the Jubilee Range.
Looking back towards our campsite.
Weld Light 2
Last rays of light on Weld Ridge.
Weld Light
Looking over the Western Arthurs and Anne group.
The south eastern highpoint from near the summit.
Blue light on the way back down.

Mt Ossa

Abel #1; 1617m

Summiting Tasmania’s highest mountain had been on my mind for a very long time, but the thought of getting there and then not caring about climbing any others was a slight concern.  However, after experiencing some of the wide variety and variable difficulty  of other mountains in Tasmania, this was unlikely to be the case. We had decided to do it in style, and walk in-and-out in a day from the Arm River Track.  A number of online sources stated that it would take around the 12 hour mark, so we were keen to get an early start and be back on the road to Hobart before too late.

We arrived at the carpark at 9:30pm the night before and were surprised to see a number of cars parked, there given the weather had been pretty average over the last few days. After a quick check of daypacks and food, alarms were set for 5:30 and a restless night ensued.

We were on the track by 6:20am and made our way up the zigzag track to the western rim of the Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair NP.  We reached Lake Price in 50 minutes, slightly wet from the dew covered bushes that were encroaching on the track.  In an attempt to reduce weight and increase comfort we had opted not to wear gaiters and only pack the bare minimum, not including my tripod, which I had instantly regretted when we arrived at the lake.  The next 15 minutes were spent taking a number of photos of the lake and Mt Pillinger.  From here the track descends into open myrtle forests, before crossing a small creek and onto clear marshland.  Another small tarn is passed before heading south, down into the forest and towards Lake Ayr.  The registration box can be found near the start of Lake Ayr and it also indicates the hard to see intersection with the Lees Paddocks Track.

It was then onto New Pelion Hut where we had a quick snack and avoided the hoards of miserable looking people (this might have been due to the rain the previous day or the fact that they had to sleep in a hut with 40 or so other people). We had arrived there in just under 3 hours and were making pretty good time, even with the extended stop at Lake Price.  The walk up to Pelion Gap consisted of overtaking large groups of people and Emily taking a slip on a tree root.  Fancy new steps, similar to the grippy plastic stuff that we saw on the way to Vera Hut, had been installed on the first part of the ascent to Mt Doris and made for quick climbing.  The track then contours the southern side of Mt Doris on some very nice rock work that weaves around cushion plants and scoparia, before dropping down into a saddle before the first rock scramble.  Unfortunately we were following a couple in front of us, and hadn’t paid attention to the ski poles marking the way; this meant that we went straight up the chute and had to a climb up a fairly exposed section of rock instead of the somewhat less airy route on the right hand side.

The track then dips again slightly, before the last little climb to the plateau and on to the mass of boulders that is the true highpoint. Hail had started to fall as we reached The Pools of Icarus and we sought shelter from the wind on a large rock on the northern side of the boulders, looking towards Cradle Mountain and Mt Oakleigh.  After a bite to eat and losing half my chocolate bar down a deep crevasse between the boulders, we made our way back down towards New Pelion Hut.  About 15 minutes before reaching the hut we made a quick detour to check out a track that leads down to Douglas Creek beside the track.  We were delighted to find a couple of very nice little waterfalls that were flowing quickly, and again made me regret not having a tripod.  From here we basically walked straight out, with only a couple of short stops to get a snack or stretch the legs.  We were happy to have made it back in just over 11 hours and for the most part, in pretty good condition except for a sore knee and a bit of sun burn.

All up: 39.2kms in 11 hours and 9 minutes with 1660m ascent.

Start of the track to Lake Price – 50 min, 3.2kms

Lake Price to New Pelion Hut – 1 hour and 55 minutes,  8.8kms

New Pelion Hut to Pelion Gap – 1 hour,  4.4kms

Pelion Gap to Ossa summit – 1 hour 15 minutes, 2.8kms

Ossa summit to carpark – 5 hours and 18 minutes 19.5kms

Getting there: Access to the Arm River Track is off the Mersey Forest Road.  Follow the Mersey Forest Road past the dam and continue until the road becomes dirt.  Shortly after, take a right up Arm River Road and continue for 3kms past the old Arm River Outdoor Education Centre.  The road then forks and you need to turn left onto Maggs Road as the bridge on Arm River Road is down. Follow Maggs Road for 13kms until you reach a pile of dirt.  Take a left again and follow this road for about 1km to the carpark.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 10.10.05 pm
GPS track.
First light as we reach the rim of the plateau.
Mt Pillinger from Lake Price.
Myrtle oranges everywhere.
Lake Ayr and Mt Oakleigh.
Mt Oakleigh.
Pelion East and the new track.
Rock steps.
Local wallaby.
Looking back down the chute that we mistakingly took.
Pools of Icarus.
Getting cricket scores on the highest rock in Tassie.
Looking south. Too many mountains to name.
Looking towards the southern end of Ossa.
Cushion plants near Mt Doris.


Small waterfall on Douglas Creek
Open walking near the Lees Paddock intersection.

Mt Tyndall

Abel #112;1179m

We were still camped by Lake Rosebery and it had been raining on and off for most of the night, showing no signs of stopping.  After flicking through The Abels Vol 2. we were keen to do a longer walk in the area, but decided against it due to the lack of visibility and the likelihood of spending half a day wet and cold.  Having done Murchison the previous day, we were left with climbing Tyndall or driving down to Queenstown and summiting Jukes or Owen.  I had always been interested in doing the Tyndall Range and so we decided to go and check out the first part of it.

The road by the highway leads to a locked boom gate, but has room for a number of cars.  Follow the road past the boom gate and continue across a bridge before reaching a road on the left that follows the powerlines.  Continue along this road for a few hundred meters and you will reach the registration box.  The start of the track follows a boggy, overgrown section that makes its way up towards the short section of forest, where the climb begins and is pretty relentless until you reach the Tyndall Plateau.  A number of small creeks are passed along the way, as well as large conglomerate boulders that provide a good place to stop and catch your breath.

Once we reached the plateau we turned north and followed a faint pad up towards the summit.  The visibility was low and there was no distinct summit, so we walked to what we thought was the highest point and had a quick bite to eat.  The wind was blowing the low lying cloud up and over the cliffs on the north eastern of the summit; before long, we started to get cold and decided to head back down to the car.

Even in poor visibility it was clear that this is a very beautiful mountain range with excellent camping, and I am looking forward to getting back here for a few days.  The way back down was much quicker and we reached the car in 1 hour and 20 minutes, unfortunately I had left the lights on and we had to spend almost 2 hours sitting in the car waiting for a friend to come and give us a jump.

All up 7kms in 3hours and 10 minutes with 696m ascent.

Getting there: Coming from Queenstown, follow the Zeehan Highway (A10) until you reach Anthony Road on you right.  Follow Anthony road for 10.8kms and you will see a dirt road on the right hand side with a pile a tyres.  Note that this road is a few hundred meters before you drive over Tyndall Creek.

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 11.42.55 pm
GPS track.
A small creek to cross on the powerlines track.
Emily heading uphill after leaving the scrub.
Lots of water coming down.
The north eastern cliffs under cloud.
Starting to feel the cold.

Mt Murchison

Abel #73; 1275m

We were camping with a group of friends on the shores of Lake Rosebery and managed to convince them to head up to Mt Murchison with us.  In hindsight, it was probably not the best walk for those with very little bushwalking experience-not to mention with a fear of heights.  We left our campsite and drove a short distance to the start of the track.

The well cleared track starts off by climbing up through teatree forests, before the bush thins out and reveals the glaciated cliffs and small lakes that occupy the main ‘bowl’.  The track then continues along a ridge before climbing steeply to the north.  Unfortunately we had to leave one of our friends before the steepest section, as she did not think she could make it back down due to a fear of heights. Luckily, the skies were clear and the view towards the east was very easy on the eyes.

A couple of small creeks and nearby tarns are passed on the way up and would be an excellent place to camp; however, some sections of this track are pretty exposed and would require extra care in adverse weather.  The trig can be seen a few hundred meters away after climbing up through a small rocky chute and requires you to drop back down on the western side of the ridge before following a large rock slab straight up to the top.

All up 6.3kms in 4 hours and 25 minutes with plenty of breaks for those less experienced and 774m ascent.

Getting there: Drive along Anthony Road  and you will see a sign indicating  start of the track.  There is a sign on on both sides of the road and there are a number of spots for cars to pull over.  The start of the track is closer to the Tullah end of the road and about a 10 minute drive from the town centre.

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 11.42.22 pm
GPS track.
Climbing up one of the steeper sections.
Conglomerate rocks and Eldon Peak.
Looking down into the ‘bowl’ from near the summit.
Heading back down the more exposed section.
Interesting rocks.
Blue skies and green fagus.

Frenchmans Cap, Clytemnestra and Sharlands Peak

Frenchmans Cap; 1446m; Abel#21

Clytemnestra; 1271m; Abel#75

Sharlands Peak; 1140m ; Abel#131

Having managed to take a few extra days off work for the Hobart Show Day public holiday, we decided to head to the Franklin-Gordon NP to summit Frenchmans Cap, Clytemnestra, The White Needle and Sharlands Peak.  The forecast for the first two days were promising and there was only a bit of rain forecast for early morning on the third day.  With the new canopy set up on the back of the ute,  we chose to drive out after dinner on Wednesday and sleep in the car park, so we could get an early start.

The plan was to walk to Lake Tahune on Day 1, summit Frenchmans and Clytemnestra on the 2nd day then walk back out on the 3rd day after climbing The White Needle and Sharlands Peak.

Day 1: We left the carpark just before 8, with the intention of walking all the 20ish kilometres to Lake Tahune.  There has been a significant amount of work done to upgrade certain parts of the track, and this was obvious about 5 minutes in when we reached the first marshland.  The original log sleepers had been removed and replaced with a large amount of compacted gravel, with regularly spaced drains.  This made for quick walking, and before long we were heading up the Loddon Hills.  Just before reaching the suspensions bridge that crosses the Loddon River, we came across a tent whose inhabitants were just getting out for the first time that day.  They had walked in the night before and found a nice little spot by the track.  It was then onto the not-so-sodden Loddons.  I was a bit disappointed that all of the bog holes had been duck boarded, and remnants of old tape on nearby bushes were the only reminder of what the track used to look like before it was made more accessible.  However, it was quite nice to maintain good pace and not be knee deep in mud for a few hundred meters.  From here, the new track then climbs slightly to what is called Laughton’s Lead.  The old track used to go through Philps Lead, which, judging by the map, looks like another boggy marsh.  The track then climbs again before before dropping back down to the Lake Vera hut, which we reached just over 4 hours.  We found a nice spot by the creek and had some lunch before heading around Lake Vera, and up the Barron Pass.  Having reached the top of the Barron Pass, we decided to drop our packs and try and make our way up to the summit of The White Needle. Unfortunately, about halfway up we were unable to proceed and decided to keep going to Lake Tahune rather than spend any extra time searching for the way up. We arrived tired and hungry at Lake Tahune around 5:15pm, and found 3 park rangers with chainsaws clearing the bush around the hut.  They had started clearing to make room for the new hut that is supposed to be getting built within the next few months. A number of tent platforms had also been built, but we chose to camp on a pad not far from the lake and with a bit more privacy.  Later that night we were sitting in the hut enjoying some port that the rangers had left for us, and all of a sudden the door opened.  It was the two people whose tent we passed earlier that day; they had underestimated the walk to Tahune and were lucky to get there before night fell.  After some dessert and more port we started chatting, and it turns out they designed the submarine that James Cameron used to descend to the deepest point known on earth.


King William I on the drive in.
The new sections of track.
Descending the Loddon Hills.
Looking at Agamemnon
Emily crossing the Loddon River.
Duck boards over the Sodden Loddons.
Looking at Philps Peak from Lake Vera
Nice track work all the way up The Barron Pass.
A small waterfall on Vera Creek.
View from The Barron Pass. Clytemnestra on the left and Frenchmans Cap on the right.
Nicoles Needle from The White Needle.
Looking back towards The Barron Pass.

Day 2: Today was going to be the most exciting part of the trip; mostly off track walking with only a daypack and some decent exposure to negotiate, not to mention the complete lack of cloud and and minimal wind.  We made our way from the tent up to the summit of Frenchman’s and reached the summit within an hour.  A number of large snowdrifts had covered certain parts of the track, but for the most part it was very easy to follow.  After a quick snack at the top we headed west to try and find the way down and onto South Col.  Everything I had read about getting down from Frenchman’s mentioned not to head South too early or you will be greeted with some very steep cliffs that offer no safe way down.  Out of sheer keenness I managed to find a couple of these no-go zones before deciding to head further west.  Eventually we reach a small chute that was clearly the easiest way down.  Once we got down, we had the option to head through some scrub towards two small tarns then head up a ridge-this was a longer and less exposed way.  The second option was a much quicker sidle below the cliffs on large rock slabs and loose scree; we chose the second option.  Once you have negotiated the exposed sections,  the walking gets pretty easy. You basically follow a ridge line across that yoyos across to Clytemnestra. The last little climb requires you to head west for a bit to find an easy way to the top, but for the most part it is very easy to negotiate.  After some lunch on the summit and checking out a small cave, we made our way back towards the cap.  Note that there is very little water along the ridge and only a few small tarns on Clytemestra that look like they would dry up pretty quick.  We arrived back at the tent after 7 and a half hours and went for a very quick dip in Lake Tahune.

The first exposed section.
The second exposed section with more serious consequences. Lake Sophie in the background.
The Cap from the summit of Clytemnestra.
Very lucky with the weather.
A small cave below the summit with a nice view of The Cap.
Pandani by Lake Tahune.

Day 3: It had been raining on and off since midnight and it gave us a reason to stay in bed a bit longer than usual. By 8:30 the rain had stopped, and it was time to pack up the tent and make our way back to the car park. This was the first time during the trip that the cap had been in cloud; supposedly this is what it’s like the majority of the time.  Just before reaching the large landslide, we dropped packs and headed up over the little saddle to try and find Davern’s Cavern and climb Sharlands Peak.  About half way to Davern’s Cavern we decided to turn back, as we wanted to get a counter meal from the Derwent Bridge Hotel on the way out.  We had enough time to do Sharlands Peak and found a decent way up that only required a small amount of rock scrambling. It was then back onto the main route and down the Barron Pass.  It was significantly quicker coming back down and we managed to pass a few people that had left Tahune Hut a while before us.  We arrived at Lake Vera Hut at 2pm and had a quick bite to eat before leaving at 2:15pm. Neither of us really talked at all on the way out, and we were just focused on getting back to the car as quickly as possible.  At 5:50 we reached the carpark and bumped into Graham and Becca who had just returned from spending a couple of days at Lake Vera to summit Agamengnon and Philps Peak.  Not long after, we were at the Derwent Bridge Hotel enjoying a drink and some very tasty dinner.

All up 60.1kms with 4161m ascent.

Getting there: The carpark is on the side of the Lyell Highway, about 30 minutes drive past Derwent Bridge heading west.  A bus from Lake St Clair visitor centre can also be arranged.


Emily climbing up the last steep section of Sharlands Peak
Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 5.27.45 pm
GPS track of the walk.