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.