Tag 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 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.