Tuesday, December 15, 2009

OVERLAND TRACK NOV 2009



Two old bushies, old in walking years only, ventured down the famous and very well used Track with one old acquaintance and four new acquaintances in late Nov. The original plan called for a seven night trip but due to some ill health too two of the group we delayed our start and shortened our trip by a day.

1st day Dove Lake to Waterfall Valley. Lunch inside Kitchen Hut due to poor looking weather. About 12 packs inside with their owners on Cradle Mtn, not much to see on the day due to cloud. Last 30 minutes or so of walk in slightly damp weather.

2nd day Waterfall Valley to Windermere. A nice short walk. No planned side trip to Barn Bluff due to poor visibility, low cloud. No side trip to Lake Will due to inclement weather. Late after wander around Lake Windermere.

3rd day Windermere to New Pelion. Very wet morning. Typical Tasmanian rain but not too cold. Track running with water, boots sloshing but excellent wildflowers and wonderful waterfalls and gushing streams everywhere. Lunch at Frog Flats and some sunshine with lifting clouds. A very good hut and a bit of spare room.

4th day. A rest day. Afternoon climb to Mt Oakleigh. Initially crosses a very boggy button grass plain that one of our group found, at least at one spot, sinks to about 1m. After you survive that then a climb through a very nice Myrtle forest leads you to a summit of heath country with views out over the dolomite spears to Pelion Plains and the route you have followed from the North. Mt Ossa blocks views further south.

5th day. New Pelion to Kia-Ora. 11/2 hour walk to Pelion Gap where, on a fine day, you drop your packs and head for Mt Ossa 1617m the highest point in Tasmania. It was cold and overcast while we deliberated on the climb but set off under blue skies and reached the summit a bit after mid-day to calm and warmish time on top. Wonderful views all around, clear after the rain and some large snow drifts still on the top and on the last part of the climb. Arrived to a packed Kia-Ora hut. Great evening light on Cathedral Mtn and Mt Ossa.

6th day. Kia-Ora to Windy Ridge. Stopped for a longish break at the old Du Cane hut, very interesting building and surrounds. Visited Ferguson, D’Alton and Hartnett falls. All flowing very magnificently after the rain. Onto the large and airy new Windy Ridge hut after the slog up to Du Cane gap.

7th day. Windy Ridge to Narcissus hut and the ferry back to Cynthia Bay and “civilization”.