Keppel’s Hut circuit walk

The 25km Keppel’s Hut circuit walk at Lake Mountain has been on my radar for a while and one I managed to tick off recently.

Lake Mountain is near Marysville, about a two hour drive from Melbourne, and, at around 1,400m high, gets snow in winter.

The area is regenerating after the 2009 bushfires and the landscape is dominated by the white skeletal remains of dead mountain ash and snow gums and shrubby regrowth coming up beneath them.

It’s an interesting walk for seeing the contrasts. Sad to see the devastating aftermath of the fires but heartening to see the regrowth. But the place is unlikely to ever return to what it was.

The walk starts at the Snowy Hill Carpark and follows the Upper Taggerty 4WD trail. The track goes steadily downhill to cross the Taggerty River and then steadily uphill to reach the hut. Walking on a 4WD track isn’t that exciting but it allows for a fast pace.

There was plenty of bird life around – currawongs, crows, rosellas – but didn’t see any native furry animals, just a rabbit dashing into the scrub.

Old track notes talk about a shortcut to the hut from the 4WD track but it’s long been taken over by the regrowth and impossible to find.

Missing the shortcut adds about five kilometres to the walk.

The hut is a nice spot to stop for a rest (or camp) with a small stream beside it and compost toilet. The hut is relatively new, having being rebuilt after being burned down in the bushfires.

From there I left the 4WD track onto a walking track near the hut to head for the East Boundary Trail. The start of the track is marked by red triangles on a tree. The track was pretty shrubby and overgrown in places but was still easy to follow. Plus there were red triangles on trees along the way.

The track descended a bit, then climbed for a bit until plateauing at the entrance to the Lake Mountain ski resort area.

You then follow wide, clear ski trails back to the Lake Mountain Village and then a single track (also a mountain bike track) back down to the Snowy Hill Carpark.

I completed the walk in about six hours after setting myself a quick pace so I could make it home in time for dinner with the family.

Overall, a nice day out. Not spectacular, but still, nice to be out of the city for a little bit.

 

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Mt Bogong Circuit

When I was thinking about doing a five-day circuit walk around Mt Bogong, Victoria’s highest mountain (1986m), it wasn’t until I was a couple of days in that I realised I’d actually be climbing it twice. So much for my planning and map reading skills.

So while Bogong has been on my “to do” list for a while, when I finally get an opportunity to do it, I do it twice. But it was definitely worthwhile. Victoria’s Alpine National Park is beautiful. The summer wildflowers were out, creeks and rivers were flowing nicely, great campsites at alpine huts and a nice mix of pleasant and challenging walking.

Day 1 – Mountain Creek campground to Cleve Cole Hut (about 12.5km)

I started out at the Mountain Creek campground, near the town of Mt Beauty, on New Year’s Day about 10am, taking The Staircase route to the Bogong summit. It was a steady climb up to Bivouac Hut, about half way, where I stopped for lunch. The track is well graded as it’s the most popular route up and down. People do it as a long day walk. It wasn’t as busy as usual as the weather for the area was forecast to be in the mid to high 30s Centigrade for the days I was there. It didn’t take long to be drenched in sweat – especially when carrying a pack and gear for five days.

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Once past Bivouac Hut and above the tree line the track got steeper and the rest breaks became a bit more frequent. I was amazed to see people in sneakers and with light backpacks running down. Apparently it’s a thing to RUN up and down Bogong. I had a chat with one guy and he said running with little gear gave you the opportunity to go further. But he said the down side was you couldn’t camp.

I reached the top of Bogong about 4pm. Amazing 360 degree views. A bit hazy but at least it was a bit cooler with the altitude. Saw a paraglider land not far away on the summit and had a quick chat before he started walking back down after packing up his gear.

From the summit it was a pleasant, gentle downhill walk over open plains covered with flowers to Cleve Cole Hut, a stone ski hut among snow gums. Lovely hut with running water and bunks. I set up my tent a short distance away on a lovely flat patch of soft grass among the trees. Across a plain a short distance away a pack horse tour group had set up. There were a lot of flies but thankfully I’d brought my head net. Ideal for sitting around camp waiting for dinner to cook and the sun to go down when the flies will disappear. The night was clear and the stars spectacular.

Day 2 – Cleve Cole Hut to Roper Hut (about 11km)

I started out early at 7.45am knowing that it was going to be a hot day and I had a fair bit of downhill and uphill walking to do. The walk down to the T Spur junction was nice. Lots of snow gums, a pleasant stream, open grassy patches. The walk down T Spur to Big River was okay, with a few steep sections. I got there about 9.45am and stopped for a rest because it was a lovely spot with the river running clear and quick. Crossed the river and then started the slow, steady plod up Duane Spur. The day was so hot that I was hyper alert for snakes but didn’t see any.

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I made it to Roper Hut about 1.30pm. It was early but I was so drained from the heat and climbing that I couldn’t be bothered walking another 7km or so to the next huts. Anyway, Roper was very nice. A rebuilt cattlemen’s hut. There was plenty of flat, lush grass and snow gums to pitch the tent under and, after a few anxious moments wondering where to get water as there was no water tank, found a swiftly flowing stream about 100m from the hut. It’s a fantastic place to stop. So I did. Relaxed, read, took photos, and just wandered around. A few other walkers showed up later.

Day 3 – Roper Hut to Bogong Creek Saddle (about 11km)

It was another warm, clear, sunny day so I took the easy option of going via Timms Spur on the Big River Fire Trail. Left Roper Hut about 8.45am. I had planned on going via the Grey Hills Track but thought I’d play it safe. The views over the plains and gullies and back to Mt Bogong and beyond were spectacular. Easy walking given it was a fire trail. It was around about this day that I realised my route would be taking me back down to Big River again and then I’d have to climb back up and over Bogong to complete the circuit. Anyway, it was nice going back down to the river and having lunch and a rest there.

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From the river it was a short climb up to Bogong Creek Saddle, passing a small stream at the junction to go up Quartz Ridge (my route back up to Bogong). The stream and junction aren’t far from the campsite at the saddle. Some maps and track notes talk about a helipad being there but I didn’t see one. The saddle is very exposed and there was little shade to pitch the tent under when I arrived around 2.30pm. So I sat under the trees on the start of the Grey Hills Track until late in the afternoon, reading and swatting march flies, when a small patch of shade appeared on the edge of the saddle.

I was surprised in the middle of the night when I got up to do a wee and surprised a deer when I turned on my headlamp. I didn’t see it but heard it make a horrible barking kind of noise quite close and then it moving away, crashing through the bush. It was another clear night and the stars were spectacular.

Day 4 – Bogong Creek Saddle to Mitchell Hut (about 10km)

A very hot and windy day. I started walking about 8am and headed up Quartz Ridge to the Bogong summit again. Pleasant walking, nice views the higher up you got, a couple of steep spots but nothing too taxing, a few little grassy plateaus along the way. I wandered off the track at one point above the tree line but just kept going up and found a line of snow poles to follow up onto the Hooker Plateau, which is a beautiful spot with amazing views. The sun was searing. I carried on to the summit and had lunch but didn’t hang around too long as the flies were terrible. While I was on top I got some texts from my wife telling me the region had been declared an extreme risk of bushfire because of the heat and wind. Another reason to not hang around. I descended the steep Eskdale Spur to Mitchell Hut where I stopped for the night about 2pm, wondering whether it was the right thing to do.

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It was a surprise then, during the night, after four days of hot, dry weather, that I heard rain drops on my tent. It was pleasant to hear and doze to.

Day 5 – Mitchell Hut to Mountain Creek Campground (about 9km)

The home stretch so didn’t extend myself too much. Descended the rest of Eskdale Spur leisurely, passing a group plodding their way, very slowly up. Eskdale is definitely steeper than Staircase. Once down at the carpark it was a stroll along a dirt road, over quite a few creek crossings, through forest and tree ferns, back to Mountain Creek.

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All up a very nice walk. The time spent walking was actually pretty short but given the heat I was okay with that. After this taste of the alpine areas around Bogong I’m keen to explore more. Just maybe during a cooler time of year. The only disappointment was the feral and non-native animals I saw and heard – deer, horses, rabbit and a bloody cat at  Mitchell Hut.

Learnings?

  • Take a head net if you’re walking in the Victorian high country in summer
  • I wore my usual full leather hiking boots – probably no need for this walk
  • Make sure you have a good book for those times you reach a campsite early – thankfully I did.

 

Why I’m not hiking in Tasmania this summer

I don’t like what’s happening in Tasmania in terms of commercial development of its wilderness areas. It’s something that’s finally starting to get a bit of press with The Weekend Australian Magazine and The Guardian recently writing about it.

When did national parks and the wilderness need to “pay” for themselves? What happened to protecting parks and wilderness for the flora and fauna they sustain? To preserve a space where there’s been little to no human disturbance. Since when did helicopters and huts and “standing camps” become part of the wilderness experience?

Just some of what has been planned or already underway:

·         A cable car to Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain

·         Standing camp and helicopter flights to Halls Island in the Walls of Jerusalem

·         Huts on the South Coast Track

·         The Three Capes Track

·         A cable car on Mt Wellington

·         Others here.

I don’t want to spend my money in a state whose Liberal government only sees the environment for its development potential and what it can rake in from rich tourists.

I get the impression “my kind” of bushwalker – solo, self-sustaining, camping out, carrying everything in a backpack – isn’t welcome anymore in Tasmania. Whenever I read about the latest accommodation or tourism experience opening in Tasmania, it always seems to be catering for five-star tourists. I understand they’re the most attractive because they’ve got the most money to spend, but where does that leave the rest of us?

Tasmania seems to want to make itself a theme park for rich tourists and provide them with facilities so they can see its wonders without getting their shoes dirty or missing out on wine with dinner. I fear that in its rush to cater to these tourists it will destroy what makes Tasmania so special.

It makes me sad.

So instead I’m going to walk in Victoria’s Alpine National Park.

Grampians Peaks Trail (and always remember to pack your food away!)

A rule to remember whenever you’re camping in the Australian bush (or anywhere really) is to pack away and secure your food at night so that it doesn’t attract animals.

It’s a rule I was acutely reminded of during a recent trip hiking the Grampians Peaks Trail, leaving me with a large, chewed tear in the floor of my much loved Macpac Minaret tent.

I’ve always thought packing my food away into plastic bags and keeping them in my tent was enough to deter animals. In my many years of camping around Australia I’ve never had a problem.

But this trip, it was a problem.

At some stage during the first night at the Bugiga hikers’ camp, something chewed its way into my tent and got into my dinner bag, getting at one of my dried meals and a block of fancy Koko Black chocolate given to me for Fathers Day.

I must have been tired because I slept through it and didn’t realise what had happened until I was packing up in the morning after breakfast and discovered the hole in my tent.

I was devastated. I’ve written before how much I love my tent and how it’s served me well on many trips in fair weather and foul.

It felt like I’d let a good friend down.

I patched up the hole on both sides with first aid strapping tape and thankfully the weather was good so I didn’t need to worry about rain.

Once back in Melbourne I got the hole patched and, hopefully, it’s good to go for my next trip.

And for that next trip I’ll be investing in some decent bags to stash my food in and putting those into my backpack which I’ll also line with a big plastic bag.

Lesson learned.

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Anyway, the Grampians Peaks Trail was … okay. Nice scenery, interesting rock formations, easy to follow track. But it never felt particularly remote as the views included roads and the town of Halls Gap. There were also plenty of tourists and school groups doing day walks on the trails so it never felt like wilderness.

I started at Halls Gap, following the Grampians Peaks Trail signs up Stony Creek past Venus Baths and Splitters Falls into Wonderland. It was steady, but not challenging, climbing to get up onto the mountain range. Walking through the Grand Canyon and marvelling at the incredible rock shapes was great. The views at the top of the range looking down onto Halls Gap from The Pinnacle and out onto farmlands to the east were brilliant.

The first night was at Bugiga hikers camp. Very impressed. Nicely located amongst the trees, 12 platforms surround a central covered area. There are also two drop toilets and a tap for water. My only gripe is that there are no anchor points on the platforms for your tent. There’s a wire that runs around under the lip of the platforms which you can use but you need to have rope or string. Thankfully, some Good Samaritan had left a bag of varying lengths of string at the site. You’re also meant to book a camp site online and when I did it appeared almost all were booked. But on the night I was there, there was only one other person – and she hadn’t booked. So I’m not sure what happened there.

Day two was spent hiking up to Mount Rosea, which again was pretty gentle. And again, plenty of other walkers around. And again, lots of interesting rock formations to see and views over the Grampians.

The second night was spent camping at Borough Huts (no huts). Again, you have to book a campsite but there was plenty of space which was good because the site I booked ended up being bang in the middle of a large group of high school boys. My only complaint is that the camping pads are rock hard. Impossible to push a tent peg into with your hands. So you end up pitching your tent on the ground beside a pad.

Third day was spent walking back to Halls Gap. The first half was pretty boring as you’re following the shoreline of Lake Bellfield on a four-wheel-drive track. The second half is more bushy as you follow a ridgeline back into town. It’s also surprisingly very up and down. Spotted a few emus and wallabies on the way.

I stayed at the Halls Gap Caravan Park for another night. Great spot for families. Quiet, close to everything, lots of kangaroos.

On the way back to Melbourne I stopped at the Fallen Giants and Mount Langi Ghiran cellar doors. Both fantastic cellar doors and fantastic wines. Mount Langi Ghiran is especially impressive as it’s a pretty fancy place seemingly in the middle of nowhere off the highway. I was the only one there at the time and it was pretty cool having the place to myself.

Up and down Mt Juliet

It took my legs a week to recover from the climb up and down Mt Juliet. Ugh, age is catching up with me.

Just outside Healesville, an hour and a bit east of Melbourne in the Yarra Ranges, Mt Juliet is 1120m high. The walk to the top is only 4.5km. It’s steep. Very steep.

The day I did it was a rainy, cold winter’s day.

The track was slick and slippery and it felt at times that with every few grunting steps up I’d slide back down a few. Very frustrating.

I spent most of the walk up huffing and puffing with my head down, covered by my rain jacket hood. Whenever I paused to look around there wasn’t much to see other than cloud and towering mountain ash trees.

The summit is covered by mountain ash so there are no views. There’s a large geographical survey cairn at the top but I didn’t spend too much time up there as the wind was blowing and it was freezing.

The steepness and slipperiness made the walk back down just as difficult as getting up. I slid down on my feet in a few places and ended up on my backside a few times.

Even with walking poles, going up and coming down were challenging.

I was very glad to get back to the car at the end, get changed into dry clothes and watch the rain as I ate my lunch.

Mt Juliet is definitely not a fun day out. It’s a walk more suited for anyone who might be training or seeking a challenge. I’m not sure I’m too keen on coming back to walk it again.

Post walk

Getting to Healesville you pass through the Yarra Valley and its wineries. So going back to Melbourne it would be sacrilege to not stop at a cellar door.

This time I tried Maddens Rise. A great little cosy cellar door with nice views, nice people and nice wine. They also have a large grassy area outside that kids, if you have them, can run around on while the parents taste. I picked up a bottle of the Cinq Amis (a blend of cab sav, merlot, malbec, cab franc and petit verdot) and shiraz.

I also stopped to look at Levantine Hill. Spectacular cellar door with a posh restaurant (Ezard). But they charge to taste their wine – minimum $18. You get that back if you buy a bottle of wine, but their cheapest is $38. So, cheapskate that I am, I passed.

 

7 Peaks rides – tick!

That’s one less item on the bucket list. The 7 Peaks rides are set-your-own pace climbs to the top of Victoria’s seven alpine resorts over the warmer months. They’re a great reason to get out of the city for a day or long weekend to breathe some country air and see a bit more of regional Victoria. And of course great exercise. Plus they’ve fired my enthusiasm for the next physical challenge – The Peaks Challenge.

Lake Mountain – I think this was the easiest ride. Starts at Marysville. Only about two hours drive from Melbourne. Starts off steeply out of town but not for too far. Then a steady climb through regenerating forest with open views across to adjacent hills. At the top is a shelter with a café. Nice views. The road isn’t too twisty which means heading back down you can build up some great speed. Lots of fun.

Mt Buller – This is the nicest ride I reckon. Starts at the mountain entry gates at the base, near a very nice café. Pretty river alongside. Steady climb through forest, past streams and small waterfalls until just before the summit where there’s a sharp, steep pinch that gets you out of the saddle. On the way up keep an eye out for the gnomes’ tree house. Very cute. Typical ski resort at the top. Couple of cafes. Nice views from the main visitor centre and at the end of the road near the top of the resort.

Falls Creek – Bit of an undulating ride to begin with, starting from Mt Beauty. Fantastic views to Mt Bogong, Victoria’s highest mountain. Road initially follows a valley with hydroelectric transmission lines overhead. Then seems to get a bit steeper on approaching the resort. Not much in the way of cafes open when I was there, other than a mountain biker café in a converted shipping container in a car park. Nice views.

Mt Hotham – Long, mostly pleasant ride from Harrietville. Steady climb to start with views to the resort, which seems to be an impossibly long way away on the other side of a wide valley. Near the top are a couple of steep downhills which have to be climbed back up on the other side. Bit disheartening. Amazing views though as you’re above the tree line. No café open at the top. The nearest was another couple of kilometres down the road. Descent back to Harrietville was brilliant, with the road not too twisting. It was raining when I came back down though so was careful with my speed.

Mt Buffalo – Very pleasant, steady climb through beautiful forest with occasional views of smooth granite cliffs and rocks that are a feature of the mountain. Started at the base, at a creek, near Bright. Finished at the old Mt Buffalo Chalet, which is not open. No café at the top. Fantastic views though. I didn’t attempt the descent as I was a bit worried about my brakes. Drove back down with my support crew. Washing off in the cold, clear creek back at the bottom was a highlight.

Mt Baw Baw – Hard hard hard! Lung buster. I parked the car and started at Tanjil Bren. Nice downhill and then some steady uphill until you reach the official start point where it’s steep steep steep until the top. Nice forest to pedal through but you won’t be looking at much of it because all you’ll be thinking about is your breathing and looking down at the road. Near the top it levels out a bit and then you roll into the main car park. The relief at reaching the top is amazing. Some views but not spectacular. Nice café at the top. The steep descent is a bit scary.

Dinner Plain – The longest of the rides, starting at Omeo, a 4-5 hour drive from Melbourne. The road out of town was steeper than I was expecting. Then a long fast descent to the Cobungra Station plains. Nice undulating riding, although made a bit harder by a headwind. The ascent to Dinner Plain was steady and not too taxing, which was a nice surprise. Nice riding through eucalypt forest and then snow gums. The village is nice. Didn’t think much of the pub but the Blizzard craft brewery was fun. Nice stout too. I didn’t get to the top until late arvo and was losing the light so I drove back down to Omeo with my support crew.

All in all the 7 Peaks is a great challenge. Bit of an effort to get to the alpine regions in northern Victoria from Melbourne so I’d recommend having four or five days off to do those ones. Baw Baw and Lake Mountain are only a couple of hours drive from Melbourne so can be done easily in a day. Buller can be done in a day, but it’s a long one.

 

Out and back on the Huon track

My most recent hiking trip (late Feb 2018) to Tasmania didn’t go to plan.

The plan was to walk the last section of the Western Arthur Range I hadn’t done – lakes Promontory and Rosanne.

But a flooded river and an indistinct track junction put paid to those plans.

While a little annoying not to tick off a few more Tassie bushwalking features, I still had five-and-a-half days of hiking and camping in the bush.

Day 1.

I set out from Hobart with my lift to the start of the Huon Track, near the Tahune Airwalk outside Geeveston, around 7.30am and was walking by 8.45am.

It was steadily spitting rain so I started in my waterproof jacket and pants. Handy too as the bush was wet and brushing past branches leaning into the track was like stepping into a shower.

The track is an old vehicle track and easy to follow, although in places the bush is reclaiming it.

I set myself a pretty quick pace as I was aiming to reach Cracroft Crossing, about 25km away, to camp.

The start of the walk was very nice. A couple of gentle up and downs and then flat walking along the Huon River.

It’s obvious no one has been along the track with a chainsaw for a while as there are plenty of trees down. They slowed my progress as they had to be climbed over or under or around.

I was relying on track notes in John Chapman’s South West Tasmania book. The edition I have, the fifth, is about 10 years old. To help me gauge my time I was aiming for a place called Blakes Shelter, which is described as a three sided shelter. It doesn’t exist anymore.

About 8km in the track begins to show why it’s nicknamed the Yo Yo Track – lots of steep climbing and descending of spurs, made harder by having to negotiate all the downed trees.

It wasn’t long before I was soaked with sweat under my waterproofs.

After about 10 hours of walking I made it to the campsite next to the Cracroft River, which I needed to cross to continue.

Throughout the day I’d been sloshing through flooded creeks and the Huon River had looked pretty full.

When I finally got to the Cracroft, it was obviously flooded. The water was running fast and looked deep. There was no way I was going to get across so set up my tent in a nice sheltered clearing, got dry, had dinner and finally settled into my sleeping bag around 9pm utterly exhausted.

Day 2.

I got up early and looked at the river. It still looked pretty flooded. I could see it had dropped a bit as the water was no longer lapping at the stick I’d placed in the ground to mark its level the night before.

I thought I’d test it and went into the water without my pack. I only got about 10 metres in. The water was up to my waist and getting deeper, the current was strong and it was a struggle to stay upright. There was no way I’d be able to get across with my heavy backpack.

The only thing to do was to give it a day and see if it would fall more. Thankfully the rain had stopped yesterday afternoon.

I also had a good book to keep me occupied – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I thoroughly recommend it. A page turner.

Throughout the day I checked the water level and could see it was falling.

Knowing that I’d lost a day of walking, I changed my plans to skip Lake Promontory and instead climb up to Lake Rosanne.

Day 3.

The river had continued to fall overnight and I was able to cross. The deepest the river got was to around thigh level and the current didn’t seem as strong.

The track notes say that the other side of the river has campsites and a toilet. Well, the toilet isn’t there anymore and the campsites aren’t that nice. They’re better on the eastern side of the river.

The weather was good although early morning fog blanketed the button grass plains.

I was aiming for a track junction that would take me up onto the Western Arthurs and Lake Rosanne.

Unfortunately, I missed it, which I realised when I reached Strike Creek, a lovely spot with a pebbly beach about two hours from the Cracroft.

I thought I could head back to try and find it but worried that if I didn’t spot it I’d just end up back at Cracroft Crossing.

So I decided to continue on the track I was on to Pass Creek, which is on the track to the Eastern Arthur Range and has a campsite, just for a change of scenery.

I’m glad I did as the views were spectacular, especially after the fog lifted as the sun came out. Rolling hills, button grass plains, and the Western and Eastern Arthur Ranges, including Federation Peak.

The campsite is nice. According to the track notes it has a toilet but it doesn’t. Which is its only downside as it’s surrounded by dense tee tree scrub which is hard to get through to find a spot to dig a hole.

Day 4.

The weather was fine again and I set out for a leisurely walk back to Cracroft Crossing.

I met a couple along the way and stopped for a chat, telling them of my unforeseen issues with the flooded river and missed track junction.

They said they thought they’d seen the junction and described a small pile of rocks as marking it.

I continued on slowly and found the pile of rocks and sure enough, a vague track heading off towards the Western Arthurs. Annoying. I think I missed it because a) it was pretty indistinct, b) I hadn’t read anywhere that that was what to look out for, and c) I wasn’t looking at the ground at this point of the track because the view ahead of me was spectacular.

Anyway, a lesson for next time and for anyone who might read this who wants to do the Western Arthurs from east to west, instead of the usual west to east.

The couple I’d met also warned that the weather was forecast to start raining again.

When I crossed the Cracroft again back to the campsite I’d become very familiar with, the water level had dropped again and was only around knee height at its deepest.

Day 5.

I wasn’t going to try walking out again in a day and planned to aim for a nice looking camping spot overlooking the Huon River I’d seen on the way in.

As the man said, it started raining again.

I carried a walking stick with me this time and I think it helped with climbing up and down the steep spurs again.

I reached the sheltered campsite after about six and a half hours of walking and didn’t feel too bad. The rain didn’t feel too bad either. It was more like steady spitting.

The campsite had lots of mozzies. It looked like something had been here before as there were some old star pickets lying around, an old saw and a cast iron jaffle maker. Bizarre.

That night I thought I was going to be hit by a big storm. There was a lot of thunder booming all over the sky but there was little rain with it. I learned later that Hobart copped the most of the storm.

Day 6.

My pick up was meeting me at 3pm back at the start of the track so I had a relatively leisurely walk out.

I think I finally found where Blakes Shelter used to be – looks like a big tree branch came down on it some time ago.

The weather was okay, not much in the way of rain. I was able to walk without the hood of my rain jacket on so could have a good look at my forest surroundings and the river.

Had lunch and brewed a coffee at the walker registration shelter and read the graffiti – pro and anti logging stuff. Someone had also scrawled that there was no shelter at Blakes Shelter (I should have spotted that when I signed in at the start!).

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Signed out

My ride was there to meet me and then it was back to Hobart to meet my family who’d come down to join me for the last days of my week off.

Overall, a nice trip, despite not getting to do what I intended. My new Asolo boots did a fantastic job sloshing through rivers, creeks and Tassie mud (no blisters) and my new Nemo sleeping bag was also very comfy.

Lessons

  • My tarp continues to be one of the best bushwalking investments I’ve made. Fantastic to put up over my tent so if it rains at night I don’t have to pack up a wet tent. And I can back up under it in the rain.
  • Think I’m old enough to start considering using a walking pole – the stick I used felt like it made walking easier.
  • Dehydrating and making up meals at home makes dinner time so much simpler.
  •  I took less clothes this time and think it helped with weight and space in my pack.