Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Tasmanian Wilderness Hiker - Day 2

Breakfast was at 7:30 this morning with an 8:30am departure. At least we didn't have to pack our bags as we were returning to the Lake Pedder Chalet for a second night.

View from our window ... Lake Pedder in the early morning
View of Lake Pedder from the Chalet grounds

Today we were doing an out and back hike along the Mt Anne Track as far as the High Camp Hut. This hike was rated as a tough one.

After a drive was just over an hour we arrived at the Mt Anne Track car park which was well populated with cars. Our guides thought that most of the hikers belonging to the cars had probably arrived on the previous morning and would have been doing overnight hikes.

Heading out on the track, our party having been duly logged in by one of the guides, our first stop was the boot scrubbing station. We needed to ensure that our boots were clean to prevent the spread of phytothera [?] into this wilderness area.

The boot scrubbing station

Trevor scrubbing his boots

The first part of the walk was along a mix of ground level tracks and boardwalks and was generally reasonably flat. There were lots of plants in bloom. Some I had seen on Mt Wellington while others were new to me.

The party heading towards the first part of the climb
Once the climbing began we were able to see the lake and ranges. Unfortuantely much of the view was obscured by haze which did clear somewaht later in the day.

The upward track consisted of which were constructed using a variety materials. Part was board, some was rock while other bits had been constructed with a board frontboard and stone filling.

Some of the track was rough hewn boardwalk held together with wire
The track took us over a number of ridges and through the odd saddle or two.

Taking a break

At 11:40 it was decided that time was running out for the whole group to make it to the High Camp Hut. The turnaround time was set at 12:20 and the group broke into a lead group heading for the hut, five of us with Monica as our guide, and the rest in the care of Marie and Lisa.

The Hut group came across a number of hikers on their way down. They confirmed that we were only a short time from the hut and we pressed on reaching it at around 12:25. We had already agreed that we would cut the time allocated for lunch so that we did not delay our return to the bus unneccesarily. The first sight of the green toilet was welcome and we picked out the roof of the hut some 40m or so further on. The track between the toilet and the hut was very rough and not something you would want to negotiate in the dark.

The very welcome "little room"
High Camp Hut
Lunching at the hut
View to Mt eliza from the hut
View across the ranges from the hut
The hut was surrounded by heavy foliage which provided limited views across the Lake Pedder and the various ranges. Still, there were lots of opportunities to view both on the way back.

After a quick lunch break we headed down.

In some places the going down seemed more difficult than the going up. Certainly, great care was needed to ensure that we didn't slip. The stepdowns were sometimes quite large, too, making the return trip challenging. We stopped for a break about halfway down and my legs and knees were grateful for the rest.

Admiring the view on the way down ... a taking a breather
Christmas Bells ... a rare find
Back at the carpark we found the rest of the party sitting beside a rock pool, many with their feet in the water.

Cooling off. Note: The water has a brown tinge due to high levels of tannin
A cold drink refreshed us as it had been quite hot out on the trail.

Back on the bus we headed off to see the Gordon Dam.
Looking down on to part of Lake Pedder

We walked down the many steps to reach the dam wall and walked across it.

The Gordon Dam wall

Unfortuantely, when you go down you have to come back up. The climb up the steps was tough after the hike.

Looking down on to the trickle which is the Gordon River below the dam wall

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