Monday 6 March: Mt Field West – L/R. A classic Mt Field National Park Tasmania walk.
Distance: 19.0km | Climb: 850m | Time: 8 hrs 15mins, including breaks | Grading: L/R; H(12)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slideshow.
Waypoint and Track Files
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Walking at 7am, skirting a calm but moody Lake Dobson. Up the Urquhart Track and road through the ski tows that I did yesterday. By the time we reached the Lake Seal lookout, the sky had cleared into a beautiful sunny day. That’s except for the cloud down over Lake Seal. We hoofed it along the stretch of boardwalk that stretched west to above the Rodway tow. At the junction where the Tarn Shelf Track left to the north, we caught a glimpse of the shelf and tarns. We would go that way tomorrow.
In fact we were hoofing it so quickly that we missed the track climbing to the top of the tow, so we took the corner a little wide and got some boulder hopping practice which came in handy later in the day. However, we soon regained the track (as the photo shows) and enjoyed a staggeringly clear view down to Mt Bridges, Lake Seal and Platypus Tarn. A flower or two about.
The traverse of the Rodway Range was only 2.2km, but it took us 1hr 15mins. It began gently enough, but we were soon in boulder fields that required care. Still huge views NE down to Tarn Shelf. There were views to the SW too – a zoom to (I’m fairly sure) Federation Peak and the flanks of Florentine Peak. And back to Tarn Shelf. The route was marked with a variety of track markers on poles, cairns and red paint daubs. I’d been warned by Hobart Walking Club contacts that navigation of the route could be problematic in poor conditions, so I waypointed 35 or so of them just in case the weather turned on us.
We reached the junction of the Mt Field West and K Col Tracks at 9.45am. The sign posts no doubt have weathered a blizzard or two. From here, open and easier going down and up to the Peterson Memorial Hut. After a peek inside, morning tea on the fine grass.
Leaving the hut, there were fine views down Bunyip Creek, with Naturalist Peak on one side and The Watcher on the other. At each view we thought it couldn’t get any better. But Clemes Tarn was superb.
From here, the track climbed the ridge towards Naturalist Peak. Some cloud blew across and caused a little “surely we won’t miss the views from the top”. It came and went for a while as we walked on. A climb up the flank of Naturalist Peak, then the track levelled as it cut through mosses.
Mt Field West drops away 800m to the west and provides staggering views! We were spell bound. Do have a look at the video clips, better than any words. We relaxed down out of the breeze, trusting the blocks of rock would not give way whilst we had lunch. The top of the cairn was tapped, just to ensure I received 4 Able points. Vertical drops to the west. We spent 30 minutes on top.
At last we had to leave, heading back towards Naturalist Peak. Quite surreal as I walked along chatting to my dear wife on the phone. Big views far off and close by. The track wound down towards Clemes Tarn with views to Florentine Peak.
A short break at the Peterson Memorial Hut. Then it was up through the boulders and across the Rodway Range. Didn’t seem quite as bad as going in. Soon we were dropping to the Rodway Tow and on the way back down to Lake Dobson and the car, arriving at 3.15pm.
A great trip on a beaut day. Magnificent scenery.
3 walkers – Eric G, Max S (leader), me.
Lake Dobson Circuit
Not being one for sitting around, I decided I’d do the Lake Dobson Circuit I was distracted from yesterday. So after winding down from the day’s major trip, I let Fagus Hut at 3.50pm and wandered up the road to the lake.
I walked around the southern side of the lake and, where the Urquhart Track headed up, a sign announced the lake loop. The green environment of the lake side was a calm contract to the open heights of the day. I was soon walking through the Pandani Grove. These plants are the tallest heath in the world. And prickly. I soon came to Eagle Tarn. Had a look at another hut. The eastern return was not terribly exciting as it followed a vehicle track.
3.1km in 50mins.