One of my favourite walks is a traverse of the Western Arthur Range in South West Tasmania. I first visited this range as part of a long walk back in 1975, and it is one place that I have been regularly returning to over the years. This summer I was fortunate in being able to visit the range again as part of an 11 day bush walk.
I had intended to walk solo to allow me to concentrate on photography. Early on (on the bus to Scotts Peak Dam) I met a party from UNSW Outdoor Club and I ended up walking with them for a fair bit of the trip. This party – Luke, Lucy, Laura and Sam, were friendly and good company. We also spent a fair few nights camping with a Sydney Bushwalking Club party of Melinda, Ian and John.
The weather we experienced was mixed. Typical perhaps for early summer. For the first part of the trip a series of fronts were coming over – and this meant rain, wind and some snow. Between the fronts were very short periods of slightly improved weather.
The best way to deal with bad weather in the mountains of Tasmania is to sit it out if you have the time, the food and a good weatherproof tent. It also helps to have a book, radio or iPod or friends to play cards with.
So the walk began with a wet afternoon’s walk to Junction creek. Rain overnight. Next morning – it was slightly better. You could at least see the range (or the foothills!). Then a half day up Moraine A to Lake Cygnus (in rain and then snow), then two days stormbound there. Then a wet half day for me to the ridge between Mt Orion and Mt Sirius while the other continued to Lake Oberon.
For me this was commanding place to be if the weather did improve and a good place for photography. Fortunately, the weather did improve, but it took another half day to do so – and then only slowly. But it allowed me to capture my best photographs of the trip. Nice moody shots of mist in the mountains and nice atmospheric conditions inkling a fog bow and a very vivid Brocken spectre.
Our patience was rewarded by two splendid days weather and scenery wise as we did the more challenging part of the walk – the traverse to High Moor and then on to Haven Lake.
Then at Haven Lake another front or two passed over. More rain and mist. So we sat out another day. The afternoon fined up a bit and it looked like it would be fine weather for our walk out.
Up early for a nice sunrise from the ridge above Haven Lake and then back down to the camp to pack up and head off for Mt Scorpio and Morraine K.
Despite recent rain, the Arthur Plains were quite dry. Perhaps the bogs have dried out after a bushfire in 2007 burnt out shading vegetation. Our camp that night was at Two Mile Creek.
This was followed by an easy last day back to Scotts Peak dam. One final night was spent at Huon Camp before our bus picked us up the next day.
More photos on my main website here.