[SUBW-A] Trip Report - Arthur Range Walk - South West Tasmania - Jan 2006

David Noble dnoble at ozemail.com.au
Sun Feb 5 18:03:22 EST 2006

Trip Report - Arthur Range Walk - South West Tasmania - Jan 2006

Party - James Bevan, Dave Noble, Sarah Truscott (for most of the  
Western Arthurs) + we also met up with Dylan Sutton (ex SUBW, now  
living in Hobart) his wife Katrina and their friend Andrew (they set  
out one day before us - but we met up with them for a fair section of  
the Western Arthurs)

Photos are online.

James has some at


I have some at


and Sarah has some online at


(although you may need a login for the flickr site)

Day 1 (Sunday 15 Jan)

Sarah drove me and James out to Scotts Peak dam and we set off down  
the boggy Port Davey track to Junction Creek with big packs. At the  
creek for lunch, we then set off for Moraine A. At the base we had a  
refreshing drink of water and set off up the steep, wicked climb. 90  
minutes later we were on top. As the weather was very settled we  
decided to camp on the ridgetop - so we set up tents and set off down  
into a nearby valley to get some water.

After an excellent diner cooked by Sarah (who soon realised that the  
best way to reduce her packweight was for her to provide the first  
dinner) we then headed up to the nearby summit of Mt Hesperus for  
sunset. And a wicked sunset it was!

Day 2

A fine day - so I set off for Mt Hesperus again for dawn pictures -  
but James and Sarah decided to sleep in. Back down for breakfast -  
and then we set off for Lake Cygnus where we met up with Dylan,  
Katrina and Andrew. We then walked to Mt Hayes, made a side trip up  
to its summit and continued on to Square Lake - where we all had a  
swim (and yes James - it is possible to swim without shoes). With bad  
weather forecast for the next day we decided we should camp at Lake  
Oberon, so we made a quick side trip to Mt Sirius and admired  
stunning views - that Sarah described as "wicked".

Day 3

We woke up to light rain and cool breezy conditions. We decided to  
stay put. So did Dylan's party. The only party that had gone on was a  
commercial party - 2 guides and 2 clients. None of the guides had  
been on the traverse before.

We spent an enjoyable and restful day wandering around the lake  
taking photos, looking at the interesting wild flowers and (Sarah)  
making sketches.

Day 4

A fine day. We set off for High Moor via the Pegasus and Mt  
Capricorn. Lots more wicked views! The route through this section is  
poised above some huge abysses with many cirque lakes far below. At  
one stage, descending off Mt Capricorn, you need to scramble down  
"incredibly steep but fern covered slopes". A great day of  
bushwalking - best enjoyed in fine weather.

Day 5

Another fine day - from High Moor, we traversed the Beggary* Bumps,  
then the Little Beggaries and Mt Taurus to arrive at Haven Lake for  
lunch. Then it was off to Mt Scorpio and then to Lake Vesta (where we  
met up with the commercial party), then to Promontory Lake - where we  
set up camp at the western end in a wicked spot.

Day 6

We woke up to an early morning thunderstorm. Rain belted down for a  
few hours and then it fined up around mid morning. Sarah had planned  
to head back via Moraine K - so James and myself fare-welled her. We  
set off in the other direction for the Phoenix and West Portal. On  
the way over Centaurus Ridge we noticed the lightning had started a  
small bushfire on Mt Castor on the Spero Range a short way to the  
south. It looked a very small fire. We walked down the Crags of  
Andromeda to Lucifer Ridge and followed the ridge down to Pass Creek  
where we camped for the night. That completed the traverse of the  
Western Arthurs.

Day 7

In fine weather, we climbed Luckmans Lead up onto the Eastern  
Arthurs, and then headed for the campsite at Goon Moor for lunch. In  
the hot weather the March flies had become a nuisance and the tent  
platforms soon became killing fields. After lunch we continued on to  
Hanging Lake. On the way we noticed that the bushfire had got a bit  
larger and also seemed much closer and also seemed to be now burning  
our way.....

After a hot day and a big climb we were both too tired when we  
arrived at Hanging Lake to climb Federation Peak - so instead put up  
the tent and had a swim in the lake.

After dinner I wandered out on to the top of Thwaites Plateau to see  
how the bushfire was going. All I could see was the Old River Valley  
now full of smoke. I became more concerned when I heard on the radio  
that the forecast for the next day was 39° in Hobart.

Day 8

We awoke rather alarmed to see a lot of smoke about - in fact most of  
the nearby valleys were full of bushfire smoke. So rather than climb  
Federation Peak we thought it more prudent to get back off the range  
as fast as possible. We were packed and away well before 7 am and  
quickly walked back down to Pass Creek for lunch. It was very hot and  
windy day and we sat in the shade at Pass Creek for 4 hours until it  
cooled down slightly. When we left  the trees and returned to the  
button grass we noticed an enormous plume of smoke coming from behind  
the Eastern Arthurs. Scary! (or as Sarah would say "wicked")

We had not seen any other walkers in the range.

We continued on to Craycroft Crossing where we camped.

Day 9

We walked back to Junction Creek via the Arthur Plains and then back  
to Huon Camp at Scotts Peak dam where we camped.

Day 10

We waited around till mid-day and caught the bus back to Hobart.

Well - we didn't climb Federation Peak - but it was still a great  
trip and James and myself  did traverse both the Western and Eastern  
Arthurs in good weather. And - for Sarah - it was her first trip to  
the South West.

David Noble
dnoble at ozemail.com.au


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