Mt Murchison

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Mt Murchison

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 12:13 am

In 2010 my wife and I visited Tasmania and took a photo of this amazing looking mountain and its reflection in a lake. I later discovered was Mount Murchison. When considering what to do on our latest trip "sthughes" and "tigercat" on Bushwalk Australia suggested climbing it. Tigercat said "Mt Murchison is one of the best day walks in the state" (tigercat, circa 2013).

Preparation - I only purchased one of the two Tas maps
The day we arrived in Devonport on the ferry I purchased the 1:25 000 map of the Mount Murchison area (Selina 3836) from Services Tasmania.

As such, I thought we were prepared (at least as far as maps go). But if the map was a book it may be worth a mint because as I discovered later it was a first edition (Edition 1 from 1986); and only after we attempted the walk I discovered that the peak of Mount Murchison is on the adjoining map (Tullah 3837).

We planned to tackle Murchison during a window while we were staying at Waratah for a few days.

I did not want to do the walk alone so I convinced my wife to attempt it with me. We knew this was going to be a big climb. In the words of tastrekker on Bushwalk Australia: "Finally, as climbs go, it is fairly relentless. The altitude gain is nearly 700 metres over only 2.5km of horizontal distance. That's a fair slog." (tastrekker circa 2007).

Finding the track
11 February 2014: the forecast was fine and 22. We woke early. But due to accommodation issues and roadworks we were delayed by a couple of hours.The track was easy to find. A large brown sign situated high on western side of the road marked the commencement of the track. The sign was roughly 10 km south of Tullah on Anthony Road (B28). Our old map said the road was "under construction". Although old news I can report that the road has been constructed. If the road was constructed where our old map said it would be, according to my relatively poor map reading skills I think the track commences at about 570 metres.That is just a guess.

Heading up
From the start the track was steep and headed in a north west direction. For an hour or more we walked through shaded thick forest; the track covered with tree roots.

The forest then turned to scrub which was a bit more exposed before opening out into some views across to distant mountains. The track also passes around a large boulder which could provide a bit of shelter if it became windy or wet.

Underfoot the track became rockier and views started to emerge of the lower lake to the left.

At about the 2 and half hour mark and after further climbing up the steep rocky track to about 1000 metres my wife reached her limit and stopped. It was a good effort to reach that point. There were great views looking back along the track and towards the road either side of the spur near where we had commenced as well as views down to one of the lakes within the crater of the mountain and also to the distant mountains to the west and north.

Leaving my wife (temporarily)
With my wife's blessing I continued on with summit fever. From that point it was necessary to follow the small piles of rocks every 20 meters or so to stay on course. The track headed around the western side of the mountain and it became even steeper in parts. At one point it seemed that less than a metre to the right there was a very steep high cliff which overlooked another small lake.

The last ascent and summit
Soon after negotiating that scary point, and with the trig point of the summit in sight, I walked up a large wide, steep and exposed jagged piece of rock. After walking at least 25 metres along it I realised that there was a significant drop at the end of the ledge. I retreated and found that it was necessary to descend for a short distance before walking to the left of the ledge to make the final walk to the summit. Given my wife was waiting for me, I walked quickly and did not spend too long on the top, but the views were amazing.

From the 1278 metre peak there were views to the distance in all directions as well as views of shaded lake in the crater of the mountain and the jagged peaks of the mountain and the lakes and dams to the north.

There were no clouds to impede views of the mountains to the north and west in the Cradle Lake St Clair National Park.

Heading down and back
I made the descent with much thanks to those who had marked the track with small piles of rocks and rejoined my wife (who I had left for just over an hour) and we continued back the way we came. By that time the sun was well and truly out and we enjoyed returning to the shade in the forest for the final leg back to the car where we arrived exhausted and relieved that we had survived.

We met no one on the track and according to the log book we were the only ones to climb it that day. It took us just over 5 hours. It was a perfect day and the climb was a good challenge for us both. In the end the map of the whole area was not necessary on this occasion as the track was fairly easy to follow. But I would not like to tackle the mountain in bad weather.

We drove back to Waratah satisfied bushwalkers and took one last photo of the mountain from across Lake Rosebery. Thank you "sthughes", "tigercat" and "stepbystep" for recommending the walk.

I will post a few of the photos. The first is the one I took in 2010 which together with the comments from sthughes and tigercat inspired us to return.
Last edited by beardless on Sat 15 Mar, 2014 11:24 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 12:30 am

2010 - Mount Murchison reflections in Lake Roseberry
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 12:58 am

Mount Murchison Track - Start
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 12:59 am

Mount Murchison - heading up through forest
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 12:59 am

Mount Murchison Track - first views
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 1:01 am

Mount Murchison track - views of the lower lake in the crater
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 1:02 am

Mount Murchison track - looking back at 1000ish metres
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Mount Murchison - look backing at 940ish metres.jpg
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 1:03 am

Mount Murchison Track 1000ish metres
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 1:05 am

Mount Murchison track - towards the summit
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 1:05 am

Mount Murchison - the final ascent and the false ledge on the right
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 1:06 am

Mount Murchison - views into the crater from the summit
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 1:07 am

Mount Murchison - looking east from the summit towards cradle
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Mount Murchison - looking north from the Summit.jpg
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 1:08 am

Mount Murchison - rugged views from the summit
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 1:09 am

on the way down Mt Murchison
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 1:10 am

the end.
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 1:11 am

Mount Murchison looking across Lake Roseberry on the way home
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby tibboh » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 7:10 am

Nice one. There's no better feeling than achieving your goal.......I don't think summit fever has a cure. If there is one I don't want it :D
"I'd rather be up a mountain"
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby GPSGuided » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 7:29 am

Lovely!
Just move it!
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Re: Mount Murchison summit walk

Postby tigercat » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 8:14 am

Lovely photos and story, thanks.
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Re: Mt Murchison

Postby beardless » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 11:48 am

Thanks tigercat. After reviewing previous posts I realised you were one of the members who recommended the walk and I have edited the report accordingly.
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Re: Mt Murchison

Postby tigercat » Sat 15 Mar, 2014 3:35 pm

beardless wrote:Thanks tigercat. After reviewing previous posts I realised you were one of the members who recommended the walk and I have edited the report accordingly.


Glad you enjoyed the walk.
Cheers tc
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Re: Mt Murchison

Postby naturelover » Mon 17 Mar, 2014 8:54 am

I enjoyed the report too, and couldn't help smiling when I read about you (temporarily) leaving your wife. Apart from the double entendre, I also smiled as it seemed that you may have "deposited" her exactly where I "parked" my husband on my own last ascent, when it was too icy for him to make the ascent. Perhaps the spot should be labelled "spouse parking point". If it is the spot, they can see you on the summit and vice versa, punctuating the wait for them. My husband found that he was perfectly satisfied with climbing that far, and enjoyed the view while I did my thing on a white Murchison.
It sure looks as if you had great weather for the trip ! Enjoy the rest of your stay in our beautiful island. If you'd like to see wintry pictures of M, you can check out my report on natureloverswalks.blogspot.com
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Re: Mt Murchison

Postby beardless » Tue 18 Mar, 2014 6:54 pm

Wow. Murchison on ice I would not have attempted. Pictures on your blog look stunning though. Our day was all blue skies. My wife was content with the views at the of the ridge before the track really heads around the mountain. It was a solid 30 minutes to the summit from there. So I think your husband made it further and higher.
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Re: Mt Murchison

Postby naturelover » Tue 18 Mar, 2014 9:44 pm

Maybe he did, but on that mountain, the good views begin nice and early so that people who can't get to the top still gain a wonderful sense of the drama and beauty of the area, and that rainforest at the start is a real treat, as you discovered for yourselves. That said, it is also a great summit, with excellent rewards for those who happen to be able to go the whole distance, as you did. Your blue skies gave you a grand vista. The first time we climbed it, we got to see maybe 10 metres at most, so I was keen to go again and see what the view was actually like.
Happy climbing and travelling.
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Re: Mt Murchison

Postby Hallu » Tue 18 Mar, 2014 11:03 pm

I did it in the wet and although it wasn't that hard physically, it was hard mentally. The ascent was littered with small waterfalls and streams I had to cross, it was all fogged in and visibility was poor. The worst part was probably going back in the forested section, as it was mud and wet roots which I kept sliding on. I thank all those colored ribbons on the bushes, as it was easy to get lost once you get past the lake.
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Re: Mt Murchison

Postby north-north-west » Wed 19 Mar, 2014 8:17 am

Murchison with blue skies - something I've only ever seen in other peoples' photos, although I've been up the mountain four times and up/down the road at least a dozen.
One of these days . . .
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Re: Mt Murchison

Postby iandsmith » Wed 08 Feb, 2017 8:35 am

Thanks for sharing, just the information I was looking for which is why this site can be invaluable.
I'm going to have a crack at it from Wynyard, where I'm house sitting, in March if anyone is interested in joining me.
Cheers, Ian
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Re: Mt Murchison

Postby beardless » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 8:06 am

It is a great day walk. Just reread my notes above and my first reference in the quote below to western side should probably be roughly the eastern side from memory. Hope you get a good day for it.

beardless wrote:
... I continued on with summit fever. From that point it was necessary to follow the small piles of rocks every 20 meters or so to stay on course. The track headed around the western side of the mountain and it became even steeper in parts. At one point it seemed that less than a metre to the right there was a very steep high cliff which overlooked another small lake.

The last ascent and summit
Soon after negotiating that scary point, and with the trig point of the summit in sight, I walked up a large wide, steep and exposed jagged piece of rock. After walking at least 25 metres along it I realised that there was a significant drop at the end of the ledge. I retreated and found that it was necessary to descend for a short distance before walking to the left of the ledge to make the final walk to the summit. ...

.
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Re: Mt Murchison

Postby eggs » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 9:34 am

Definitely the eastern side ...:)
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Re: Mt Murchison

Postby iandsmith » Wed 15 Mar, 2017 12:50 pm

I think I read some of this before I went up yesterday. Thanks for sharing.
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