Overland Track April 2015

Trip reports, stories, track notes. Multiple/large photos are OK in this forum.
Forum rules
Posting large/multiple images in this forum is OK. Please start topic titles with the name of the location or track.

For topics focussed on photos rather than the trip, please consider posting in the 'Gallery' forum instead.

This forum is for posting information about trips you have done, not for requesting information about a track or area.

Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 12:03 pm

I walked the OLT over the last week so Ill put my trip report in here as I work through the photos, but to get it started Ill just give a quick run down on how it went and what Id change on my next trip!

I left on Sunday in perfect weather conditions. Climbed Cradle (to what I thought was the summit but as it turned out it wasn't..more on that in the report) and spent a very cold night at Waterfall Valley. Ranger said it was minus 3 in the hut, so who knows what it was in the tent. It was a fairly savage frost that night.

Monday was also perfect conditions. I regretted not going up Barn Bluff but I made my way to Windermere.

Tuesday was overcast but dry and I had an uneventful walk to New Pelion Hut where I decided to give hut sleeping one more crack and soon realised why I decided in the past to never use huts!

Wednesday was threatening rain but once again I escaped it during the walk to spend a wet night in the tent at Kia ora. Disappointed not to be able to climb a mountain on this day but the weather up at Pelion Gap was really closed in.

Thursday was waterfall day and once again the weather was nice. I arrived at the enormous Bert Nichols hut and spent another nice night in the tent, although a possum wanted to spend the night with me too.

Friday was again sunny and the plan was to walk to Echo Point and spend the night there. I arrived at Echo Point at around 2:30 and decided to phone my wife and get her to pick me up that afternoon so I continued to walk out to Cynthia Bay, arriving just before dark after a long 26 ish klm day.

The whole experience was fantastic. Very few negatives if any. The walk is easy to do (if compared to some of the other walks I have done around Tassie) and the scenery and environment you are walking in is outstanding. It may be the weather that helped my fantastic experience but Id do it again in a heart beat. I walked nearly 90 klm's over the 6 days.

A few minor things Id change in regards to gear and food.

I was well and truly over back country meals by the time day 6 came. I will change that on my next long walk.
I loved my afternoon coffee and chocolate time.
I took some fresh salad and relish to make mountain bread wraps and they lasted well and was a very refreshing lunch for the first 5 days.

I wouldn't change anything with my clothing, it is all tried and proven for me and worked well. My OR Wind Jacket is a great item for those really cold winds in exposed areas.
I would have maybe taken a third pair of socks, it is not nice putting wet boots and socks on in the morning.
I didn't need to use the extra thermals and only once did I put my full set of clean dry clothes on (when I was in the New Pelion Hut with all the tourists) but had the weather been nasty I may have needed them so don't regret carrying them.

As for my gear, once again it is all tried and proven for me but I am going to make a couple of changes.
My Thermarest Prolite mat hasn't got a high enough R rating and I am going to buy one of those new mats that give me more thickness. My mat is just too thin.
I use a pillow 'system' but its not enough! I am also going to research and buy a decent pillow. So my only complaint is my lack of comfort over consecutive days. My sleep was sporadic every night, even though I eventually got enough, I was finding that I needed to allow myself at least 10 hours to get a good 6-8 hours sleep.

This trip reconfirmed my thoughts on sleeping in or spending time in huts, I didn't like it! Of course the weather helped me use my tent. But I loved being able to unzip my tent and make a coffee in the mornings while still snugged up under my quilt.
I also liked being able to wee in my wee bottle and not have to get up during the night! A little too much info I know but just putting it out there :lol:

So as I get these photos sorted Ill start a proper day to day trip report with a more detailed account of my experience.

But to start it off, here is the happy starting pic....

IMG_2149.jpg


And here is the final day at about klm 24 for the day!! I lost over 6 kilo's....but I do carry a little extra chubbiness so its easy for me to loose a bit :lol:

IMG_2773.jpg
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby simonm » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 1:11 pm

Nice one Dan. That's a big last day.

You did better me than me, I only lasted one night in the huts.
User avatar
simonm
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1399
Joined: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 4:40 pm
Location: Deloraine
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Tier Gear Tasmania, Evernew
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 1:16 pm

simonm wrote:Nice one Dan. That's a big last day.

You did better me than me, I only lasted one night in the huts.


Me too! One night in new pelion was it for me :D
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby simonm » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 1:27 pm

DanShell wrote:
simonm wrote:Nice one Dan. That's a big last day.

You did better me than me, I only lasted one night in the huts.


Me too! One night in new pelion was it for me :D


Ha ha, ok I misread what you wrote.

How did you go walking by yourself? Happy to be solitary or did you walk with others? I certainly met some nice people on the track when I did it, always good for a laugh.
User avatar
simonm
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1399
Joined: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 4:40 pm
Location: Deloraine
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Tier Gear Tasmania, Evernew
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 1:46 pm

simonm wrote:Ha ha, ok I misread what you wrote.

How did you go walking by yourself? Happy to be solitary or did you walk with others? I certainly met some nice people on the track when I did it, always good for a laugh.


I never really walked with others, although a few times I was with them for a few minutes or so but I prefer to leave people to enjoy the walk with whom they brought along. It was for the most part several families that went from start to finish with me.
There were a lot of people who skipped huts!
I liked walking alone although towards the end I was wishing I had my wife or someone to share the experience. So next time Ill do that.
Everyone I met on the track were very decent people and happy to have a quick chat. The families and a couple of other couples that did the track in the same manner as me (although the families didn't walk out, they used the ferry) were great people.


Just to put some of my observations in regards to clothing and gear used into perspective, here is a list of my gear etc

http://lighterpack.com/r/xvouv
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 3:14 pm

Just before I start with the trip report its important to note and will be quite obvious that I have no idea about photography or composition of shots etc so I simply took an iPhone for all my photos and just did the best I could, our SLR would have been wasted on me.
This report will only contain a few pics to enhance the report. I am also working on a youtube video for each day but that will take a while to put together and will be slow and boring like my other youtube videos of my walks :lol:
I also apologise for my grammar and any spelling mistakes, I am a simple man :oops:

DAY 1 Ronny Creek (well home actually!) to Waterfall Valley Hut

My day started early. I didn't sleep very well the night before partly due to excitement and secondly because I work permanent nights so forcing sleep at an unusual hour doesn't work for me. But I saved the 7 day weather forecast onto my phone, had my usual morning ritual and set off to drive up to Cradle visitor centre.
Image

Image

Once at the visitor centre it was a very easy process to get my pass and we drove down to Ronny Creek
Image

I said my good byes to my wife, signed the book and away I went full of anticipation, loaded with the heaviest weight I have ever carried.
Image

There is no need for me to tell you how perfect the weather was, this photo says it all.
Image

I started making my way up towards Crater Lake taking way too many photos of anything that took an interest!
Image

Image

Once at Crater Lake the Fagus was starting to appear.
Image

Image

Image

Image

I have a base weight of around 11kgs give or take a few extra electrical devices I took on this trip but add food, water and around 3kgs of alcohol and I was up around 19kgs :shock: So it was about now that I had to climb up to Marions that I was wondering if I really needed all those luxuries.
As it turned out it was brief and laughable how easy it was compared to some other ascents I have had to endure to get up to the plateau in other areas.
Image

Image

Image

Image

But once up on the plateau it was an easy if not very fresh walk to Kitchen Hut and the start of the Cradle Mountain summit.
Image

There were day trippers and tourists everywhere. I had my fresh salad and chicken roll at Kitchen Hut and decided to summit Cradle, being such a perfect day it was an opportunity not to be missed.
Image

Image

Image

I got to what I thought must have been the summit. The tourists were high fiving each other and there were people there everywhere.
Image

Image

Image

Image

I decided to walk over to the other side where it flattened out a bit and see if I could look around some more away from the crowds. There was no real easy looking way to continue on, or nothing that appealed at the time considering I had to still walk down to Waterfall Valley so I went back down (the wrong way, as it turned out I walked down the most direct route!) and kept on my way towards Waterfall Valley.

Barn Bluff, the Fagus around Cradle and the surrounding Valley make an awesome site.
Image

Image

Image

It was time to top up my water bottle as I felt I was far enough away from the day trippers and a nice fast flowing stream appealed.
Image

The walk down to Waterfall Valley is really nice. It passes the turn off that goes down towards Lake Rodway, so once I was at that point I was starting to head into unknown territory.
Image

Image

Image

It was now mid afternoon and I arrived at Waterfall Valley Hut about the same time as quite a few other people. People that I would see for the rest of the trip.
Image

Image

After taking some photos of the area I pitched my tent down at the camping area near the old hut.
Image

Cant complain about the back drop ;)
Image

I took some pics inside the new hut and cooked myself some horrible food before the crowded hut atmosphere became too much for me.
Image

Image

Image

I went back to my tent to read my book for a while and fell a sleep very early as I was extremely sleep deprived from the night before. It was to be a freezing night.

End of day 1.
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby walkabout » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 3:32 pm

Thought about you during the week, Dan. Glad you had a good trip. For a phone, some of those photos are lovely....keep it coming....
walkabout
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed 27 Nov, 2013 9:32 am
Location: NW Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Female

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby north-north-west » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 4:13 pm

I was well and truly over back country meals by the time day 6 came. I will change that on my next long walk.

Try Strive. Larger serves, far better value, plus they're a Tasmanian company.

ps: Cradle Summit is obvious. There's this *&%$#! great big bronze thing on a plinth. Another fun alternative descent route is an almost straight line towards the summit of Benson. Good fun, although it's easier going up (these things always are).
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
User avatar
north-north-west
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 11553
Joined: Thu 14 May, 2009 7:36 pm
Location: The Asylum
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Social Misfits Anonymous
Region: Tasmania

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 4:23 pm

walkabout wrote:Thought about you during the week, Dan. Glad you had a good trip. For a phone, some of those photos are lovely....keep it coming....


Thanks, the iPhone does take some good photos especially with a great subject.


DAY 2 Waterfall Valley Hut to Lake Windermere Hut

I forgot to mention that I checked the notes in regards to the Cradle Summit and as it turned out I wasn't at the summit after all! There is a round plaque thing up there and I didn't see that so I need to go back up to actually summit it. Grrr

Anyway, I slept fairly bad as it was freezing. Ive always doubted my Enlightened Equipment 20f quilts rating and now I am almost certain they rate their quilts in a glass house. I had to sleep in my down jacket as well as my thermals and fleece top just to keep some sort of warmth in my body.
My mats rating isn't up to the task either. The ranger said the hut was minus 3 so it was at least down that far out on the wet ground.

Image

Image

Image

The sun took a while to reach my tent. I was then game enough to make my morning coffee and have a reasonably tasting breakfast.
Image

Image

As mentioned previously a wee bottle comes in real handy in these conditions! Sorry Ladies, but there are some advantages of being a bloke :lol: :lol:

Once again I was blessed by the weather gods and eventually packed up and started making my way towards Windermere Hut.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

It was such a lovely day I was torn between summiting Barn Bluff and questioning my fitness and ability to even walk the OLT without destroying myself. I chose not to Summit Barn Bluff as I had bigger fish to fry later in the trip but I would regret that decision as you will see later in the week.

I got to the Lake Wills junction to find some poor soul had her pack opened by the Currawongs! (why are they called Currawongs? Art they Crows?)
I wasn't comfortable messing with her gear so I had lunch and waited for them to get back, but while I waited a family arrived and we decided it was ok to repack their gear.

I walked down to Lake Wills and gave the Ladies the bad news. As it turned out they were two Taiwanese ladies who had the gentlest nature you could ever imagine. They did the whole trip the same way as me and I would get to chat to them quite regularly, as best as I could given the heavy Asian accents ;)

Image

So I grabbed some quick pics of Lake Wills and a nice looking tarn near it and got back to my pack as quick as I could, worried I may be the next victim.

Image

Image

EDIT: I took this pic because it looked like a big fire developing over near the Mersey Forest area?? Did anyone hear about this?
Image

I really enjoyed the whole next section that lead to Lake Windermere. All the lakes and tarns and mountains in the background was very scenic.
Image

Image

Image

Image

It wasn't long and I arrived at Lake Windermere. On a beautiful still afternoon.
Image

Image

Image

And of course soon after came the Hut.
Image

Image

I pitched my tent and thought I was clever by making the next days lunch, but the mountain bread went crisp in the time it took me to make them so I couldn't roll them up and put them in a zip lock bag so I had to eat them on the spot :lol:

Image

Image

I went back down to the lake to have a drink (of the whiskey kind) and watched the Ducks play around while chatting to some other walkers.
Image

I then went back to camp to find I had a new friend and made myself another horrible meal.
Image

Image

I sat and watched the sun go down before retiring to my tent to read my book and got a better nights sleep in a lot warmer conditions.

Image

End of Day 2.
Last edited by DanShell on Sat 18 Apr, 2015 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 4:39 pm

north-north-west wrote:
I was well and truly over back country meals by the time day 6 came. I will change that on my next long walk.

Try Strive. Larger serves, far better value, plus they're a Tasmanian company.

ps: Cradle Summit is obvious. There's this *&%$#! great big bronze thing on a plinth. Another fun alternative descent route is an almost straight line towards the summit of Benson. Good fun, although it's easier going up (these things always are).


I was going to grab some Strive meals but every time I went to order the ones I liked they were out of stock. Maybe next trip.

I didn't know about the bronze thing at the top of Cradle at the time! I must have been close to the summit.
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby simonm » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 4:56 pm

Awesome pics mate.

Yep I agree with the Strive advice, much better than Backcountry.

How did you go setting up the SS1 on the platforms?
User avatar
simonm
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1399
Joined: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 4:40 pm
Location: Deloraine
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Tier Gear Tasmania, Evernew
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby kitty » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 4:59 pm

Great report Dan... appreciate the details.
Waterfall Valley looked like a cold night, I wonder what the temperature got down to out on the grassy patch? 20F is -6C but sounds like you were quite a bit below your comfort level that night.
Coincidentally the picture I posted of the Currowong pack-attack (or maybe it was Crows/Ravens) in your other thread (General OLT Question) was of the packs of two Taiwanese girls also - maybe Currrowongs like Taiwanese food :)
kitty
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Thu 20 Mar, 2014 8:04 am
Region: Western Australia
Gender: Female

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 5:08 pm

Thanks Simon, No worries at all with the SS1 on the platforms. A lot of the time the nails etc were in perfect position and when they weren't I used my own hooks. I admit I would have been in trouble had I not taken the screw in hooks.

Thanks Kitty, I should mention your Aarn Pockets were awesome :D How ironic about the Taiwanese girls, although I admit it was plain old packet soup and coffee satchels that the crows mostly opened. They did try every packet they managed to pull out of their pack though. I wish I exchanged info with the girls, they were seriously the gentlest, happiest people I have ever met, the world needs more quality people like them. I sit here with a huge grin on my face thinking of them giggling at me complain about my 18 or so kilo pack weight when I was carrying whiskey and coke :lol: :lol:
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 6:06 pm

DAY 3 Lake Windermere Hut to New Pelion Hut

Today is supposed to be the 'big' day so I got my stuff together quite early in anticipation of a long day. And so did everyone else.

I slept a lot better again as it was quite a bit warmer again. When I say warm, I mean it was up around 5 or so degrees none of this minus temperatures! The overcast weather obviously helps with the warmer weather.

So off I go not knowing what is ahead into an overcast landscape.

Image

Image

Image

I won't try and name the peaks or valleys in all the pics because ill only get them wrong ;) But the day consisted of everything from open exposed plains to beautiful little pockets of light forest to very muddy and damp conditions to these amazing enchanted type forests. So Ill let the photos do most of the talking...a picture says a thousand words and all that.....

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I love these old moss covered markers for some reason
Image

Forth Valley Lookout
Image

I had phone reception for a fair amount of the day which was good to be able to touch base with home and make sure everyone was going ok. Telstra in case anyones interested.

Image

Image

Image

Way way down in the distance you can see a structure. I wasn't so sure at the time but I suspected it was the hut and as turned out it was, but took several hours to reach it.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

As you are seeing there is such a huge range of walking conditions. The track has everything from nice flat forest floor, to mud, to tree roots and rocks and of course plenty of board walk. I liked the balance, but I understand that in order to protect the environment Parks will have to keep putting the board walk in.

I stopped at the Forth River to have lunch. I have already mentioned how the fresh salad (well it was only red onion, carrots, snow peas, capsicum and relish or mayo) mixed with Salami and fake cheese was a winner.
Image

After lunch it was a bit of a rude climb up over a hill to get back down to the Hut.
Image

Image

Every time it was in an exposed area the wind was actually quite cold. I always combated this with my Outdoor Research wind jacket. It worked very well while walking.

I dropped my pack at the junction to the Old Pelion Hut and went and had a look at it.
Image

It sits under Mount Oakleigh and has a good view of the new hut across the plains.

I then walked around to the New Pelion Hut and what a large hut it is. So far we were really lucky with our group as we only had about 16 of us, as the other people had walked on the first night and skipped huts. The weather was looking really threatening so I was keen to have my own room in this big hut and give it a try.
Image

Our small group were all settled and really happy that we all had our own rooms. I went for a walk down to the Heli pad and took a few more pics of the hut.
Image

Image

As I was making or eating another horrible meal the crowds started rolling in! There was what seemed like a whole days worth of bookings who had skipped a hut and walked to here. I can't understand why you would only give yourself 4 days to do the whole track but apparently plenty do.
Needless to say all the rooms eventually filled up and I had the worst night sleep I could imagine. I had girls in my room which is not an issue but there was no burping or farting thats for sure and I had to do a wee during the night so as much as i tried I am sure I woke the whole hut as I went outside to wee. As did every one else that had to wee during the night and I can assure you not everyone is as considerate as I am when it comes to trying to be quiet.

It poured down all night and this was to be my one and only night I spent in a hut!

End of day 3.
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby GPSGuided » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 9:16 pm

Amazing report Dan! It's killing my Tapatalk app with all the wonderful photos. Keep them coming! :)

PS. You had a dedicated '*&^%$#! bottle'? What was the weight?
Just move it!
User avatar
GPSGuided
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 6814
Joined: Mon 13 May, 2013 2:37 pm
Location: Sydney
Region: New South Wales

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 9:32 pm

GPSGuided wrote:Amazing report Dan! It's killing my Tapatalk app with all the wonderful photos. Keep them coming! :)

PS. You had a dedicated '*&^%$#! bottle'? What was the weight?


Thanks and yes I did....doesn't every bloke? I'm not sure I weighed it but it's just an old Gatorade bottle with 'do not use' written on it! :lol: I'm sure it is gross to some people but not having to get up on a freezing night is a good thing. :P
I probably shouldn't have mentioned it, so I won't even get into how it can be used as a hot water bottle...........
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby hobbitle » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 9:48 pm

Man, if I could use a pee bottle, I would in a second. I've even considered getting those she-wee things and trying the bottle thing but I fear a messy accident...
Hands down worst thing about being female and camping when it's cold is nature calling!
Great report and really enjoying your photos. Sorry to hear you hated the Backcountry so much, Struve is good but I even don't mind the Backcountrys after a long days walk.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
hobbitle
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue 24 Feb, 2015 2:04 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Female

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby wildlight » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 10:02 pm

Dan, the pictures are fantastic, very real. Love the panoramas- and these were taken on a PHONE? Gosh. I use a $20 Telstra phone, wouldn't dare try a photo with it. You've got some great shots there, all throughout the trip, you've managed to capture so many sides of the forest and surrounds. Im guessing that you're still uploading and working on more content.

Just saw hobbitle's post re: Backcountry…

Backcountry "Scrambled Eggs" aren's too bad- same goes with their "Apricot Crumble". I can sorta cope with their "Mixed Vegetables", and the "Beef Mince" is a great boost for "2 minute noodles". Their meals are NOTHING like the "Alliance" meals from the 80s.
I agree hobbitle- Strive meals are great.

With heightened enthusiasm, I wait for the rest of your report and photos Dan. Thanks so much for going to the effort of sharing. You started with 19kg??? Ouch!

Cheers
WildLight
wildlight
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 214
Joined: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 2:03 pm

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby Lophophaps » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 10:04 pm

Nice words and pics. Huts are nice if the weather really drops out and to regroup, but not I'm not that keen on sleeping in them. If you get cold, shiver faster. I'd like an extra day or two to wait out bad weather to climb Cradle, Barn Bluff and Ossa, with a possible diversion to Pine Valley, The Acropolis and points west. Given the time, cost and effort to get there, an extra few kilograms of food is not an issue.
User avatar
Lophophaps
Auctorita modica
Auctorita modica
 
Posts: 2659
Joined: Wed 09 Nov, 2011 9:45 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sat 18 Apr, 2015 10:33 pm

Thanks for the kind words.

I shouldn't rubbish the backcountry meals too much, its not like I haven't eaten them prior to this trip, I have plenty of times. They are ok, some are better than others but after 6 days of having them exclusively for main meals they were wearing a bit thin.

Nah, no more photos or content tonight. Ill see how I go tomorrow night. I have no real method for choosing my pics, I guess I just grab the ones that seem to suit what I am trying to say. I have hundreds and no doubt the ones I haven't shown may well be the best but having no real idea as to whats good and whats not I wouldn't know!

I also just realised that my pics don't fit in the browser on the iPad, they are all cut off on one side. I think thats a forum design issue, it appears to have a set size for its main body on some devices.

Hobbitle, I have ridden motor bikes with female friends in the past that have proudly stood up to wee using one of those she wee things :lol: Yes spillage is an issue if your not careful and so is the size of the opening on the bottle...just not in my case......just saying :oops:
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby hobbitle » Sun 19 Apr, 2015 7:04 am

The Lamb and Mushroom Risotto by the Gourmet Outdoor Company (same as Backcountry but in a black packet with the diff name) is actually good enough that I'd eat it at home ;-)

Haha DS I'm actually inspired now to get one of those she wees! :-P

Looking forward to reading the rest. We are thinking of doing the OLT again in winter...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
hobbitle
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue 24 Feb, 2015 2:04 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Female

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sun 19 Apr, 2015 10:06 am

Day 4 New Pelion Hut to Kia Ora Hut

Worst nights sleep ever. First and last time Ill be sleeping in a hut unless a *&%$#! blizzard keeps me out of my tent.

I took my time this morning laying in bed listening to the epic activity in the hut. I made scrambled eggs and put some salmon in it for breakfast, it wasn't too bad.
Image

It poured down most of the night and this morning wasn't looking that great either. In a strange sort of way I was keen to do some bad weather walking but it didn't eventuate, I had my big Gortex jacket off within 10 minutes of walking!
I was last to leave the hut. I wiped down some benches that were left messy, took some video of the empty hut and left.
Someone stole the lid off my water bottle overnight (I left it on the bench with my food and cooking gear) so I now had to use one of my collapsible bladders for water.
Image

I was really hot for some reason walking today, it was quite muggy. So not long into the walk not only did I remove my jacket I also removed my thermals.

It was a pleasant walk, mostly through a very damp forest but very moody in the conditions.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The closer I got to Pelion Gap the more likely it was that I was not going to be able to climb up Mount Ossa or Pelion East. And when I arrived the weather confirmed it.
Image

Ossa that way.......
Image

Pelion East that way.....
Image

Theres some strange looking markers up here
Image

I wasn't far back down the gap when I thought perhaps the clouds may be clear enough to go back up to Pelion East but I decided not to bother.
Image

The walk to the Hut was easy albeit quite muddy in places
Image

Image

Quite a lot track work happening in this area and towards Ossa
Image

Image

I arrived at the small hut to a packed house
Image

Image

Image

I found myself a platform and set up my tent
Image

I made some lunch (salad, salami and fake cheese again yum) took quite a few pics and videos of the surrounding mountains and generally looked around the area
Image

Image

Image

Time passes quick enough so I organise tea which was actually quite nice and the rain decided to come down a little so I sat in vestibule and ate it
Image

Image

I spent quite a bit of time in my tent looking at my photos, watching all my go pro videos and reading my book. I also made a second tea!
Image

The rain continued through the night but I was warm and slept well. This was in my opinion the easiest day considering there were no summits to be had.

End of Day 4
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sun 19 Apr, 2015 11:36 am

Hi Ya Dan

I,m really enjoying your report and all the photos. It's putting me back out there! You certainly scored with all that blue sky at the start. I can understand your desire to have a bit of a snotty day as it just doesn't seem like a walk in Tassie without a bit of slop, but then again it's no fun knowing you are walking past epic scenery and you can't see bugger all. I've only done the OLT once and can't wait to do it again as I'm sure it will be a totally new experience the second time around.

Pleased to hear you had an enjoyable experience and thanks for putting up your trip report.

AL
"What went ye out into the wilderness to see?
A reed shaken in the wind"?
Mechanic-AL
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 252
Joined: Tue 24 Sep, 2013 7:38 pm
Region: Western Australia
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sun 19 Apr, 2015 11:42 am

Day 5 Kia Ora Hut to Bert Nichols Hut

I slept ok again. It rained overnight but as luck would have it the skye opened up in time for me to pack up and start walking! I did have to pack the tent up wet though which isn't an issue when you are setting it up again later. I think I was first to leave today.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I have to say this day was one of my favourites. I really like the enchanted forest type walking.
Image

Image

Image

Not far into the days walk and bang, you walk into a little oasis which is Ducane Hut. Paddy Hartnet certainly chose the best spot for it.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Then its more enchanted forest towards the water falls
Image

Image

Image

Image

I dropped my pack and went down to Dalton Falls
Image

Dont slip
Image

I can tell you there is some water that falls over this thing! It is amazing.
Image

I didn't go to Ferguson Falls as my notes suggested it was too dangerous and to be honest I wasn't keen on taking risks on my own so far from help

So I walked down to the junction of the next falls and had lunch...you guest it...the last of my salad ;)
Image

Again Hartnet falls are amazing. I went down to the bottom and had a very refreshing splash around. I want to come back as a Platypus and live here!
Image

I ran into the private hut people on the way out and had to have a giggle at the site that greeted me when i got back to the junction
Image

I then continued on up over Ducane Gap which was a bit more than I expected. One thing I did notice later that day was that I didn't see the turn offs to Ducane or Traveller Range??
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

It was this area that a feral cat scared the crap out of me! It was the largest cat I have ever seen and going by the way it took off I startled it as well.

An image of days gone by
Image

I was first to arrive at the hut..just. It didn't take long to fill up with people. I took some pics and found a nice location for my tent and proceeded to feed myself.
Image

Image

Image

Image

I had the batman wings tied up to dry the tent out
Image

The hut is massive and seems like its poorly designed. A lot of wasted space that could have been utilised better. Just my opinion of course.
I spent the rest of the daylight hours sitting watching the clouds roll over the Ducane Range.

End of Day 5
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sun 19 Apr, 2015 11:45 am

Mechanic-AL wrote:Hi Ya Dan

I,m really enjoying your report and all the photos. It's putting me back out there! You certainly scored with all that blue sky at the start. I can understand your desire to have a bit of a snotty day as it just doesn't seem like a walk in Tassie without a bit of slop, but then again it's no fun knowing you are walking past epic scenery and you can't see bugger all. I've only done the OLT once and can't wait to do it again as I'm sure it will be a totally new experience the second time around.

Pleased to hear you had an enjoyable experience and thanks for putting up your trip report.

AL



Thanks Al

Im looking forward to doing again myself :)

Ive got a few things to do in the big smoke so the rest of the report will be finished later tonight. I may have Day 1 youtube finished later tonight too :D
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby hobbitle » Sun 19 Apr, 2015 12:03 pm

The Bert Nichols hut is awful. Something that massive can only sleep 8 people, it's ridiculous. Its also so big and high-ceilinged that it is absolutely freezing. We were going to stay there but when we arrived at 3pm we disliked it so much we pushed on to Narcissus. I have no idea who was responsible for that design but they should be fired!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
hobbitle
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue 24 Feb, 2015 2:04 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Female

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby Lophophaps » Sun 19 Apr, 2015 3:01 pm

Dan, your excellent words and images continue. The turnoff to the Traveller Range is on the highest point, a small clearing which quickly becomes a track. Unless you know where to look it's a little hard to find.

hobbitle wrote:The Bert Nichols hut is awful. Something that massive can only sleep 8 people, it's ridiculous. Its also so big and high-ceilinged that it is absolutely freezing. We were going to stay there but when we arrived at 3pm we disliked it so much we pushed on to Narcissus. I have no idea who was responsible for that design but they should be fired!


My recollection is that Bert Nichols hut can sleep perhaps 30 people. I agree, horrible design. All the heat goes up, no airlock on the south common room door, too many steps, lower bunks on the floor. The hut should be across the slope on one level with decent airlocks, 2400 mm ceilings, and a walkway to the toilets that does not involve abseiling and free climbing. I heard a view that the common room level should be fired and a new one built on the upper level. The designers of the current horror should be compelled to spend a week there in winter.
User avatar
Lophophaps
Auctorita modica
Auctorita modica
 
Posts: 2659
Joined: Wed 09 Nov, 2011 9:45 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby hobbitle » Sun 19 Apr, 2015 3:08 pm

Actually I think it might be two rooms of 8... So 16... But you could easily get 30 in if you use floor space etc... Just so cold and unfriendly!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
hobbitle
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue 24 Feb, 2015 2:04 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Female

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby north-north-west » Sun 19 Apr, 2015 3:37 pm

Castle Crag (aka Falling Mountain, aka northern end of DuCane traverse) turnoff is not really marked, but easy to find. You just keep a look out towards that side of the track and when you're at the closest point to the clearer ground that is the pass, you get off the track. It's a scrub-bash, but not all that hard a one if you pick your route properly. There's a bit of a pad you can pick up on the other side but it does tend to come and go.

Most of these unofficial sidetrips are like that - easy enough if you know where they are. I never did find the proper descent from the Traveller, just scrub-bashed my way down, but it's not far and was surprisingly quick and easy.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
User avatar
north-north-west
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 11553
Joined: Thu 14 May, 2009 7:36 pm
Location: The Asylum
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Social Misfits Anonymous
Region: Tasmania

Re: Overland Track April 2015

Postby DanShell » Sun 19 Apr, 2015 5:42 pm

Thanks for the info everyone. I mentioned it to a ranger I was talking too and he said that they have been instructed to remove any cairns or markers that show tracks that parks don't maintain.

Bert Nichols Hut definitely sleeps 20+ people on platforms up in those dark and dingy rooms.

Day 6 Bert Nichols Hut to Echo Point Hut.....or make that home!

I didn't sleep very well as I had a possum who insisted he wanted to get into my cooking kit that was in my vestibule. I even opened it all up so it was obvious there was nothing edible in it and then he insisted on rattling my pot! Perhaps it just smelt like food.
I woke up to clearing skys and had a lengthy chat to the ranger about all sort of things. I didn't think he gets to talk to someone as 'local' as me on the track to often.

My plan for the day was to walk to Echo Point.

I wanted to get some clear pics of Ducane Range but it wasn't working for me so I left.
Image

Image

Again the walking is quite nice and easy.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

It wasn't long and I arrived at the suspension bridge which I knew from watching youtube videos that it represented being very close to the end for most people who almost walk the OLT ;)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Narcissus Hut smelt like fresh paint which I knew would be the case as I have seen some pics on their Facebook page about the work that has been done to it. They have also built quite a few more platforms.
Image

Image

Image

Ranger quarters I think
Image

Image

I didn't hang around for long as the place was crowded with people who appeared like they had walked the globe and were ready to catch the ferry to finish the 'track'
Image

Image

For some reason I had this perception that the track back to Echo Point was really flat and very easy walking. It wasn't what Id call hard walking by any means but it certainly wasn't flat. It was well rooted and constantly up and down the whole way. Well except for some early board walk ;)
Image

Image

Image

So many camping opportunities along the lake
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I arrived at Echo Point and what lovely location it is. It was only early and I had full mobile service and being so close to the end I was torn between staying another night and continuing walking out today.
The thought of a decent meal, shower and my bed won out, i decided to continue walking out. I messaged my wife and suggested I was about 2-3 hours from the end, which just happens to be the time it takes her to get organised and drive up to get me!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

So far the whole trip my body was holding up remarkably well. I had none of my usual foot pain (planta fasciitis) or sore knees until now. I was about 25 klm's in for the day and I was feeling pretty worn out.
I wanted to snap a selfie near the end to see if my fat head got any skinnier....it hadn't, but I lost my smile :lol:

Image

Image

Image

I crossed the Watersmeet bridge and the track turned into a road and as the sun went down I was finished.

Image

Image

Image

And that was the end.

Image

I thoroughly enjoyed the walk and besides over doing it slightly on the last day I thought it was very easy. If you haven't done it, do it. If you have done it, do it again :D

I hope you enjoyed my report. I am in the process of putting together a youtube video for each day. Personally I think the videos bring it all to life so much better than my crappy phone pics ever could but of course you have tolerate listening to me dribble on in the videos :lol: :lol:
I doubt anyone I met on the track are forum members but if they are, Thanks very much for helping to make the trip that little bit more special :)
User avatar
DanShell
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon 18 Mar, 2013 11:23 am
Location: Central
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Next

Return to TAS Trip Reports & Track Notes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest