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Mon 26 Mar, 2018 6:29 pm
firstly a thanks to all the responders to my shout out for help with camping spots on track due to tahune closure...this report is for them
in the end we only needed to camp at vera (in the hut) but the info was sage (especially the spot just off to left of track before the stairs up to tahune
we walked in thursday with low cloud and no snippet of the cap in the distance but the anticipation of what was out there drove us forward in a very upbeat jovial fashion. We arrived at vera and a few people had been there for a number of days with no summit tales to tell.....we were confident the weather was changing so we decided to hit the trail on the friday and go for it. the walk up to baron pass was great as we constantly reminded each other of the joy of not having to carry heavy packs (we will return to do this another time) as we come out on barron pass a whispy cloud covered just the tip of the cap and we felt sure we were gonna get lucky, the views from here were AMAZING and i was in constant awe of the place i was lucky to be born in. the walk from the pass to tahune was breathtaking. we made the decent into tahune to the sound of generators and drills and then we saw the hotel tahune in its almost completed stage, we stopped and chatted to the workers and was invited in for a tour......the usb ports will come in handy im sure. Anyway, onwards and upwards....the cap was visible from the lake and we were excited to say the least! it wasnt until we got to the summit sign we noticed the weather was closing in and on arrival at the summit we couldnt see a thing but it didnt matter as we had done what we come to do.....walk in this majetic place and was rewarded and lucky enough to stand on top of this great looking mountain. we walked for 10.5hrs to the summit and back to vera that day and loved every minute of it. we met up with a couple workers workers back at vera and they mentioned getting a lift out when we arrived back at carpark. being a tassie fella we had mates in common (tassies a small place haha) they mentioned a charge for walking frenchmans trail that would be put in place around december, not that i care but i thought id share.
we noticed an entry in the log book at vera from four weeks earlier from dick and pip smith celebrating their 50th anniversary doing the walk and realised this was where the love affair had started for him and why he decided to put a lot of money into the track and also kudos to the workers! i can only imagine the degrees of hardship one had to endure walking the trail previous to all the work being done, although 54km in 3 days was still an epic effort for us! in another life i wouldve enjoyed the challenge especially the sodden loddens, even dick smith had wrote in the log book about some of the sense of adventure being lost to the improvements....luckily tassie has a lot of wilderness left unduckboarded that i can put myself to the test in future.
Anyway i loved it.....a lot!!
cant wait for the next adventure.....
- im the bearded buffon
- on the cap
Tue 27 Mar, 2018 5:16 am
Good work! Yep that’s the view from the top I had too... will have to get back in clear weather- ha ha!
Is Tahune hut similar size to the old one or bigger?
Tue 27 Mar, 2018 7:10 am
Am I way out of touch or is this the first direct mention of Frenchman's Cap becoming a paid permit walk that others have heard of too?
Nice report though OP. Sounds like a fun trip!
Tue 27 Mar, 2018 8:27 am
Hi Lizzy, yes the new one will sleep 20 and has a seperate bedroom for the ranger. It will run off hydro power and include electric lighting and heating (the heating is just enough to keep the hut dry and free from mould)
Hi dee legg, the topic of being a paid walk was brought up a few times both by workers and other hikers.
Tue 27 Mar, 2018 11:25 am
dee_legg wrote:Am I way out of touch or is this the first direct mention of Frenchman's Cap becoming a paid permit walk that others have heard of too?
yes, been rumoured for a while. Boon for the folks who just happen to have secured a permit for standing camps on the track..
Expect others in short measure, booking systems and fees.. money brings creatures like Gollum to our wild places. Gollum like, with no conscience to hinder.
I hope facilitating these standing camps and booking wasn't part of Dicks hallowed influence..
Tue 27 Mar, 2018 12:37 pm
Rumoured sure, I’m not exactly surprised by the idea. Has anything official been released and I missed it?
Tue 27 Mar, 2018 1:18 pm
Indeed it's also only rumored here, expect the consultative process first public disclosure to be a press release or parks news article rather than an invitation.
Mon 28 May, 2018 2:10 pm
I visited the new Tahune hut last week but alas the Cap was clouded in mist.
The new hut is pretty special: an entry room with a small heated wall dryer and hooks for hanging wet gear, electric lighting, ceiling heating, 4 USB re-charge ports, and dehumidifiers in the main room. Both the new toilet block (2 sputnik dunnies) and the hut's main room have hand gel dispensers and one of the toilets has handrails installed on both sides of the pan - just in case the legs have weakened on the walk in, I suppose. In addition to the main room's bunk beds, there is a separate bunk room accessed by a solid sliding door off the main room. This came in handy to avoid the heavy snoring of my companions. New tent platforms have also been built.
At Lake Vera hut there has been extensive work also, with the construction of several well-designed tent platforms semi-surrounding the helipad. The platforms have purposeful gaps in the flooring providing flathead nails for tie-down points, as well as recessed chains for similar use. Looking at the materials dump, I surmise that a new helipad will be built, along with associated sputnik toilets, but at a safer distance from the tent platforms. I found that pitching my tent on one of the platforms provided blessed relief from a noisy hut and greatly preferable to one of the dank sites nearer the lake.
All of this work indicates expectations of increased visitation. I wonder if the drawcard of a swish Tahune hut etc., will act as a lure to those who may have an increased likelihood of getting into trouble after Barron Pass?
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