Mt Lord (plus Tarn Shelf) trip report

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Mt Lord (plus Tarn Shelf) trip report

Postby L_Cham_67 » Sun 22 Apr, 2018 9:08 pm

The weather forecast was looking great over the weekend (April 21-22, 2018), and I was sitting on 49 Abels. Mt Lord appealed to me for a number of reasons: The drive was quite short (I was coming from Hobart), it was supposed to be a challenge, (but not insanely difficult), and there was a high chance of having it to myself, despite the ideal conditions.
Day 1
So off I went, heading off from the Lake Dobson carpark at about 9:50am under blue skies. The track down to Lake Webster was pretty straightforward and there was still some remnant snow from the cold front a few days earlier in places. I made good time, and was at the creek outlet in an hour. Now, the Abels book describes where the turnoff to Mt Lord is in relation to this point, but I’m not gonna post it here on the public forum. The turnoff was pretty easy to locate though, so you only need a vague description of what to look for and you should be fine.
Lk. webster.JPG
Lake Webster

The old pad was wet, overgrown, and covered in cobwebs! I made it to Valhalla Creek without any dramas, lost the pad near Cascade Rivulet, relocated it, and ended up having lunch on a lovely plain next to a bubbling creek (which I think was the Cascade Rivulet further upstream). It was a magnificent spot, with not a soul in sight. Back on the trail, I plodded along at a solid pace, reaching the ‘saddle’ between Freezing Hill and the Rodway Range, where the was a bit of ‘pad locating’ required, before popping back out onto another open moor. Lanes Peak lay off in the distance, but Mt Lord was hidden. A short time later, the well-known markers made their first appearance. Star pickets with rusted cans on the top made for a unique way to navigate! There were some lovely groves of pencil pine and a couple of annoying streams to cross where the inside of my boots got soaked. The clouds came over which made everything look rather gloomy as I arrived at the campsite the Abels book describes; about 500 metres short of Lake Emmett.
lunch stop.JPG
Where I had lunch

markers.JPG
Line of markers

It was just after 2pm when I left the campsite, where I had set up the tent and was now only burdened with a small ultra-sil daypack with the essentials inside. With high cloud overhead, the moor was looking a little grim and featureless, and I stumbled my way across the plain with my feet sinking in to the soft ground on a regular, but unpredictable basis. Once I reached the final slopes of Mt Lord, I came across this rather strange note attached to a bit of scrub. Anyone know who put it there or why it’s there? I thought it was a marker at first!
note..JPG
Any ideas?

The last 700 metres or so up to the summit…Gee whiz. The amount of scrub there was not what I was expecting. Abels book was vague; in fact it gave next to no instructions on the recommended route except to head up from the east. I did that, but it didn’t seem to make much difference. It was a constant battle against chest-head high scrub, the occasional outcrop, and tough eucalypts. I was in a sea of a scrub, and it lasted for much longer than anticipated. I came across a false summit, and then was above it! I could see the rock cairn and rotting stake that marked the summit maybe 100 metres away. I turned away from it briefly, and was gobsmacked by the view back towards Mt Field West, Florentine Peak, and the rest of the K Col area. A short time later I was on the summit, and had made it to 50 Abels. It was now about 3:45pm, and sunset was less than 2 hours away. The views though; phwoah, outstanding! As I mentioned before, the mass of dolerite to the south was the highlight for me, although the Denison Range, The Thumbs and Clear Hill were looking impressive. Wylds Craig, and Frenchmans Cap were also fantastic, although I could only see their outlines as the sun was getting low. Lanes Peak to the north was to be honest, a little unimpressive, and I could see a logging coupe down on the slopes below. Lake Emmett was just visible and Mt Field East was also out the back on the horizon.
mt lord summit.JPG
View towards Mt Field West, Florentine Peak, Rodway Range from the summit

looking at frenchmans.JPG
A zoom shot of Frenchmans Cap

After a celebratory beer, and a text from a friend letting me know St Kilda had tied with GWS (better than a loss I guess!), I made the return trip through the scrub. I found some cairns, so I followed them down. They petered out after a while, but heading downhill was a lot easier. Gravity hey? It took me 1hr 40 to get up, 1 hr 20 to return to the campsite (just on sunset). I had dinner, and settled in for the night. It was such a still night at my sheltered campsite; not a single sound.
Day 2
A windy morning greeted me, a complete opposite to the day earlier. I shelved plans to bash my way up to the Rodway Range, to meet up with Newdegate Pass and then down to the Tarn Shelf (to see the Fagus). Instead, I returned the way I came, and then headed up to the Tarn Shelf via Twilight Tarn. The moors were far more pleasant in the morning sunshine, and I was very much appreciative of my time alone. I reached Twilight Tarn at about 11:15am, a bit over 2 hours after I left my campsite. Wanting to have lunch in peace, I had an early lunch there, and was surprised at the presence of a toilet at the hut! It was a magical spot with plenty of history judging on the interior (the hut and tarn, not the toilet! :wink: ). I’d never climbed up to Lake Newdegate via this track; only down it. It was a solid climb with some picture-perfect scenery. I didn’t stay long at Newdegate Hut, and made my way up onto the Tarn Shelf.
twilgiht tarn hut.JPG
Twilight Tarn Hut

Scenery was wonderful. The slopes of the Rodway Range were bathed in orange, and the tarns glistened in the sun. The downside: the never-ending stream of walkers coming the other direction. Now I can totally understand why everyone was there. The weather was perfect, it’s the time of year to see the fagus, and it’s the middle of the school holidays. Nonetheless, I was feeling the ‘loss’ of wilderness. I’m out there to enjoy the scenery, and to take in the remoteness amongst many other things. The plethora of visitors did take some of these feelings and emotions away. The rest of the walk down was a breeze and I arrived back at Lake Dobson at about 1:45pm. The carpark was packed.
fagus.JPG
Fagus

tarn shelf.JPG
Tarn Shelf

This was a terrific walk, with some memorable highlights, and some lows thrown in as well (scrub on Lord, masses of people on Tarn Shelf). I’m looking forward to my next trip out into the Tasmanian bush :D
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Re: Mt Lord (plus Tarn Shelf) trip report

Postby RicktheHuman » Mon 23 Apr, 2018 10:41 am

Great report and nice photers!
Looks like a fun walk, plenty of exploring to be had at Mt Field by the looks of it!
BTW I'm enjoying your YT channel a lot :D
Last edited by RicktheHuman on Tue 24 Apr, 2018 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mt Lord (plus Tarn Shelf) trip report

Postby L_Cham_67 » Mon 23 Apr, 2018 11:42 am

RicktheHuman wrote:Looks like a fun walk, plenty of exploring to be had at Mt Field by the looks of it!

Yeah there's a good network of tracks out there, with plenty of variety!
RicktheHuman wrote:BTW I'm enjoying you YT channel a lot :D

Thanks for watching it!
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Re: Mt Lord (plus Tarn Shelf) trip report

Postby wander » Mon 23 Apr, 2018 2:59 pm

Nice report, I've been waiting for such after we accidentally found this route after looking at the pen / ink map on the wall of Twilight Tarn and wondering how accurate it was (only sort of but good enough) and where it took you. Which we found was Mt Lord ish.

We got to the base of Mt Lord a bit too late in the day and spent a long time thinking there must be a marked route to the peak after the well marked really all the way until the Eastern flank on the Emmett flood plain to make the peak. There was some pretty interesting storm damage, mini tornado like, on the South East flank. Our view at the end of the day was to use an alternative route off the Emmett flood plain to the peak which we may do another trip and other day. We did make the summit of Freezing Hill (it was stinking hot) on the way out.

Thanks for the pics, a really loverly area with many gems of vistas and private gardens.
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Re: Mt Lord (plus Tarn Shelf) trip report

Postby L_Cham_67 » Mon 23 Apr, 2018 4:19 pm

No worries! Any views from Freezing Hill?
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Re: Mt Lord (plus Tarn Shelf) trip report

Postby wander » Tue 24 Apr, 2018 10:36 am

Not really, trees tend obscure much. But it is a pretty nice spot, worth the wander up through caravan rock formations.

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Re: Mt Lord (plus Tarn Shelf) trip report

Postby north-north-west » Tue 01 May, 2018 8:35 am

There is a pad up to the summit from the SE - very twisty but it avoids the worst of the scrub. A bit difficult to find from Emmett, but I stumbled upon it after coming down along the ridge from the top of Newdegate Pass.
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Re: Mt Lord (plus Tarn Shelf) trip report

Postby L_Cham_67 » Tue 01 May, 2018 12:26 pm

This was my GPS route for the final climb. I wonder how close I was to the pad you mention?
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Re: Mt Lord (plus Tarn Shelf) trip report

Postby north-north-west » Tue 01 May, 2018 4:02 pm

Think I picked up the first cairn a little to the left of your line. Some of the upper return section looks right.

Can't find the jpeg of the route.
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Re: Mt Lord (plus Tarn Shelf) trip report

Postby L_Cham_67 » Tue 01 May, 2018 4:59 pm

The upper return route was where I was actually following some cairns back down. Except I lost them haha.
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Re: Mt Lord (plus Tarn Shelf) trip report

Postby north-north-west » Tue 01 May, 2018 7:27 pm

So did I, briefly, on the way back down. The route does jag around a lot.
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