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Mount Murchison circuit

Sat 12 Jan, 2019 3:48 pm

Mount Murchison circuit.
A great alpine circuit for anyone pondering the idea of hiking off trail. The route is easily followed and is mostly tracked with some easy off track walking.
From car to car is 5 hours 15 minutes including 20 minutes spent at Lake Sandra and the trig point
Or, take off 30 minutes if you have a car at either end. These times are based on a fit 30yr old male carrying only a trail running vest.

On the 11th of January 2019 I had just three days of holidays left before the grind. I was itching to go bush but could only go for the day as Rach is nearing the end of pregnancy so the risk of missing a once in a life time event became too high.

I glanced at the Tyndall range but decided more time was needed to summit all mountains and enjoy myself and having climbed mount Murchison some years previous I wanted something new.

My pupils dilated as I glanced upon a circuit from Lake Sandra to mount Murchison so I figured three quarters of the walk would be new to me.
Having found very little information online I printed out a google earth map, then drew a line in the direction I felt should allow me the best chance of completing a circuit.

After a hectic morning I managed to leave burnie at around 11am bound for Tullah. Normally I would have postponed the trip to get an earlier start but knowing the weather of the west coast (it was forecast for a clear sky) I decided to pack my head torch and walk in the dark if need be.

I passed the Mount Murchison trail head and continued on until I came to power pole D55. Just before I hit the pole I saw a rock cairn and orange trail tape leading west up into the scrub and figured it must be it.

I parked the ute 500meters back towards Tullah as there were bugga all spots and figured it would reduce my walk at the end of the day.
I put my trail running vest on containing-
• 1 x 2 litre camel back
• 2 x 450ml flexible drink bottles (the ones that come with the vest)
• 1 x Thermal top
• 1 x roll of salami
• 1 x bag of bird seed (trail mix food)
• 2 x hard boiled eggs
• 1 x head torch
• 1 x knife
• 1 x compact shovel with toilet paper in the handle (this is a big one as I see way to many people littering toilet paper, wet wipes and faeces on our beautiful trails.
• 1 x lighter (for emergencies only)
• 1 x vial of salt
• 1 x roll of strapping tape
• 1 x lip balm (normally wouldn’t but had dry lips that day)
Then at 12.44pm I headed off only to realise I had left the map in the car lol.
I continued on without the map through very pretty rainforest strewn with very large boulders on a good uphill trail until opening up on low level alpine scrub halfway up a spur (12.55pm).
I pushed on in the direction I thought climbing some large boulders just to check the path ahead. The Trail became a rabbit warren of interwoven trails that seemed to follow the same direction so I pushed on following the occasional red dots on the rocks and orange tape but wasn’t too concerned as I felt I was on the right track.

At 1.21pm I had my first glimpse of Lake Gaye and by 1.40pm red dog was swimming in Lake Sandra.The next part of the trail follows the obvious spur looking north with lake Gaye on your right. I began following a trail but soon lost it and from Lake Sandra to the Top of the spur I walked off track just following my nose. The scrub was low lying and there really weren’t many places I had to bush bash. I found enough soaks in the ground on the way up to give red dog a drink so apart from climbing a few more rocks to scout out the best way forward it was quite simple.

we reached the top of the spur at around 2.30pm and quickly came to a cliff edge great for a few photos. I realised that I had gone 100metres to far east and after heading uphill to the west I found a cairn and a safe way down to a high saddle. Before descending to the saddle, I spied the trig in the distance so was reassured by where to go. At 2.50pm I left the saddle and headed up hill edging closer to the trig and some awesome views all around. At 2.56pm I had views of glacial cirque known as Shaded Lake.

Upon the next knoll I saw the trail narrow and it reminded me of the beggary bumps of the western Arthurs, but as I approached a knife blade ridge I had heard a bit about I soon realised that it was easily passed and my only trouble was trying to lure red dog down a few high steps with a bit of salami.
The only thing to make mention of for this section of the trail is the weather. I lucked a beautiful 25deg day with limited wind and dry rock which made my traverse very safe and easy. For snow, ice, rain or strong wind then this section of the track may require more preparation.

At 3.20pm we left the knife ridge and headed straight up a small rocky knoll following good tracks then down to out last high saddle before going up again. I climbed towards a knoll capped by a small cliff and followed a track to the left or northern side of the cliff to a steep dead end. I then came back round the other side and rock hopped off track until I reached to summit trig at 3.55pm.

After 20mins on top I followed the main mount Murchison track back towards the road and hit the high way at 5.26pm
Walking and running back along the high way, I reached the car at 6.00pm

Re: Mount Murchison circuit

Mon 11 Mar, 2019 4:40 pm

That track is in the Murchison regional reserve, which means no dogs.
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