Gladstone - Roberts - Hippocrene loop

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Gladstone - Roberts - Hippocrene loop

Postby robertoman » Sun 09 Oct, 2016 11:35 am

I decided to join a few dots and visit some stretches of track I had been wondering about. I had been eager to complete the Gladstone - Roberts - Valley of the Waters for a while. I had also been reading a bit about the stretch from Hippocrene Falls up to Wentworth Falls. The Overcliff Track also seemed open after always being closed anytime I came near it. I decided to "join the dots" and make a day of it.

A nice new gate greeted me at the top of the track to Gladstone Pass *sigh*. I have absolutely no idea why you would want one there. Then I was greeted by the illegal ECO hut works that the Fairmont Resort has constructed. I am not sure what part of "eco" they don't understand. Still there despite orders to remove it *sigh*.

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a nice way to start the day. not


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illegal


Then it was down Gladstone. Lovely and wet after recent rains. Very slippery in places. A few new handlines conveniently placed. Thank you to someone. A lot of trees down and scrambling. The usual confusion about where the track was. Not a place for the inexperienced.

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looking back up Gladstone. Not an easy descent


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Gladstone Pass


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stone steps and hand line. steps were more like a waterfall


At this point my fully charged camera flat lined. It took me a while to realise I had a fully charged iPhone as well which has a camera. Duh. The files are larger and not as easy to post, so will whip up a later blogpost with more details and photos.

The Roberts Pass was fairly clear. A few choice muddy stretches, and a couple more convenient hand lines. Lovely knot work. The landslide bits were somewhat sketchy, but some patient recce work got me through. A few nice bum slides and two wet muddy shoes later, I was at the Valley of the Waters. It would have been a nice enough loop just as it was. Instead I headed down to Vera Falls. I began the side trip to the top of the Falls, but being alone I called it quits when it got a bit close to the edge. Returned to main track and kept going down, and took the side trip to the base. Lots of trees down, but got there eventually. Saw a ubiquitous golf ball in the stream. The falls were lovely (but aren't they all).

Then onto Hippocrene Falls. More nice Falls and another lovely pool. Then a bit of scouting and guess work to get past the Falls, but enough foot pad to get me there eventually. From reading a variety of track notes, I wasn't sure at all what I might find down here, but scouting to the left (looking up) (west) of the falls, a few vague trails all seemed to head the same sort of way. A few stone steps appeared. All good. The way up was actually quite easy to follow. Just a *&%$#! lot of steps.

Lots of steps. Reached the second drop of Wentworth Falls, and ascended Slack's Stairs which were looking a bit worse for wear after what looks like a few trees and rocks had smashed them around a bit. Just made them more interesting. Continued up to Wentworth Falls and the way over dressed tourists in their puffy jackets and enormous back packs. I was in shorts and t-shirt and plenty warm enough. The stretch from Hippocrene Falls to the top is one big climb.

From the car park, down the Den Fenella track to the Overcliff Track. A few detours along the way to the various look outs. Then across Lillian's Bridge and back to the Fairmont and the car. Could easily be broken up into smaller sections, but as a 5 hour 20km loop it was a great day out.
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Re: Gladstone - Roberts - Hippocrene loop

Postby johnw » Sun 09 Oct, 2016 2:52 pm

Good stuff robertoman, some of my favourite tracks. Walked everything except Gladstone Pass in that area. In my experience mud is always present on Roberts Pass even when it's otherwise dry. As none of these tracks is maintained they have deteriorated over the years I've known them. But that's also part of their attraction. Love the Vera and Hippocrene Falls loop. Yes, a few steps to negotiate :). I haven't visited for quite a few months. Last time I went up Slacks Stairs it was fine but there have been some severe weather events since then.
John W

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