Prince of Wales Traverse

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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Thu 16 May, 2013 8:21 am

ILUVSWTAS wrote:
stepbystep wrote:so I think Diamond Peak will be a 'oncer' for me!


Know what you mean, but that's a pretty sad thought huh?

Yes it is, another confronting thought.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby tibboh » Thu 16 May, 2013 9:10 am

Never say never.................
"I'd rather be up a mountain"
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Thu 16 May, 2013 10:43 am

Here's some of my images, I'll throw a few up every now and again and attempt to give a different perspective to MJD.

The King William Range from Mt Algonkian
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The Spires from Observation Peak camp
P1190883.jpg


Showers passing over 'The Gonk' night 3
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The party resting on a 42 degree ridgetop around midday, decision time, hours of scrub bashing in intense heat or call it a day. The saddle below held good water and our decision was made.
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As the day progressed what we initially thought was a thunderstorm very quickly developed into what was obviously a very large bushfire at what appeared to us as our exit point.
P1200448.jpg


We had no communications other than SPOT messaging and a radio that picked up some bits and pieces at night. It was a fairly uneasy afternoon in stifling temperatures and strong wind. 2 tents were being repaired and a pair of boots restitched. My boots started developing a hole also on this day. Needless to say the *&%$#! got real this day.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby tibboh » Thu 16 May, 2013 11:19 am

Love the light in the Spires shot. Can feel the weather coming.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby north-north-west » Thu 16 May, 2013 6:43 pm

stepbystep wrote: It would take an extremely compelling argument to go in via 'The Gonk' again...

How about showing a poor decrepit old woman around?
*sigh*
No, I didn't think so.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Thu 16 May, 2013 6:55 pm

north-north-west wrote:
stepbystep wrote: It would take an extremely compelling argument to go in via 'The Gonk' again...

How about showing a poor decrepit old woman around?
*sigh*
No, I didn't think so.

I can take you as far as JRT hut no probs! :)
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby north-north-west » Thu 16 May, 2013 7:02 pm

From the look of the track I can get myself that far without any problems. It's the teensy little bit after that that might be a bit iffy.

Oh well, I didn't really want to do it, anyway. Looking at your lovely pics will have to do.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby seakar » Fri 17 May, 2013 10:30 am

Awesome effort. Great photography. Love the photo of ‘people on a bolder in the middle of head high scrub’ it really puts a scale on the place. Sounds like some very difficult trekking. With gob stopping scenes along the way. (photos of Diamond Peak savoured the more, for the difficulty expressed) Thanks for sharing. Think I was exploring the D’Entrecasteaux River when the lightning storm went through, third day in January? Would not have liked to be exposed on a rock, it was angry.
recent expeditions: Mt.Maria, Clemes Pk-Lichen Hill, Schouten is, Adamsons Peak, Mt.Strzelecki, Davey River
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby biggbird » Fri 17 May, 2013 4:49 pm

Absolutely awesome photos and report MJD, and some lovely additions from SBS too. Way beyond my capabilities at this stage, but an inspiring read to say the least... One day!
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby dplanet » Fri 17 May, 2013 5:37 pm

tibboh wrote:Never say never.................

+1. Enjoyed reading. Great photos. Don't like the crossing of The Denison River on the last day.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby MJD » Fri 17 May, 2013 9:15 pm

dplanet wrote:....Don't like the crossing of The Denison River on the last day.


Neither did we :!:
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 18 May, 2013 7:08 am

MJD wrote:
dplanet wrote:....Don't like the crossing of The Denison River on the last day.


Neither did we :!:



No. It was the purest sheer terror I have experienced in my life yet.
Nothing to see here.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stu » Sat 18 May, 2013 7:38 am

Agreed mate...future river crossings will be approached with heightened caution to be sure!
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 18 May, 2013 7:53 am

stu wrote:Agreed mate...future river crossings will be approached with heightened caution to be sure!


Lol, sure was an experience huh.
I think under normal circumstances we may have aborted. But given we were 11 days into the trip, and that if we didnt get across, the only options were helicopter, or wait several days beside the river in the hope it would drop. After the 2.5 days of horror walking alongside the river, nothing was going to stop us crossing.
Nothing to see here.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 18 May, 2013 8:30 am

Here's 5 of my own photo's from a few of my favourite moments from the walk.
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P1060616.JPG
Ridgeline traverse towards Diamond Peak
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Camp near Diamond Peak
P1060784 [1024x768].JPG
Ridgeline walking beyond Diamond Peak
P1060841 [50%].JPG
Sunset from the middle of the range
P1060942.JPG
Trying to beat the southerly change to Princes peak
Nothing to see here.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Sat 18 May, 2013 1:19 pm

Ah nice, those ridgelines..... :D

Cpl more from me..

The last moments of a bushfire sunset, no saturation added to pic!

P1200771.jpg


The daunting site of Diamond Peak and it's rock and scrub guardians.

P1200797.jpg


A 600pt celebration on Diamond Peak summit for Stu

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Another stunning sunset silhouetting crags around the Diamond Peak camp

P1200902.jpg


Morning shadows across remote valleys

P1200949.jpg
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Sat 18 May, 2013 2:43 pm

Some more...

MJD searching for water below Diamond Peak camp and the ridgeline that would occupy the next day

DP camp sth.jpg


After an extremely hard day we found good water and good camping just below the mid range summit. This was a great camp with plenty of frisbee action and warm, mild conditions.

camp mid range.jpg


The next day provided easier walking but still some interesting cliffs and a little pack hauling. Later in the day I really suffered from exhaustion and water was an issue.

P1210917.jpg
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Throughout the walk wildflowers were a feature, as the scrub was replaced by heath there was more time to appreciate them.

P1210966.jpg


The next morning provided some nice light but some ominous clouds over Princes Peak.

P1210977.jpg
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby tibboh » Sat 18 May, 2013 5:19 pm

Just awesome!
The more I see the more jealous I get :mrgreen:
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby Skinky » Mon 20 May, 2013 10:11 am

Thanks for the write up and photos, epic journey!
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby Nuts » Mon 20 May, 2013 10:32 am

Yeah, there are some classic photos, I like the last and Iluv's ridgeline shot.
So would you bother with a raft of some sort- next time : ) or a rope for that matter?
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Mon 20 May, 2013 11:01 am

Thanks guys, I think that ridgeline shot sums up so much of the trip, for the most part there was no other route!
We had a rope, I wouldn't cart a raft across the range, stashing one on The Denison would have been fun.

A few more..

Azza taking advantage of a good yabby hole, Stu and I had already drunk our fill, it's amazing how much(or how little) water comes out of a hole in the ground.

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Lots of this stuff, we packhauled a couple of times.

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Delightful walking approaching Princes Peak

P1210992.jpg


A moody 20-odd hours in the tent high on Princes Peak

P1210981.jpg


Humboldt is an awesome area that begs to be explored again one day.
I'll stick up a set from the river soon.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby Clusterpod » Mon 20 May, 2013 11:06 am

Pardon my ignorance, but is a "Yabbie Hole" literally a hole a yabbie digs that then gets filled with water?

Is it something that is regularly used as a water-source?
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Mon 20 May, 2013 11:30 am

Clusterpod wrote:Pardon my ignorance, but is a "Yabbie Hole" literally a hole a yabbie digs that then gets filled with water?

Is it something that is regularly used as a water-source?


Correct, it's my understanding several holes in close proximity will join together in the one chamber underground and can store several litres of water. We only came across 2 pools of surface water from days 2 -9 so relied on these reserves.

Some discussion here viewtopic.php?f=15&t=282&p=154213&hilit=yabby#p154213
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby Clusterpod » Mon 20 May, 2013 12:07 pm

Thanks very much!
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 20 May, 2013 12:08 pm

Clusterpod wrote:Pardon my ignorance, but is a "Yabbie Hole" literally a hole a yabbie digs that then gets filled with water?

Is it something that is regularly used as a water-source?


see also: http://bushwalk.com/wiki/index.php/Yabbie_Straw
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby whynotwalk » Mon 20 May, 2013 12:58 pm

Fly over the wetter south-west at the right angle and you'll see water glinting off virtually every surface. Despite horribly hot weather (like that experienced by the PoW walkers), there is still a great deal of subsurface water in these areas. Freshwater burrowing crayfish (yabbies) take great advantage of this in building extensive burrows that nearly always have water in them. This illustration, taken from http://www.lec.org.au/pdfs/Engaeus.pdf shows this kind of system well - and explains why a yabby tube can be a lifesaver :D

There's lots more info at the above Launceston Environment Centre page, and on the Parks page http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=11205

cheers

Peter

Crayfish hole.jpg
Freshwater burrowing crayfish hole(s)
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby whynotwalk » Mon 20 May, 2013 1:14 pm

... and of course I should have started by saying a huge WELL DONE!! for the fantastic report and pix Martin, and Dan, Mark, Stu and Azza (did I leave anyone out??) Glad you painted a realistic picture of the pain alongside all that drool-worthy scenery 8)

cheers

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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Mon 20 May, 2013 2:04 pm

Thanks Peter.

It's fair to say this traverse would be impossible without the yabbie!

My last set:

After a frustrating descent to the river, arriving on dark we woke to a serene scene and found we were camped amongst an old growth Huon Pine forest, truly magnificent!

P1220012.jpg


What happened over the next 2.5 days was both fun, frustrating and farcical. As we followed the river we sometimes found ourselves metres of the ground

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Staring at the river with contempt

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P1130070.jpg (511.51 KiB) Viewed 13906 times


Enjoying delightful pockets of magnificent forest

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P1130074.jpg (508.29 KiB) Viewed 13906 times


...and recovering from prolonged periods of jungle gymnastics covered in forest goo

P1130082.jpg
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Mon 20 May, 2013 2:06 pm

...and still the river flowed...and rose!

P1220042.jpg
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stu » Mon 20 May, 2013 2:08 pm

Thanks for the info WNT, very interesting & yes, the scenery outweighed the pain one hundred fold; perhaps not the Dension section tho, that was 2.5 days of mind games.
At one point on this section we had only travelled a bit over a kilometre in 5 hours...pretty demoralising on day 10 or so of a long exhausting walk when you expect / want to get home.

Back on the yabbies, I found the 3m tube (5-6mm dia.) the most useful on this trip, but also carried a 40cm tube in my pocket for 'on the go' drinking.
On previous trips (eg. Franklands) I had used the syphon method for robbing the precious yabby booty; ie. run the tube down hill of a hole & use gravity to draw out the good stuff.
On the POW's quite often this was impossible, so sucking up 3m worth into the actual tube then just blowing it into your water container was the best method.
Plenty of times all of us got a good mouthful of tarry looking liquid mud in lieu of clear life preserving H2O.
Funny how by the time we were on the Denison, wet cold & covered in water we were so quick to curse it again...but that's life in the Tassie wilderness :D
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