Prince of Wales Traverse

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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Mon 20 May, 2013 3:39 pm

So true Stu, well said!

Thanks Peter for the kind words, it sure was a trip that had it all!!

Dan, I love that last set of pics, brings back so many memories, I smile while sitting here on my comfy chair, but these pics remind me of some of the misery, although i notice we're still smiling in all the pics :?
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby MJD » Mon 20 May, 2013 11:32 pm

Very nice additions guys. Good to see some forest shots, its not like we didn't spend a lot of time in there walking, crawling and generally struggling non stop with a full pack on. I also seem to remember running somewhat painfully into one or two bits.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby HitchHiking » Wed 22 May, 2013 11:40 am

Amazing fellas! Just amazing.
A worthy trip of the year entry!
:D
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby icefest » Mon 14 Apr, 2014 8:44 pm

Apologies for necro-posting, SBS just linked it over here: viewtopic.php?p=223809#p223809

Did any of you four take a picture of the old abandoned piners hut? How much was left of it?
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Mon 14 Apr, 2014 8:49 pm

Yep we found one. I imagine there are more. Pretty bad photos. Day 11, raining…
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Mon 14 Apr, 2014 8:53 pm

There's a shot of it in MJD's set of pics
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby icefest » Mon 14 Apr, 2014 9:10 pm

Wow, that's embarrassing. I thought I'd read through the entire thing. :oops:
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby mikethepike » Wed 16 Apr, 2014 12:58 am

A great trip, report and photographic expose of the POW Range sbs and Co. Thanks! In comparison with the POW traverse. the W. Arthurs traverse is a stroll in the park. A few years ago I read an report on a proposed POW traverse that was abandoned when a lack of water due to drought forced an appalling retreat. But even thirst aside, it was the scrub bashing on the approach to the top of the range that made me decide then that I no longer had the stuffing in me to do the trip though I think that I once may have and only then in the right party! But today, it's possibly a hypothetical yes if I had a hypothetical porter to carry my pack and an extra hypothetical porter to carry his pack and so on....the cost soon mounts up! :x But from your photos, the top of the POW Range once you get onto it, while it may still be slow progress, looks quite reasonable in terms of the scrub. Now for my idea which, though it may seem like HERESY in Tassie, is a practice common in NZ. Would it be acceptable to the authorities and to one's bushwalking peers, to be in a group of two or three and to be flown in by helicopter to the top of the range at the start of the walk and then complete the traverse and walk out? Yes it wouldn't be cheap but neither were all those porters for the walk in to the crest of the range! :roll: But is it acceptable? I think we may be taking ethics here.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby icefest » Wed 16 Apr, 2014 9:03 am

mikethepike wrote:Would it be acceptable to the authorities and to one's bushwalking peers, to be in a group of two or three and to be flown in by helicopter to the top of the range at the start of the walk and then complete the traverse and walk out? Yes it wouldn't be cheap but neither were all those porters for the walk in to the crest of the range! :roll: But is it acceptable? I think we may be taking ethics here.

Chapman says that no helicopter landings are permitted in the South West National park. There's only a few places where helicopters are allowed to touch down, most of them being on the coast.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Wed 16 Apr, 2014 9:22 am

icefest wrote:
mikethepike wrote:Would it be acceptable to the authorities and to one's bushwalking peers, to be in a group of two or three and to be flown in by helicopter to the top of the range at the start of the walk and then complete the traverse and walk out? Yes it wouldn't be cheap but neither were all those porters for the walk in to the crest of the range! :roll: But is it acceptable? I think we may be taking ethics here.

Chapman says that no helicopter landings are permitted in the South West National park. There's only a few places where helicopters are allowed to touch down, most of them being on the coast.

With correct permissions a helicopter can drop people in without landing.
On a lighter note…
If a chopper can take a decrepit walker out surely it can drop one in ;)
As far as POW is concerned the ridges are deceptively scrubby. As MJD describes the toughest day was south of Diamond Peak…
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby tibboh » Fri 18 Apr, 2014 5:48 pm

Imagine how many points you could bag in a day with the use of a chopper :D
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby mikethepike » Mon 01 Feb, 2016 8:47 pm

I wonder if anyone has information about the first recorded traverse of the POW Range. I have a friend, now in his mid 80s, who was in an MUMC party which he thought he might have been the first party known to have done the full traverse. That was in the early 1950s. He was telling me recently that HWC wrote to him at the time requesting an account of the walk for their magazine but he declined as he had written one for the MUMC magazine although he can't remember it being published. Thanks for any feedback. I can provide more details on that party if anyone is interested.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby DaveNoble » Mon 01 Feb, 2016 9:28 pm

The Tasmanian Tramp No 18 (1968) has an account of a full traverse of the Range written by Reg Williams. He was accompanied by Olegas Truchanas. Reg does not say when they completed their trip, but they started from the end of the Gordon Road and used air drops. After traversing the range, they then continued to the Spires and Densions. That is the first traverse (and first full traverse) that I am aware of.

No doubt earlier bushwalkers and surveyors (and escaped convicts?) visited the range on earlier occasions, but probably did not traverse the full length of the range. One example is the de Clifford party from HWC when they traversed the range from the north but exited at Southern Bluff. Chris Cosgrove from SUBW has some of the history in his article in Press on Regardless - http://www.subw.org.au/archives/POR/Thrash.html He does state this "Reg and Olegas were thought at the time to be the first to bash this ridge, but I have heard of an earlier visit in the late fifties but all details are lost in the mists of time", so that may be the MUMC party? I think also that Barry Higgins had visited the range and probably traversed part of it (early 60's)

From my experience of the range - the major route finding difficulties are the descent from Southern Bluff onto the Yop Yop Spur. The major scrub is found on that Yop Yop section, the scrub on other parts of the range is minor in comparison.

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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby mikethepike » Mon 01 Feb, 2016 9:44 pm

Thanks David
I read the The TT No 18 account of the Truchanus-Williams-walk only yesteday on an active link somewhere in this same thread I think and it gives a very good account of just how hard it is even for walkers experienced in rough terrain and on rock. ( I met Reg Williams at Frenchmans Cap in the early 1970s). It spurs me on to find out more detail from my friend who did several hard walks with MUMC in SW Tassie in the early 50s and somewhere at home, has his slides of his POW walk.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby DaveNoble » Mon 01 Feb, 2016 10:01 pm

It would be very worthwhile to record his recollections of the trip in whatever form you can. He may have a journal or trip notes? And those old slides should be scanned if possible. And the names of the other members of the party.

I mentioned Barry Higgins above. He was bushwalker from NSW. He cancelled his return ticket on his first visit to Tasmania and in a few years completed a remarkable amount of walking - including the first traverse of the Western Arthurs. Another of his trips was a traverse of Mt Hopetoun. But that was only a small part of the walk, they (I am not sure who accompanied him) continued onto the Whiz Range (Their name, also named by other visitors as the Craycroft Hills, Tam O'Shanter, but now called the "Crest Range" on current maps), then along the Spiro Range, and next the Norolds and then to Mt Rugby. Wow! I know Barry has been to the POW, but I cannot recall details of his trips. Barry later went on to complete the first full traverse of the Great Diving Range (with Steve Tremont).
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby MJD » Mon 08 Feb, 2016 5:09 pm

Looks like the Monash University library has a copy of "A history of the Melbourne University Mountaineering Club 1944-1972 /​ David Hogg" that may be useful.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby icefest » Tue 09 Feb, 2016 7:20 am

I'll have a look at the MUMC magazines tonight to see if I can see it mentioned.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby farefam » Sat 20 Feb, 2016 5:47 pm

I tend to agree with David Noble's assessment as to the major difficulties of this traverse, but some of the scrub and tangled rainforest on Algonkian Mountain takes some getting through and getting past the chasms that bisect the ridge south of Diamond Peak wasn't exactly straightforward. Finding water was also a serious challenge in the very dry conditions for the first 8 days of this 12 day walk. I don't recall there being any easy days on this recent journey and the stench of my torn clothes at the end of the trip reflected that! The trip was affected by bushfire smoke, but some photos can be seen at
https://picasaweb.google.com/114064244807961094522/PrinceOfWalesRange03

The hike was a great adventure, and probably the hardest trip I've done so far, but I doubt I'll ever summon the strength to repeat it (particularly the west side of the Gonk).
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby DaveNoble » Sat 20 Feb, 2016 8:41 pm

Nice photos - looks like a good trip. On my first trip to the range - we not only had bushfire smoke, but an actual bushfire in the range - burning near Mt Humbolt. We later found that it had burned very close (2 m) to one of our airdrop bags before being put out by rain.

I can remember that some bushwalkers cut a track to Diamond Peak at one stage (1970's?). I wonder what happened to that?

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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby farefam » Sat 02 Jul, 2016 3:57 pm

farefam wrote:I tend to agree with David Noble's assessment as to the major difficulties of this traverse, but some of the scrub and tangled rainforest on Algonkian Mountain takes some getting through and getting past the chasms that bisect the ridge south of Diamond Peak wasn't exactly straightforward. Finding water was also a serious challenge in the very dry conditions for the first 8 days of this 12 day walk. I don't recall there being any easy days on this recent journey and the stench of my torn clothes at the end of the trip reflected that! The trip was affected by bushfire smoke, but some photos can now be seen at

https://picasaweb.google.com/114064244807961094522/6248405055185549201 as the link has changed to this one


The hike was a great adventure, and probably the hardest trip I've done so far, but I doubt I'll ever summon the strength to repeat it (particularly the west side of the Gonk).
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby MJD » Wed 20 Jul, 2016 8:44 pm

Nice photos from your recent trip. Good to see it hasn't got any easier :).
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Wed 08 Nov, 2017 9:29 pm

Just to bump this thread I recently stumbled across a photo of Fred Smithies on the POW dated 1932.

I'm also curious of Dave Noble comment about a track being cut directly to Diamond Peak. I have a Tramp article where a party did a return trip to DP in 3 days. It would be interesting to know more about this track.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby tas-man » Tue 21 Nov, 2017 3:34 pm

mikethepike wrote:I wonder if anyone has information about the first recorded traverse of the POW Range. I have a friend, now in his mid 80s, who was in an MUMC party which he thought he might have been the first party known to have done the full traverse. That was in the early 1950s. He was telling me recently that HWC wrote to him at the time requesting an account of the walk for their magazine but he declined as he had written one for the MUMC magazine although he can't remember it being published. Thanks for any feedback. I can provide more details on that party if anyone is interested.


I will see if I can dig up any details about a Launceston Walking Club trip over Christmas 1952 led by Dave Pinkard, accompanied by Ian Cox and Lindsay Crawford (and several others) where they traversed the King William Range ending up at the Port Davey track. In a collection of prints from Kodachrome slides that were donated to the LWC by Lindsay Crawford, there are photos from this trip with notes on the back.
L Crawford_0018.jpg
LWC Christman 1952, King Williams to Port Davey track trip

L Crawford_0022.jpg
LWC Christman 1952, King Williams to Port Davey track trip, Dave Pinkard.

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LWC Christman 1952, King Williams to Port Davey track trip, L-R Dave Pinkard, Ian Cox.
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby iandsmith » Sat 02 Dec, 2017 6:44 am

Great story, loved it (even though I'm a bit late!).
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stu » Thu 22 Feb, 2018 3:58 pm

I think I want to go back again; time has healed old wounds & the photos have reminded me of the good times more than the bad.
Never walking that Denison River leg again tho, time most definitely has not healed that mind wound :shock:
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby Tortoise » Thu 22 Feb, 2018 8:25 pm

Go Stu! Hope you get back there. I'll wave from a distance. :)
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby north-north-west » Sun 25 Feb, 2018 8:20 am

stu wrote:Never walking that Denison River leg again tho, time most definitely has not healed that mind wound :shock:

So you''ll be pack-rafting?
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stepbystep » Mon 26 Feb, 2018 1:46 pm

north-north-west wrote:
stu wrote:Never walking that Denison River leg again tho, time most definitely has not healed that mind wound :shock:

So you''ll be pack-rafting?


I'm keen Stu! Next cpl of seasons, and yep nnw, raft out this time for sure!
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby stu » Thu 22 Mar, 2018 5:21 pm

@SBS - for sure (tho I must admit a Franks & Eldons revisit is higher on the to-do list). I was thinking in via rafters route to the Denison, then up Humboldt & go opposite direction (ie. head north). Different perspective :-)
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Re: Prince of Wales Traverse

Postby north-north-west » Fri 23 Mar, 2018 9:40 am

But I thought the main reason too go back was to grab the points for what you missed last time. Yop Yop is still waiting for you.
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