Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

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Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby guyburns » Sat 27 Mar, 2021 12:56 pm

I'm presently scripting a chapter of Journeys To Pedder about three families who walked into Lake Pedder at Easter 1972. The woman who took most of the photos is now approaching her nineties and I want to double check some of her stories. She's quite amenable to change as she says her memory isn't the best.

First up, I want to establish where the Scotts Peak track started. My Old River Tasmap (below) shows the situation in 1979, after the flooding. When answering, please use grid references if possible. e.g X is at (396, 347).

Scotts Peak Map.jpg

Q1: McKays Track coming in from the Western Arthurs – anyone know the history of that track?

Q2: I have a photo taken from point "X" in early 1972, looking NW, showing a group of walkers on their way to Pedder who had come from the Western Arthurs (see below). But was "X" the start of the Scotts Peak track for people who had driven down the Scotts Peak Rd?

BeL01.jpg


Q3: I have another photo of the same group on the Huon Plains (see below), but at location "Y", two kms NE of "X". The photo looks towards Spot Height 826, Frankland Range, and Scotts Peak (cut off, right). I assume it was taken on the way out, indicating the Scotts Peak track was where I had assumed it to be -- starting from somewhere close to the Scotts Peak dam, clipping Scotts Peak and then straight to Lake Pedder. Is the white arrow in the map above roughly the location of the Scotts Peak track?

BeL05.jpg


The reason I'm asking all this is because of the lady who took the photos of the Easter 1972 trip. She says they drove to Scotts Peak, got out and started walking...

LF22.jpg


... and after some time came across a Hydro hut where they stayed the night and played cards...

LF20.jpg

I have quite a number of photos taken from the Scotts Peak track. None show a hut on the track. Of the dozens of people whose slides I've scanned, no one else has mentioned a hut on the track. I suspect the hut was quite close to the dam works and that my lady friend is mistaken.

Q4: Any sleuths like to comment on the most likely scenario at the start of the Easter 1972 trip? A group of 6 adults and 7 children, arriving at Scotts Peak at around 2PM on Maundy Thursday, after a six hour drive from Devonport...

• Do they see a hut near the dam site and stay there, starting out the next day? Or...
• Do they start walking straight away, come across a hut somewhere down the track, and decide to stay the night? But why would the Hydro have a hut on the Huon Plains?

I attended a literary debate once, on the subject: "All interesting history is fiction". I consider the affirmative side to have won the debate. In Journeys To Pedder I'm trying to spin interesting stories, and I tell all contributors their stories don't necessarily have to be 100% factual, but they do have to be unfalsifiable so they can't be disputed.
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby north-north-west » Sat 27 Mar, 2021 3:22 pm

The Port Davey Track used to start up on Red Knoll, following the dotted line on your map. Don't know when the current trackhead was established, but in Dec 1980 we used the Red Knoll trackhead. There is an automated seismic monitoring station there (where the map says "radio transmitter"), at the end of the gated access road. Walking access to/from the lookout is still possible via old vehicle track lines. Don't know when the buildings there were constructed, but they were requirements of the dam construction due to the position of the Edgar Fault.
Accommodation for the workers was extensive, much of it built on the seismic station access road - the sites are still obvious now. May have been buildings elsewhere. Is the current TasPAWS works depot an old Hydro site?

I went in to Pedder with a school group over Christmas/New Year 70/71, but we walked from the road along the old track over the shoulder of Bowes. No recollection of any construction along that route or nearer the lakes. I also don't remember whether we went over Red Knoll or skirted it.
However, remains of a vehicle track heading to Scotts Peak are still visible - and followable for a considerable distance - from the Red Knoll lookout, heading roughly north east (I think) then curving down to the shore of the impoundment. I'm fairly sure this is the same vehicle track that is still followable from the southern shore of Scotts at roughly 411.371, most of the way to the saddle on the ridge (it's the way I climbed the thing a few years back). This probably dates to hydro surveying and assessment of the area. Fairly sure this was connected to the walking track prior to flooding, or may even have followed it. And such a route would have passed over your point Y.

I assume you have a copy of the ACF's South West Book? It has some useful info but probably not the full history you're after. I once tried to dig out some dates for the changes to tracks and routes down there but my google fu wasn't up to the challenge.
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby north-north-west » Sat 27 Mar, 2021 7:39 pm

ps: If the weather was decent, I would have started walking. But with seven kids in tow?
pps: I think one of the buildings at the seismic monitoring station was accommodation for the crew when it was manned, but it would never have been big enough to fit that many people, and would most probably have been occupied then (if already in existence).
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby Graham51 » Sat 27 Mar, 2021 7:52 pm

I walked into Lake Pedder 5 times, three of them from Scotts Peak Dam. If my memory serves me correctly, the track started from the dam - in fact, I seem to remember climbing down steps on the dam wall on one occasion.
There definitely was no hut anywhere along any of the three routes I took so I reckon your suggestion that the hut was somewhere near the dam is likely correct.
I did have an old Old River map that might have sh9wn where the tracks were but I'm afraid I don't seem to be able to locate it.
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby tas-man » Sun 28 Mar, 2021 12:22 am

Guy there was definitely no hut on the track from Scotts Peak Dam to Lake Pedder that I recall. On my trip in December 1971 we parked our car near the western side of the dam construction site and started walking from there. I don't have a photo to support my memory but I think the start of the track from the parking area was marked with stakes for a short distance with signage warning walkers to stay on the marked track until well past the construction zone. The only slide I took of the dam construction on the way out shows the track heading up to the start point to the west of the dam construction site.
Scotts Peak Dam Dec 1971.jpg

LakePedder 1971_0001.jpg
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby tas-man » Sun 28 Mar, 2021 1:17 am

I had a look at what was available on LISTmap aerial photos for the period of dam construction and the best one that gives a clue to the likely start of the track and which matches things as best I can remember is dated 9th March 1971 when the impoundment was already starting to fill. I have marked up what best matches my recollections. Trust this helps.
Picture 7.png
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby Davo1 » Sun 28 Mar, 2021 4:52 pm

Guy,
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby tastrax » Sun 28 Mar, 2021 7:55 pm

Here is a shot pre the dam being built - Mar 1970

PreDamConstruction_Mar1970_0551_118_thumb.jpg



Lots more images available but they are not in the correct orientation - https://maps.thelist.tas.gov.au/listmap ... kId=594666

Click anywhere and then 'View Image preview' and then you can right click and save the image

ViewImagery.PNG
ViewImagery.PNG (170.81 KiB) Viewed 4063 times
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby bauera » Mon 29 Mar, 2021 3:06 pm

Scotts Peak 1971002.pdf
(1.25 MiB) Downloaded 78 times
Wedge 1979001.pdf
(1.14 MiB) Downloaded 78 times

I have an Tasmap Old River 1:100000 map dated 1971 which shows McKays Track proceeding north across the "proposed lake", to the west of Scott Peak. Unfortunately my Old River map is of 1979 vintage, in which McKays Track has succumbed to inundation. However it does appear from the 1979 Wedge that McKays Track may have continued north past the Coronets and Sentinel Range to the new Strathgordon Road.
I have attached scans of the relevant sections of both maps.
I hope they are of some help.
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby guyburns » Mon 29 Mar, 2021 10:30 pm

Thanks everyone for all the feedback.

It appears definite that there was no hut along the Scotts Peak track. The family group may have stayed in one of the accommodation huts mentioned by north-north-west:
north-north-west wrote:Accommodation for the workers was extensive, much of it built on the seismic station access road - the sites are still obvious now.

But that series of huts is a kilometre or two from the car park shown in tas-man's sketch. Maybe there were huts closer to the dam, or the family grouped parked closer to what is now the Lookout road. Either way, the script will say the group arrived, parked their two cars, stayed in a hut Thursday night, and started walking Friday.

I'll correct this observation:
bauera wrote:However it does appear from the 1979 Wedge that McKays Track may have continued north past the Coronets and Sentinel Range to the new Strathgordon Road.

Info from Peter Sim's Lake Pedder book (p118), paraphrased:
The Scenery Preservation Board approved a new access track to be cut in to Lake Pedder from the Hydro's Gordon Road by the Hobart Walking Club… The decision was made at a meeting on 11 August 1967… The marking of this new track was undertaken by HWC members, including Frank Morley, who said after it was completed that it was "well marked"… It crossed the Sentinels over a low pass and after about a two-hour walk there was a "good vantage point" that enabled a view of the lake. The new walk took about 4 hours.

And this one needs correction:
tas-man wrote:LISTmap aerial photos ... dated 9th March 1971 when the impoundment was already starting to fill.

The date on that map is incorrect because the Huon Plains were still covered in buttongrass well after Easter 1972.

Again, thanks to all for the feedback, especially to tas-man for his detailed description and drawings. You're on notice, fella, that you've been assigned the job of describing, in your Journey To Pedder, the complexities around the start of the Scotts Peak track. I hope to have your section scripted in the next three or four months, ready for recording later in the year.
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby north-north-west » Tue 30 Mar, 2021 7:50 am

guyburns wrote:
bauera wrote:However it does appear from the 1979 Wedge that McKays Track may have continued north past the Coronets and Sentinel Range to the new Strathgordon Road.

Info from Peter Sim's Lake Pedder book (p118), paraphrased:
The Scenery Preservation Board approved a new access track to be cut in to Lake Pedder from the Hydro's Gordon Road by the Hobart Walking Club… The decision was made at a meeting on 11 August 1967… The marking of this new track was undertaken by HWC members, including Frank Morley, who said after it was completed that it was "well marked"… It crossed the Sentinels over a low pass and after about a two-hour walk there was a "good vantage point" that enabled a view of the lake. The new walk took about 4 hours.


The original old track started at Maydena, and went in over the eastern should of Bowes. The stretch from Mueller Rd to Bowes is usable (it's the usual route to climb Bowes) but the rest is either under roads or thoroughly overgrown.
The start of the second track - western side of the Sentinals - is still visible, but the rest of it is pretty badly overgrown and not worth the effort of trying to follow. I know of one group who tried to use it to climb The Coronets and retreated in disarray.
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby icefest » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 8:58 pm

You can also still see the old track just east of terminal peak:

Image
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby north-north-west » Fri 09 Apr, 2021 7:46 am

Nice, icefest.

Part of the old route up Secheron from the real lake is still there, too; not the pad, but cairns that are older than I am. Amazing how long such traces persist.
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby icefest » Fri 09 Apr, 2021 8:51 pm

north-north-west wrote:Nice, icefest.

Part of the old route up Secheron from the real lake is still there, too; not the pad, but cairns that are older than I am. Amazing how long such traces persist.


Don't get me started on Secheron. That northeastern route should be illegal. :oops: :evil:
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby north-north-west » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 8:11 am

icefest wrote:
north-north-west wrote:Nice, icefest.

Part of the old route up Secheron from the real lake is still there, too; not the pad, but cairns that are older than I am. Amazing how long such traces persist.


Don't get me started on Secheron. That northeastern route should be illegal. :oops: :evil:


Amazing how long the mental scars persist, also. :wink:
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby sloz » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 8:16 am

North East Route up Secheron? I'm intrigued...Why is it so bad, icefest?
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby north-north-west » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 8:49 am

He means the connecting ridge to Lloyd Jones. It's a little bit cliffy in places. One reason so many people go out (or in) over Giblin and Jim Brown instead.
You can bypass the cliffs by using the creek gully on the northern side of Secheron, but it's a nasty scrubby bit of terrain. Simpler to do Terminal and Lloyd Jones as separate walks from the lakeshore.
Frankland - Secheron connection isn't exactly straightforward either.
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby guyburns » Wed 21 Apr, 2021 1:31 pm

Davo1 wrote:Guy,
Sent a message
Cheers


Thanks. Please gmail me at gdburns
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby nadinesmith1963 » Sun 13 Jun, 2021 5:34 pm

Im interested in finding out information about a trip to Adamsfield near Lake Pedder that occurred in the last half of 1971, and another trip that took place at Jerusalem's Walls NW Coast during the beginning of 1971. If anyone can remember being on any of these trips id love to hear from you.
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby tastrax » Sun 13 Jun, 2021 8:13 pm

Do you know if the trip was private or part of a club trip? Maybe try the Hobart Walking Club

http://hobartwalkingclub.org.au/Publici ... actUs.html
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Re: Sleuths Wanted: Scotts Peak Track 1972

Postby mountainhigh » Mon 28 Jun, 2021 9:45 am

I was viewing maps on the Restore Lake Pedder website https://lakepedder.org/restoration/maps/.

I noticed one of the maps has a hut marked northwest of Scotts Peak at a track junction.

Image

If a hut existed around this location, it would mesh with the OP's description "drove to Scotts Peak, got out and started walking...and after some time came across a Hydro hut where they stayed the night and played cards..."
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