Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby vagrom » Sun 18 Feb, 2024 4:28 pm

But a bit like getting off at Redfern.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 18 Feb, 2024 7:47 pm

north-north-west wrote:
Baeng72 wrote: And because I get 1 trip, I'd rather choose the glacial lakes of the WA than Mt Anne or Frenchmans.


And yet many visitors consider their Frenchmans or Anne circuit trips to be the highlight of their bushwalking careers ...
It seems to be a bit biting off the nose to spite the face. Or, if you want a different cliched old adage, better half a loaf than no bread. There's never any certainty in attempting any walk, and even getting no further than Oberon is an experience worth having.

I don't get the point of this comment.
Some people want to walk the WAs, some Frenchmans, vive la difference!
I just can't see in the next year or 3 that I could do more than 1 Tas. walk that required a week or more off work, travel, expenses. The partner wouldn't allow it for starters.
I did the overland 4 years ago, and I'm just ruminating about another trip.
Anyway, I'm not heading to Tassy in a hurry, so I'm not sure why I commented except to say it seems like there's a high-bar, which is probably appropriate.
I'd be stoked if I headed down to do the WA Traverse and spend a night at Oberon.
Then turned back, because of unexpected weather/bushfire/injury/Thylacaine activity.
But If it was because I wasn't prepared, I'd probably be a bit unhappy and crappy to be around for a while, or very much so. :D
Anyway, I'm writing lots and saying little.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby Chev » Mon 19 Feb, 2024 2:18 pm

This discussion has drifted from the initial question, but it does make me reflect on my own experience (or lack thereof!)

I made three trips to Tasmania in my mid-20s. Each time I had the feeling that next time I'd like to walk the Western Arthurs. It just never worked out that way and twenty years on there's a fair chance I'll never get there. No regrets, my choices/plans made sense at the time. But it maybe goes to show you can, through proper caution, miss the boat entirely.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby Last » Mon 19 Feb, 2024 2:25 pm

Chev wrote:This discussion has drifted from the initial question, but it does make me reflect on my own experience (or lack thereof!)

I made three trips to Tasmania in my mid-20s. Each time I had the feeling that next time I'd like to walk the Western Arthurs. It just never worked out that way and twenty years on there's a fair chance I'll never get there. No regrets, my choices/plans made sense at the time. But it maybe goes to show you can, through proper caution, miss the boat entirely.

Don't give up yet! I was 63 when I went last and am thinking of going again.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby phATty » Mon 19 Feb, 2024 2:51 pm

Oh dear this thread has really turned quite melancholy haha.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby Chev » Mon 19 Feb, 2024 3:08 pm

Yes, it's not too late by any stretch. And sorry for seeming melancholy! Didn't mean to!
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby north-north-west » Mon 19 Feb, 2024 3:17 pm

Chev wrote:I made three trips to Tasmania in my mid-20s. Each time I had the feeling that next time I'd like to walk the Western Arthurs. It just never worked out that way and twenty years on there's a fair chance I'll never get there. No regrets, my choices/plans made sense at the time. But it maybe goes to show you can, through proper caution, miss the boat entirely.


At 23 I walked the Port Davey and South Coast Tracks and, passing the WArthurs, I promised to myself "I'm going to get up there one day!"
It took 30 years but I finally made a solo full traverse and have been back in four more times. Also, the legendary walker Jack Thwaites didn't summit Federatiion until he was 73. It's never too late.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby headwerkn » Wed 21 Feb, 2024 2:49 pm

Coming off an overnight camp atop Ossa a few years ago, I met a lady making her way up to Pelion Gap, slowly but surely and with a big smile on her face. She was 83 years old. She'd been doing the Overland Track each year for the past 10 years. Bless her cottonmerino socks.

One thing I've learned from walking in bushwalking clubs especially the past few years is that age really is just a number... people in their 60s and 70s and beyond are MORE THAN CAPABLE, even if they're not quite as fast as they might have been 'in their prime'. And with the significant advances in lighter gear/materials, there's plenty of scope to ease the burden as our bodies start to age.

(Side rant: if you're over 65 years old and still rocking the gear you bought in in the 70s and 80s, you're making it harder for yourself than necessary! Give the OG gear a graceful retirement, embrace new materials, cut your pack weight in half... your back and knees will surely thank you with another decade-plus of service ;-) )

Anyway... I hope no one reading this thread gets despondent, or feels like local walkers are trying to 'impose' unreasonably high 'barriers to entry' or whatnot. That's not the intent here.

While there are genuine, serious concerns about the preparedness of some visitors going into particular areas, let's also bear in mind the majority of people do complete the Western Arthurs et. al. without major issue or needing help from SAR. Unfortunately as walker numbers steadily increase year upon year, that few percent who will invariably find themselves in trouble becomes greater too.

It's just really important for everyone - local or visiting from elsewhere - to properly understand and appreciate the challenges of these walks, and not assume that the facilities found on the Overland Track or Three Capes are in any way indicative of what can be expected on other walks in the state.

* Do your research
* Respect the weather
* Be realistic as to your abilities
* Go with more experienced people, or build your own experience levels up if need be.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby Letstryagain » Wed 21 Feb, 2024 3:10 pm

Very true Head-W. I once met a young lady celebrating her 90th on Field West. She'd recently done a long overnighter to Mt Ronald Cross too.

Exceptional stories like this are inspiring, though I am reminded that while age is just a number, that number is also an extremely accurate barometer of our age.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby headwerkn » Thu 22 Feb, 2024 8:15 am

Letstryagain wrote: that number is also an extremely accurate barometer of our age.


I more prefer "serving suggestion" ;-)
The equation is likely "mind + body.10^knees" though...
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby phATty » Thu 22 Feb, 2024 10:25 am

Letstryagain wrote:Very true Head-W. I once met a young lady celebrating her 90th on Field West. She'd recently done a long overnighter to Mt Ronald Cross too.

Exceptional stories like this are inspiring, though I am reminded that while age is just a number, that number is also an extremely accurate barometer of our age.


I know I am a young gun, but I too have seen some impressive feats from similarly aged folk. Particularly off track and in the scrub.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby kRaydenH » Thu 28 Mar, 2024 6:52 am

Well I have decided to go through with it, my bag is about 20kg and I’m currently on the spirit of tas, although the weather cab change on a dime it’s looking pretty good and it’s projected to be clear for the first 3.5 days, depending on how I’m travelling and how I feel I might try push to Oberon on day 1 (if I can’t make it I can camp at Square Lake) and get to high moor day 2. Mostly I wanted to check with anyone else who has recently been how the water situation is at High moor
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby phATty » Thu 28 Mar, 2024 7:48 am

kRaydenH wrote:Well I have decided to go through with it, my bag is about 20kg and I’m currently on the spirit of tas, although the weather cab change on a dime it’s looking pretty good and it’s projected to be clear for the first 3.5 days, depending on how I’m travelling and how I feel I might try push to Oberon on day 1


Oberon is certainly doable as an early day. When I did it I started at around 6 and got to Cygnus at 11. Anyway, good luck! The WAs are teeming with people these days so you'll have lots of help around if you get stuck.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby lefroy » Sun 07 Apr, 2024 7:53 pm

All hanging out to see how you went!
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby kRaydenH » Sun 07 Apr, 2024 10:39 pm

Well I survived, I just spent like 3 hours typing out all my experiences and I accidentally deleted it all. Overall I got very lucky with weather and did in 4 days, I pushed very hard, got injured a bit, got lost a bit, saw some incredible views, met some great people, I might type it all out again another time but for now I’d recommend doing it if you get the chance, I wouldn’t do anything between Oberon-Haven in bad weather so maybe allow for extra days to stay at camp if you need to and pack food accordingly. It’s way better to do it with others than solo, especially for morale.


Edit: I’d recommend it for people with more experience than me, I almost died, don’t do it if your inexperienced like me, it was really really stupid, especially since I kinda messed up and didn’t get a PLB
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Leaving Haven early in the morning
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Lake Sirona
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So glad I didn’t listen to whoever told me to ditch the bread with honey butter, best meal I’ve ever had, actually life changing.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby Tortoise » Mon 08 Apr, 2024 11:30 am

G'day kRaydenH. Thanks for checking back in. I'm probably not the only one really keen to hear more of your story! Morale is something I don't think any of us who were concerned about your plan mentioned. It can be a huge issue when things start going pear-shaped. (Too cold, wet, injured etc etc)

I've done the same, accidentally deleting stuff I'm writing online. Very frustrating!!! If I'm writing much, I've found it's much safer to write/save it in a word document and cut & paste here or there later.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby phATty » Tue 09 Apr, 2024 8:26 am

I can't help but mention that surely you were inspired by the Outdoor Boys youtube channel regarding the 'warm fresh bread with honey butter' haha. Congratulations anyway and I think we're all glad you made it through and learnt some things along the way.

Some members of this forum may disagree with me, and do as you please, but I feel like walking in itself isn't really a skill. I think experience generally comes with extra resilience more than anything. Navigation and simple things like where to set up a tent/how to pitch it/what to pack maybe being the exception to that. I think in good weather just about anyone can get through, it's just time and time again this range seems to get alot of tourists rescued and we all probably hate that aspect.

Some great photos and can't wait to see your write up ;)
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Postby kRaydenH » Sat 13 Apr, 2024 11:09 am

Some more photos
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby kRaydenH » Sat 13 Apr, 2024 11:20 am

First off, thank you to everyone who gave me advice, I’m overall so glad I did this even though I was definitely lacking in experience and gear. I was aiming to take 5 days and allowed for 8 just in case of bad weather but as I mentioned before I had near perfect weather and only took 4 days. Also I forgot some pretty important gear, I didn’t bring any paper maps, a water filter/tablets and like I mentioned before didn’t bring A BEACON.

I took a day ferry because it was cheaper and drove down as soon as I could, I would not recommend doing this. The roads leading to the trail are very populated with animals at night. I saw lot of animals both alive and dead on the way down. I almost hit a full sized adult wombat too, luckily I was going slow enough to swerve out of the way last minute. On top of that the roads were windy at parts and pretty thin, I was consistently going 20-40kms below the speed limit and as a result didn’t even make it close to Scott’s peak dam that night, wasting petrol I couldn’t refill at the time. If possible I’d recommend driving down a bit later when it’s bright or even coming in the afternoon and camping at Junction (unless maybe your coming from Hobart)

Day 1
I slept in my car in a small town but woke up at 4am due to the cold. I drove down to Scott’s peak dam, arriving around 7:30 around the same time as a group of 4 and setting off just before 8.
I was enjoying the walking through the woods at the beginning but when I got to the muddy sections started to have regrets. Despite it not raining there was a lot of moisture in the air and on the shrubbery leaving me immediately soaked, on top of this it was also very foggy, to be honest I was a little miserable. I took almost 4 hours getting to Junction creek because I somehow imagined it would be possible to keep my socks dry.
As I arrived at junction the weather started to clear so I soaked up a bit of sun while I washed my gaiters and boots for some reason, I also stupidly cut myself right down my index finger when opening some cheese because I forgot how sharp my knife was.
I was debating wether or not to have lunch but decided I push on and eat later, but when I got to the upper section of junction creek and saw the view of the range I immediately changed my mind. I think my dehydrated meal must have been expired because it didn’t dehydrated properly at all, leaving a terrible taste in my mouth, but I got that one for free anyway and I didn’t really care, I was happy to be eating with a view. I set off towards Alpha Moraine re-energised with a smile on my face and got there in about an hour, at this point though I was running a little low on water as I assumed any water that wasn’t clear wasn’t drinkable, I asked a group that were returning from Cygnus about water and they kindly gave me some tablets that they didn’t need anymore, telling me to fill up from a stream on the way up. I must of missed the stream because next thing I new I was half way up, completely out of water and dehydrated, I eventually got so desperate I drank the water dripping from some rocks despite it being yellow, which I later realised is completely fine.
In all due to the dehydration it took me a good 3-4 hours to ascend Alpha Moraine. It was starting to get late and I was worried I wouldn’t make it to camp before sunset. At one point I worried the path was going towards lake Fortuna and ended up taking another path where I saw some footsteps in the mud, which in hindsight was pretty obviously not a real path. It was mossy, overgrown and steep but it looked like what I had seen of the beggary bumps so I didn’t think too much of it. I ended up stepping onto a rock shelf while climbing down which I quickly realised was slippery and not a great place to be, I tried to sit down but my pack was in the way so I slowly moved it to the side and lowered it with my rope. I climbed down after my pack and realised I was on another large shelf overlooking Fortuna and I had gone the wrong way. I called out to see if anyone was around to help but no one responded, I realised I was on my own. In all the drop must of been just over 5m because with my standing up and the rope it barely reached the ground above, due to jagged overhanging rocks though I wasn’t able to pull my pack over from safe ground without it getting caught. I considered climbing out with my pack but climbing up without my bag was already a challenge due to the lack of good holds and how slippery they were. I eventually found a way to pin myself between 2 rocks by pushing my legs off one and my back off the other, I got my bag high enough to grab and lifted it up above myself to safe ground. I was so tired and cold at this point that my legs were cramping with every step as I climbed back up the mossy path I came, I ended up just sitting on a rock for 5 minutes eating peanut putter straight from the jar and thinking about how if I fell I’d probably of injured myself to the point where I wouldn’t be stuck with no beacon or anyone who knows where I am.
I got to Cygnus a little past 7 and reunited with the group of 4 I had met that morning.

Day 2
I slept terribly that night, I was freezing in my old sleeping bag and was considering either turning back that day or after the next after reaching Oberon but the group of 4 were planning on pushing to high moor that day which tempted me to do the same.
I set off before anyone else around 8am not sure where I would be camping that night and got to Oberon a bit earlier than I expected at 12:30. I was also in a great mood as I really enjoyed the steep climb down before Oberon, I had prepared some camp bread that morning but was too full from my oats to eat it so I thought it would be perfect to have overlooking Oberon. I struggled a bit cooking it, burning the hell out of my stove that was designed solely for boiling water, it came out burnt on the outside and a little raw in the middle but it was absolutely amazing. In the process I had somehow burnt a hole in one of my thin 1.25L plastic bottles but I didn’t think too much off it since I still have another 2L of water capacity. Maybe it was the delicious meal but I was having the time of my life with the sections following Oberon, I had caught up with the group of 4 after they passed me while I ate lunch too and they pointed out easier and safer ways of doing climbs, offered to help me with my pack while climbing through the rocks and pointed out when I almost got lost going the wrong way again. Eventually I took a snack break and they passed me though, I was on my own again and quickly went back to getting lost I ended up getting a pretty decent gash on my knee after sliding down while climbing around a rock, visibility was very low at the time and I really struggled to follow the cairns, I ended up continuing down a mossy and muddy decent for a good 20 minutes or so before ending up on a shelf, again I called out to see if anyone was around to lead me back towards the correct path but no one was around so I slowly retraced my steps and climbed back up. Because of this the sun went down before I could make it to camp and I stumbled around in the dark with my headtorch for about 30 minutes, making it to high moor at 8 exhausted and cold. I was almost too tired to make dinner but was way too hungry to not eat. I fell asleep almost immediately when I laid down.

Day 3
The next morning I realised I have definitely overpacked in terms of food, especially considering I was progressing a day ahead of schedule so I offered some extra food to the group of 4 and they accepted. I talked to them about the beggary bumps and one of them ended up offering to lend me a PLB for peace of mind since I mentioned I didn’t have one.
I set off pretty early again around 8:30, hoping to make it through the beggary bumps before anyone else caught up so I would be found if I got injured. Honestly didn’t have much trouble though, after the climbing on day 1 I thought I could handle anything. A little later in the day at about 1 I stopped for a water break only to realise my other 1L plastic bottle had been punctured leaving me with only my 1L Nalgene, which was also missing. I realised I had dropped it without realising earlier when I was listening to music through my earphones. Just as I left my bag to walk back and find my bottle I heard chattering, I called out and it was the group of 4 earlier, I asked if they had seen a bottle and turns out they picked it up along the way. I gave them back their PLB and they gave me my bottle, they were going to have lunch and offered to let me join but considering I only had about 400ml of water left I decided to push to Haven which I thought would only be an hour or so away. The final stretch to haven felt incredibly long, I was dehydrated, injured, hungry and tired. As I reached the top of a mountain I saw something blue on top of a cairn, as I approached I realised it was a chocolate Easter egg, a previous group of 3 left it there for someone to find and honestly I desperately needed it at that point and it gave me a 2nd wind. I did notice I had a sharp pain between my groin and leg at this point but pushed on thinking about the cold thirst quenching water at haven.
I got to haven at half past 3 and enjoyed the first real bit of relaxation I had so far, I had lunch in the sun, went for a swim, did a little laundry and relaxed laying in my tent soaking up the sun and listening to music, it was honestly so nice. That night I noticed my pain was getting worse, any movement of my leg was painful and I struggled to sleep.

Day 4
I ended up waking up around 5 and decided to make breakfast and try head out at first light, I used my headtorch to get ready and packed up thinking I had plenty of battery but started to get low.
My leg was still painful so I was moving pretty slow, I’m not sure what it was but my best guess at the time was that I pulled a tendon, I took a neurofen and continued limping onwards. While I wanted to make it back to the car today I thought it was more likely I’d camp at junction with how slow I was moving.
I found the descent to lake Biowa pretty tough with my leg as I especially found it hard to lift it up but took my time and did it. The group of 3 which left the Easter egg had camped there overnight and I arrived just as they were waking up, I downed a litre of water and filled up another bottle for later as I started to get passed by everyone and was on my own again.
As I decedent kappa moraine the painkillers started to kick in and I was feeling great, enjoying my music and looking back thinking how insane it is that I crossed the mountain range I was looking back at.
I ended up at Seven mile Creek around 12:30 after realising I missed the shortcut, I just walked straight through the creek getting my boots soaked so I let them dry for 30 mins or so while I had some lunch.
I got to junction very tired around 5:15, I knew it would be impossible to make it back to the car before sunset and considering there’s no point in getting to my car that night and my headtorch is low I knew I should camp at junction for the night. At this point, I really just didn’t want to bother setting up my tent and it somehow seemed like more effort than walking 3 hours. So at 5:20 I headed for the car hoping to make it as far as possible before sunset. I walked as fast as I could without stopping until dark, I managed to make it all the way to a small waterhole in the woods I remembered on the way in, I took a short break, got out my head torch and had a snack. I tried to be sparing with my head torch but eventually it still died and I only had my phone flashlight with 20% left. I finished a few minutes past 8pm and once I sat down it really hit me how tired I was, my back was so tired from carrying my pack that I could barely raise my arms. After 30 minutes or so of driving I realised I should probably change into some dry socks and boots and I was barely able to walk to the back of my car to get my shoes, I ended up pulling into a small town where I had a signal, texted my family that I was safe and passed out in the drivers seat of my car. It rained overnight though so I’m kind of glad I didn’t stay at junction.

Conclusions
If I were to do this again I would definitely do a few things differently, I would go with other people which I think would be a lot more fun and make it harder to get lost.
I also wish I didn’t bring so much food, especially soups and drinks, I imagined I would be regularly stopping and boiling water but I couldn’t be bothered to get my stove out.
I was definitely inspired by outdoor boys to bring camp bread and got into their videos when I was planning this hike. But the man knows his *&%$#!, it’s a good combo, I made practice bread at home and was already loving it with marinara sauce, but honey and butter just brought it to another level.
I suppose I agree that walking isn’t really a ‘skill’ but to me it makes sense to refer to those experience related things and knowledge colloquially as a skill.
Now that I’ve done it though I get it, I see why people don’t recommend this hike easily, as I was heading back to Scott’s peak dam I ran into a middle aged couple coming in who said they were planning on doing the “full traverse”, the eastern authurs track was closed so either they didn’t know that or they didn’t know the route was called A-K, either way I worried they didn’t do their research which was worrying considering the rain in the following days.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby north-north-west » Sat 13 Apr, 2024 1:51 pm

Full traverse could just mean the entire Western Arthurs, descending to the Arthur Plains past Lake Rosanne. That section of the range gets a lot less travel and is somewhat easier country (except for the mess around Strike Creek). The Eastern Athurs is not closed. It was for a few years after the 2019 fires but was reopened a while back. The road access has changed and the YoYo (Huon) Track is a shambles beyond Blakes Opening and very strongly discouraged, but the other tracks are open.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby bumpingbill » Sat 13 Apr, 2024 8:02 pm

Well done and I’m glad you had a good time.

I’m not entirely sure if this is all for dramatic effect/put on for a lol but it doesn’t really matter - to anyone reading this in the future, don’t be like this person.

Do your planning. Know your route. If you’re new to it, don’t do it alone. Take a map and know how to follow it. For god’s sake take a beacon. Don’t use a YouTube channel from Alaska as research. Do take your time! What’s the point in smashing it out in 4 days when you have 7? Enjoy the surroundings. Marvel at the beauty. If you need to rely on others, fine - but don’t count on it. Have fun!

Humans can do amazing stuff and pull through difficult things. Doesn’t mean we have to. Basic research would have helped with a lot of this person’s issues. Anyway least they’re back and experienced one of the best walks in Tassie.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby phATty » Sun 14 Apr, 2024 10:42 am

Great trip report! To the dismay of some of the walkers on here, I actually think cooking camp bread is a great idea if you can/you are willing to carry the weight. Maybe not every day, I could see the flour getting a little bit heavy for no reason but for the odd treat or brekky for the first couple of days it sounds pretty good and I'm sure you would've had people drooling at camp haha.
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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby JamesMc » Mon 29 Apr, 2024 6:06 pm

I'm glad it all went well for you. Where to next?

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Re: Help Planning Solo Western Authurs Hike (A-K)

Postby kRaydenH » Tue 30 Apr, 2024 7:41 am

After finishing the Western Authurs I was thinking I’d never do anything like this again and was pretty burned out, but just yesterday I saw someone climb Mt Anne and was thinking I should have done it while I was in Tassie. I think I’ll do a multi day in the Grampians somewhere, might be more like camping and doing day hikes though if I can convince friends to come since I don’t think they would be into multi day backpacking. Plus they don’t have any gear to do it with.
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