Mount Sorell and Darwin

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Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby frenchy_84 » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 10:01 am

I am after information for both Mount Sorell and Darwin, after driving through the west coast I have been quite inspired to start walking in the west coast range (despite the 3 hour drive from Hobart). I am thinking my first foray will be on the southern most points of the range, being Sorell and Darwin. According to Wikipedia there was an old mining settlement on the Darwin plateau between the northern and southern peaks and there are plenty of tracks/roads visible on Google earth. There is also a track to the summit of Darwin starting from the north that doesn’t go near the mining settlement. Has anyone been on the roads to the mining settlement? My current plan is to (if possible) gain vehicle access to the mining settlement and camp. From there do day walks to the both northern and southern summits of Darwin and to Mt Sorell. Does anyone know if its possible to walk to the main summit of Darwin from the mining settlement or is it a much better idea to climb it from the track from the north? Any information regarding these peaks would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby stu » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 12:12 pm

I'd also be keen for info on these 2/3, for future reference.
I also haven't done much out that way but it's all on my to-do list.
A trip out to Murchison & Julia Peak has me inspired for that whole area too.
A trip up Mt Lyell wasn't quite so inspiring, mans manipulation of the environment on full display :(
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby eggs » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 12:35 pm

I should leave this to those who have been all through there, but a long time ago (1980) I was facinated by the falls on the side of Mt Darwin and took my car (front wheel drive) part way up the road on the north side of Mt Darwin. It was a bit rough and narrow and I reconsidered a few hundred metres up the track and carefully backed down again.
Thinking I was through the worst I went back through the small creek bed a bit fast and put a hole in the radiator and the fuel line.
Had to pull out the radiator and fix it, but while I was waiting for the glue/putty to dry I went up an old bulldozer track that went straight up the side.
It ended very abruptly a short way up amongst button grass. Part way up it had eroded to about a 6 foot waterfall.
Checking on google satellite that north road is still clearly visible and would be an easy walk to almost past the tree line.
That upper part of the east side of Mt Darwin was very open button grass/rock and should be a good walk to the top.
I have not been on the southern roads, but they are also clear on Google satellite. I suspect that they might be too eroded to drive - even for 4 wheel drive.
It should be easy walking to Mt Darwin from that side as well.
Mt Sorrell is probably a much harder proposition with the scrub on the west slope of Mt Darwin.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby ollster » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 1:01 pm

stubowling wrote:I'd also be keen for info on these 2/3, for future reference.
I also haven't done much out that way but it's all on my to-do list.


Double ditto, although I was thinking of including Sth Darwin and Mt Strahan and the Jukes range in the one trip. :D
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby stu » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 2:27 pm

Maybe Easter trip next year Oll (5 days)?
Darwin, South Darwin, Sorell & Strahan (days 1-3)?
If time permitted an extra 1 night on the Jukes Range as well (day 4-5)?

Sorry to get off your original topic frenchy, should get you on one of our trips some time as well?
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby ollster » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 2:40 pm

stubowling wrote:Maybe Easter trip next year Oll (5 days)?
Darwin, South Darwin, Sorell & Strahan (days 1-3)?
If time permitted an extra 1 night on the Jukes Range as well (day 4-5)?

Sorry to get off your original topic frenchy, should get you on one of our trips some time as well?


Mmmm, I likey. Although I was thinking Norfolk Range. But I'd be happy with either.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby stu » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 2:59 pm

ollster wrote:Mmmm, I likey. Although I was thinking Norfolk Range. But I'd be happy with either.

Ditto on either / or.

Norfolk Range including (?):
Edith
Hadmar
Hazelton
Mabel
Norfolk
Sunday
Vero
West Bluff
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 3:58 pm

Wasnt sure about your availability over Easter Stu, So I was going to suggest to Azz and Oll we head off to complete the Ducane.
But if your other half gives you a pass, then I like the sound of a West coast trip!!
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby frenchy_84 » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 4:03 pm

stubowling wrote:Sorry to get off your original topic frenchy, should get you on one of our trips some time as well?


i would like that stu, my usual walking companion has traded in his walking boots for rock climbing boots of late, so my points tally is stalling. especially as you mentioned the norfolk range (another range im excited about). I have a family friend with a shack at Temma so i have been thinking of walking from the south of the norfolk range over the whole range then along the coast to Temma, but ill save that for a post titled Norfolk Range.

Ollster, i was looking at Mt Strahan but i think ill save that for another time as it look rather scrubby between Sorell and Strahan and there is also a road close to Mount Strahan from the west.

My plan is (depending on advice from this forum) on friday morning drive from hobart, walk to the settlement on the plateau between the Darwin peak and South darwin, drop packs and climb Mount Darwin walk back to camp ( if time permits climb South darwin), Saturday walk to Sorell and back, Sunday, climb south darwin if didnt succeed on friday and walk back to car. if time permits drive along kelly basin road for recon and maybe go up mt mcCall or McCutheon then drive back to hobart. Currently penciled in for 8-10 of october. Probably room in the car if your interested stu (and others)
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby stu » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 4:12 pm

Yeah, any time you want frenchy, I think you work with Dave right?

I'd love to come on that one but i'm out for most of October due to GF commitments, after Esperence Peak tomorrow I won't be out again until our trip to the Stars over the Show Day long weekend - you're welcom to come along on that one, Dave is also coming so just grab him & have a word...should be a good little 4 dayer.

Our big one for the end of the year is looming - Mt Seal, Mt Lyne, Clytemnestra, Philps etc. etc. - Excited with a capital E.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby frenchy_84 » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 4:20 pm

i know dave because my girlfriend works with him. Wont be able to do the stars cause i have a boys weekend at cockle creek then. goodluck on the mt seal etc trip, i have alot of easier points to get before i think of something like that (i still havent been in the arthurs).
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 4:27 pm

frenchy_84 wrote: (i still havent been in the arthurs).



Well thats GOTTA be priority 1, 2 AND 3 for you......
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby frenchy_84 » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 4:30 pm

ILUVSWTAS wrote:
frenchy_84 wrote: (i still havent been in the arthurs).



Well thats GOTTA be priority 1, 2 AND 3 for you......


jmac is my cousin so im going to hit him up for a walk when he is in that area
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby stu » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 4:41 pm

ILUVSWTAS wrote:Wasnt sure about your availability over Easter Stu, So I was going to suggest to Azz and Oll we head off to complete the Ducane.
But if your other half gives you a pass, then I like the sound of a West coast trip!!


Easter subject to approval :oops:

Should be all good, just keep Du Cane range in the back of your mind as a back up plan.
It's also a walk I'd love to do again anyway so I'd be happy with whatever gets suggested really.
+ I have been up all the peaks in the Du Canes so happy to guide you guys at my usual rate (alchohol & laughs) :wink:
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Fri 24 Sep, 2010 4:48 pm

Haha yeh you'd like that wouldnt you.... Sit back and get smashed while were off climbing peaks.

Well I got so many peaks in the reserve I gotta bag, so if all else fails (for Easter) I reckon I can find something to entertain myself.....
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby farefam » Mon 27 Sep, 2010 9:39 pm

Back in the 1990's I used to work in the valley between Mt Darwin, Mt Jukes and Mt Sorrell doing minerals exploration. Most of the area is criss-crossed by numerous E-W and lesser N-S gridlines that were cut through the scrub to aid the exploration work but they don't take long to grow over again.
There is/was (depending on what rehab has been done) a 4WD track that goes up to the saddle between Mt Jukes and Mt Darwin. From memory this is accessed after passing the dam at the sth end of Lake Burbury (should be visible on Google-Earth). I have no idea if the track is still open.
From the end of the 4WD track you can then head out fairly easily north for Mt Jukes (though that is probably more easily done from the high-point of the hydro road instead) or south to Mt Darwin or across to Mt Sorrell via an obvious large saddle.
It's 20 years since I've been there so I can't vouch for how much of the horrible scrub you'll encounter (I have very bad memories of loads of leeches, and the bauera+-t-tree scrub can be impenetrable without a chainsaw). I've not climbed Mt Sorrell but the cliffs were an impressive sight from the work helicopter.
Having trodden over much of this scrubby area during a period of some 6 months, you are in for a world of hurt if you get lost in that scrub!
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby vagrom » Wed 29 Sep, 2010 9:55 pm

Dale from LWC gave me some advice on approaches to Sorell some years ago. Apparently there are/were old mining survey tracks in the area to the east of it. But everything grows over fast down there. I think the traditional approach has been from the harbour, with a trip down on Stormbreaker as an option.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby Buddy » Sat 02 Oct, 2010 9:13 pm

There are two 4WD tracks that climb Darwin. Actually I suspect there are more, but have not had the time to do them. One commences at the back of a quarry not far past Darwin dam. It is tough and requires diff. locks etc. Quick way up though. The other is behind a Parks boom gate further north and surmounts Intercolonial Spur, another mining zone. Both will give a scrub free ascent to spectacular high ground.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby Azza » Sun 07 Nov, 2010 7:02 pm

farefam wrote:Back in the 1990's I used to work in the valley between Mt Darwin, Mt Jukes and Mt Sorrell doing minerals exploration. Most of the area is criss-crossed by numerous E-W and lesser N-S gridlines that were cut through the scrub to aid the exploration work but they don't take long to grow over again.


Actually..... they're still there and still quite well defined...

I went up that way on the weekend with a half baked plan of walking over the top of Jukes, Proprietary, Pyramid Peak etc.
We ended up following the track shown on the 1:25000 Darwin till it ended up in the Lake Jukes Cirque.
I found a few piles of rusty iron and broken glass spread around the place and had an inkling that it was an old mining exploration site.
Lo and behold...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Jukes_Mine_sites

From there we found a pad with cairns that led us to what I'd describe as a 1m wide dead straight rut cut into the scrub extending for what seemd like km's - probably all the way to the valley floor. We followed it right up to the cliffs under Pyramid Peak at which point it abruptly ended with 3 stakes in the ground.
There were numerous indistinct pads running off in all directions. It was getting late in the day at that stage and I wasn't up for an epic - (or my partner wouldn't have appreciated a scrub bash into the unknown.. I think we're probably a hundred metres or two off Lower Lake Jukes) so we retreated. Driving around the next day we notice these gridlines everywhere, with tapes and cairns.. all very misleading!

We've gotta get the team out there for a mission sometime.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby Azza » Sun 07 Nov, 2010 9:13 pm

I'm also wondering what sort of beast machine cuts 1m wide dead straight through tassie scrub for km's on km's. All the trees were sawn off close to the ground and the track went over bloulders and up steep terrain, it just kept going.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 07 Nov, 2010 10:19 pm

BOMBADIER!!!!!!!!
Nothing to see here.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby Azza » Mon 08 Nov, 2010 8:47 am

Thats a dozer right? These tracks weren't much wider than a single person.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby stepbystep » Mon 08 Nov, 2010 8:51 am

Yowie juiced up on the waters of the King River, or just someone who's been stuck in Queenie too long...
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby eggs » Mon 08 Nov, 2010 10:21 am

30 years ago I was at the Renison Bell mine doing some vac work and there was a student geologist there as well.
He did all the exciting things like helicopter rides into the middle of nowhere and then they would follow the grid lines cut through the bush you are describing - examing the rocks.

You would need to ask one of these guys, but the impression I got is that they were hand cut by a crew that went in ahead of them.

I should add that the final part of the ascent up Mt Dundas was over a cut track that was very precise - sheer walls of vegetation above head height each side & scrub sheared off at the base.
This was not a dead straight track - but I believed it was the work of guys with machetes.
Anyone been up there more recently to see what it looks like after 30 years?
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby mjdalessa » Tue 22 Nov, 2011 4:03 pm

I have a copy of Skyline number 9 from the fifties that talks about most of these with maps of all the old tracks. It seems to be good info despite being fifty years old. Anyone who is still interested in info; PM me, I'm happy to provide details/ scans. It shows a track over the lower slopes of jukes and through which would explain all the little pads going everywhere.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby farefam » Sun 08 Sep, 2013 10:33 pm

FYI The narrow exploration gridlines found throughout parts of the West Coast Range (which are typically no more than a metre wide) are cut by a team of field assistants using chainsaws and other hand tools. It is very labour intensive work. In the days before GPS the directions of the lines were usually surveyed in using a compass or surveyors theodolite and a stringline or measuring tape was often used to measure off the distances. The geologists would then go into the area shortly after the lines were cut to map and sample the rocks within the area on or adjacent to the gridlines. Whether the grid lines are maintained or not depends on whether further work beyond preliminary mapping or geophysical surveying is required. Often an old gridline will be re-cut and re-established years later by a different exploration company when they take over the exploration lease for another look, as it is far less labour intensive and expensive than cutting completely new lines from scratch. In these days of low impact exploration bulldozers are generally not used for early stage exploration work due to the very high cost and difficulty of rehabilitating disturbed areas. Many of the old bulldozed 4WD tracks date back to well before the 1980's and 90's when (quite rightly) low impact exploration techniques were first mandated by legislation.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby Paul » Mon 09 Sep, 2013 9:59 pm

The exploration cut-lines were very very vague when we went through in 2008.
They did not alleviate the need to scrub bash - completely grown over in most areas.

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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby daznkez » Fri 20 Sep, 2013 11:04 pm

Me and the lass have walked up Darwin a couple of times to the summit
When the falls are pumping at the cirque the place has some atmosphere
Park at the old Darwin town site, as others have noted the track soon becomes undriveable
Amble steeply uphill for a k or two till you reach a few old mine adits with viscous ooze leaching out
Follow the old 4wd track up until it levels off and heads south towards tunnel cirque
At this stage you reach a point where a taped totem pole on the right indicates a walking track
Head ever so steeply up through scrub in a straight line for several hundred metres
The track then winds at an easier grade south wards to the top of tunnel cirque falls and he scrub gives way to the plateau
All this is the original old track to the gold mines down in the next valley and is on the 1.25000.
Head across the plateau following vague track and stream for a few Kim's to the view to Sorrel
There are a couple of old gold mines here if you are keen of eye
From here slug it out for a k or so to Darwin summit
I wouldn't try getting to Sorrel this way. Best to go via Pillinger.... Or helicopter !.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby cap_jack » Tue 20 Oct, 2015 11:23 am

old thread but if anyone wants info on mount sorell, we've been up to the top twice - from the Macquaire harbour side. also have walked out to Darwin's carter.
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Re: Mount Sorell and Darwin

Postby doogs » Tue 20 Oct, 2015 12:04 pm

I'd be interested in the route from Macquarie Harbour. I have heard of a route over Darwin, but I'm keen to hear of an approach from a different direction. Cheers :)
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