Mt Hobhouse - 19th September 2020

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Mt Hobhouse - 19th September 2020

Postby headwerkn » Thu 15 Oct, 2020 1:30 pm

Blog ->
Video -> Maybe next week...

We'd known a few friends - including Ben Y and Cathy, who joined us on this walk - who'd either attempted or completed the non-across-the-dam approach to Mt. Hobhouse from the North East and no one had anything particularly positive to say about it. That resolved Tracey to do her earnest to get the magical keys from Hydro that'd allow both legal and vehicular access across the Clark Dam to the old bulldozer track that follows along the edge of Lake King William and towards Hobhouse's NW ridge. (The phone details are in The Abels... go buy the book!).

The road on the other side of the outflow was in good enough condition for 2WD vehicles, so we parked up near a microwave transmitter station (?), backtracked 30m and commenced the walk along the mostly overgrown but still very obvious track.

A short downhill section brought us to the shores of Lake King William and the biggest pile of old driftwood I can recall seeing - very cool. The track then meanders in a broadly SW direction until the old and seemingly unloved PWS walker registration box appears randomly. A quick look revealed this track isn't getting a lot of love lately, which is a shame.

The trail continued, varying in state from "slightly shrunken gravel road" to "I think there once was a rough track here?" but enough cairns and ribbon kept us on course without issue. Probably the main highlights were crossing the distinctive buttongrass plain - which afforded our first good views across to a still-snow capped King William range and Slatters Peak - and a decent creek crossing, which served as a good (and presumably, reliable) water refill point.

During the research phase of this trip we'd noted NatureLoverWalks and RockMonkey both endured a certain amount of misnavigation around the point where the route breaks off the old track and heads into the forest up the NW ridgeline. Sure enough, we had the same issue... a fallen cairn and extra ribbon further down the trail meant we overshot the actual turnoff point by maybe 400-500m before realising our error. We cut east into the bush and found the walking pretty open through the forest until we came onto a very well marked route... sure enough, on the return journey this neatly deposited us back on the track with plenty of markings. We repaired the now obvious cairn and put a bit of timber across the main track for the next group of hikers.

This initial section of open forest was a pleasure to walk through, with the taped route leading the way up the ridgeline. The vegetation then changed abruptly, as the thick forest canopy drops out to snow gums and dense waist high bauera. A steep climb up a well defined pad deposited us onto the first of several ridge tops. The views to the west opened up across to the stunning Slatters Peak and Lake Rufus - a target for this coming summer.

The route then continued up through the drier, scraggly scrub along the ridgeline, with a small bit of rock scrambling along the way. We soon approached and passed through the first rock outcrop that marks the westernmost point of Hobhouse's main ridgeline. From here we got our first good look out beyond to the south west - King William III, The Spires and other distant peaks. We also came across our first and only patch of snow, which I duly stabbed my otherwise redundant ice axe into. Just 'cause ;-)

From here the pad and tape kinda disappeared into the scrub for a bit as we continued further along the ridge, until the treeline lowered and the final ascent over slabby rock and low vegetation was revealed. Eventually the stick jammed into a low cairn came into view and before we knew it we were at the top, having covered the 9km is a bit over 4hrs at a pretty moderate pace.

Other than a stiff breeze conditions up top were fantastic, and made the most of the 360-degree views with an extended summit lunch and cake to celebrate Ben Y and Steph's birthday.

I'll be honest - Mt Hobhouse really surprised me, in the most pleasant way. It really is a wonderfully enjoyable walk through some stunning forest, while the mountain itself isn't the most dramatic, it offers great views of so many more that surround it.
Start of the bulldozer track
Lake King William
Driftwood graveyard
What's left of the track is pretty clear and easy enough to follow
Lovely little creek crossing
The route passes through some wonderfully picturesque forest.
Crossing the buttongrass plain
The turn off 'cairn' we missed on the way up.
Making our way through lovely open forest
Out of the forest and into the scrub up on the NW ridgeline
Adventures of the Abel Kind...
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Re: Mt Hobhouse - 19th September 2020

Postby headwerkn » Thu 15 Oct, 2020 1:39 pm

Photos continue...
Views opening up to the King William Range, Slatters Peak and Lake Rufus
Popping out beyond the NWmost knoll
Final approach to the summit.
The summit
Lunch with a view
View over the southwest to many a distant Abel ;-)
Adventures of the Abel Kind...
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Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
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Joined: Sat 09 Nov, 2013 4:50 pm
Location: Central North Tasmania
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