Mt Mueller 25th July 2020

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Mt Mueller 25th July 2020

Postby headwerkn » Thu 13 Aug, 2020 1:10 pm

Mt. Mueller 25th July 2020

Blog and more photos - http://www.benderandxing.com/2020/08/10/mount-mueller/
Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z20xY8U ... =emb_title

With the Snowy Range trio and Mt Wedge summit'd in the past couple of months, Mt. Mueller was firmly in our sights. So it was quite fortuitous when the Pandani Walking Club extended an invitation to join them on an upcoming trip to said Abel, we jumped at the opportunity.

The track to Fossil Lake starts towards the end of Mueller Road, off Spur 6 which isn't marked but some basic Google Mapping will soon reveal the location of the trail head. A long fallen tree had us parking up a few hundred metres before the start of the single track, marked with a lone cairn and ribbon.

The Abels describes the initial track - the remains of an old bulldozer track apparently, that heads in an almost straight line NW towards Fossil Lake - as somewhat overgrown and difficult at times due to infrequent use. This wasn't the case for us as someone had done a goodly amount of track clearing in the near past. The well-muddied pad also suggested the track has seen more use recently than Bill's book suggests.

Despite our large-ish group of 14, we made fast progress towards the lake, gaining elevation gradually and continually until we came out onto an elevated gravel clearing where the first views of Mt Mueller's slightly-lower eastern summit, suitably speckled with snow from recent falls. From here it was a brief drop down to Fossil Lake, where after a quick break, we picked up the route again from the middle of the Lake's northern edge and headed straight up onto the southern shoulder of Mueller's U-shaped ridgeline.

The stiff climb soon got us above the scrub line, with views opening up to the east and south across the Styx Valley and the Snowy Range, the latter mostly obscured by cloud. Fortunately as we continued to climb northwards up the barer ridgeline we could see clearer skies out to our west, including the summit of Mt. Mueller itself.

The ridgeline plateaus around "Mt. Mueller East", the unofficial (?) name of the eastern-side high point, said to be a mere 5m lower than the 'true' high point/Abel approximately 1km to the west.

From here a mostly visible pad works its way through low heath and rock down to a lowish saddle further west, before the route jacks back up steeply for the final approach to the summit. Rocks damp with snow and ice made this last bit rather interesting, as a solid climb is required to reach the cairn atop the highest point.

From the summit we enjoyed awesome 360-degree views... to the east you can see almost the entire route taken, to the south the Mt Anne group, around the west the Lakes Pedder and Gordon with Mt. Wedge in between, to the north Mt.s Lord and Field West and Florentine Peak. Highly atypical of winter in the south west, the weather was perfectly calm up top so we enjoyed a lengthy relaxing lunch before commencing our return journey.

All in all a highly recommendable mountain for all but absolute beginners, and one made all the better with great folk from Pandani. While the track etc. is relatively easy to follow with nothing particularly difficult to deal with save sections of rock scrambling, it is worth mentioning that the ~1.5km section of open ridgeline walking is highly exposed to weather from all sides, and probably not a place to be if things cut up. A few of the folks recounted tales of encountering a blizzard up top on their last trip out there. Something to keep in mind.
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Muddy green tunnel up to Fossil Lake
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Fossil Lake and Mt Mueller East
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The reason why Fossil Lake is called Fossil Lake, I'm guessing!
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Climbing up onto the ridge just west of Fossil Lake
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Mt Mueller as the group make their way across the ridgeline to the north-east
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Heading down to the saddle before the final climb
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The final scramble to the top
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Looking out to the west
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Lunch with a view! (looking south towards Mt. Anne, mostly obscured by cloud)
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headwerkn
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Re: Mt Mueller 25th July 2020

Postby RicktheHuman » Mon 17 Aug, 2020 10:22 am

Nie write up and pics
Went i was there a couple of winters ago the frost was so thick on the ascent from the Lake.
I also have a photo of that exact rock! :lol:
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I lika do da cha-cha
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Re: Mt Mueller 25th July 2020

Postby headwerkn » Wed 19 Aug, 2020 12:17 pm

Heheh thanks Rick, I reckon those rocks have been photographed many a time over the years!
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Re: Mt Mueller 25th July 2020

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 19 Aug, 2020 12:30 pm

Nice examples of Fenestella fossils, which my latin-fixated 12 year old tells me means "Windows". I guess these corals look like they have a lot of tiny windows in them.
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Re: Mt Mueller 25th July 2020

Postby Billybob_Baggins » Tue 19 Dec, 2023 11:07 pm

We climbed Mt Mueller today, in variable weather (all 4 seasons), and it's a cracker of a walk, but a decent day out.

Road access very good (Dec 2023),it's a nicely graded logging road. I'd say even a 2-wheel drive would be OK with good ground clearance. My Outback was fine on the way up, and no sign of any locked gates. Took about 30mins from Maydena. And yes, very few of the roads are labelled, you will want GPS to find that turnoff at the correct spur off Mueller Road.

It then took us a solid 8hrs return walking from the trailhead, but we are 3 old blokes - I'm sure young tigers could do better. Climb up to Fossil Lake and then the east summit was straightforward, but route-finding along the ridge was pretty sketchy with the mist, we kept mislaying the pad and scrambling over rocks or through scrub. Final climb up to the true (west) summit was rock scrambling with all 4 limbs, looking for small cairns along the way, but not technically difficult or dangerous (no exposure or big drops). It took us 90mins to summit and return back to the col, so slow going.

Not entirely convinced that the long trek in the mist, rain. hail and wind along the ridge was worth the 5m altitude gain from Mueller East to Mueller West!! But if we hadn't done it, you just know it would have gnawed at our souls...

We got glimpses of some great views in all directions, as the rainclouds scudded past. A belter of a mountain, within striking distance of Hobart for a longish daywalk.
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Re: Mt Mueller 25th July 2020

Postby Tas Tom » Fri 21 Jun, 2024 8:18 pm

Anyone have a recent update on Mt Mueller access? I have a vague recollection of someone telling me the STT gate is now locked but I can't remember where I saw/heard it. Any recent information would be appreciated
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Re: Mt Mueller 25th July 2020

Postby Tas Tom » Tue 16 Jul, 2024 3:56 pm

In the absence of any other replies I will now answer my own question as two of us went up Mt Mueller last Saturday. Arranged and collected a key to the Mueller Road gate from STT in Derwent Park (refundable deposit required) on Friday. On Saturday the gate was unlocked and open and the road access to the start of the track was good.

Some sections of the track up to Fossil Lake were unsurprisingly pretty wet but there was less bauera and scrub than I remembered. Also looked like someone had slashed the worst of the cutting grass relatively recently. Above Fossil Lake to the lower of the two summits: snow, wind, rain etc which was about what we expected from the forecast.

Key returned to STT on Monday- they were surprised that the gate wasn't locked when we went in = you probably should get a key if you want to go
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