The Devil's Backbone

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The Devil's Backbone

Postby bluewombat » Sun 18 Jul, 2010 12:37 pm

The Devil's Backbone is in the Mt Hartz National park and comprises the long broken ridge starting in the north and leading to Mt Hartz. It is a prominent feature in the final part of the drive to the Mt Hartz car park. I have been thinking about climbing up to the high point for about 20 years now, which might classify as procrastination. Initially you take the tourist track to Lake Osbourne, which starts at the nw corner of the car park. After 20 minutes you reach Lake Osbourne and then follow a less well defined but long standing trail to Lake Perry. This runs over the small hill to the east of Lake Osbourne, through a small gulley, across a bit of a bog and to the beautiful little beach on the SE corner of Lake Perry. From there a good pad takes you along the morraine ridge which runs around to a ridge leading directly to the top of the Backbone. The track disappears over the last few hundred metres of ascent, or at least it did for me. Not surprising as you need to fight your way up one of the steep gulleys in between the greasy rock faces. The gulleys are naturally choked with the usual suspects, scoparia and cutting grass, as well as a few pandani and small fagus. The high point cairn is about 75 metres north of where you pop out on the ridge assuming you go almost straight up. The views to Hartz, Snowy and Adamsons are excellent, most of the further peaks SW and W were obscured in cloud. Return the same way, total walking time about 2 hours 45 mins. I rate this one 3 out of 5, mostly because it has one of the best names for any peak in Tassie, but also for the lovely lakes and seriously good views.
bw

The Devil's backbone (3)_Medium.JPG
Looking south to Hartz and Snowy
Attachments
The Devil's backbone (4)_Medium.JPG
looking NW from the summit
The Devil's backbone (11)_Medium.JPG
the northern extent of the backbone
The Devil's backbone (12)_Medium.JPG
The northern end of Perry and the access ridge
Even a long life is short
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Re: The Devil's Backbone

Postby stepbystep » Sun 18 Jul, 2010 2:00 pm

Thanks for the info bw,
Have been thinking of this ridgeline traverse for some time, maybe this summer......
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Re: The Devil's Backbone

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 18 Jul, 2010 5:25 pm

It can also be done as a circuit going along the usual track to Hartz peak, across to Mt Snowy, down to Emily tarn, back to Hartz Pass, then along the Devils backbone to where BW talks about.
This is a fairly long 6-8 hr day but an EXCELLENT walk for people wanting a bit of off track experience in a fairly safe area, as if you get into trouble or worried, you can drop down at anytime to hit the boardwalk track along the plateau.
Nothing to see here.
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Re: The Devil's Backbone

Postby stu » Tue 20 Jul, 2010 10:38 am

BW - thanks for your write up & photos; love that second shot, love those sun ray shots, they sum up wild tassie for me :D

SBS - I'd come along on a ridge top traverse some time over summer, i've been thinking about this for a while now too.
Start at the north end somewhere, traverse south to Hartz & back along Hartz track & then the road to the car.
I'll talk to you about this one on our Cawthorn & Helder weekend in a few weeks :D
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Re: The Devil's Backbone

Postby north-north-west » Tue 20 Jul, 2010 9:20 pm

Every time I've visited Hartz I've looked at that ridge and thought 'mmmmmm . . . some day . . . '
Maybe it's time I got my finger out. If I can find a spare day on the next trip . . .
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: The Devil's Backbone

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Tue 20 Jul, 2010 9:25 pm

It's pretty easy going minimal scrub. An excellent walk. Beats the boring boardwalk!!
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Re: The Devil's Backbone

Postby stepbystep » Tue 20 Jul, 2010 9:43 pm

stubowling wrote:SBS - I'd come along on a ridge top traverse some time over summer, i've been thinking about this for a while now too.
Start at the north end somewhere, traverse south to Hartz & back along Hartz track & then the road to the car.
I'll talk to you about this one on our Cawthorn & Helder weekend in a few weeks :D


No worries, I need to go back to this area, I never went to Mt Snowy when doing Hartz Pk 3 separate times :roll: !!!
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Re: The Devil's Backbone

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Tue 20 Jul, 2010 9:46 pm

stepbystep wrote:
No worries, I need to go back to this area, I never went to Mt Snowy when doing Hartz Pk 3 separate times :roll: !!!


Sucks to be you then :lol:
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Re: The Devil's Backbone

Postby pazzar » Tue 20 Jul, 2010 9:49 pm

I did the same - I was in some sort of hurry to get up and back from Hartz as quick as I could, forgetting about Snowy. I wasn't aware of peakbagging at the time however. Hopefully I get to do it on Saturday.
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Re: The Devil's Backbone

Postby bluewombat » Wed 21 Jul, 2010 8:42 am

I have been thinking the ridge traverse could be extended out to Esperance as an interesting overnighter. I am not sure many venture out to Esperance Peak, the only person I have spoken to tells me it gets somewhat scrubby.

bw

ps Pazzar, if you do a quick search of the archives there is a description of where the Mt Snowy track leaves the Hartz track.
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Re: The Devil's Backbone

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Wed 21 Jul, 2010 9:36 am

Alot of poeple used to do the Hartz to Adamsons traverse, not so much these days.
A HWC party did the walk a couple of years ago, it was alot scrubbier than expected, they put in 2 VERY long days.

The worst scrub was between Snowy and Esperence. On the other side it is quite open.
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Re: The Devil's Backbone

Postby abowen » Mon 13 Sep, 2010 9:43 am

Was on the Backbone yesterday. Unfortunately the weather turned against us. Usual misty clouds followed by rain and then a small flurry of snow. The tops clouded in and we would have been struggling to see anything.
We followed bluewombats path onto the ridge. On the way past Lake Osborne we followed a well defined track that went too low and sidled around the hill and then back up to Lake Perry via a grassy lead. Found the better track over the hill on the way out. We should have stuck to the lake's edge in hindsight.
The last hundered metres or so up through the steep gullies was a challenge. My cut knees evidence of the harsh scrub through this section. Found the top to be very open and fairly easy going.
Elected to drop back down and return the same way, more abrasions to my knees and I was left hanging from some limbs at one stage a couple of metres above solid ground unable to extricate myself.
Will need to go back in finer weather and do the full traverse. The scenery would be spectacular all the way along the ridge.
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