Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Springs-Organ Pipes-Chalet-Junction Cabin to Springs 2016

Today is a classic walk, parking at the Springs near the old hotel site and walking the Organ Pipe Track to the Chalet then down Hunter to Junction Cabin for lunch. After lunch we return to the cars via the Lenah Valley Track. Bob is our leader.

It's supposed to be around 19C today but the temperature drops to 7C at the Springs which is perfect walking temperature.

Up the steps

Looking Back
A few people were curious about the old Hotel, so we'll have a small history lesson.
The first building was around 1845 to serve walkers going to Wellington Falls. There were several others over the years, most succumbing to bush fires.

If you are really interested, and it is interesting, Click Here to download a 33 page PDF file called A Timeline for the Springs by Maria Grist. It's very informative.
If you just want to see what the old hotel looked like, look no further.

It was destroyed in the 1967 bushfires.

On we go, passing the turnoff to the Pinnacle Track.

First view, a bit overcast

That's a water pipe leading down
 There is also a Telstra cable in a pipe buried under the track. Hobart City Council are planning to do maintenance and upgrading of many tracks, including the Organ Pipe track. This will have its surface repaired and smoothed out. Peter went to the meeting re the tracks and they were shown photos of the Organ Pipe Track when it was first built with a gravel surface.

Hobart & River Derwent

Pineapple Candleheath - Richea dracophylla

Just a passing cloud

This runner died in a race up the mountain in 1903

Go-as-you-please meant you could take any route to the top you wanted.

There was another death in the same race with another marker to George Radford located at Radfords and Pinnacle tracks.

The lesson is, don't run up Mt. Wellington in the snow and light clothing and stick to marked tracks.

On we go. 

Some water running down the drain

Some are warming up a bit
Just past this point as I caught up, I found the group looking at something down on the right.

The photo doesn't do it justice
You get no sense of scale here, it was as big as a delivery truck. Much taller than a person.

The smashed bush goes uphill and out of sight
It would have been very interesting to be here at the time. Well, maybe a good distance to one side.

Soon, we get our first glimpse of the organ pipes which appear dramatically overhead.

Organ Pipes
 Roughly 100 to 120 metres high and a very popular rock climbing area.

Looking south over Kingston & Blackmans Bay to Bruny Island

North West Bay

One of several boulder fields we make our way over

Doug just joined us today and is a photographer
This brings the number of photographers up to three. A few more and control is ours!

After breathing a sigh of relief that I didn't have to go up here
I became intrigued with the use of language. Does it mean that climbers only receive advice when they have climbed past this marker and into the bush? Is the advice not fit for normal walkers?

 Another of the mountains mysteries.

I hope these are more stable then one we passed earlier

The track and vegetation are changing as we near the Chalet

I wouldn't recommend going off track
Soon we reach the Chalet, cross the road and walk a short distance down to the start of the Hunter Track.

The Chalet

Small waterfall next to the road

Going down

We're heading to Junction Cabin where we'll  have lunch.

More Hobart

Reminds me of a low budget 2001 (the movie)

Lots of flowing water
But there is not too much mud on the track.

Plant life changes quite quickly on descent

From a distance, the white lichen can look like snow

More boulders

After a while we come to Crocodile Rock - no sign of Elton John. This is another place for rock climbers.

Crocodile Rock

You could just spend a lot of time looking at a rock

One day we should spend time going up and having a closer look at Crocodile Rock.

Lunch beckons, and we move on. Soon, we catch first sight of Junction Cabin.

Junction Cabin ahead

Plenty of room for everyone, I have the inside table all to myself. I'm glad they installed the transparent panels in the roof, it makes a big difference lighting up the interior.

After lunch, we take the Lenah Valley Track towards Sphinx Rock. This is a mountain bike free track.

Lenah Valley Track

Yet more boulders to cross

Organ Pipes. Looks a long way away now
Turning off and navigating the child-proof gate, we reach Sphinx Rock and its view
The sky has cleared somewhat and it's a great spot to stand and look.

Hobart below and its rival, Bellerive on the other shore
They maintain an uneasy truce, both cities having forts that overlook the other.

It was a good walk, I really enjoy walking on the Mountain and looking out for some of the history of the place. Lets hope the Cable Car remains a footnote in history.

We had 14 walkers and covered 9.72km in 4:17hrs. Quite a good turnout.

Click Here to Download GPX Track

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