Friday, 28 July 2017

Geilston Bay to Rocky Tom 2017

Today is the day we're walking from Geilston Bay to Rocky Tom. With pouring rain all night, still raining when I left for Kingston, I had my doubts as to whether we would walk or not. Judging from the phone messages I received on the way up, so did others.

However, several hardy souls were waiting for me on arrival, there was a spot of blue sky developing in the north, and what the hell you can only get wet once. So we went.

As is the norm for the Eastern Shore of the Derwent, the weather was better than the west. Although it doesn't look it from the photo in the parking area below, it became sunnier and warmer as the day continued.

Parking off Geilston Creek Road

The clouds on Mt. Wellington are beginning to lift

The sun is officially out
We follow the track and road along Faggs Gully Creek to the entrance of Pilchers Hill Reserve.

This is another area of the Meehan Range shared by cyclists and walkers.

Bob leads us up the bush garden path until we turnaround, heading off track through the open bush. Much more interesting than following a track.

I forgot to mention that Bob had promised a certain type of hill we've not had before. Unfortunately, I don't remember if it was a 'kind' or 'nice' hill. We'll see.

Into the sticks

We eventually reach a wider fire trail heading up at a nice, kind angle.

Going up

Looking across towards Lutana

Going up two. Photo by Carol

This indicates the slope

Trying to decide if this is a 'nice' or a 'kind' hill. Photo by Carol
We continue up, coming to a track leading off to the left that will take us to the bottom of the top of Rocky Tom, if that makes sense.

Caught in the act of taking the photo of the pillar shown below. Action photo by Renate

The pillar

In the past, we've followed a track leading up on the right, today we head left. This leads us past the remains of an old car, deposited here by some brainless fools in the past. I wonder if they put as much effort into their job (if they have one) as they do in dumping rubbish in the bush?

Ron heading past dumped car
 Up we go, and it's a slippery rock face so we have to take care to find secure footing as we go.

It's a short climb however, and soon we reach the tracks on top the idiots used in the past to dump their junk.

Looking towards down town Hobart

We make our way around various vehicle tracks to find a good spot for Morning Tea. The main group is far out of sight as Renate and I are taking important photos.

Renate looking for the main group. Looking right...

Looking left...

...found them
I take a few photos of the view, before I join them for our break.

Risdon Vale in the distance

The view below
On the edge. Photo by Carol

It's a nice spot with no wind and a long view. As we get ready to leave, Carol reminds me I used to take 'art shots' and include them in the blog. Her suggestion is shown below, first 'au naturel', second with a little embellishment.

Judging the suitability of this piece of wood for an "art shot" Photo by Carol
Nature's art shot

Art shot with technology applied
We make our way around to another spot on Caves Hill, looking east then returning to the main track and begin heading down.

Mt. Wellington is clear now

Another view, looking east

The rocks here have a pink tint
Heading down

Looking back it doesn't seem so high from here

Down into a gully and an old track

Rocky Tom
We climb up out of the gully to start the steep ascent of Seager Saddle until we come to an old track. We've had lunch at a spot up here in the past, but we have to search to find it. It looks like a new road has been ploughed through the bush, and looking at Google Earth, it leads up to a wide, clear area that shows as a public open space on the map. We should have a look next time.

Finally, we locate our lunch spot, unfortunately the log we were hoping to find for seating has been cut up with the building of the new track. We now have to find a new place with both seating and sun and, hopefully, a view.

Success! Sunshine, comfortable seating and a view
Too bad it's a quarry in the distance.


Quarry in Flagstaff Gully
They quarry Dolerite (Diabase in the U.S.) and crush it for blue metal for road surfaces and construction aggregate. A form of it was used for the construction of Stonehenge. There is no truth to the rumour it came from Tassie!

End of the conveyor from the top of the hill

Crusher at the very top

After lunch, we follow the fire trail down, turning off onto a bike track.

Mountain bike track
 If there is anything Bob likes better than orchids for slowing us down, it's fungus!

 These lovely looking specimens appeared at the side of the track.

Photo by Renate

Photo by Renate
Or to use the name most of us know it by, Tremella mesenterica.

A young witch's butter. Witchett?

Photo by Renate
Rocky Tom is a popular climbing area for schools etc. In fact, I sat next to a gentleman at the Mid Winter Feast at West Winds Community Centre in Woodbridge on Wednesday who had been a keen climber and was quite familiar with it.

If you CLICK HERE you can view a climbing site and see all the routes that can be climbed. I thought it was just up and down.

We had 11 brave walkers and covered 9.32km in 3:52 hrs. It's an interesting area with potential for other walks in the future.

Click here to download GPX file

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