Friday, 10 November 2017

Springs-Junction Cabin-Springs 2017

We were supposed to walk to Tom Thumb behind Mt. Wellington today, but the weather forecast didn't look good so I changed it to another date.

Instead I brought forward the walk from the Springs to Junction Cabin and back to the Springs. With a couple of changes.

It's Melbourne Cup day, so I know that several members are going to be away. However, we have a good, loyal group to enjoy the day.

Parking at the Springs, we discover the Hobart Council are working both at the picnic ground and Radfords Track. They have constructed a temporary entry taking us above their works and onto the Pinnacle Track leading to the Organ Pipes Track.

The Organ Pipes was closed for an upgrade and I'm interested in seeing how much has been done. As it turns out, only a small amount.

We're doing the Organ Pipes Circuit. Sort of.

Up we go, everyone really enjoying a good climb just after getting out of the cars. I'm sure all those mumblings behind me were ones of enjoyment.

At the moment the day is overcast and a little cool. Snow above 900 metres is predicted, but the little snow showers we had lasted about 30 seconds and the flakes were barely visible.

Looking down at the River Derwent

Pinnacle Track
I think the pipe takes communications cables down form the TV towers on top.

Looking up

The Tasman Bridge
We continue on, passing the memorial shown below. Richards was one of two who died in a go-as-you-please marathon from Hobart to the top of Mt. Wellington and back. Pre road. In winter. In the snow. The Tasmanian Geographic website have a good article with photos and stories of the day, just CLICK HERE it makes interesting reading.

We're not going to the top and we're much better equipped today.

Memorial to Joseph Mark Richards

On we go, the weather is still o.k. and we even have flashes of sunshine.

No sign of track improvement yet

Morning Tea in the sun with view

Spectacle Island in the distance
Some random photos of my surroundings as we have our break.

We move on and finally come to where some track work has been done. Looks good. I can see that this is going to take a long while to complete. The idea is to restore the track to what it was when built. I know they are using helicopters, mechanized wheelbarrows and all modern tools. I can't imagine how it was ever done by hand in the first place.

The Organ Pipes. Tracks for rock climbers lead up from here

The plans

Lots of colour at this time of year

Completed track improvement

Solid seat with view over Hobart

Along the way I find a fairly sturdy seat from which you can enjoy the view over Hobart. Pity the powerlines intrude on the scene.

The improvement stops before you reach the Chalet which is a picnic shelter at the end of the track on Pinnacle Road. I'm behind as usual, taking photos, and as I near the Chalet I hear numerous voices coming from around the corner where the rest of my group are. Turns out there is another group of walkers from the Pandani Club inside. They changed their plans for a walk today also because of the forecast. After exchanging pleasantries, we cross the road and start down Hunters Track, heading for Junction Cabin.

It's very steep when it leaves the road, which caused someone heading up it to leave the message below.

Not too pooped to carry something to write graffiti with

Lots of berries on display. I'll let someone else find out if they're editable
At one point the track winds down a steep descent and gives an opportunity for a downward photo.

I'd better step up my pace

There are several scree fields to cross, marked by posts.

Finally, we reach the area of Crocodile Rock and start heading down again.

Large rocks appear above us at this point

We stop for lunch at Junction Cabin. I didn't take photos as it's only been a couple of weeks since we were here last.

Lunch finished, we set out on the Lenah Valley Track, heading towards the Springs.

We eventually get near the sidetrack to Sphinx Rock, but turn onto a track I've never been on, the Lower Sawmill Track.

It's a steep descent and the photo doesn't do it justice as the track winds down over some very large rocks. This is climbing territory as evidenced by the rings installed in the rock face above us. There are trails leading off in both directions and we have a little look at one.

Going down. This makes it look too easy

Climbing territory. This seems to lead around and probably takes you to underneath the lookout at Sphinx Rock, favourite of tourists
Further down are more cliffs with tracks leading under them. The Sawmill track is wet, slippery and steep, but does become less so after a little while. We finally come to the Shoobridge Track and turn right heading for the North-South Track.

I was leading at this time and concentrating on not walking too fast and not on taking photos. We find the North-South track and begin to make our way up. As it's also a bike track it tends to climb fairly gently.

I had drawn the track to take us to an area just to the east of the main picnic area, and walk a short track back. The others pointed out they could see the Springs "Just up there!" and so it was and so were we in a very short time. From here we walked the road up to the old hotel site and our cars.

We covered 10.67km in 4:33hrs. The weather stayed fine and we got to see a track we've passed up before.

Click here to download GPX file

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