A short jaunt in the Arthurs

GS

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
May 20, 2004
12,232
17,746
863
Yarra Valley Vic
Despite having seen many photos of the Arthurs, nothing prepares you for the in-your-face rugged beauty of this mountain range in the Tas SW National Park. It is a truly spectacular bit of country.

Our original plan was to walk the Western section, which then became part of the Western end due to fire damage track closure after Kappa Moraine. Weather then threw a spanner in the works and our partial traverse became an in and out the same way wander. None of us were keen on testing ourselves around High Moor in zero degree temps with gale force winds.

But enough of the excuses, here's the story...

Thirty four degree temps on the day leaving Scotts Peak meant our intended destination of Lake Cygnus became an afternoon of swimming at Junction Creek instead. Even the mud had dried out...
20210111-IMG_6023.jpg


20210111-IMG_6028.jpg


The forecast dry thunderstorms smashed into us during the night with torrential rain....we were quickly learning that the Arthurs pay little regard to forecasts....

20210112-IMG_6041.jpg


Around midday and up on the range, the rain eased and clouds lifted. Wind and temps were not summery but...

20210112-IMG_6049.jpg
20210112-IMG_6055.jpg
20210112-IMG_6060.jpg


We trundled on past Lake Cygnus hoping to make up for lost time. Track around here has seen lots of work and is pretty good....
20210112-IMG_6065.jpg

20210112-IMG_6084.jpg
20210112-IMG_6096.jpg
20210112-IMG_6100.jpg


By Square Lake things were looking rather nice....
20210112-IMG_6126.jpg


20210112-IMG_6132.jpg


Above Square Lake.jpg


...and by Lake Oberon we thought that was it for the ugly weather...
20210112-IMG_6136.jpg


At Oberon.jpg


But next day's forecast mentioned snow, plummeting temps and gales. We opted to spend two nights at Oberon before retreating. We spent the day peak bagging...

Mt Orion...
Mt Orion.jpg


Square Lake and Lake Oberon.jpg
 

Attachments

  • 20210112-IMG_6177.jpg
    20210112-IMG_6177.jpg
    989.7 KB · Views: 2
  • 20210113-IMG_6195.jpg
    20210113-IMG_6195.jpg
    2.8 MB · Views: 2
  • Oberon.jpg
    Oberon.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 1

GS

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
May 20, 2004
12,232
17,746
863
Yarra Valley Vic
Looking back at Orion..
20210113-IMG_6195.jpg


20210113-IMG_6206.jpg


Nice scramble onto Mt Pegasus...

20210113-IMG_6203.jpg

Oh my, what views... Mt Capricorn foreground right, Fed peak above it on the horizon

20210113-IMG_6222.jpg
20210113-IMG_6232.jpg
20210113-IMG_6243.jpg


Amazing scenery...

20210113-IMG_6256.jpg
20210113-IMG_6260.jpg


Very happy with the new Moondance...
20210114-IMG_6277.jpg


And that was it for distant views, but the rain and mist revealed another side to the Arthurs....
20210114-IMG_6279.jpg
20210114-IMG_6298.jpg
20210114-IMG_6300.jpg

We wandered back to Lake Cygnus for a night...
20210114-IMG_6312.jpg


when the clouds are down the views are all at one's feet ....

20210114-IMG_6336.jpg
20210114-IMG_6339.jpg
20210114-IMG_6344.jpg
20210114-IMG_6349.jpg
20210114-IMG_6355.jpg
20210114-IMG_6359.jpg
20210114-IMG_6366.jpg
 
Last edited:

GS

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
May 20, 2004
12,232
17,746
863
Yarra Valley Vic
A break in the weather before the main event hit saw us scramble back down Moraine A.

20210115-IMG_6378.jpg

20210115-IMG_6380.jpg


So appetite has been whetted and a return trip is in the planning, hopefully when the entire traverse is open again.

Oh and the mud was there after all, it just needed a little moisture...
20210115-IMG_6382.jpg
 

GS

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
May 20, 2004
12,232
17,746
863
Yarra Valley Vic
Fabulous!
Did the Western and Eastern Arthur’s to Federation Peak in 1980.
Had to navigate in some sections, no duckboards or tent platforms.
Saw no one!
Still looks amazing and remote.

I suspect the track is much more tame these days, certainly the section to lake Oberon.

I reckon the weather may not have changed though!
 
Last edited:

Seth

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Jun 6, 2000
43,509
23,692
1,525
The Higher Ground
Despite having seen many photos of the Arthurs, nothing prepares you for the in-your-face rugged beauty of this mountain range in the Tas SW National Park. It is a truly spectacular bit of country.

Our original plan was to walk the Western section, which then became part of the Western end due to fire damage track closure after Kappa Moraine. Weather then threw a spanner in the works and our partial traverse became an in and out the same way wander. None of us were keen on testing ourselves around High Moor in zero degree temps with gale force winds.

But enough of the excuses, here's the story...

Thirty four degree temps on the day leaving Scotts Peak meant our intended destination of Lake Cygnus became an afternoon of swimming at Junction Creek instead. Even the mud had dried out...
20210111-IMG_6023.jpg


20210111-IMG_6028.jpg


The forecast dry thunderstorms smashed into us during the night with torrential rain....we were quickly learning that the Arthurs pay little regard to forecasts....

20210112-IMG_6041.jpg


Around midday and up on the range, the rain eased and clouds lifted. Wind and temps were not summery but...

20210112-IMG_6049.jpg
20210112-IMG_6055.jpg
20210112-IMG_6060.jpg


We trundled on past Lake Cygnus hoping to make up for lost time. Track around here has seen lots of work and is pretty good....
20210112-IMG_6065.jpg

20210112-IMG_6084.jpg
20210112-IMG_6096.jpg
20210112-IMG_6100.jpg


By Square Lake things were looking rather nice....
20210112-IMG_6126.jpg


20210112-IMG_6132.jpg


Above Square Lake.jpg


...and by Lake Oberon we thought that was it for the ugly weather...
20210112-IMG_6136.jpg


At Oberon.jpg


But next day's forecast mentioned snow, plummeting temps and gales. We opted to spend two nights at Oberon before retreating. We spent the day peak bagging...

Mt Orion...
Mt Orion.jpg


Square Lake and Lake Oberon.jpg
Wow wee.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tanuki

GS

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
May 20, 2004
12,232
17,746
863
Yarra Valley Vic
Awesome GS, we were planning on doing it last year (!), so hoping this year instead. Terrific photos.

We heard a rumour the closed section may re-open around March if you're planning more than the Moraine A to K section.
 

GS

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
May 20, 2004
12,232
17,746
863
Yarra Valley Vic
Hey @GS how many days would you allow for the short traverse and the long traverse if its open later in year?

For the short traverse and assuming you fly down in the AM, then drive to Scotts Peak;
Day 1 arvo to Junction Creek
Day 2 either shortish day to Lake Cygnus bagging Mt Hesperus on the way and then climb to ridge for sunset;
or longish day to Lake Oberon
Day 3 to High Moor
Day 4 to Haven Lake
Day 5/6 down moraine k and then back.

Add a day if overnighting at both Cygnus and Oberon, or possibly subtract a day if you punch out big days walking back from Haven lake via moraine k - 7 mile ck - Junction ck - carpark.

It's really spectacular and worth bagging a few peaks and hanging around for sunrise/sunsets at the camps if the weather is good, so I would suggest taking a week ...also allows for a day or two of crap weather, and or looking for tent sites when platforms are full LOL. If weather allows it'd be good to stay on the ridge for sunrise/sunsets, there were a few spots to pitch a tent, albeit bloody exposed.

Having said all that a party of two did Haven lake to Junction creek in one very long day after their backpack somehow rolled off the track and went for a swim....all gear soaked. There were a couple of young fit blokes doing the short traverse in 4-5 days

One of our group has walked it 5 times and said do not attempt Oberon to Haven unless weather is good. High Moor section is very exposed to winds apparently. I think she suggested another 3 days or so for full traverse of western section.

edit....oh, and you can’t do too much training for this walk (but you can do too little like meLOL), and don’t skimp on the gear....those roaring 40s really do smash into the Arthurs
 

NeoSamurai

One of Us
Ski Pass
May 22, 2002
4,148
3,431
363
If I retrace my steps I can probably find it.
Fabulous!
Did the Western and Eastern Arthur’s to Federation Peak in 1980.
Had to navigate in some sections, no duckboards or tent platforms.
Saw no one! Still looks amazing and remote.

Did Federation/Arthurs the first time in 1981 with some 17yr old mates (instead of 'Schoolies' - which I guess wasn't really a thing back then). Same experience as you Untelewhippet - 8days saw nobody, no duckboards, no tent platforms and extended sections of knee deep mud/slop - they've just got it easy these days.
 

Lady Penelope

One of some lot ...
Ski Pass
Sep 7, 2014
5,791
17,539
563
Canberra
Fantastic photos, @GS. I did the walk to Federation Peak back in 1990 - 9 days, and just amazing. Thank you for bringing back some memories of this truly amazing and awe-inspiring scenery.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Majikthise and GS

Untele-whippet

beard stroker
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 2006
18,935
39,589
813
59
Blue Mtns, 1100M.
Did Federation/Arthurs the first time in 1981 with some 17yr old mates (instead of 'Schoolies' - which I guess wasn't really a thing back then). Same experience as you Untelewhippet - 8days saw nobody, no duckboards, no tent platforms and extended sections of knee deep mud/slop - they've just got it easy these days.
Bad weather day on Thwaites Plateau waiting for a window to get up Federation, woke to find a quoll snoozing on the end of my PP Kiandra having chomped through my Alliance freeze dried dinner. Gently, gently, go away.
 

CarveMan

I Never Slice
Ski Pass
May 12, 2000
83,376
62,716
1,515
Les Hautes Montagnes
aussieskier.com
Did Federation/Arthurs the first time in 1981 with some 17yr old mates (instead of 'Schoolies' - which I guess wasn't really a thing back then). Same experience as you Untelewhippet - 8days saw nobody, no duckboards, no tent platforms and extended sections of knee deep mud/slop - they've just got it easy these days.
Dearly departed @Shaggy tried to do Federation in winter. The mud defeated him.
 

Tanuki

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Sep 29, 2010
11,764
7,793
813
Looking back at Orion..
20210113-IMG_6195.jpg


20210113-IMG_6206.jpg


Nice scramble onto Mt Pegasus...

20210113-IMG_6203.jpg

Oh my, what views... Mt Capricorn foreground right, Fed peak above it on the horizon

20210113-IMG_6222.jpg
20210113-IMG_6232.jpg
20210113-IMG_6243.jpg


Amazing scenery...

20210113-IMG_6256.jpg
20210113-IMG_6260.jpg


Very happy with the new Moondance...
20210114-IMG_6277.jpg


And that was it for distant views, but the rain and mist revealed another side to the Arthurs....
20210114-IMG_6279.jpg
20210114-IMG_6298.jpg
20210114-IMG_6300.jpg

We wandered back to Lake Cygnus for a night...
20210114-IMG_6312.jpg


where the views at one's feet were suddenly revealed...

20210114-IMG_6336.jpg
20210114-IMG_6339.jpg
20210114-IMG_6344.jpg
20210114-IMG_6349.jpg
20210114-IMG_6355.jpg
20210114-IMG_6359.jpg
20210114-IMG_6366.jpg
Astonishingly beautiful.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GS

Untele-whippet

beard stroker
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 2006
18,935
39,589
813
59
Blue Mtns, 1100M.
Despite having seen many photos of the Arthurs, nothing prepares you for the in-your-face rugged beauty of this mountain range in the Tas SW National Park. It is a truly spectacular bit of country.

Our original plan was to walk the Western section, which then became part of the Western end due to fire damage track closure after Kappa Moraine. Weather then threw a spanner in the works and our partial traverse became an in and out the same way wander. None of us were keen on testing ourselves around High Moor in zero degree temps with gale force winds.

But enough of the excuses, here's the story...

Thirty four degree temps on the day leaving Scotts Peak meant our intended destination of Lake Cygnus became an afternoon of swimming at Junction Creek instead. Even the mud had dried out...
20210111-IMG_6023.jpg


20210111-IMG_6028.jpg


The forecast dry thunderstorms smashed into us during the night with torrential rain....we were quickly learning that the Arthurs pay little regard to forecasts....

20210112-IMG_6041.jpg


Around midday and up on the range, the rain eased and clouds lifted. Wind and temps were not summery but...

20210112-IMG_6049.jpg
20210112-IMG_6055.jpg
20210112-IMG_6060.jpg


We trundled on past Lake Cygnus hoping to make up for lost time. Track around here has seen lots of work and is pretty good....
20210112-IMG_6065.jpg

20210112-IMG_6084.jpg
20210112-IMG_6096.jpg
20210112-IMG_6100.jpg


By Square Lake things were looking rather nice....
20210112-IMG_6126.jpg


20210112-IMG_6132.jpg


Above Square Lake.jpg


...and by Lake Oberon we thought that was it for the ugly weather...
20210112-IMG_6136.jpg


At Oberon.jpg


But next day's forecast mentioned snow, plummeting temps and gales. We opted to spend two nights at Oberon before retreating. We spent the day peak bagging...

Mt Orion...
Mt Orion.jpg


Square Lake and Lake Oberon.jpg
Great pix also,
What camera were you using?
 

Rabid K9

A Local
Ski Pass
Jul 15, 2008
5,911
6,547
563
Some lovely photos GS.

The vertical ruggedness & almost fantasical nature of the landscape there defies it's apparent height & size doesn't it.

Just an amazing place. Can't wait to go back.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GS

Rabid K9

A Local
Ski Pass
Jul 15, 2008
5,911
6,547
563
For the short traverse and assuming you fly down in the AM, then drive to Scotts Peak;
Day 1 arvo to Junction Creek
Day 2 either shortish day to Lake Cygnus bagging Mt Hesperus on the way and then climb to ridge for sunset;
or longish day to Lake Oberon
Day 3 to High Moor
Day 4 to Haven Lake
Day 5/6 down moraine k and then back.

Add a day if overnighting at both Cygnus and Oberon, or possibly subtract a day if you punch out big days walking back from Haven lake via moraine k - 7 mile ck - Junction ck - carpark.

It's really spectacular and worth bagging a few peaks and hanging around for sunrise/sunsets at the camps if the weather is good, so I would suggest taking a week ...also allows for a day or two of crap weather, and or looking for tent sites when platforms are full LOL. If weather allows it'd be good to stay on the ridge for sunrise/sunsets, there were a few spots to pitch a tent, albeit bloody exposed.

Having said all that a party of two did Haven lake to Junction creek in one very long day after their backpack somehow rolled off the track and went for a swim....all gear soaked. There were a couple of young fit blokes doing the short traverse in 4-5 days

One of our group has walked it 5 times and said do not attempt Oberon to Haven unless weather is good. High Moor section is very exposed to winds apparently. I think she suggested another 3 days or so for full traverse of western section.

edit....oh, and you can’t do too much training for this walk (but you can do too little like meLOL), and don’t skimp on the gear....those roaring 40s really do smash into the Arthurs

We cut a trip short to go back to work & went down one of the untracked moraines for a quick way back to the plains track, The cliffs weren't too bad, but the devilish 'micro-terrain' down on flats was testing. Tiny little creeks that didn't even show as features on the 1:25,000 paper maps were steep little ravines full of dense scrub, each one would take a considerable effort to cross the few horizontal metres.
 

GS

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
May 20, 2004
12,232
17,746
863
Yarra Valley Vic
Some lovely photos GS.

The vertical ruggedness & almost fantasical nature of the landscape there defies it's apparent height & size doesn't it.

Just an amazing place. Can't wait to go back.

Yep, photos simply don’t do the Range justice. I was so looking forward to the full traverse, it’s been a tough few days back at work while processing the unfinished trip. Is April too late for another crack at it?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Boodwah and Tanuki

Majikthise

Sage
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1970
32,432
19,457
1,063
Blue Mts
We cut a trip short to go back to work & went down one of the untracked moraines for a quick way back to the plains track, The cliffs weren't too bad, but the devilish 'micro-terrain' down on flats was testing. Tiny little creeks that didn't even show as features on the 1:25,000 paper maps were steep little ravines full of dense scrub, each one would take a considerable effort to cross the few horizontal metres.
Those creeks...the Bauera scrub impossible to push through you simply bump off. We went off track for reasons I can't recall and basically lay down on top of the scrub and crawled over each other, was tedious.
 

echidna

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Jun 16, 2003
12,228
4,680
813
Melbourne
We walked the Western in 92, and were lucky enough that it only rained on the last of 8 days. Although the poor group we met on the way in had been rained every day. Knee deep mud, but other worldly on top. Still the best walk of my little life.

Never walked the Eastern Arthurs, if anyone wanted to post a retrospective trip report I'd like. Jealous of anyone who's got to the top of Fed.
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
31,428
29,495
1,063
Middle Oz
We cut a trip short to go back to work & went down one of the untracked moraines for a quick way back to the plains track, The cliffs weren't too bad, but the devilish 'micro-terrain' down on flats was testing. Tiny little creeks that didn't even show as features on the 1:25,000 paper maps were steep little ravines full of dense scrub, each one would take a considerable effort to cross the few horizontal metres.
ooooo yeeaahhhh, the famous Tassie short cut, "it's just over there, let's go". ROFL
 

Boodwah

A Local
Ski Pass
Jun 20, 2006
6,102
15,793
563
51
StKilda,VicBC,Prom,France
boodoir.blogspot.com.au
Yep, photos simply don’t do the Range justice. I was so looking forward to the full traverse, it’s been a tough few days back at work while processing the unfinished trip. Is April too late for another crack at it?
We had April pencilled in last year but then Covid, wanted an autumn experience. And some discomfort. But was later told by someone who’d know that it would have been a mistake.
 

Rabid K9

A Local
Ski Pass
Jul 15, 2008
5,911
6,547
563
We had April pencilled in last year but then Covid, wanted an autumn experience. And some discomfort. But was later told by someone who’d know that it would have been a mistake.

In my opinion April, particularly the first half, is one of the most stable periods of weather in Tas.

Second half of Feb to mid May I love for the south west, although the May bit can get a little ‘wet socky’.

Late March had boardshort weather on the WA’s, but then the plains certainly didn’t look like GS’s trip.

Joys of a maritime island climate, unpredictable really.
 
  • Like
Reactions: skifree
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass