Tasmanian Wilderness Walks:
Eastern Arthurs
Full Traverse

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Day Seven:   04 January 2009
Hanging Lake to Berchavaise Plateau
Walking Time - 4 Hours

Susan's Diary
Day 7:     During the night the wind appeared to be blowing a gale, with the sound of the wind channelling through the valley, while only occasional winds hit the tent. Nonetheless, this caused some worry for Susan regarding loose items outside the tent.

When the alarm went off at 6:30am the wind was still howling and Susan had concerns about how this would affect the walk on the Southern Traverse. Luca was more optimistic, thinking the wind channelling in the valley would sound worse than it actually was. As we had breakfast the wind seemed to disappear and the weather was good enough to pack up our gear outside the tent – the first time for the whole trip! In fact, having views in the morning was also a first!

We left the campsite at 9:30am and made our way back to the track junction. While views were available, Federation Peak still appeared to be in mist, and mist continued to roll across the valley. When we reached the start of the Southern Traverse the exposure was noted to be significant, but with the mist hovering over Lake Gaston to the north and Lake Geeves to the south it made it appear even worse. There was some tricky scrambling, made worse by the exposure and some sections of the track were still heavily under snow, which appeared to present the greatest challenge to Luca.
When we reached the direct ascent junction we stopped for a break, and had great views of Lake Geeves.

Susan talked Luca into walking up the direct ascent a little bit to see what it was like. Luca was quite preoccupied with the rest of the Southern Traverse and was not too keen, but reluctantly agreed. The exposure at this point had Luca very agitated, so after climbing up 20 metres, including one rock scramble and through various section of thick snow, Luca called it quits. Susan continued up slightly further to scramble across a rock where she had doubts about exactly where the track went, without Luca or cairns to guide her. After her second attempt Luca told her to come down and Susan reluctantly gave up the climb.

We returned to our packs and then continued on for the apparently more difficult section of the Southern Traverse. Firstly, we descended down the Chockstone Gully, which was steep, wet and quite lengthy but compared to earlier sections of the Southern Traverse the exposure was minimal. We then reached the gully with the famous “Geeves window” views, which is a very steep, somewhat wet and exposed ramp out of the Southern Traverse. Luckily for us we were ascending the gully and not descending it, which would have been tricky with our packs on. At eh top we descended a gentle slope towards Berchervaise Plateau, which then became quite steep, although after just completing the Southern Traverse, it was dispatched with little fuss.

Susan was excited to see platforms at Berhervaise Plateau as Chapman’s book did not mention these. We arrived t the platforms at 1:15pm, where we unpacked slowly to allow much of our gear to dry in the finally dry conditions. We enjoyed Thai artificial chicken soup for lunch and for dinner we had sour cream and chives pasta, also enjoyable.
In the afternoon and evening we enjoyed seeing some blue skies and we made the most of it by playing a few games of Nonna Franca’s card game outside the tent. 


Day 7 Photos:
Federation Peak

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