Precipitous Bluff Loop
(Mid December 2009)
Day 1 - Starting Out

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Susan's Diary:

Cockle Creek to Ida Bay (by Taxi), Limestone Quarry to Hill One and Hill Two Saddle
Monday 14 December
13:00 – 19:00

We started late due to getting a new spare tyre following an irreparable flat heading into Hobart the day before. The taxi driver from Dover picked us up at 11:30 from Cockle Creek and drove us to the start of the walk at Ida Bay Limestone Quarry. We were on our way just after 13:00.
Our packs were fully loaded – we had to clip gear on the outside of our packs as they were so full. We started the walk with 4 litres of water, which was way too much. After an hour Luca took the bladder from me as I was so slow due to the ridiculous weight we were carrying. The track was pretty easy to follow with some small obstacles to climb over. There was a bit of mud around too, which was a little unexpected.
Given the late start we were only aiming to make it to Moonlight Creek and maybe to the saddle between Hill One and Hill Two. At our first long break at the campsite before Moonlight Flats we were passed by a father and son who were aiming for Pigsty Ponds, saying it was a much nicer campsite. Inspired by their determination, we pushed on.
Up on the flats we passed Bullfrog Tarns where the track became quite muddy. Eventually we reached Moonlight Creek which was very pretty but had an absence of dry and/or obvious campsites. On this occasion, at least, this spot seemed somewhat messy, so we pushed on. Climbing up Hill One we began to tire. Taking a wrong turn on the climb and needing to scrub bash didn’t help either. What made it somewhat amusing was that the track had been great at that point, and when we re-joined it, there were magnificent stone steps going both ways – we suspect it took more skill to lose the track than stay on it. Upon reaching the top we were rewarded with excellent views of Federation Peak and Precipitous Bluff.
We reached the saddle between Hill One and Hill Two at around 19:00 and decided we were too tired (and couldn’t be bothered) to walk another 2 hours to Pigsty Ponds. Given we had carried a silly amount of water the whole day, the mostly dry campsite wasn’t an issue, although in rough weather it is very exposed (not a problem this time). It is worth noting that there were shallow rock pools of water, although not sure how reliable these are. Not long after, the clear sky vanished and mist rolled in. The temperature was quite chilly and we cooked inside the tent.
Later that night we stepped outside to find that the sky had cleared and there was an amazingly clear and vivid night sky. Unfortunately we didn’t take any photos.

Day 1 Walking Map

Contact Sheet    
Cockle Creek Car Park (actually the End of the walk!)     Start of Walk - after a long Taxi ride.

Contact Sheet for Day    1    2 am  2 pm  3   4&5   6   7   8    Slideshow for Day     1    2 am    2 pm    3    4&5      7    8

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