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|Start Day - 3|
Day three was spent inside the tent as the rain started the previous night and did not let up the entire day. We made the decision that walking the in the rain would not be enjoyable, with such low visibility, and that we would hang out in the tent the whole day – isn’t that part of the Western Arthur’s experience? On the quick ventures outside the tent we noted that the path had flooded, creating fear of returning along the plains the following day. Fortunately by sunset the rain had petered out and the path had drained.
The other fear of the day was the leaky tent, with rain coming in from the side there were concerns, mostly mine, about wet sleeping bags and hyperthermia. Luca was concerned about his dry sleeping bag and hyperthermia, as this trip has uncovered that his sleeping bag is not suitable for the Western Arthurs.
Close Day - 3 <
|> Start Day - 4|
|The beginning of day four was a cold one. Here I am completely covered, putting on my gaiters for the return to the car (hopefully). With wet tent and our poor performance displayed on the first two days of walking, we decide the prudent decision is to return to the car rather than chance the weather and that we can make it out in one day if we were to continue along the track.||Packing up our wet gear in the cold. There is ice on the platform.|
|Climbing up out of Mt Cygnus is steep, but in the cold weather it is a bit easier.||No wonder it is so cold, with all this snow around. This gives us an indication of the temperatures we experienced that morning, and why Luca was so cold in his sleeping bag.||Here I am in all my clothes at the top of Lake Cygnus (with no feeling in my feet)!||Here is Luca in all his clothes at the top of Lake Cygnus (with no feeling in his feet)!|
|The snow lining the tracked looked amazing – even better than on the way in – just a shame about our feet.||Walking along the track in the snow. The higher the track the more snow of course. It was just beautiful and we were very lucky to experience it.|
|Of course with snow on the rocks the track was pretty slippery. Also, of course, with deep snow covering the track it will become much more difficult to see the track! Fortunately we didn’t have this issue.|
|As we reach the top of Moraine A, with feeling having returned to our feet, the sadness of leaving comes upon us, as it always the case when you rush to finish a walk in Tasmania.|
|In such cold weather we make great time descending off Moraine A.||The fear of the plain at the bottom of Moraine A having flooded is upon us now!||Is that Moraine B or C?||The track leading down.|
|It is a treacherous climb down for the uncoordinated though, and I stumble a number of times in the mud. Luca has much better luck than me here, although I do recall he tripped many more times than me on the flat ground up to this point!|
|As we get near the bottom we can hear that a large amount of water is falling nearby, amongst the trees here.||Here is the creek at the bottom of Moraine A. The amount of water in the creek is substantially higher than the way up.||Indeed the track has flooded. Apparently the fires continue under the peat for sometime after they are no longer burning above ground. This rain should assist in putting these fires out.|
|This is a nice reprieve from the mud, except for the issue that I am uncoordinated and go for a massive slide on the wet planks. Luca said that the recovery was impressive as I avoid falling over.||There planks are still being installed. Here there is a big step up to reach the boards.||Here there are no planks, just the stumps.||They may look useful, but these wet planks are a hazard to those who are trying to walk fast! They need to put the chicken wire down as well!|
|The water is about four times as high as the way across. I jump over on a tree stump on the way across and Luca walked through the shallow water. Neither of these are an option on the way back, and we walk straight through the thigh deep water, experiencing the joy of squelching boots which we had avoided so far.||
Back at Junction Creek. The mud here is “muddier” than before, so with our already wet boots we plant ourselves in the midst of the mud for the shock photo for the parents.
|Crossing Junction Creek in our boots. The water level has come up by about 30cms, but crossing it is still pretty straightforward.|
|Luca is playing around in Junction Creek||With the sun coming through, the campsite is very inviting.||Pandanis growing at Junction Creek.||Back on the plains to Huon carpark. The Western Arthurs are still looking ominous, so we half-convince ourselves that our soft exit was the right decision.|
|Western Arthurs still covered in clouds.||This wasn’t here before – muddy track back to the car.||Looking back at the Western Arthurs – did we do the right thing...|
|Looks like it is raining on the Western Arthurs.||More mud on the track. It is nice in the wet boots to walk straight through!||We reach the duckboard, and know that the end is near.|
|The end is near, as we head to the rain forest on the way to the carpark.||The track at the start of the walk is exceptionally pretty, and well worth a look for those who are not into the longer walks. It is even quite sheltered from the rain!|
|The end is here, with the usual mixture of happiness and sadness.||Signing out of the walk, I read about all those who have just completed the full traverse of the Western Arthurs and the Eastern Arthurs. Luca and I have a long way to go, but this experience has been eye-opening and should give us incentive to prepare better next time!||
We made it back from Lake Cygnus to the Huon Carpark in around 7.5 hours, a good effort (somehow we always make better time on the way back). We drove back to Hobart and enjoyed a hearty meal at Tacos at Salamanca Place and Foxtel in our accommodation. Perhaps an undeserved reward for a poor effort on our first trip to the Western Arthurs, or perhaps a reasonable effort given all the factors working against – a cold, bad weather and inadequate gear...
It was interesting to note that on the day we spent inside the tent the BOM had recorded about 6mm of rain at Scott’s Peak, which we were amazed fell so far short of the rain we experienced on the Western Arthurs.
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