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Day Five: Friday
19 December 2008
High Moor to Lake Vesta
Walking Time - 11 hours
Day 5: The
reasonable weather from the evening was interrupted by rain and strong
winds throughout the night, so I didn't sleep well. The tent
did a great job however. In the morning there was the usual mist.
We got going around 9:50AM, still the second (out of three) to leave the campsite.
The first obstacle was a steep walk down a gully, followed by
sidling a steep exposed cliff. Our left hands never left the scrub
and it provided great photo opportunities.
Next we met up with Emma and Gordon, fellow hikers who had been with us from the beginning. While we discussed the exposed sidle another party took the adventurous route over the first of the Beggary Bumps, which gave us some good photos. We then continued on through the Beggary Bumps, slowly making progress through the many obstacles, with Gordon and Emma. Next came the step descent down the tilted chasm, then more scrambling, to avoid Lovers Leap - we got a good picture of it though. Following the first three Beggary Bumps, the obstacles became less severe, however, progress was still slow going with the smaller Beggary Bumps.
It was 5PM when we finally reached Mt. Taurus and we made our way to the top for great views of the area. With the plan to continue onto Lake Vesta tonight and then complete the full traverse we looked ahead along the mountain range, trying to determine where our track would go, with limited success. We reached Haven Lake at close to 6PM and stopped for a while for photos at the creek inlet and also for snacks. Luca and I had a protein bar, washed down with a chocolate bar.
John Chapman is a little harsh on Haven Lake as the campsite looked excellent, with a number of platforms and great views of the lakes. It looked reasonably sheltered, particularly compared to High Moor. After stopping to speak to some other campers we were off at 6:30PM for the final stint to Lake Vesta. The initial climb to the ridge above the lake revealed some stunning views to the east. Then there is some sidling of the eastern side of the ridge which takes you to another broad open saddle. A scramble down a gully to Lake Sirona followed - this was in contrast to the map and John Chapman's description suggesting the route had been changed recently. From Lake Sirona the walking was easiest so far with large flat rocks laid out to mark the track. We reached the top of Morainne K at 8:30PM where we discovered that apparently we would have to descend 200m in 300m distance before we turned off for Lake Vesta. Fortunately the track was nowhere near that steep, and with much relief we reached the turnoff for Lake Vesta and the rest of the Western Arthurs.
The track down to Lake Vesta was reasonably straight forward with some creek walking and two small waterfall descents! It felt like we were canyoning! These descents were quite straight forward, but I felt bad for Emma who didn't have waterproof shoes. At close to 9PM we reached Lake Vesta and Luca quickly found two campsites and the water supply. We arranged a 8AM start for the next morning then set up camp. I convinced Luca to try Ainsley Cous Cous and he overcame his prejudices and actually enjoyed it. It was certainly the quickest cooking meal for the trip. We ate dinner at 10:30PM leaving the dishes for the following morning.
|As usual a misty morning - two other parties were at the camp last night||A boardwalk start|
|You can sidle around or take the adventurous route over the bump||We chose the sidle but the father and son team shown above chose the other||They did well pack hauling down the near vertical face.||Not long after getting off the bump they passed us as they appeared very comfortable with rock scrambling.|
|Tilted Chasm||This was a steep section|
|Gordon and Emma|
|End of Beggary Bumps|
|Gordon and Emma - again|
|Western Arthurs from Mt Taurus|
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