So Picton was the first walk I took my GPS on. Went with two friends for a nice easy walk, just to get used to how it worked. The drive in is as described on wildtiger.com.
In essence, take the Huon Highway to Geeveston, where you turn right into Arve Road and drive towards the Tahune Air Walk. One kilometre before the Air Walk turn left into Picton Road, and follow it till it branches to East and West Picton Road. Take the right fork to stay on West Picton Road. Drive about 13km before turning right into West Picton 1 (grid ref 727183), then a further 2km before turning right into West Picton 1/2 just after crossing Cook Creek (grid ref 708179).
One section of the road has deteriorated due to water, and those not confident in 2 wheel drives might choose not to drive the further 1km to a cairn hidden in the cutting grass on the right hand side of the road (you probably need to get out of the car to find it!).
The track up is quite well defined until you get to Steanes Tarn where the terrain flattens out before the final climb. There are a few cairns to follow, but it’s probably easier to find your own way. When we did it the final climb was clagged in so we couldn’t see the summit, and had no idea what we were facing. As a result we decided to go with the Abels description and headed slightly to the east to then approach the summit from the east, rather than a direct assault as we thought we might run into cliffs that way. It proved quite ok, and after negotiating sections of snow where we sank up to our waists, we finally made the summit.
We were disappointed not to have any views of Federation Peak, as the log book entries suggest it is quite something. It was quite chilly on top, so we didn’t stay too long.. but as we were walking back down, thanks to Murphy’s law, the summit cleared and we could see the trig quite easily! We realised it would be possible to take a more direct approach to the summit, with a bit of scrambling if you’re up for the challenge, but you would need to pick your route.
It took us a very leisurely 5 hours up, and a couple more back.
Just recently (11 May 2014) re-walked this one (with not much better weather mind!!), and discovered that there’s a lovely cairned route to the summit, that somehow weaves its way up between the rocks, so you’re walking on green cushion for the majority of the way. We did get a glimpse of view as we were descending, and true to word, it was worth it.. both Arthurs, and of course, Fedder (which now means so much more, having climbed it!).
** Please see Robert’s comment below for an important note about the return route where it’s easy to walk off the track back to the cars and continue on to the lake by mistake instead!!