The first time I did this peak was one day after work, about a week after I’d started my new job. Lovely summers afternoon, but I didn’t take a gps as the track is pretty clear, well signed, and I figured I didn’t really need it. But when the offer came up last Thursday to get out with some friends, one of whom I hadn’t walked with for a long time, I thought I might just take the gps, and write up a trip report.
So I was lucky enough to be picked up from work when I’d finished at 9am, and we were there and ready to go by 11. We started off at the higher carpark, as I for one was exhausted, and one other was really quite unwell, and in doing so we cut off as much of the uphill as possible. So we wandered off, up a well defined track, which is largely rock and mud, with a few roots. When we got to the Seagers lookout turn off decided to have a squiz. I really enjoyed the detour, not having done it on my first trip (that was more of a peak baggers trip) and found the view more pleasing, mostly because of the immediate surrounds, as the view itself was much the same.
It was rather windy on top, so we didn’t stay long. We then trudged on to Mt Field East. We lost one member back at the turn off – like I said, really not well – and another had skipped the turn off and headed straight for Mt Field East. So as we were walking we came across little messages in the mud – “MUD WAS ‘ERE” and “AND HERE TOO” that made us chuckle. The rock by this stage was less frequent, and the track was more dirt than rock. We caught up on the walk across the plain, which is getting increasingly eroded, and the cushion plants are taking a bit of a beating.
Then the climb up the scree started, and eventually we were on top, sheltering behind the quite effective windbreak. I’d dozed a bit the night before, but had no real sleep, and I found it quite comfortable sitting there, feeling like I could almost drift off! But we couldn’t stay around all day, so we headed back down, and having chosen to do the circuit went via the hut.. Getting there took a bit of care, as the route drops of the plain through some slippery boulder fields, down to the lake and the hut. Now I did drift off here! And awoke in a timely fashion to find one guy trying to position a finger to make it look like he was picking my nose, and a girl trying to take a photo, which thankfully was quite blurry because she couldn’t help but laugh!
After leaving the hut, the track climbs a bit, and goes back to being mostly dirt and rock, and relatively easy to move along at pace if need be. Shortly before the road you come to a junction, the options being to turn right and head back up hill, along the side of the road and later on the road, to get back to your car (I did this on my first trip) or to go right and head straight to the road and the lower carpark. We took this option because we weren’t sure if the ill member of the party had driven the car down to meet us, and when we found she hadn’t, one of the guys did the gentlemanly thing and walked the road back up and brought the car down to us.
The round circuit can take just over 2 hours at pace, or, as we proved on Saturday, nearly 5.5 (without the road walk and via Seagers Lookout) at a leisurely pace.
All up: 9.6km, 5.13hrs, 460m ascent.