Another day off work, with a semi favourable weather forecast for the South, so I picked Florentine, Tyenna and Mawson, a nice little walk, partly off track, but over open terrain so easy enough to do solo.
For some ridiculous reason, I’m not entirely sure why now, maybe because I wasn’t sure how long I’d need, or because I was thinking of checking out Lord and Lanes peaks afterwards, I was at the start of the track (the Lake Dobson car park) by 6.30. That turned out to be a bit of a mistake in one way, but not in another.
The day was still young, only just lightening, and the mist was in, though the forecast was for things to improve. So I headed out, taking the track towards Mt Field West. It’s a nice track and easy to follow, just requires a bit of care crossing the Rodway Range scree field in the wet. I kept on walking, and arrived at the hut by 8. The cloud was still low and I couldn’t really see much, so I sat down, consulted the Abels notes and realising they gave me little to go on decided to just head off and see what was what. As it turned out, the Abels notes gave little to go on because the route was really very straight forward. I was about to start off when I heard voices from above, one a very distinct one that I recognised immediately. It was my former employer’s PT, and his girlfriend. What a small world, I thought!
I headed a bit further along the track, then turned left to walk along the ridge. It was a tad interesting trying to negotiate the ridge line in fog, the maps on my gps not being accurate enough to know which way to go round rocky mounds and at times I found myself back tracking as I started to walk off the edge. But despite all that, I found Florentine (9am) and then Tyenna (10am, dragging my heels hoping the mist will burn off.. no such luck).
Now there is a route that does a nice circuit, but the Abels and friends say that it can be a tad difficult to find the start of if you’re on top of Tyenna and trying to come down. It’s much easier to go the reverse direction, starting at Wombat Moor (if I’m not mistaken). So I was all for heading back the same way, and I’m kind of glad I did. As I got past Florentine again (11.30), after wondering whether it was worth waiting and seeing if the mist would lift and deciding it wasn’t, low and behold, it started to! It was nice to see Mount Field West, not having seen it from afar when I’d done it in October 2013, and to see where I’d just walked. Not so nice to see all the evidence of logging though.
The lifting of the mist totally transformed the day and I slowed right down, enjoying the views and taking a few photos. I traced my steps back to the track, and headed back along until I got to the Mawson Ski Fields turn off. Just my luck, the tracks were all closed as they were demolishing the old hut, so I went off track. Walking was easy and open, though the challenge was in trying to stay off the more fragile alpine plants. The summit of Mawson was none too impressive looking from this approach, more like a small mound than a mountain! But the now clear views towards Tyenna and Florentine were nice. I could hardly believe the way the weather had been just hours before, and was thinking it would have been wiser to have had a later start.
But the next thing that happened changed all that! I was close to the summit, when I hear, then see two people also heading for the summit but from my left, at right angles. As I got closer, they looked slightly familiar, but I couldn’t quite place them… thinking they must have been Passion8 customers or something, but knowing that it didn’t quite fit. I caught up to them, and they stopped thinking they’d let me pass, when they recognised me too.
They were a couple I’d met and talked to when I’d done Frenchman’s Cap! Fancy that. We ended up having a lovely chat about mountains and life on the summit, between 2 and 2.30, and they followed me down because they’d mentioned they wanted to go up Dromedary but didn’t know which way to go without being turned back by locals. I just happened to have the map in my car, and we sat and talked a bit more back at the shelter. It was good to be able to take delight in the chance meeting, and I pondered at how funny it can be, the way people’s individual little worlds can touch others at random points in time! It turned a nice day into an even better one. I was in such a good mood I decided to scratch checking out Lord and Lanes and just head home happy (think I had the following day off to do something, but the weather was supposed to be bad and I didn’t feel like a wet scrub bash with no views). So I did!
All up: 15.4km, 5.13hrs, 879m ascent.