Brown Mountain (Mount Field): 28 September 2013

Brown Mountain GPS route

Brown Mountain GPS route (car parked at road junction near the end of ‘Holmes Rd’ on map)

I’d felt pretty average all week (I put that down to no walk last weekend due to work), and pretty bad on Thursday and Friday, so my plans of going places on Saturday after work, a club walk on Sunday and something else on Monday were quite uncertain, but me being me said to myself on the Saturday morning, ‘bugger it, I’m going’ knowing I could always turn around if a walk really wasn’t what I needed.. but it seems it might just have been ;)!

 

The brightly taped tree, marking the track start

The brightly taped tree, marking the track start

Friday and Saturday had been extra busy at work thanks to the football, and the last thing I wanted to do on the Saturday was to have anything to do with it.. so off I took, to one of the few remaining close peaks I hadn’t yet explored. I was quite happy to do so, as I knew it wasn’t far, and the walk itself looked short. In fact, google earth makes it look like you could go for a bit of a round about drive and walk very little distance (with even less climb) if you chose to do so.. but I was going for a WALK, not a DRIVE.. so knowing absolutely nothing about the terrain or the roads, I picked the shortest most direct route, with what could easily have been a 600m scrub bash once I left the road.. Could.. but luckily for me, wasn’t (not that I would have minded much, a scrub bash can do wonders for focusing the mind and body on the task at hand, rather than wandering to matters than can never be solved).

 

View from the summit, looking back at the path taken

View from the summit, looking back at the path taken

So at 9.30 I left work, and headed off, taking the turn left ontoĀ Holmes road, just past Ellendale. The road started off nice and got progressively worse, boggy at first, then rocky and ridgy. One too many dings on the bottom of the car saw me do a 17 point turn (ok, maybe not that much) on the one lane road, and park as far to one side as possible. Off I headed, wondering what I might find.

 

View towards Mt Field from the summit

View towards Mt Field from the summit

Just as I was thinking I should head off to the left and make a beeline for the summit, and was looking for possible light patches, I came across a very highly taped pad! What a surprise.. and comfort at knowing I was ‘somewhere’ in being ‘nowhere’. 30 or so metres after the start of this pad, if you continued along the road I was on, you intersected a very nice looking gravel road, and if you could figure out just where it started you’d probably have a much nicer drive, and virtually no road walk.

 

The short climb to the summit made for a lovely little walk, mostly on moss covered rocks, made a tad challenging by the fact I was wearing my old boots that have next door to no tread or grip left.. but it was nice, and the sun came out, and I was on top in no time :). A brief period to have a look towards Mount Field, and then Wylds Craig and Shakespeare and I headed back down.. not wanting to test my luck with the weather. Have to say, I was very impressed with the new One Planet daypack (the only daypack for me now), though a little bit worried about the boot situation.. but a visit in town afterwards might have remedied that ;)!

Mushroom colours :)

Mushroom colours šŸ™‚

Would recommend this to anyone who likes exploring new short walks close-ish to Hobart. 1.3km, 130m ascent, and 20 minutes walk from where I parked my car to the start of the taped track; 1.4km, 155m ascent, and 1 hr walk up and back from the start of the taped track (part of which was spent talking to my wonderful mother on the phone!).

Brown Mountain: 4 August 2013

Brown Mountain GPS route

Brown Mountain GPS route

Today was supposed to be a lovely little wander up Mt Mueller, with what had been a forecasted 2-9 degrees and sunny after initial frost. Of course, after having obtained the key from Forestry, the weather forecast progressively deteriorated, to -2 to 3 degrees, snowy, rainy, and windy. Given the exposed nature of the ridge line and some advice from other walkers, a change of plans was in order. So we went to the opposite extreme, chose something close by so as to avoid running into any roads closed due to snow, something short, and something with very little exposure. Brown Mountain in the southeast, just above Runnymede, it was to be. And a brave four of us decided to brave the weather, which ended up 100% better than expected.

Fungi on the road

Fungi on the road

A lot of bushwalkers knock some of the easy, short, low southeast peaks like Brown Mountain, and yes, there’s not the same level of challenge, the unknown, and pitting yourself against the elements as there is in some of the harder walks in other more rugged parts of the state, but that’s not so say these kind of mountains don’t have their place. In fact, the last few I’ve been on have been rather enjoyable: great company and conversation, with no urge to rush. They’re short little walks that leave you feeling refreshed but not exhausted.

Cairn on tree stump

Cairn on tree stump

Anyway, we met up in the city, and drove in one car outĀ past Sorell, heading towards Orford. At Runnymede we turned left down Woodsdale road, and parked the car on the righthand side of the road, maybe 4.5 kms later, opposite a gated road with a sign informing us that there were quarry operations going on and no unauthorised personnel were to enter. So we donned our boots and daypacks, and jumped over the sign, as you do. There was evidence of quarrying in the past, but nothing very recent at all, and we meandered up the road, occasionally just stopping and chatting, almost as if the walking was getting in the way of our talking!

Following the cairned and taped pad to the summit

Following the cairned and taped pad to the summit

There were two more fences to jump, the second landing us in the reserve and technically off the ‘authorised personnel only’ stuff. From there it was a shortish walk under the southern flank of Brown Mountain and round to the west, where you’re just over 200 metres from the highpoint. There’s a cairn on a chest-high tree stump on the left of the road, and both a cairn and pink tape on the track and a tree nearby on the right of the road. We followed the cairns and tape up the very short walk to the summit and trig marker.

Summit view towards Wellington

Summit view towards Wellington

The view on top was better than expected. We could see the weather hanging over Wellington and beyond, and were very grateful we weren’t trudging up Mueller! Instead we enjoyed lunch in the sun, and only decided to move when the clouds threatened to roll in, chilling the air even further. We had more of a hunt around on the way back down for some loggers ruins we’d been told about, but all we succeeded in spotting was what looked like remnants of a wall/boundary/windbreak made out of scree.. it was just a bit too unnatural to be anything else.

Trig

Trig

As we wandered back down we came across a local on a dirt bike, and had a bit of a friendly chat (nope, no guns were drawn). We were back at the car in 3 hrs and 45 minutes – quite a fair bit more than the expected 2.5 hours, but that might be testimony more to the amount of talking and enjoying we did, than the difficulty or length of the walk! It was 9.7 km, with just under 500m ascent.