Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Walk Number 17.....High Yellow Bluff 3/7/2011

I was pretty excited about today's walk being the first hard graded walk I've tackled, so it would be a good gauge to see if my fitness and experience as a bushwalker had improved over the past seven months. Walks graded as hard are suitable only for fit walkers, are over marked tracks or routes which can be very rough, overgrown and/or wet, with steep gradients and/or natural obstacles such as rocks, fallen logs and dense undergrowth....woohoo!!

The High Yellow Bluff walk is one of the more challenging day walks on the Forestier Peninsula.  There are some rough steep and rocky sections and part of the walk is over a taped route with no formed track.  

To access the start of the track turn east off the Arthur Highway at Murdunna into Hylands Road.  Follow this gravel forestry road for 9.4 kms until you come to a carpark.  At this point you can either leave the car and walk the 3kms along Richardsons Road to the beginning of the track or do as Jane & I did  We saved ourselves an hour of walking each way which at this time of year in Tassie isn't such a bad idea as the days start closing in at around 4.30 - 5.00 so the 2 hours saved allows more time to enjoy the actual track without worrying about heading back in the dark....that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Along Richardsons Road you'll see a sign on the right giving directions for both this walk and the walk to Cape Surville, continue about 200 metres past this and you'll come to a turning circle and will locate the beginning of the track.

The track starts off as being very open and clear to follow but after a little way does become quite brackeny although still clear enough to follow....a few tapes along the way keep you on track.  There is an unusual sign on the ground after about 15 minutes walking which allays any doubt that you are heading in the right direction.

10 minutes or so on you'll come to a Chasm Creek which runs along side the track for a little way.  It's at this point that the first major obstacle on the track is encountered....a fallen tree whose truck would be well over a metre in is a major effort to climb over this as this area is quite damp so be prepared to get wet and dirty when negotiating the tree and unfortunately there's no other way to proceed.

The track starts to climb through Blue Gum, then Stringbark forest with Prickly Wattle (which Jane will attest to, having grabbed a branch to steady herself...only once though!) and Banksia beneath. Approximately 20 minutes further on a short side track leads to a lookout on the cliff edge with views to Cape Surville, Deep Glen Bluff and Sisters Rocks....these are the best views on the walk.

Sisters Rocks

Cape Surville

After this point the track becomes increasingly steep with large moss covered rocks which are quite damp and slippery....quite a bit of scrambling is required from this point to the summit. Reaching the summit is quite a let down, unfortunately there are no views.  However, it is naturally quite rocky so if this is your thing you can spend a bit of time fossicking about in the area.  Jane & I had decided we'd done enough rock hopping to get to the top so after a short time just to acknowledge that we'd made it to the summit we scrabbled back down to the lookout to have lunch before starting the descent back down the track.

made it to the top

The trek back to the car took around 45 minutes and due to the steepness and dampness of the track I would recommend the use of walking poles on this occasion.

With a couple of stops along the way, one being probably about 40 minutes for lunch we were on the track for around 5 hours, so if you decide to do this walk make sure you allow plenty of time.

Well the first 'hard' walk has been completed without too much duress.  While it was quite strenuous and the old ticker was racing at times this walk was very enjoyable for the physical workout it provided.  Overall an enjoyable walk and yes you will feel it in the muscles the next day!

Just a quick advertisement, I'm always looking for people to complete a walk with so if you're interested give me a hoy!

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