|SUMMARY - Mt Zeil|
|State 8||Northern Territory's highest peak|
|Location||West MacDonnell Ranges, west of Alice Springs|
|Access||Glen Helen Station and West MacDonnell National Park|
|PERMISSION REQUIRED||Contact both: |
|Time||4 hours up|
|Route||Follow long western spur|
We drove the three hours in from Alice Springs, along the Tanami Track, Gary Junction Road (Papunya Road), then on station tracks through Glen Helen Station to the base of the western spur of Mt Zeil.
With the pre-dawn moon, we hiked across the plains to the base of the spur. As day broke, we climbed up to the plateau some 380 above the plains (at 1070m). There are various routes to choose from to access the grassy plateau. From here we tried following the official route provided by Parks NT, which is to skirt around the ridge peaks. We found this to be tricky: it was harder to navigate, psychologically harder, harder to walk on a constant side incline, and having to dodge obstacles such as patches of rocks or denser vegetation. Soon, we instead followed the ridge, it was much easier. It was easier to navigate, and the ridgeline was clearer of rocks and vegetation.
Reaching the summit in four hours, and whilst filling in the logbook, updated my Facebook status - yes, there was Telstra NextG coverage.
This summitting was my second attempt, I had tried last year to come in from Redbank Gorge as a three day trip, but did not quite reach the summit.
This was part of Ricky, Paul and my State 8 challenge - to hike the highest summit in each of Australia's eight states and territories. For all of us, this was Number Six, although we differ in which ones remain.
Thanks to my traveling companions, Ricky and Paul, and some of their photos are included below.
View photos on Google+.
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PERMISSION IS REQUIRED, and highly recommended, to access and climb this peak. Detailed maps and advice will also be provided when permission is granted.
Download GPX file of Mt Zeil climb - for use as a navigational aid in a GPS unit
Download KML file of Mt Zeil climb - view in Google Earth
|Stats ||Mt Zeil|