Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Overland Track: Entry #3 (of 3)

The five of us - Tim, Kate & myself and Andrea and Theo - have camped together for the previous 4 nights, and we have climbed Mt Ossa together. We have been doing everything together.

The Overland Track, Tasmania
6 day hike: this blog entry the 5th, 6th and 7th days
Sunday 21 December to Tuesday 23 December 2008
Kia Ora Creek to Pine Valley Hut to Narcisus Hut to Cynthia Bay

We had lunch on a tent platform at Windy Ridge Hut, a one-point something million dollar hut that no-one seems to stay at, instead having lunch there. From there we walked halfway to Narcissus Hut before taking a sidetrip to Pine Valley Hut. From Pine Valley we hoped to climb the Acropolis, some of our eager members hoped to walk that afternoon, allowing time the following morning to explore the Labyrinth. By lunch my feet had declared climbing the Acropolis that evening as a non-option.

As it turned out, the hike of 1.5 hours off the main track was exhausting and Pine Valley Hut couldn't come soon enough. The walk out to the main track the following day we found to be quick and easy - a sure sign of how exhausted we were the previous afternoon. The campsites at Pine Valley Hut were small and sheltered, with rain forest soaring high above us and a creek meandering through the campsite.

The morning of the 6th day, Tim, Theo and myself set off to climb the Acropolis as the girls had a well deserved sleep-in. The Lonely Planet guidebook said it was a 4 hour return walk, but the sign in the hut said it was a 5 to 7 hour return walk. We didn't have heaps of time, so decided to be back at the hut within 4 hours. The ascent to the midway plateau was very steep, and we reconsidered if we would still have time to make the peak from there. We decided to cross the plateau and reassess the situation. The Acropolis loomed closer, and with Tim's optimism it seemed to be close enough to achieve. There were a few difficult sections, but all in all it was easier than Mt Ossa had been. Again the peak was a plateau, and we had magnificent views of Mt Geryon and down to the Labyrinth. Despite the wind, we made our obligatory contribution to XXXXXXXXXXXXX (more details later) and returned to Pine Valley Hut. The final descent was steep and very hot, so I quite enjoyed my splash around in Cephissus Falls. We made it back to the hut in 4 hours and 4 minutes, where Kate and Andrea had prepared lunch.

The hike to Narcissus Hit was quite easy and flat. After confirming our ferry booking for the following morning via radio-speak in the hut, we set up camp beside the river. There were no tent platforms tonight, and despite the river it was a hot shadeless campsite. Once again Andrea got to see a snake as it crossed out campsite.

The following morning we walked the 300 metres to the ferry for the short trip to Cynthia Bay, where we all ate breakfast in the cafe before the bus trip to Hobart.

Alternatively, visit the Overland Track website to view the official Google Earth kml file. Download kml file to view in Google Earth or adapt to use as a navigational aid in a GPS unit


Overland Track:
Days 5-7
Sunday Monday Monday Tuesday
21/12/2008 22/12/2008 22/12/2008 23/12/2008
Kia Ora Creek to Pine Valley Hut Pine Valley Hut to Acropolis and return Pine Valley Hut to Narcisus Hut Narcisus Hut to Cynthia Bay
Distance 19.3km 6.5km 8.8km 300m (the rest by ferry)
Moving Duration 4h47m 1h53m 1h51m
Stationary Duration 1h13m 1h24m 24m
Moving Average 4.0km/h 7.3km/h 4.8km/h  
Overall Average 3.2km/h 1.9km/h 3.9km/h  
Oodometer 96.2km 102.6km 111.5km  

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