Thursday, 24 December 2015

Ben Lomond

22nd - 23rd December 2015

Legges Tor
Mensa Moor

Day 1
For this short overnighter on the glorious Ben Lomond I was lucky to have the company of the ever poetic Bert, an old friend and fellow Tasmaniac. We started our walk at Carr Villa after having an early lunch of crackers and dip, very fancy! The gentle ascent beneath Misery Bluff took us up to the wonderfully named plain, Land of Little Sticks, (we had a lot of fun on this trip observing the interesting names of the area). Walking was easy and scenic along the flat lands towards Legges Tor and we stopped frequently to look at the wild flowers and alpine vegetation. Just underneath the first Abel of the day we arrived at a few old alpine huts where skiing enthusiasts have been spending winter nights for many years. One hut in particular has mountains of character, due mainly to the rubbish tip piled but a stones throw from the front door. Old cans, several stoves, Vegemite jars, even a scrap scarecrow! Within an hour and a half of starting we had reached the small blip of land that is the second highest point in Tassie, Legges Tor. From here we could plan our route towards Mensa Moor and the rest of our day.

We dropped off Legges Tor and headed south west till we had a great view of Coalmine Crag with Mensa Moor in the distance. From this vantage point we decided against taking the track on the map we had, as it looked more scrubby than our alternative option. That option was to walk down to the almost dry creek bed of Rafferty Creek. Here the walking was wonderful, rock hopping for a few kilometres towards the base of Mensa Moor where we planned to camp the night. The creek bed was interesting, with several spots laden with coal and mudstone and others with chunks of well worn sandstone. Eventually we climbed out of the creek bed and headed towards the tree line at the base of Mensa Moor to set up our camp. We found a nice spot not too far from the creek with comfy, soft alpine grass and coral fern ground cover. By the time we had set up our tents we had plenty of daylight left, so headed for the summit of Mensa Moor.

A bit of a scrub bash was faced at first as we climbed through the tree line, but when we got to the top of the plateau it was clear and easy walking. We had about a kilometre of walking across the top before we reached the small summit cairn on the far south-west corner, and the view was well worth it! We had a wide panoramic view of sweeping dolerite cliff faces with tumbling scree slopes below them, and out towards the midlands there were rolling hills and farms. Super great! We spent a nice amount of time on top, the weather was calm and we were in no rush. Eventually we headed back to camp, only taking about 45 minutes to get there. Scrub bashing is always easier when facing downhill! We had dinner which comprised of various left overs from both of our fridges and topped it off with some custard... YUM! The sun treated us to some gorgeous colour on the peaks before we jumped into bed. I read a chapter of my book and then fell asleep to the sounds of mozzies buzzing outside my tent.

Bert on the march upward!

Land of Little Sticks.

Mountain rocket and scoparia. 

Legges Tor dead ahead.

This place oozes character, and rust.

A rubbish pile.

Scrap Scarecrow, or Scare-currawong.

Legges Tor - The 2nd highest point in Tasmania.

Interesting layering of mudstone and coal. 

It almost looks like a black and white photo!

Mensa Moor poking up above the scrub.

Bert bashing in the scrub.

Easy walking on top though.

Trigger plant, so much fun!

Grant Cirque from the summit of Mensa Moor.

Not a bad place to have a sleep - view to Magnet Crag.

The last hint of sun before it set fully.

Day 2
We got up a few hours after the sun and birds did. A short day ahead, just needing to get back to the car. We decided against taking the easy way up Rafferty Creek this time, instead choosing to follow the general path described in both the map and in the Abels book. This had us hammering straight up Magnet Crag, through rather thick scrub and not as many scree patches as we hoped. Although it was tiring, it was worth it when we got to the top. The terrain flattened out and the shrubs became more like a garden. Easy walking with a great view of where we had just been! The 'path' was non existent, but that was no matter. We made a bee line for the north side of Legges Tor and strolled on till we eventually met up with the path that heads back to Carr Villa. By this time, we were only an hour or so from the car and the call of the blueberry muffins in the Subie was loud! In all, it was a great walk. It could be done as a long day walk, but I enjoyed breaking it into two and the company was very much appreciated too! Thanks Bert!

Looking back toward Mensa Moor from Magnet Crag.

149 left.

Peace,
Zane.

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