Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Walls of Jerusalem

5th - 7th December 2015

King Davids Peak
Mt Jerusalem
Mountains of Jupiter
Mt Ragoona

Day 1
Originally I was going to do a 6 day trip, but those plans changed, due mainly to the onset of terrible weather, and other options. So I ended up doing a 3 day walk instead.
I started nice and early from Launceston, driving out to the Walls of Jerusalem just after sunrise; I wanted to cram a full day of walking in! I parked the car at the main entrance to the Walls, chucked on the pack and started to stroll up the hill towards Trappers Hut. The walking was pleasant, the temperature hadn't risen yet, and I was encouraged up the hill by the calls of some of my old favourite birds - Black Currawongs, Cuckoos, and various honey eaters. It wasn't long till I reached the iconic Trappers Hut (a re-constructed version of an old fur trappers hut from the 1940's).

After a brief break, it was up a wee bit more and onto the plateau. The walking became much flatter and the views more expansive. The day had progressed to high, fluffy clouds and I could see much of the mountains in the area. So many Abels! One of which was King Davids Peak, the first Abel on my current mission. It stood proud and tall amongst the Pencil Pines and dotted tarns that are Solomons Jewels. I kept on walking and soon reached Wild Dog Creek, one of the main camp sites in the Walls. I had lunch here, stuffing my face with delicious avocado laden sandwiches. Then I stormed off up towards the 'entry to the Walls', Herods Gate. I left my pack here and took the bare essentials up for the 1 hour return trip to the top of King Davids. I followed a roughly cairned track up the side, but it was easy to pick a path regardless. Just go up.

When I returned to my pack, I stormed along the beautiful track through the steep cliffs that make up the Walls, headed for Dixons Kingdom. The Pencil Pines around this other iconic hut/camp site are amazing, very big, very ancient. I set up camp, had a cuppa chai and though I'd have a bash at another peak just north of the camp. So once again I donned my daypack and strolled off in the direction of Mt Jerusalem. It is a very pleasant climb, not hard, but rewarding with views of more mountains and hundreds of lakes and tarns. I meandered back to camp to spend the night talking with some interesting people and reading a good Robin Hobb novel. Fantasy-tastic!

Better leave my bazooka mounted dog at home...

Trappers Hut.

King Davids Peak.

On top of King Davids Peak looking towards Mt Jerusalem.

West Wall.

Pencil Pine garden.

Dixons Kingdom.

Mt Jerusalem.

Summit cairn on Mt Jerusalem.

Day 2
A foggy morning was met with stiff coffee and even stiffer porridge. I planned to go down to Junction Lake today, in preparation for the next few days. I started the day of walking with a lovely couple from Melbourne. Rupert - an actor/carpenter/federal court mediator and his wife Suzette, an actress/ancient civilisation lecturer. They wanted a hand navigating the 'off track section' in the fog down towards Lake Ball, where a more discernible path is found. Needless to say, the hour I was with them passed very quickly; filled with wonderful conversation. I left them to have a break and I picked up the pace along the side of Lake Ball. About half way along, another old hut is passed, steeped in character as all the others are. My favourite part of the walk around Lake Ball is at the western end, where the water meets big patches of Pineapple Grass. It creates an amazingly still, clear, water garden.

I kept walking towards Junction Lake, heading south when I got to Lake Adelaide. It was great walking, very peaceful, very calm. I had lunch at the bottom of Lake Adelaide, a healthy dose of Promite, crackers, and a pear! Yum-yum! Then I walked towards the top of Lake Meston, where I could see the Mountains of Jupiter - my next Abel to get. After a few more hours of relaxing walking, I reached Junction Lake and set up camp. I looked at the time. I still had 5 hours of light at least. Bag another peak? I think so. So off I set for the Mountains of Jupiter (FYI - Bloody fantastic name). It only took 1.5 hours from the hut at Junction to the top, but it was 1.5 hours of scrub. There is a path, it's not overly used, but it is there. However, some sections are overgrown and hard to follow, and the best method to reach the top is just aim in the general direction and go for it! Well, the view was AMAZING! Well worth the scratched legs. I turned on the phone and checked in with Gina, and Dad, and the weather. There was some nasty weather to be coming, time to change plans. I headed back to camp to re-think my next few days.

Morning fog.

Lake Ball hut.

How's the serenity?

Lunch of champions.

Mountains of Jupiter in the distance.

Home sweet home.

Mountains of Jupiter.

The beautiful view to Mt Ida from the Mountains of Jupiter.

Day 3
I decided to climb Mt Ragoona today and then head home. I wanted to get to Twin Spires and Nescient Peak, but they will have to wait for an overnighter I think. So I packed up my things nice and early and headed back up towards Lake Meston, for the junction to go out via Lake Bill. It had rained overnight, so I was saturated just by pushing through the overgrown sections of path - I needed a wash anyway... Within a few hours of leaving camp, I dropped my pack and strolled off towards the summit of Mt Ragoona. It was wonderful walking, very open, some cairns, but easy to see where you need to go. There was a lot of beautiful little wild flowers making the air smell thick of honey. Only an hour to the top from the main track and I was rewarded with a small summit cairn, still weather, and an hour to sit and enjoy the view. Clouds forming and rising over mountains along the Overland Track, all very peaceful.

When I arrived back at my pack, I had a light lunch and hoonded off toward the road. The next few hours were filled with brief drink stops, and last minute glimpses of mountains. I arrived at the middle car park (some 7km south of where I parked my car at the upper car park) and ditched my pack behind a tree. Thus began 7kms of road walking. Joy! But, it gave me time to reflect on a great trip. 4 Abels, 3 days. Stoked!

Cairn cairn cairn.

Lemon scented boronia - smells good!

Rolling plateau of Ragoona.

Tiny summit cairn in view.

On top of Ragoona.

Mt Ragoona from Lake Myrtle.

Mt Ragoona from Lake Bill.

153 left.



  1. Hi Zane, Keep up the great work! Wow! You have a few beautiful photos there, the "How's the serenity!" snap is definitely serene, I feel calm just looking at it! The view towards the lake from the Mountains of Jupiter is wonderful, Do you know what the pyramid shaped mountain near the end of the lake is called?

    1. Hi Dad!
      Thanks! I try to put my photography lessons you've given me over my life into action. The mountain in that view is Mt Ida - Another Abel!

  2. Hi Zane!!
    Great pics to go with the beautifully scripted blogs :)
    Have been talking with so many people who are so enthusiastic for you!! I will try to find the pic of you and big bro Daniel at the top of your first Abel climb, at the little age of 2 years and something. The smile says it all in that picture. Little did Dad and I know the mountain climbing addiction that had started!! Great to see you are still enjoying the journey along the way. Much love, Mum x

    1. Hi Mum!

      Thank you for your support, no matter what I end up doing in life. I am very lucky to have been exposed to such a great thing at such a young age. So thank you!