I wanted to go back into the Walls to nab a few Abels I missed on my last trip due to bad weather (read the trip report here). It also offered a great opportunity to investigate the damage caused by the recent bush fires.
I parked my car at the Lake Bill access to the Walls and started heading up the hill just before lunch. Within a few metres of starting my walk I was in sections of burnt out forest. It was strange to walk through the forest that I had known so well and to have a very different experience. It wasn't sad though, as all around there were signs of life coming back; hakea seed pods opening, ferns shooting up, and gum leaves budding. Within an hour I had reached the top of the hill and stood at the end of blizzard plain (a button grass plain that also got burnt out). I had lunch whilst admiring the view of Lake Bill, Mt Ragoona, and to my immediate west the small Abel - Nescient Peak. I walked south through the regenerating button grass for another 15 minutes or so before I dropped my pack and made for the summit. Nescient Peak was known to be a very scrubby, albeit short, deviation from the main path. However, with the recent fires burning much of the forest I managed to hoon up the hill with very little issue. The summit is forested, but offers good views towards the Cathedral Plateau and Lake Bill and after some time at the top I was soon back at my pack; a little blackened from the charred branches, but with a smile on my face as another Abel had been conquered. It was then a pleasant hour and a half walk to Lake Myrtle, first through more burnt forest and then after crossing Jacksons Creek I was in 'normal' ti-tree scrub. I set up my camp at Lake Myrtle and whiled the afternoon away enjoying a swim, many cups of tea, and a good book.
|Look out adventure, here I come!|
|Bush fire bushwalkin'.|
|Blizzard Plain will grow again.|
|Little tarn on the way up Nescient.|
|The burnt out summit of this forgotten Abel.|
|Life coming back to the forest.|
|Big Bad Banksia Men.|
|Ragoona and Lake Myrtle.|
|Myrtle on the banks of Lake Myrtle.|
I slept in a bit, had breakfast (rolled rice - a great alternative to oats!), packed up camp, and stormed off along the northern shore of Lake Myrtle. My destination for the day was to be Cathedral Mountain. For the first few hundred metres I followed the Jackson Creek track, but when it swung away downhill (not the way I wanted to go) I jumped down to the rocks at the waters edge and started my semi off track expedition. I left Lake Myrtle behind and went over a ridge to drop down onto the northern tip of Cloister Lagoon. From here I made a bee-line on my map for the southern tip of Chalice Lake and reached that by midday. I sat and had lunch looking over the wonderful landscape that stretched out before me, rocky, open, wonderful walking. After lunch I re-adjusted my bee-line for the summit of Cathedral Mountain and headed off. I occasionally found the odd cairn here or there, but no substantial path, so I kept making my own. I was atop Cathedral by 2pm and busied myself with setting up camp a stones-throw from the summit cairn. After a cup of tea I packed my day pack and headed north along the vast cliff lines towards the high point of the plateau and Abel, Twin Spires. It sits only a half an hour stroll away from where I made camp, so was an easy way to spend my afternoon. When I was sitting on top of the summit I was treated to having 3 Wedge Tail Eagles soaring over my head, 2 adults and a young one squawking loudly. I made my way back to my tent and cooked up dinner, just in time to enjoy the sun setting over Mt Ossa. A glorious place to spend the night!
|Heading around Lake Myrtle.|
|The water was so fine!|
|First view of Cloister Lagoon.|
|Looking back to Ragoona.|
|Looking towards Cathedral and Twin Spires.|
|Summit of Cathedral Mountain - Looking to Kia Ora.|
|The ragged cliff-lines of the plateau (Twin Spires on the far right).|
|God-rays from the summit of Twin Spires.|
|3 Wedgies! (sorry about the dust on the screen...)|
|Not a bad view for dinner.|
|Sun starting to go down.|
|Sun setting over Mt Ossa.|
I woke up around 7 and was disappointed when I poked my head out of the tent to see very thick fog all around me. I was not looking forward to finding my way out in such weather, so slowly packed my camp up and hoped it would clear. By 9:30am it was still really thick, so I orientated myself with my map and made a bee-line through the fog for a small lake called Tent Tarn, some 1.5 kilometres away. 45 minutes later and much to my delight, the sun got some heat in it and burnt off a lot of the fog, to reveal that I was almost at the tarn! A few minutes after that I ended up stumbling upon a very well trodden and cairned path that ended up being the exact one I was after; taking me all the way to Grail Falls. Once on that it was only an hour before I was walking passed Chalice Lake on the other side than the day before. I almost trod on a small whip snake trying his hardest to bask in the suns rays. He was so cold that I managed to snap a few good photos of him before he scampered off into the scrub. I began to follow Moses creek, which flows out of a long arm of Chalice Lake and down over Grail Falls to meet the Moses Creek Track and take me back to the car. After half an hour I was at the waterfall, having an early lunch in the sheltered Myrtle forest. After lunch it was a quick hour down the track through some of the most beautiful old growth Myrtle forest I can remember. It made me reminisce on why this is my favourite access to the Walls of Jerusalem. Once I got to the road I put on my camp/running shoes and a small day pack and ran the 4km back to the car. Job well done!
|Not looking good...|
|... Poop. Fog.|
|The fog lifts! Tent Tarn on the left.|
|Beautiful Pencil Pine near Tent Tarn.|
|White Lipped Whip Snake - SO CUTE!!|