After driving to Queenstown from near Hobart, I met up with a few mates who were in town for the Unconformity Festival and had a good catch up while I waited for Nick to arrive from Launceston. When he did, we went for some late lunch and then shoved enough stuff into some packs for a cheeky overnight visit to the nearby Abel; Mt Jukes. We left Queenstown around 3pm and drove 20 minutes along Mount Jukes Road to the high-point of the road, and start of our semi off track walk. The terrain was very eye opening and a real hoot to walk on. Large open volcanic rocky slabs interspersed with low scrub and a very steep incline made for two happy mountain climbers as elevation was gained quickly and expansive views admired. After around 50 minutes we had attained the top of a glacial cirque some 400 metres higher than were the car was parked. Here we found a fairly well trodden path marked with cairns which we followed around the cirque, gaining a bit more elevation and suddenly the small peak north of Jukes; Proprietary Peak. From here it was a doddle to the summit trig, a mere 1 hour and 45 minutes after leaving the car. The summit has very rewarding views, with the West Coast range was a stand out, as well as the Frenchmans group, and The Eldon Range. The wind was fierce, so we headed around 200m from the summit to a suitable camp spot. A few card games were had and then bed as soon as the sun went down.
|Getting stuff ready!|
|Looking towards Mt Huxley and Mt Owen.|
|The car looks so teeny!|
|The summit of Jukes towering above the cirque.|
|Look at that amazing geology!|
|Stunning location for a cairn.|
|Stunning location for a Nick.|
|A truly interesting summit. So volcanic lookin'.|
"Zane!" I heard at 1:20am. The wind was so strong that it destroyed Nick's tent (a classic Wilderness Equipment beast, that had just had one too many nights use). I helped him pack up his gear in the howling wind and we set him up under a nearby rock overhang. It was out of the wind and I ended up being very jealous when I went back to my tent and had to put up with the constant noise. Luckily the night was clear, otherwise it would have been a snug snooze in my single man tent.
We next got out of bed to watch the sun rise over the many mountains east of us. A beautiful sight and the main reason we wanted to sleep up on Mt Jukes in the first place. After sunrise, we had a quick breakfast and then walked down to the car. On the way back we explored and old mine shaft, some 50m in there was a huge vertical shaft that I couldn't see the top of with my head-torch. We then went back into Queenstown for another breakfast and a day filled with arts, music, friends, and beer; a great way to finish off a great week.
|Sunrise over Lake Burbury.|
|The King William Range and the Frenchmans Cap group. Sexy.|
|Nick's home away from home away from home.|