13th October 2016
With the roaring sound of water I awoke at the Esperance River picnic ground having spent the night there after driving down from Hobart the previous day. Not long after I exited my tent a local woman by the name of Sharon walked through the semi-flooded rest area looking for a lost dog; I hadn’t seen him. Queue half an hour later and I had a very bedraggled but happy pup scrounging around my campsite (presumably lured by the scent of baked beans cooking), I put him on some rope and walked up the road the direction Sharon had walked off, not too long after the pair were re-united and Sharon gave me her phone number with the promise of a coffee back in Dover that afternoon.
Now to climb a mountain. Only a few kilometres up the road is where the track to Adamsons Peak leave. Viewed from Dover it is a very impressive mountain, likened to Mt Fuji in Japan for its triangular profile. The sign at the trail head states 7-10 hours return, so I prepared for a big day. The walk starts on easy boardwalk, leading to an old forestry bridge from the 1920’s complete with a few interpretation boards tell tales of times gone by. The track then heads up through lush rainforest studded with huge old growth Eucalyptus; perfect habitat for Lyrebirds, which I heard many and even saw one! After 45 minutes I reached the aptly named Manuka Flats, a welcome pause to the steady uphill, even if it was classic Tea Tree scrub complete with plenty of Cutting Grass, Baura, and mud. Another 45 minutes of up before I suddenly poked out on the large sandstone shelf that sits beneath Adamsons. Here lays the remains of an old fire hut from the 1950’s, and the first proper close up look at the Abel. After a short rest I continued towards the clouded summit, passing some amazing grassland that reminded me of “The Dead Marshes” from Lord of the Rings! The track turned to scree covered in snow as I approached the top, and to my great relief when I arrived at the impressive summit cairn a window of semi-fine weather broke through the sleet and fog! I ate a quick lunch in the freezing wind and then sauntered back down. The walk down was beautiful but uneventful, and I returned to my car after 5 hours of walking. Easy peasy.
When I was back in Dover, I called Sharon and she made good on the promise of coffee. Zog (the dog) had been to the vet and was in good health after his 12 day walk in the southern forests!
|Adamsons Peak viewed from Dover.|
|Pfft! More like 5 hours return!|
|Native Laural doin' its thing.|
|The old fire lookout.|
|Great looking mountain. Very sexy.|
|Looking west from the summit, super windy!|
|The spiralling summit cairn, all frozen over.|