10th – 11th October 2016
I drove south after doing some boring adulty things in Launceston and met Shelly (my friend, fellow Abel climber, and Spires Adventure Buddy) at the car park to the beautiful Myrtle Creek just beyond the rolling green dales of Collinsvale. We quickly got ourselves ready as a slight amount of sleet fell on us, all the while having a chat to a local who was walking his dog. We set off up the trail the leads to a beautiful cascade, complete with a viewing platform. After that, the track went steadily uphill through lush fern forest and towering swamp gums. After about an hour we reached the fire trail that we needed to follow in order to get to our first Abel, Mt Marain. We followed the fire trail for 30 minutes to the base of Trestle Mountain, and left the bulk of our gear stashed in the scrub there. We planned on coming back to this point to spend the night. Another 30 minutes of fire trail walking and we arrived at the trail head up Mt Marian. Snow had started to fall as we squished our way through the soggy trail. It took us about 40 minutes to get to the boulder strewn summit studded with low Snow Gum scrub where the view opened up wonderfully for us and we could see the next two Abels on our list; Trestle Mountain and Collins Bonnet.
We walked back to our gear at the base of Trestle Mountain and decided to go up this quick Abel too, as we still had a few hours of daylight. The track was great most of the way, but as we got to the scree fields near the summit the snow had cut visibility and made the cairns harder to follow than they should be. We climbed the last few spires and arrived at the top, but unfortunately there was a poor view as the snow kept fluttering down. Before we got too cold we smashed back down to our gear and set up camp on the side of the fire trail. A snowy night was ahead, but the sleeping bag was toasty warm.
|Beautiful big ferns on the banks of Myrtle Creek.|
|Marian is spelt wrong on this sign...|
|The view from the summit,looking towards Trestle and Collins Bonnet.|
|The track up Trestle Mountain.|
|The needles of the summit in the fog.|
|The icy summit of Trestle Mountain.|
The sound of snow sliding off my tent woke me up in the morning, and a quick peek outside showed that a good 10 centimetres had settled overnight, and blue skies were overhead. A quick breakfast was had, saturated tents packed up, and we were off along the fire trail by 8am heading for Collins Bonnet. While walking the road a great time was had spotting footprints in the snow; we saw Possum, Wallaby, Wombat, and even Devil! After about 45 minutes we reached the junction to the Collins Bonnet track where we dumped our gear and headed up the very snowy path to the summit. The track was very easy to follow, and super enjoyable in the gorgeous weather. A mere 20 minutes later and we were hanging around the trig point on the summit with fine views back to Trestle and Marian as well as Mt Wellington and even out towards Mt Field. After some time spent milling around the top we headed back to the cars, a walk that took around an hour and a half.
|What a beautiful sight to awake to.|
|Trestle just touched by the sun.|
|Collins Bonnet, the goal for the morning.|
|Looking back at Trestle Mountain in the sun.|
|Shelly forging ahead.|
|Snow on scree, a Tasmanian cracker!|
|The summit of Collins Bonnet was beautiful!|
|One of the most interesting track markers I've ever seen...|