Friday, 7 April 2017

Mt La Perouse

3rd - 4th April 2017

Mt La Perouse

Day 1
With high hopes for completing the Southern Ranges with beautiful weather, I set off on the walk in the far south of Tasmania after the 4.5 hour drive to the start of the track. The Beginning of the track up Moonlight Ridge follows an old train line to a quarry site near Mystery Cave. There was plenty of signs of old building sites, peppered with old bits of iron, boots, and glass jars. By 9:30am I left the quarry behind and was walking up the track, gaining elevation steadily and listening to the cries of many Lyrebirds. The track headed through wet Eucalyptus forest, with a base of Lime Stone, studded with small caves and interesting features. After a few hours I poked out on the broad, somewhat flat, ridge near Bullfrog Tarns. The area around me had been burnt out a few seasons ago, and the going from there was easy. It was at this point that the first views of the range came into focus, and it looked wonderful.

Another hour of steady going and I was sitting underneath the crest of Hill 1 for lunch. Some wonderfully made track took me along the south-west facing ridge for the next few hours, passing Hill 2, 3, and 4, before finally delivering me to the splendid camping at Pigsty Ponds. As I was coming through one of the scrubbier areas around Hill 2, I broke one of my boots pretty dramatically... I had plenty of time to sit around camp, having arrived just after 2:00pm. I had a swim, brewed a coffee and read as the sun began to slowly go down. Unfortunately, I was also having those recent feelings of anxiety as I went to sleep.

A bygone era.

The ground looked quite beautiful.

Heading up the ridge.

A fire-swept landscape.


Looking along the Hills towards the Southern Ranges.

Mt La Perouse.

My home.

Day 2
I awoke to a beautiful sunrise. But still was struggling with my head space. I packed up and moved out by 7:00am, and within 15 minutes I was at the junction to Mt La Perouse. From here I headed up, which only took about 40 minutes. The summit was spectacularly flat, having not lost its sandstone cap from glaciation like so many of our Dolorite peaks. I walked to the eastern side of the summit and looked down at the amazing Swallows Nest Lakes, and then took shelter from the brisk morning wind behind the huge summit cairn. From here, due to my emotional issues and my (now even more) broken boot, I decided to turn around. I do hugely regret this move, but it felt right at the time.

I headed back down Moonlight Ridge to my car.

Morning over Pigsty Ponds.

La Perouse.

The wind is powerful. Natures topiary.

The iconic summit cairn. Looking to Pindars Peak... Another time.

32 left.



  1. Hi Zane, Sorry to hear about the early turnback on the Southern Ranges. I don’t think you would have been able to finish the intended trip with a broken boot (presumably a partly detached sole), so turning back was your only choice, no need to regret it. I can relate in a few ways to your story. In January my boots looked dodgy and I actually carried a spare pair with me just in case! (As it turned out, they survived a three-day trip, but only just, and I binned them immediately after). And my most recent trip in Tassie was a visit to Mt La Perouse, where I enjoyed weather every bit as nice as you did.

    I made a comment to your Black Dog posting last month to cheer you up, and perhaps you didn’t see it. So I want to repeat my suggestion that you make sure you head out with positive, enthusiastic companions rather than on your own. Having friends around to share the experience with will be much better for you than tackling big walks on your own and giving room for all the negative self-talk to take hold. And don’t fret about not finishing all your walking by the winter. Next spring or summer will be just fine too!

    1. Hi Rolf,

      Thanks for reading! Yes, I did see that comment you left on that particular post. It was indeed some food for thought. I have made a firm decision now on how and why I am approaching the Abel climbing, and will post about it soon :)


  2. Rolphs advice is very sound...There is always time later...The mountains will still be there!! New boots coming up!