Fern Tree – Mount Wellington: walking

I really don’t blog or explore Hobart and surrounds nearly as much as I would like. I think, for a few reasons. Firstly I don’t have a car, it’s tricky getting out of town when you don’t have four wheels propelling you forward. Secondly I’m lazy with socialising, I love catching up with people but, probably more than anything, moving interstate has made me realise the high threshold I have for solo adventures.

Today I went on one such adventure. After a short morning shift at one of my various jobs I decided to seize the day and caught a bus to a town located in the foothills of Mt Wellington. It was already somewhere around 12.30 by the time I arrived at the mountain so I figured I’d do a short one – two hour walk and then return home on the bus…then I started to explore.

Left to my own devices I usually will walk just about anywhere, I seem to have a ridiculous amount of endurance for someone who usually clocks in only around 3 – 6 kms of walking a day. So off I went, firstly to Silver Falls, a beautiful little waterfall with crisp and fresh drinking water. I stuck my tongue into the falls and continued upwards and onwards. I too a number of walking tracks (mostly the Middle Track), stumbled upon a car park complete with coffee truck, mustered self restraint and moved on.

Along the way patches of ice slowly gave way to large swathes of fluffy snow. I ate a lot of snow, I’m not going to lie. Thee novelty is yet to wear off for me and anything that wasn’t yellow or muddied was fair game (side note: none of it was yellow, that would be extremely off putting).

After a couple of hours of walking the path became solid snow and a casual walk turned into a slightly precarious adventure into the unknown. It reached a certain point where I was too scared to turn around and decided it was safer to continue upwards until I reached the peak.

After about three hours of walking the only people I had talked to were a couple I had left quite a few kilometres back who had decided to turn around due to extremely restrictive metro bus timetables. Fuelled by fear and vivid imaginings of me calling triple 000 I walked with an almost renewed vigour. Eventually I came across a dad with his two sons, the three were basically bounding down the mountain and told me I was maybe fifteen minutes from the top. I explained that I hadn’t planned on scaling the whole mountain and the man kindly offered me a lift back to town with his family. He mentioned his wife was hanging out up in the observatory tower waiting for them to pick up the car, which was further down the mountain. I quickly made my way to the top, breathed in the fresh air and made my way over to the observatory tower where I found his wife waiting in the corner snacking on a lot of cadbury chocolate after a recent visit to the factory. We made some small talk and eventually her husband and sons arrived, giddy from the run down the mountain.

The walk to the top of Mount Wellington is spectacular. It hands down has the best views the mountain has to offer and is one I would recommend for almost any season. As a novice walker I think it was a little too ambitious and a lot of things could have gone wrong. I was able to climb with some ease but found myself almost on hands and knees in some particularly icy spots. My best advice is to proceed with caution and to make time for mistakes. Also, eat plenty of snow and drink the fresh mountain water. It was delicious.

Parts of the walk were full of sunshine and no snow. The views of Hobart city from Mount Wellington are well worth the steep incline and shortness of breath.

Parts of the walk were full of sunshine and no snow. The views of Hobart city from Mount Wellington are well worth the steep incline and shortness of breath.

Obligatory hiking boot shot.

Obligatory hiking boot shot.

Dark paths and beautiful views.

Dark paths and beautiful views.

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