What did you do today?

Edward

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It is the same here in the high country (tasmania). The ground is poor, rocky, and gets horrendous winds off the antarctic or from the west unrestricted by any other land mass. Anything that grows is woody and tough. Mostly horizontal bush. In southern Tassie this stuffs grows prone pointing north because of the prevailing winds. Over toward the West it points to the East. If you're walking into it - ouch. Animal tracks are no help because they're all knee high, under the waist or thigh high canopy. Cuts your legs to shreds. You start off thinking "this isn't too bad", after an hour or two, every touch hurts. That's weird re the wren - I remember seeing some wren, running around on the ground, that was unique to the Northern Kimberly (Mitchell Plateau?). And a drongo. Is your wren something that stays mostly on the ground? That would make it easier to spot / identify.


Hey Randall, I am impressed. You are a GENIUS! This is not the first two times you have read my mind.

Yes it is very windy where these small shrubs grow here also, also predominantly grow horizontal; and,

YES the wren is ground wandering. Among spinefix tuffs, on the rocky slopes of the Flinders Ranges(y)

Tassy sounds like a bushman's dream!


Short tailed Grass Wren
 
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Randall

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Tassie is good. I really enjoyed the dry country of SA and NW australia too. I suppose I prefer mountains. I hate the winters here. SA and the kimberly ranges were definite highlights of my life.
 

Edward

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Tassie is good. I really enjoyed the dry country of SA and NW australia too. I suppose I prefer mountains. I hate the winters here. SA and the kimberly ranges were definite highlights of my life.

Interesting to hear. I use to hate deserts. Mum & Dad moved (back) here from Victoria in 1980 to be closer to Mums folks. I hated leaving the greenery of Victoria! I have wanted to live in Tassy for a while now. I like the cold. Have you explored the South East corner at all & whats it like? 80km2 of pure untouched heaven I'm told... One of the worlds last frontiers. I also lived in the NT for 12 years! It was fantastic!
 

Randall

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Interesting to hear. I use to hate deserts. Mum & Dad moved (back) here from Victoria in 1980 to be closer to Mums folks. I hated leaving the greenery of Victoria! I have wanted to live in Tassy for a while now. I like the cold. Have you explored the South East corner at all & whats it like? 80km2 of pure untouched heaven I'm told... One of the worlds last frontiers. I also lived in the NT for 12 years! It was fantastic!
I grew up in the dandenong ranges, so ultimately I yearn for temperate climate, mountain ash, big climbs, streams, etc. I left home quite young, so I've had a lot of time in drier climes, which is so much different. The hills are generally under 300m, trees up to about 10 or 20 meters maybe (except for river red gums), open dry poor country. But when you come across a water source it is amazing. I have enough in one, then want the other.

The south east - nothing is un touched. It has all been logged and forested. There are pockets of beauty - but none of it is untouched. Lots of great walking, water falls, plateaus. My passion is finding and navigating abandoned tracks - tracks that haven't been used for 20 years or so. Tassie has less tracks now than it used to have. It's a great skill and there is always a logic if the track was originally made by someone with skill. My partner and I have often given up trying to follow signs of track, and done our own thing, which is often quicker. We can bush bash for an hour or so, and then come across a cairn - or an old paint mark on rock face. Every time if you apply bushwalking logic, you'll end up in the same places. Now, the South West - woohoo! The only reason it hasn't been touched is because of difficult terrain and there is nothing worth chopping down or digging up. That country is full on. It's straight up and straight down with some flat parts either side. Typical of this area that most know is the Western Arthur range and the traverse, which is tracked. Mostly rock, and rock that destroys boot stitching or any clothing it touches - dolerite. I have european style boots now - zamberlain. Expensive, but I understand them. No seems down low and mostly made out of one piece of tough, thick leather. No seams to get the stitching abraded away in a very short time - less than a day for one pair of kathmandu high end boots. The ranges to me look sheer and needle sharp. It always surprises me to look back and pick out the way we came - usually just below the ridge and contouring around sudden little peaks along the ridge. Yes, it's awesome, but always huge days - the few times I've been there we always end up doing a couple of huge days - 18 hours plus and lots of climbing (not with rope). You need good quads, good flexibility, mental toughness, good lungs. The mental toughness is just experience. If you do these things shit happens and you get used to it. Then later on, shit might happen again, you know your experience and that you can keep going and going and going and dig deep, so you do it again with no real drama. There's also mental toughness with fear - having to walk across rock 2 or 3 meter rock blades, maybe only an inch wide with drops either side and all your gear and pack on. Having to climb around a rock face to a ledge - hugging the wall, trying not to let fear take over. These things always happen too :) But really, the South West is the pointy end of the stick as far as bush walking goes in Australia. Federation peak is probably one of the best tracked challenges. I did a peak bagging trip that started from the top of Mt Ossa. 6 of us, all known and reliable quantities, we'd done similar stuff before. With full packs (1 week of food), we walked to the top of Ossa - that was our starting point. Everyone usually dumps their packs on the overland track, walks up Ossa, then returns back to their pack. To the West of Ossa, there's no track, and it's all precipitous. Often crap visibility, winds that would blow one of us over every now and then, wet from start to finish (yes for 7 days :) ), often eating standing up in the lee of a big rock, shaking cold shovelling scroggin or whatever into your gob. Setting up a wet tent, packing up a wet tent. Trying to navigate to the tops of peaks with driving rain stinging your eyes and face. And our fingers, all of us, bleeding fingers :) The ends of our gloves eaten away by the rock we were always amongst. Incidentally, the best gloves for this type of rock are those gardening gloves with rubberised fingers - awesome grip, hold out the longest. If you get a pair big enough you can fit a pair of polypropylene gloves on underneath. Although I say we were wet the whole time, p olypropylene still keeps you warm, and if it gets the chance it dries very quickly. Amazing real survival stuff - it's right at home in those conditions. And it's cheap. The only down side is that it starts to smell after a day or two :) You're either steaming hot and wet through while you're walking, but your hands and face are frozen, or you stop for 5 mins and start to shake with cold. Just found an article, well written with photos. This dude has done a lot of the same country - not the bush bash from Ossa, but the Arthurs and Federation. And it looks like he scored awesome weather. SW Tassie - Western Arthurs and Federation Some great video of Federation. These guys are using rope, which is a bit overkill - probably trying to make it look more dramatic Federation video. Another more realistic video by normal folk :) normal folk doing federation
 
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Randall

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Sorry for the long winded post. I'm legless again :) Tried to ride a black track yesterday and opened up my knee. Now I have to keep my leg relatively straight to give the stitches a chance to do their thing - it seems a pretty hopeless exercise.
 

Randall

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One more :) The mt anne cicrcuit. We've done this once mid winter


Gail not so happy inside the hut at Mt Elizabeth. It's cold and wet inside, but saves time setting up a tent etc. The stuff on the ledge is left there by others.

25987

The view just outside the hut. There is another climb after this hut up to a plateau. Then along the plateau to the base of Mt Anne
25988

Native mice - cute little fuckers that you don't know whether to laugh at them or do something evil. While we were here, one chomped through some rope I had for pack hauling some of the climbs to Mt Anne. They just wander around and are fairly indifferent to people. Perhaps that suggests the sort of people who do come here - that the mouse has as much right to be there as we do (maybe even more right)
25989


Crossing the plateau. Mt Anne is close by, but visibility is not good. It's hard to navigate in these conditions. This was relatively easy though, about 1km wide with a drop either side, so just tried to stay in the middle on a bearing. Normally a bearing is much more accurate if you can pick something at a long distance to head toward - the fewer times you have to take a bearing, the less likely for accrued inaccuracies. When things are this bad, I'd send gail to the edge of vis, indicate with my arms for her to move left or right till she was on the bearing we wanted, then I'd walk up to her and we'd do it again. Because of the howling wind everything has to be done with big arm signals. Even without wind, in fog sound doesn't travel far. We'd hit patches of ice about the size of a footy oval - no warning. Snow chains for boots would have been perfect.
25990
 
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Randall

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She's physically tough, but mentally :ROFLMAO: At the end of a huge day she started crying once - and I thought "surely she can't think we're lost". She just said that it had been a long day blah blah blah. It came out months later that she was looking forward to a roast dinner that my sister had invited us too; she started crying when she realised we wouldn't make it :ROFLMAO: She does love her food.
 

Edward

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I grew up in the dandenong ranges, so ultimately I yearn for temperate climate, mountain ash, big climbs, streams, etc. I left home quite young, so I've had a lot of time in drier climes, which is so much different. The hills are generally under 300m, trees up to about 10 or 20 meters maybe (except for river red gums), open dry poor country. But when you come across a water source it is amazing. I have enough in one, then want the other.

The south east - nothing is un touched. It has all been logged and forested. There are pockets of beauty - but none of it is untouched. Lots of great walking, water falls, plateaus. My passion is finding and navigating abandoned tracks - tracks that haven't been used for 20 years or so. Tassie has less tracks now than it used to have. It's a great skill and there is always a logic if the track was originally made by someone with skill. My partner and I have often given up trying to follow signs of track, and done our own thing, which is often quicker. We can bush bash for an hour or so, and then come across a cairn - or an old paint mark on rock face. Every time if you apply bushwalking logic, you'll end up in the same places. Now, the South West - woohoo! The only reason it hasn't been touched is because of difficult terrain and there is nothing worth chopping down or digging up. That country is full on. It's straight up and straight down with some flat parts either side. Typical of this area that most know is the Western Arthur range and the traverse, which is tracked. Mostly rock, and rock that destroys boot stitching or any clothing it touches - dolerite. I have european style boots now - zamberlain. Expensive, but I understand them. No seems down low and mostly made out of one piece of tough, thick leather. No seams to get the stitching abraded away in a very short time - less than a day for one pair of kathmandu high end boots. The ranges to me look sheer and needle sharp. It always surprises me to look back and pick out the way we came - usually just below the ridge and contouring around sudden little peaks along the ridge. Yes, it's awesome, but always huge days - the few times I've been there we always end up doing a couple of huge days - 18 hours plus and lots of climbing (not with rope). You need good quads, good flexibility, mental toughness, good lungs. The mental toughness is just experience. If you do these things shit happens and you get used to it. Then later on, shit might happen again, you know your experience and that you can keep going and going and going and dig deep, so you do it again with no real drama. There's also mental toughness with fear - having to walk across rock 2 or 3 meter rock blades, maybe only an inch wide with drops either side and all your gear and pack on. Having to climb around a rock face to a ledge - hugging the wall, trying not to let fear take over. These things always happen too :) But really, the South West is the pointy end of the stick as far as bush walking goes in Australia. Federation peak is probably one of the best tracked challenges. I did a peak bagging trip that started from the top of Mt Ossa. 6 of us, all known and reliable quantities, we'd done similar stuff before. With full packs (1 week of food), we walked to the top of Ossa - that was our starting point. Everyone usually dumps their packs on the overland track, walks up Ossa, then returns back to their pack. To the West of Ossa, there's no track, and it's all precipitous. Often crap visibility, winds that would blow one of us over every now and then, wet from start to finish (yes for 7 days :) ), often eating standing up in the lee of a big rock, shaking cold shovelling scroggin or whatever into your gob. Setting up a wet tent, packing up a wet tent. Trying to navigate to the tops of peaks with driving rain stinging your eyes and face. And our fingers, all of us, bleeding fingers :) The ends of our gloves eaten away by the rock we were always amongst. Incidentally, the best gloves for this type of rock are those gardening gloves with rubberised fingers - awesome grip, hold out the longest. If you get a pair big enough you can fit a pair of polypropylene gloves on underneath. Although I say we were wet the whole time, p olypropylene still keeps you warm, and if it gets the chance it dries very quickly. Amazing real survival stuff - it's right at home in those conditions. And it's cheap. The only down side is that it starts to smell after a day or two :) You're either steaming hot and wet through while you're walking, but your hands and face are frozen, or you stop for 5 mins and start to shake with cold. Just found an article, well written with photos. This dude has done a lot of the same country - not the bush bash from Ossa, but the Arthurs and Federation. And it looks like he scored awesome weather. SW Tassie - Western Arthurs and Federation Some great video of Federation. These guys are using rope, which is a bit overkill - probably trying to make it look more dramatic Federation video. Another more realistic video by normal folk :)normal folk doing federation

I enjoyed you're story. Those boots sound great! Thanks for the links. They will make for interesting reading. I also spent time in Dandenong as a kid. I remember the stream & ferns. There was a restaurant we use to go to called the Swagman, that sadly burnt down in the late 70's or 80's. BTW, I meant the South West of Tassy, sorry :rolleyes: That country sounds like the Kimberley. Just imagine what rock art & artefacts still exist in those remote crevices- archaeologists dream. I loved the Indiana Jones series as a kid, BTW. Finding old tracks sounds very interesting to me! Sounds like there is a lot of interesting anthropological and archaeological history in the areas you discover. I'm also thinking metal detector:unsure:
 
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Edward

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One more :) The mt anne cicrcuit. We've done this once mid winter


Gail not so happy inside the hut at Mt Elizabeth. It's cold and wet inside, but saves time setting up a tent etc. The stuff on the ledge is left there by others.

View attachment 25987

The view just outside the hut. There is another climb after this hut up to a plateau. Then along the plateau to the base of Mt Anne
View attachment 25988

Native mice - cute little fuckers that you don't know whether to laugh at them or do something evil. While we were here, one chomped through some rope I had for pack hauling some of the climbs to Mt Anne. They just wander around and are fairly indifferent to people. Perhaps that suggests the sort of people who do come here - that the mouse has as much right to be there as we do (maybe even more right)
View attachment 25989


Crossing the plateau. Mt Anne is close by, but visibility is not good. It's hard to navigate in these conditions. This was relatively easy though, about 1km wide with a drop either side, so just tried to stay in the middle on a bearing. Normally a bearing is much more accurate if you can pick something at a long distance to head toward - the fewer times you have to take a bearing, the less likely for accrued inaccuracies. When things are this bad, I'd send gail to the edge of vis, indicate with my arms for her to move left or right till she was on the bearing we wanted, then I'd walk up to her and we'd do it again. Because of the howling wind everything has to be done with big arm signals. Even without wind, in fog sound doesn't travel far. We'd hit patches of ice about the size of a footy oval - no warning. Snow chains for boots would have been perfect.
View attachment 25990

Great pictures(y)Hard country. Take care of that knee.

Chatted up a chick not long ago. She said getting all your stuff together to go camping, then packing up was too much work. Whaaaata...? That's the fun part:unsure: So I had fun camping alone!:LOL:

Mice chewing through packs? Oh dear, not my German Army Mountain Pack:oops:
 
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Randall

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I enjoyed you're story. Those boots sound great! Thanks for the links. They will make for interesting reading. I also spent time in Dandenong as a kid. I remember the stream & ferns. There was a restaurant we use to go to called the Swagman, that sadly burnt down in the late 70's or 80's. BTW, I meant the South West of Tassy, sorry :rolleyes: That country sounds like the Kimberley. Just imagine what rock art & artefacts still exist in those remote crevices- archaeologists dream. I loved the Indiana Jones series as a kid, BTW. Finding old tracks sounds very interesting to me! Sounds like there is a lot of interesting anthropological and archaeological history in the areas you discover. I'm also thinking metal detector:unsure:
I don't think there is much archaeology or anthropological stuff. Most history here that I'm aware of is pretty much since the english came. Of course there were aboriginals here, but what I hear about most are middens. No cave art or stuff like that. I always associate metal detectors with drier areas - probably because metal lasts so much longer in the dry. I wouldn't buy the boots I was talking about - they're overkill for most of the stuff on the mainland and they'd be too hot. Apparently Tasmania has the most dolerite in the world Dolerite in Tasmania. Personally I'd go for unlined leather boots for dry country. The old tracks are good. Some of them are related, to early timber operations, so you still come across remnants of timber rail, old steam engine parts, great lengths of old rusted wire rope through the bush, old foundations in places. Nothing older than 250 years though. And you have to have an eye for something that doesn't look natural - I always have to point stuff out to Gail - it may not be so obvious or even noticeable if you're not observant. It's like following old track - sometimes Gail asks how can I be so sure, and I point to a moss and fungi covered end of a rotting wet fallen tree that has been down for 20 years or so. The moss and fungi kind of disguises that it was once cut by chainsaw when small teams of hardy bushmen employed by Parks etc used to clear the tracks every now and then. You can still see that the end was flat, not jagged as it would be if it snapped from a long dead standing tree. And smaller hard woods cut by machete, but with smaller branches still growing up and out from under the ancient decapitation - so the small tree looks bushy, instead of long and skinny competing for light under the higher canopy. Or, if we're on an old road, all she sees is thick bush that we're trying to get through. But how high is this bush? See the trees to the side are full grown, this stuff isn't. You follow the road by looking above the bush to see the gap between the grown trees - growth on the road is only so high, full size trees to the sides. And sometimes, you can feel the old walking track beneath the scrub - if it hasn't been used for years, the scrub on the sides grows over the track grabbing the light. But the hard rocky old track underneath is still bare. It's like a little tunnel. You would have seen the same thing on some little vehicular tracks in the bush (esp Gippsland Vic) - the trees grow over the track, kind of forming a canopy above the road.
 
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Randall

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Great pictures(y)Hard country. Take care of that knee.

Chatted up a chick not long ago. She said getting all your stuff together to go camping, then packing up was too much work. Whaaaata...? That's the fun part:unsure: So I had fun camping alone!:LOL:

Mice chewing through packs? Oh dear, not my German Army Mountain Pack:oops:
Don't you bet on it :) They look fluffy and cute, but they'll get you. Look at his squinty little eyes and fat face. He'd love a bit of German pack.

25994
 
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Edward

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I don't think there is much archaeology or anthropological stuff. Most history here that I'm aware of is pretty much since the english came. Of course there were aboriginals here, but what I hear about most are middens. No cave art or stuff like that. I always associate metal detectors with drier areas - probably because metal lasts so much longer in the dry. I wouldn't buy the boots I was talking about - they're overkill for most of the stuff on the mainland and they'd be too hot. Apparently Tasmania has the most dolerite in the world Dolerite in Tasmania. Personally I'd go for unlined leather boots for dry country. The old tracks are good. Some of them are related, to early timber operations, so you still come across remnants of timber rail, old steam engine parts, great lengths of old rusted wire rope through the bush, old foundations in places. Nothing older than 250 years though. And you have to have an eye for something that doesn't look natural - I always have to point stuff out to Gail - it may not be so obvious or even noticeable if you're not observant. It's like following old track - sometimes Gail asks how can I be so sure, and I point to a moss and fungi covered end of a rotting wet fallen tree that has been down for 20 years or so. The moss and fungi kind of disguises that it was once cut by chainsaw when small teams of hardy bushmen employed by Parks etc used to clear the tracks every now and then. You can still see that the end was flat, not jagged as it would be if it snapped from a long dead standing tree. And smaller hard woods cut by machete, but with smaller branches still growing up and out from under the ancient decapitation - so the small tree looks bushy, instead of long and skinny competing for light under the higher canopy.

I get it. Archaeology/ anthropology isn't always strictly 'ancient' though. It can include the relics you were talking about left over in the last 100 years or so, or signs of people who explored the area in the past. All interesting stuff though! Except that after a while you can start feeling like a relic yourself :rolleyes:
 

Edward

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Don't you bet on it :) They look fluffy and cute, but they'll get you. Look at his squinty little eyes and fat face.

View attachment 25994

Crikey. I have never seen a mouse that fluffy in Oz! No doubt he needs it. He will 'get us', or just the gear?:oops: Are you serious Randall? Or is this one of those drop bear stories? We have to watch out for those Tasmanian's!:D
 

Randall

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Crikey. I have never seen a mouse that fluffy in Oz! No doubt he needs it. He will 'get us', or just the gear?:oops: Are you serious Randall? Or is this one of those drop bear stories? We have to watch out for those Tasmanian's!:D
Just gear. They're an issue where people camp. Those guys are mostly in the south west and generally high up, so it's not your average tourist who's going to come across them. Lower down there's a different native mouse, one with a long tail. And native cats (quolls) - I shared a hut with a hundred native cats one night. They were partying all night and running over me, it didn't matter what I did. Possums too; they tend to be in the more populated areas though. Food raiders on the overland track The guy in the article suggests how to keep your food safe; it doesn't work with native cats :) I woke up to find them swinging on the bag. I'm pretty sure drop bears are only in Qld. Carnivorous koalas aren't they?

25995
 
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Edward

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Just gear. They're an issue where people camp. Those guys are mostly in the south west and generally high up, so it's not your average tourist who's going to come across them. Lower down there's a different native mouse, one with a long tail. And native cats (quolls) - I shared a hut with a hundred native cats one night. They were partying all night and running over me, it didn't matter what I did. Possums too; they tend to be in the more populated areas though. Food raiders on the overland track The guy in the article suggests how to keep your food safe; it doesn't work with native cats :) I woke up to find them swinging on the bag. I'm pretty sure drop bears are only in Qld. Carnivorous koalas aren't they?

View attachment 25995



:LOL::LOL::LOL:


...I think it is a real shame the tiger is gone. What a unique creature- a miracle of evolution. Some say, given the terrain of the S/W it is still out there. And if it is, those with any honour will remain silent;)
 

Randall

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:LOL::LOL::LOL:


...I think it is a real shame the tiger is gone. What a unique creature- a miracle of evolution. Some say, given the terrain of the S/W it is still out there. And if it is, those with any honour will remain silent;)
I wish, but no. It's like the black panther myth that's been in gippsland since the 40's or 50's. For them to survive, there has to be more than one. People get to the most remote places of the SW, places where there is a good chance nobody has ever stepped foot before. The country is actually pretty poor. I saw or read that the only reason tigers survived here is because they didn't have to compete with modern dogs (dingos) of the main land. Tigers and devils are both poor old designs that aren't really able to compete in a changing environment. They've been left behind by evolution - a problem of living in isolation. Like the dodo.
 

odgens

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Not really today but my partner and I completed the Tarn Shelf walk in the Mt Field national Park’s Alpine region last weekend. It’s a 5-6 hour walk but my partner is 28 weeks pregnant so we turned it into an overnighter and had a lot of fun.

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We started off late on the first day and were pretty surprised when we reached our intended camp site is just under an hour and a half. We mulled over pushing on but thankfully didn’t as the weather turned pretty rough 40mins later and we were thankful to have the tent up!

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Camped just next to the Twisted Tarn hut which was a ski lodge nearly 100 years ago, apparently the tarn use to freeze over and was used for ice skating back in the day. The hut still contained a lot of the old equipment from that era but sadly the walls/ceiling had been heavily graffitied by past walkers. The fireplace mantle was also littered with empty alcohol bottles and a makeshift weed pipe which was upsetting to see….have no issues with having a drink or a smoke but pack your rubbish out!

The night was pretty wild, lots of windy and rain but the tent held up and we stayed dry/warm while watching some game of thrones

We set off around 10ish the next morning after breakfast and it took us around 3 1/2 hours to get back to the car. Was an amazing walk and one I’d recommend to anyone, some of the scenery was beautiful even in the rain, sleet and wind lol

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Randall

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All those tarns that run along the base of the rodway range ice over in winter - we often leap off the range into powder snow all the way to the bottom, then walk back over the tarns. I think cross country skiing used to be big around here. Skiers used to use that hut. There used to be old wooden skis and bindings in the hut too. Although skating on the tarns sounds very doable :) I never thought of that. It's a really cold place in Winter. Often a freezing cold wind where you would have done the return leg of that walk if you did the round trip. Great photos
 
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