In the evening of 12th March 2021 I arrived at the campground in Rossarden. Rossarden is a former mining town. But since the mine closed decades ago, most of the houses have been dismantled only a few bogans are occupying the area south of Ben Lomond. I could have easily free camped somewhere there, but I left my car for 1-2 days, and I felt better, if I could park it in the designated car park.
I had an early start shortly after sunrise. It was a bit chilly in the morning, and there was even some morning fog. But once it disappeared the day was going to be a beautiful sunny late summer day. I walked along the road up to Storys Creek. There is only one house left with permanent residents. Along the way you can see all the remnants of the former mining activity. After Storys Creek I followed a gravel road which quickly turned into a hiking track. The way up above the Scree to Denison Crag is well marked. From the saddle shortly before reaching the high plateau you can see Tranquil Tarn. Once on top I left the track which goes to Denison Crag and turned right. The track is no longer that obvious. You basically walk through calf to knee high shrub. It’s not too bad, and I had good visibility. From time to time you see old moss covered cairns. It’s a slow walk though.
After I turned north, I passed Lake Youl in the distance. You are constantly hopping over small creeks, and it’s sometimes muddy. After a few more kilometres you can see the first wooden stakes for marking the backcountry ski track in winter. I was following them and crossed a wide valley underneath Ossian’s Throne. From there you go up and find more stacks along the way, which I followed until a big junction. There I turned left. The way is clear, but in summer time hard work, as you constantly hopping over puddles. Once reaching another junction, I again turned right, and arrived at the Ben Lomond ski resort. This looks quite desperate in summer. From the base it’s only a shot walk to the summit. I finally reached the second highest summit of Tasmania.
The way down is much better marked with wooden stakes. I passed and old mountain hut from a local ski club, which needs urgent renovation. It really looked run down. The hiking track to Carr Villa hut is much more frequently used. The air was quite smokey on the way down due to controlled burns in the vicinity. That lead to a colourful pink sunset later on. The private Carr Villa hut was also closed. From there I carried on along the gravel road to the Ben Lomond campground, which was an easy walk. Only another couple was camping in their car. So basically I had free choice for pitching up my tent.
In the morning the other camper gave me a lift down to Upper Blessington, which saved me walking along a gravel road for 10km or so. In the morning there were not many (well none) cars up Ben Lomond. I waited for several hours in the morning at the junction in Upper Blessington, but it’s already a bit remote and not a single car drove towards Mathinna. Then before midday I changed my strategy, and a local old lady gave me a lift in her ute to the outskirts of Launceston. From there I got a lift along the highway from a local bloke just to the service station in Perth. I was quite happy, because getting a lift on a busy road isn’t that easy. Another lady saw me being dropped off, and immediately offered me a lift. She said it was the first time in 20 years, she gave someone a lift. That was just perfect. She dropped me off at the junction to Fingal after Conara. And from there it didn’t take me long until I got another lift to Avoca. I thought it might be hard from here. But after waiting less than 1h or so, a local tradie from Rossarden offered me a final lift. We had a nice chat about the surrounding areas while driving the way up. And as such, I was back at my car in the afternoon after getting 6 lifts in a row, much quicker than I thought. From Rossarden I drove the other way down to Fingal and from there via Mathinna to Upper Blessington, and passed the junction in late afternoon, where I was just waiting for quite some time in the morning. Surprisingly, there were quite some cars driving the opposite way on the gravel road towards Mathinna in the late afternoon.