For the last Sunday in May 2021 we had a great weather forecast for the North-West of Tasmania. Thus, we decided to do a day walk to Mount Roland. I wanted to do a traverse, ascending the face track, which is a bit steeper but shorter, and then descending normal walking track to Gowrie Park. But I also didn’t want to drive unnecessarily with both cars there, just for the missing 8km. So in the end, we got Paul’s mountain bike. In the morning we put it in Gowrie Park, and locked it there. Then we drove back the 8km to Kings Road in Claude Road. From here we started our hike. Surprisingly, we were quite early. I think we started hiking at about 9:15-9:30 o’clock, after having already the rest organised. I wanted to have enough time, as I didn’t know, how well Kristy could cope with the elevation gain.
It was still quite chilly. In particular, as the first section leads through the shady forest. But as we went up, we got warm quite quickly. The weather was just stunning. There was not a single cloud on the sky. It took us about 2h to gain the main plateau, and then from there to the summit maybe another 45min. So, we were at noon at the summit to have a short lunch break and enjoy our views. The water (and maybe mud) puddles were all frozen on the plateau. Hence, yes it was still cold.
The view was great from the summit. The Bass Strait was directly ahead of us, while in the backdrop we could clearly see the snow covered mountains of the range, the usual suspects like Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff. On the way down, I wanted to see, if there’s a way to walk-off from the Rysavy Ridge. It’s not far, only about 700m, but finding a suitable way wasn’t easy. It took me about 2.5h to get there, with some scrambling in between. It was much longer than I expected, and I knew that Kristy was waiting for me. Luckily, we still got some reception, and I could text her, that all is OK. My way back was much faster, maybe only 1h or so. The first 50-100m after the ridge is still a bit of scrambling (one section underneath sturdy trees). But once, you passed this one gully, you basically just follow the cairns. Yes, in the end, I found already some pre-placed cairns. I also checked the rappel anchor. It was changed to the other side
Kristy enjoyed the afternoon sun and the splendid view, while I was a bit bush bashing. She already decided to walk off from her viewing/waiting place, and just right in time to catch me on the track. The walking down along the main track was straightforward. We weren’t just clear, if the normal route would be open, because according to the PWST website, one of the bridges in between was closed, or damaged. We asked other people, who came up this way (and went down the same), and the confirmed that the track is open. After that bridge, you’re following basically a benched 4WD track, which is easy to walk. It was a nice walk. Only about 15km, but still 1,200m up and down, which you could feel in the end in your legs.
As my detour took a bit longer than expected, it was already dusk when we arrived in Gowrie Park at the bike. And for sure, Paul’s bike didn’t had any light. So, I took both our head torches, one so that I can see something ahead of me, and the second to the back, so that I don’t get knocked over. We also changed phones just in case, because as we knew from Will, Optus doesn’t work in Gowrie Park, but it would work at my car. So, just having a bottle of water and my keys, I rode the bike back to my car. The bike was much too small for me, and my thighs already started burning after a while (in particular after the hike). And, I mean most certainly, the coppers came towards me. But at least they didn’t stop me with my dodgy lighting. The last 1.5km uphill Kings Road were torture. There’s an elevation gain of 150m. I could cycle most of it, but just stopped shortly before my car, and pushed the last few metres. On the way back we stopped at the good old Sheffield pub for a late dinner (yes, be careful, you hardly get anything to eat in Australia after 20:00 o’clock. That’s supposed to be late).
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