Let’s keep the Tassie love rolling! Here’s another post from the Central Plateau, following on from yesterday’s Quamby Bluff adventure. We ventured up to the Great Lakes once again on the 30th December, the goal? To get Gemma to 20 Abels before the end of the year……whilst 6 months pregnant! Our quarry for the day was Sandbanks Tier, located NE of Cramps Bay on Great Lake.
It looked like a relatively easy hike and we expected to be up on the summit around an hour or so after leaving the car. I got to drive a bit more and it was nice venturing down new roads and letting Gemma look out the window for once 🙂
We pulled into the start of the trail and were already sweating before the walk had started, it was a HOT day. The walk starts off easy enough as you walk around the perimeter of a fenced off area, you can go around to the left or right, it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other really.
At the top you come to a large flat scree field which has been quarried out a bit. Being the amazing navigator I am, I didn’t spot the thin finger of scree we were supposed to go up through. Instead of going literally straight ahead and onwards to the summit, I very stupidly led us to the right, down another scree field which eventually ran out and into some fairly thick bush. The track notes said there’d be a little bit of bush to pass through but I had led us into a literal forest.
Cue several arduous minutes of hauling ourselves through thick ground cover and resistant branches before we emerged onto another patch of boulders. Passing through some more bush, we were pretty tired and I quickly realised I had definitely led us off course.
We struggled onwards and upwards towards what we thought was the summit. Turns out we were still far too far to the south of it and needed to do a fair bit more bush bashing and long way rounding. I was beginning to panic a little as the sun was splitting the stones and we were both getting over heated. A bit of a problem for me, a potentially major one for a pregnant Gemma.
After getting signal on my phone, I discovered my GPX app was no longer on my phone for some reason. I quickly re-installed it and got our bearings. We pushed on towards the correct summit and away from the one we had been thinking was our goal. It was such a huge relief to see the summit cairn after more than 2 hours! We took a big gulp of water, had our lunch and sat for a bit on the summit taking in the views Westward towards Mount Ossa as well the unmistakable silver of Frenchman’s Cap poking out on the horizon.
We started to make our way back down and tried to find a cairn that marked the right way. Sure enough within seconds of coming down off the summit we spotted a cairn. And then another. And another. The sense of relief was massive. We made our way back down to the car, it was hard going in the beating sun, with tired legs and weary minds.
We clambered over boulders for what seemed like forever and eventually came out at the top of the scree field where I had stupidly let us astray on the way up. There was a series of cairns dotted along the way as well as some pink ribbon in the trees. If only I’d seen these at the start 😦 Finally we reached the fenced area and we were down. Never been so happy to see the little Toyota Corolla!
This walk was a huge wake-up call. It’s so easy to get lost on a hike and before you know it, you can be far off course. What should have been an easy peasy stroll turned into a long and unnecessarily tiring afternoon.
It was still a really enjoyable day out, they always are and Gemma was amazing. You wouldn’t think she was 6 months pregnant, she just powers through it and I was in awe of her strength and determination to keep going on bushwalks.
So plan your walks fully. Get a compass. Get a map. Learn to navigate. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. We’ve been on lots of bushwalks in the past two years and I’d consider us fairly experienced but you can always be caught out when you least expect it. Hike safe. Hike smart.