Frenchman's Cap (14/11 - 15/11)

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Frenchman's Cap (14/11 - 15/11)

Postby SergeantMcFly » Tue 19 Dec, 2017 11:41 am

Bit of a late write up as I've finally gone through the batch of trips and had time to sit down and knock out some writing.

Day 1
Lyell Highway to Lake Vera: 14km, 3hr 27m (1400-1727)

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Leaving Hobart late in the morning had me arrive at the Lyell Highway carpark at 1352, which upon getting out of the car quickly had me realize was the warmest part of the day. The upside was there was not a cloud in sight and the weather window for the next day looked promising as well, so in good spirits I headed off at 1357 on the track to Frenchies. Having done this previously in winter, the lack of rain/sleet this time around was much appreciated as I broke the first forest part and hit the 'highway' of trail. My goal was to hit Vera in three hours, putting my expected travel time of 1400-1700 for today's portion, which would be marginally quicker then the winter leg. Had this been a repeat good weather journey, I would have opted to run most of the track in, as the path is certainly wide enough and solid enough to warrant such, however as this was all 'new' scenery to me, I just decided to go the normal walking pace.

The walk in to Vera was fairly uneventful yet pleasant, as the occasional views of the Cap in the distance gave perspective to the goal for tomorrow. As I started late in the day, no cloud cover and the low lying scrub absorbing intense amounts of heat meant the long and open sections were quite balmy. Coming from the Northern Hemisphere, I handle cold much better then I do heat and found this to be probably the only less then desirable part of the trip.

Dinner at Lake Vera Hut with Terry and a photographer mate that had flown in with him to help with maintenance and provide some pictures for PWS. Good chat with them and an early evening. Apparently the four days prior to me arriving also had blue bird days and some of the best star gazing in the state according to Terry and the track workers at Tahune.

Day 2
Lake Vera to Frenchman's Cap: 9km, 3hr 20m (0500-0820, 10m break)
Summit (0820-0920)
Frenchman's Cap to Lyell Highway: 23km, 7hr 40m (0920-1700, 1hr break)


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Only regret on this day was not getting up at 0400 to catch the sunrise at Barron's Pass, when I got there at 0615, enough of the true gold and amber colors had subsided a bit. Still an incredibly speccy view though across the valley and with Frenchman's dominating the vista. From Barron's to Tahune was peaceful, nice and quiet and not too hot yet. Stumbled onto the family of Rosellas around the turnoff to Davern's Cavern which I unfortunately didn't get a chance to snap a picture of.

By the time I got to the summit (small pockets of snow on last ascent portion) it was getting quite warm out, so I took an hour break for brekky (courtesy of Maccas) and to take in the views before the long day ahead.

After getting back to Tahune, talked with the track workers for a few minutes and went for a refreshing and well needed swim across the lake before hitting the trail again.

Getting to Lake Vera at 1230 gave me enough time for a swim there as well and a quick snack/shut eye break before resuming walking at 1330. I made much better time in the long sections on that way out, but due to the 30 degree day and again, no clouds or breeze, found myself stopping at each creek for a 5-10 minutes to cool off and dunk the head. The last dip in the Franklin River + the A/C in the car made for a great afternoon ride back to Hobart.

All up, completely doable in a day, or even a day and a half, but given more time I would have certainly opted for the three day option and explored more of the surrounding peaks and ridges.
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Re: Frenchman's Cap (14/11 - 15/11)

Postby eggs » Thu 21 Dec, 2017 10:56 pm

Well done. If I get there again I won't be moving as fast as you.
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