Eastern Arthurs after reopening - Strike/Pass Creek photos?

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Eastern Arthurs after reopening - Strike/Pass Creek photos?

Postby headwerkn » Wed 23 Nov, 2022 7:17 am

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone's been into the northern end Eastern Arthurs since the reopening? Just curious as to the condition/setup of Strike and Pass Creek camps - I believe the latter has a new platform? Planning a visit soon and trying to get an idea of what tent/tarp setup gear to take. Any photos would be greatly appreciated :-)

Cheers, Ben.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs after reopening - Strike/Pass Creek phot

Postby headwerkn » Mon 28 Nov, 2022 10:44 am

I'll answer my own question then. There is no camp at Strike Creek itself, two temporary platforms have been dropped about 1km further south in a slightly damp hollow where the new raised footway begins. Not fancy, no 'facilities' and somewhat mozzie-prone but water was close (creek in trees behind) and sheltered enough from westerlies. Suited us perfectly fine for two nights.

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Pass Creek Camp is 2.5km further down the track, maybe 150m south of the actual Pass Creek crossing. Five temporary platforms spread over some considerable distance (not very communal, a good or bad thing depending on your perspective). No facilities at the time.

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We bumped into a PWS ranger just before leaving Scotts Peak Dam, he actually had the Sputnik loo for Pass Creek Camp on the back of his ute. Apparently that's getting flown out sometime soon. Not sure if the 'Strike Creek Camp' was only intended as a worker's camp while the new walkways were installed.

There were a couple more bundles of walkway further up Luckmans Lead still to be installed (just south of the Fire Monitoring Station, as you enter the burnt out scrub).

And here's a photo of Stuarts Saddle Camp in snow for good measure. Excuse the blurry image, dry lenses were in short supply by this stage... ;-)

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Re: Eastern Arthurs after reopening - Strike/Pass Creek phot

Postby bumpingbill » Mon 28 Nov, 2022 3:00 pm

Looks like it might have been a pretty rough walk, weather wise?!

What was it all like in there? Any more info/notes/etc? Keep to hear as much as you've got.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs after reopening - Strike/Pass Creek phot

Postby L_Cham_67 » Mon 28 Nov, 2022 4:38 pm

I was on this trip with headwerkn.
There are a couple of freshly built FRP walkways in the area: across the Cracroft Plains, and the plains around Pass Creek. See attached photo with the sign. All major creeks remain un-bridged without any rope or handhold of sort between each side; something we were cursing upon our return to Pass Creek and the already high water level had gone up even further. Expect to get wet is a pretty fair way to summarise.
It was clear not many people had ventured out that way since reopening. The track was difficult to follow and almost nonexistent at times, especially in areas around Strike Creek. Although it may have always been like that - this was my first time venturing into that part of the world.
The PWS fire/helicopter device on the way up Luckmans Lead was not something I was expecting to see!
Attachments
Capture.JPG
Where the trackwork has been done
Capture1.JPG
New FRP on the way to Pass Creek
Capture2.JPG
Pass Creek on the way up (was higher on the way back)
Capture3.JPG
PWS bushfire/helicopter operations device, nicknamed Big Bird One
Last edited by L_Cham_67 on Mon 28 Nov, 2022 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs after reopening - Strike/Pass Creek phot

Postby Warin » Mon 28 Nov, 2022 5:20 pm

Humm... the walkway protects the envi5ronment.. a bridge tends comfort to the walkers. Dunking walkers in water probably helps with limiting disease spread, reducing walker numbers? :) Parks is there for the environment .. this time.

The 'big bird' thing looks good .. may well see that being used in lots of remote places. Real market there.

Thanks for the additional info L_Cham_67
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Re: Eastern Arthurs after reopening - Strike/Pass Creek phot

Postby headwerkn » Mon 28 Nov, 2022 8:23 pm

I tend to agree Warin, a lack of bridges over water crossings close to trailheads do act as a pretty decent regulator of not only walker numbers but dare I say experience levels. Few would argue that if you're not prepared to get wet feet (and legs, waist and everything else) then you probably shouldn't be out in SW Tas.

That said there's probably a safety argument for bridges 'deep' in certain walks to lessen walkers getting stranded and potentially needing rescue. Again though, experienced walkers know it's a potential risk and plan their trips accordingly to allow for unexpected layovers to wait for levels to fall.

Mind you, Pass Creek would be a reasonable candidate for a bridge. Unlike Seven Mile and Strike Creeks which are broad, shallow and easy enough to ford unless it's pumping, Pass Creek is narrow, tight and would become dangerously un-ford-able within a day of decent rain. I suspect as far as PWS is concerned though it mainly comes down to the cost of building (and engineering) such a thing and being realistic as to how long the thing lasts before it either gets burned in a bushfire or washed away in a flood... every creek crossing we came across had one or more snapped roped lines from (I presume) massive winter flooding. The sizeable collected mass of timber bridging Junction Creek I saw 18 months ago has been quite reduced after two winters.

Coming across Big Bird One was a surprise. I only wish they made its webcam public for viewing. Then we could have seen the trip probably wasn't going to be worth it before walking 30km+ in! ;-) We made the summit of The (Namaste) Needles but only just, I don't think any of us have turned around from a summit so quickly. Not very nice conditions at all - honestly a bit silly to have been up there. Very much a relief to get back down off the ridgeline and into the valley.

Of course the weather for (part of) the walk out was quite lovely... :-/ #novemberweather
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Re: Eastern Arthurs after reopening - Strike/Pass Creek phot

Postby north-north-west » Tue 29 Nov, 2022 6:12 am

L_Cham_67 wrote: The track was difficult to follow and almost nonexistent at times, especially in areas around Strike Creek. Although it may have always been like that - this was my first time venturing into that part of the world.!


Strike Creek area has always been a "make your own adventure" section.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs after reopening - Strike/Pass Creek phot

Postby headwerkn » Tue 29 Nov, 2022 10:21 am

north-north-west wrote:Strike Creek area has always been a "make your own adventure" section.


Well, nothing's changed ;-)

I don't think many people have been through that area since the track reopened a few months ago. Lack of wear on the track over the past two years was very noticeable through the mid-section of Luckman's Lead and Stuart's Saddle, the vegetation has grown back and moss/lichen taking over exposed roots etc. I'm sure a summer of people walking through again will make the pad more prominent soon enough.
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