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Sat 27 May, 2017 3:43 pm
Mt. Cobbler trip. May 20-22nd 2017
The weather forecast looked wet and grim but we headed up to Carter’s road camp site on Friday May 19th for a late green season hike in the high country before the rangers close the roads up there in June.
It rained a bit overnight which made me think that Muesli spur would be a wet scrub bash.
So early the next morning we piled into Richard’s Subaru AWD and headed for King Hut.
On the way we stopped at the new Howqua Gap hut which is looking good for the forthcoming snow season.
We elected to walk up the Speculation road as per Vic. Alps bush walking guide book author Glen Van der Thingy’s route for the Lake Cobbler circuit.
The so called ‘Staircase’ got the heart pumping and finally we reached the top which was ideal for a sunny lunch spot at the Lake Cobbler / Mt.Spec. track junction. Somebody in a 4 WD had smashed up the road signs and switched what signage was left so that the Lake Cobbler track sign was facing the wrong way.
We saw many 4 WD enthusiasts. I can’t say much good about their behavior in general and Lake Cobbler seemed to be a centre for boorish , noisy 4 WD people who leave litter and make a bad name for themselves.
Eventually we reached Lake Cobbler or Cobbler pond as someone in our party quipped.
The sequel to the Henry Fonda film “ On Golden Pond” will be filmed at Cobbler pond and the soundtrack will be provided by the Whitfield motor cross dirt bike club and the Mansfield chain saw orchestra.
We found a spot to camp that was seemingly a fair distance away from the 4 WD people who had commandeered the Lake Cobbler hut. They had taken it over in the same way another mob had done so at King Hut that morning. The only thing they had not done was affix a private property / do not enter sign on the front door.
The temperature dropped like a stone after dark but we managed to get a fire going and put up a fly to rig up a shelter to cook under while a brief shower passed by.
The next day we got up before dawn and went to look at Dadongadale falls. We could not find the point from where you can see the water cascading off the Cobbler plateau. All we could find were the upper levels which were trickling away.
We returned to camp and ate breakfast. The petrol powered hoons were still asleep after their arcane full esky and BBQ sausage rituals the night before. The natives were quite restless the night before with their doof doof style drumming and unusually loud exclamations in strange tongues ;-P but the morning sun shining through the trees over the misty lake was very beautiful .It was the most peaceful moment at Cobbler pond.
Eventually we packed up and headed up the 500 m. ascent in 4 kms on the Mt. Cobbler track.There was some fallen timber but overall the track and signage and orange arrows were all in good order.
It was a relief to get off the 4 WD tracks to a foot access only area. We dropped our packs at the cairn and walking track junction and went up to the Mt. Cobbler summit . The clouds were swirling around the summit so that the mountain views were grand but ephemeral at best. We scrambled across the narrow saddle and up the rocky outcrop to the true Mt. Cobbler summit where the Triangulation point is fixed to a rock.
The views were super but on a clear day they would have been even better. The view of Mt. Buggery looking eastwards from Mt. Cobbler is quite different to that which is visible from Mt. Howitt .
We took photos and headed back down through the burnt skeletal snow gum forest to have lunch where we left our packs.
Then it was back through the bush to rejoin the Speculation track. Janette and I went on further along the Speculation track to find the Muesli spur track sign . The other two in our group went back down the Staircase. We saw some very fat 4 WD bogans trying to make their gas guzzling machines crawl up the very muddy, steep and rutted Staircase section of the Speculation track.
I think this trip has lowered my view of many 4 WD enthusiasts however when we reached King hut we did see that somebody with a huge chain saw and an even bigger 4 WD with a winch had cut a huge fallen tree in two and towed it out of the way so that the King basin road was clear.
If not for such people we would have been stuck at King hut where we parked. I would still be there, reduced to eating bark and drinking river water and hoping somebody would notice I had not returned ! .
It was becoming dark at King Hut so we set up camp and started the fire inside the hut.
It was nice inside the hut but it has no seating at all. I am always at home sitting cross legged on the floor esp. after walking 30 kms in two days.
That night we had the hut to ourselves and I played some guitar to amuse the weary walkers.
The following morning was very frosty. My tent was frozen stiff. I had my winter sleeping bag zipped right up overnight. The temperature by the Upper King River may have dipped down to 2 degrees below zero. It was still zero at 9 am.
We packed up after breakfast and went up to the Circuit road picnic area to walk up to Craig’s hut. It was sunny and clear and the views from the Clear hills were marvelous.
Being a Monday meant the place was relatively quiet.
I think The Clear Hills track is closed to 4WD after mid-May which may explain the lack of portly ‘Jack Daniels’ T shirt clad Shazzas and Dazzas heading for Craig’s hut like metal shavings to a magnet.
I don’t see the appeal of Craig’s hut myself. It is a replica of a replica of a replica. In snow season it is very draughty and cold and not a functional survival hut at all.
The views in clear weather of the autumnal mist in the King valley ;Mt Cobbler and The Cross Cut saw etc. are the main attraction there in my view.
We returned to the car for a quick visit to the Razorback huts and for lunch at King saddle shelter. Then we were back at Sawmill to collect my car and say adieu until next time.
It was a fine trip and Muesli spur is unfinished bushwalking business that will be completed in November when the roads open again.
Sun 28 May, 2017 5:25 pm
paidal_chalne_vala wrote: I don’t see the appeal of Craig’s hut myself. It is a replica of a replica of a replica.
...of a building erected for a film.
It's as authentic as Disneyland.
Fri 17 Sep, 2021 9:46 pm
The photo spot is on the road towards lake cobbler, to the north of the plateau.
Sat 18 Sep, 2021 1:43 pm
Yes I know. I have included photos of that spot in a subsequent trip report from 2018.
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