Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Reynolds Falls and Recondite Knob
I've always loved Reynolds Falls ever since spotting it in a Wilderness Society book about areas just outside the World Heritage Area. I previously visited on a through trip from the Mt Cripps area. In late March this year I had a free weekend and planned another visit to this beatiful valley.
Before starting my walk, I decided to investigate a set of falls marked on the map near Moina on Hinman Creek. They are off the stretch of road known locally as Black Jack Straight tucked in behind a block of private land. Being careful to avoid trespassing, I walked to the escarpment from a spot north of the property boundary. The falls themselves did not disappoint. The small stream plunges a good 40 metres or so over a spectacular overhanging cliff. There is also some historical interest here as the water race from Weaning Paddock Creek to Moina can be seen crossing the top of the falls.
I descended to the base of the falls from the north and discovered an old rope marking a route back up the cliff to the south. I returned to the car by following the water race south until I could safely complete my circumnavigation of the private block, returning to the road at the point where the high voltage power lines cross.
With one ripper waterfall under my belt, I arrived at Cradle Mountain Lodge, shouldered my overnight pack around 10:00am and ventured over Speeler Plains. Once I reached the end of the vehicular track I had lunch around 1pm and ditched my big pack, taking the basic day walk items with me. With 6 hours until dark I figured that would do for the 16km round trip from there. As it turned out, I was a bit optomistic.
The track was quite tricky to follow in places as I made the descent through magnificent myrtle and delegatensis forest. The falls were awe inspiring. The Vale River plunges out of a giant notch in a tall cliff with a thunderous roar. Time was against me. The 8km descent had taken 3 hours. Despite this, I couldn't drag myself away and it was 4:30pm before I commenced the 800m vertical climb back up to my overnight pack knowing full well I would be flirting with nightfall.
I didn't fancy attempting to follow the poorly defined track by torchlight so I tackled the climb with a strong sense of urgency and made it to my pack at 7:30pm using every bit of dusk to find my way back to the vehicular track by natural light. Once I had my pack, I followed the branch track up towards Back Peak where the terrain levels out and some lovely flat patches made for a good campsite.
In the morning, I set my sights on Mt Remus. I started walking half and hour before sun rise and had the joy of seeing a light mist rising over frosty ground as the sun peeked over Heap of Rocks. Once again, I had bitten off more than I could chew. Mt Remus proved to be too far away to achieve in the time available. (I had to be in Burnie for a 3pm meeting that arvo - It wasn't quite a free weekend.) However, I was happy to bag the Abel, Recondite Knob.
At 10:00am I had progressed 2km beyond the knob and reached thick scrub at the end of the very last remains of the vehicular track. From here Remus looked tantalisingly close but I made a hasty retreat back along the vehicular track which I lost in button grass before getting to Speeler Plains. I decided to shun the track and head cross country to a spot just north of Carters Tarn where I picked up the Pencil Pine Track and followed it downstream to join the Enchanted Walk, finally arriving at my car by 2:00pm.
Click this link to see pics of my walk on Facebook...