Frenchman's cap - track condition advice sought

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Frenchman's cap - track condition advice sought

Postby benoloughlin » Mon 01 Apr, 2019 8:20 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm hoping someone experienced with the Frenchman's Cap track can give some advice regarding the difficulty of the Frenchman's Cap walk.
In particular, I was reading Park's advice:
To do the summit climb you must have good weather and a good head for heights and exposure.

How precipitous is the climb to the summit? I suffer from vertigo and so I am trying to assess whether I should attempt it or do something else instead.
Thanks heaps!
Ben
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Re: Frenchman's cap - track condition advice sought

Postby Tortoise » Mon 01 Apr, 2019 10:52 pm

Hi Ben,
There aren't actually cliffs you can fall off like Mt Anne, unless you go looking for them. There are steep sections of rock, where you need to be careful, especially when it's wet. At times you should take extra care on the track-y bits as well, as it slopes steeply away in places. But I can't recall any precipitous bits, and my radar is reasonably good for that sort of thing.

I've come down on wet rock, without significant issues. But we took it slowly, and probably crouched down on some steeper bits.
DSC04532.jpg
The rock isn't quite as vertical as it looks here, and there is no cliff to fall off if you slip a bit.

The summit itself is a gentle dome (at least the way the track brings you). No exposure, unless you seek it out away from the high point. You can find big cliffs if you want to.

The main obstacle people talk about is an scramble up and down the rock where there is an awkward rock above you, getting in the way.
DSC04586.jpg
The awkward rock scramble

Again, no cliffs there. We were definitely careful coming down that bit in the rain. Parks probably say that because not everybody is. And so much depends on the individual's capabilities.

Can you give us an idea of a walk/climb you've decided not to continue on, because of the vertigo?
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Re: Frenchman's cap - track condition advice sought

Postby Tortoise » Mon 01 Apr, 2019 10:58 pm

Descending the summit dome-y bit:
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Re: Frenchman's cap - track condition advice sought

Postby north-north-west » Tue 02 Apr, 2019 7:46 am

Yep, those first two photos of Torty's are as hard as it gets, which means not very (by Tassie standards).

I get occasional bouts of vertigo and Frenchmans has never given me any trouble unless I try to stand right on the edge of the eastern cliffs and peer over the edge.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Frenchman's cap - track condition advice sought

Postby RossageRoll » Wed 03 Apr, 2019 8:19 am

My wife suffers pretty badly from fear of heights and we managed ok. Just took our time through the sections pictured above and we were good. Main reason for good weather is for the views!
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Re: Frenchman's cap - track condition advice sought

Postby RicktheHuman » Wed 03 Apr, 2019 11:27 am

I went up with all my gear as I bivi'd on the summit. On the way down i had to lower my pack past the awkward overhanging rock section as I couldn't squeeze through with it on. It wasn't a large pack at all...but I'm not the best at down-climbing either
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Re: Frenchman's cap - track condition advice sought

Postby benoloughlin » Fri 05 Apr, 2019 8:32 pm

I want to thank everyone who contributed to this thread and provided great information on track conditions and steepness. I'm sorry I haven't responded sooner as its been crazy busy with work and family life and I haven't had time to get 'on board' and check for comments.

In answer to questions posted earlier - my vertigo has only stopped me from attempting walks/climbs when I thought I could get myself into a situation I couldn't handle. I've done that so that I don't lose my balance and be in a potentially dangerous situation.
But after looking at the photos and reading your comments - I'm now planning on going to do the Frenchman's Cap walk with a friend sometime over the next six months (work and family responsibilities permitting).
kind regards,

Ben
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