Frenchmans Cap, late Feb 2005 (dialup warning 25 pics)

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Frenchmans Cap, late Feb 2005 (dialup warning 25 pics)

Postby tasadam » Fri 20 Apr, 2007 7:59 pm

Frenchmans Cap, late Feb 2005
We took 7 days and did a complete circuit including a swim across the Franklin River. Here's a small sample... (We took heaps!)

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Morning of the 2nd day, Lake Vera.

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Midday, 2nd day, Barron Pass.

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Midday, 2nd day, Barron Pass.
Looking southwest over some glacier formed lakes, the lighting on this pine with its lichen in the wind was too good to walk past.

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End of 2nd day, Lake Tahune.
If you cover the bottom half of this photo, you get a typical photo of the area. But with the startling reflection of Frenchmans Cap in the water, your eyes can be drawn away from what would normally be an interesting image in itself.

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End of 2nd day, Lake Tahune.

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Day 3 and my birthday. Frenchmans Cap, sunrise.

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Mid morning, 3rd day. The challenge ahead.

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Early afternoon, 3rd day. From the summit (obviously), how blue the sky was! Even with the whispy clouds.

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From the top of...

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If you look closely, you'll see a track over the top of this mountain.

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Late morning, 4th day.
Over North Col and behind Frenchmans Cap on the way to the Franklin River, a startling amphitheatre of white quartzite.

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Less than an hour on.
How quickly the weather can turn. The clouds were just amazing.

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Early afternoon, 4th day.
Franklin River is in th deep ravine in the centre of the pic. The other ravine in the foreground right that meets up with the Franklin is Tahune Creek. They join at the Irenabyss and that's the destination for this day (below black cliff in centre of pic). 1 km down from highest point behind us here.
In 3 days time (including 1 rest day at F.River) we will be in the far left top corner of this pic - Flat Bluff leading on to Raglan Range.

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Franklin River at the Irenabyss.

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(it WAS a COLD swim)

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Check where the water level gets to on the cliffs when the river is at its peak!
It's hard to believe that our ex-premier Gray described this as‘nothing but a brown ditch, leech-ridden and unattractive to the majority of people’
I am happily a "minority".

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5th day.
Taken from inside the tent - Huon pine.

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5th day. The polished rocks that form the banks of the Franklin River really come to life after a bit of rain.

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5th day, sunset.

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Afternoon, 7th day, Raglan Range.
Now if you were a little kid, and you woke up one day and looked out your window and saw this, I reckon you'd wet the bed or something... The monsters in these trees are captivating. Big daddy on the right, with his cap on backwards, looking down... the fog making it all the more spooky.
Actually, it's low cloud - we're at the 1000 metre mark.

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Same place. The weather has really done a job on these trees over time, it's a wonder many of them stand the way they do - especially this one.

How lucky we were to have things damp and foggy, really added to the experience of being here.

I hope you enjoyed this little look into our circuit walk of Frenchmans Cap, out via Raglan Range.
One word of caution - this walk is definitely not for the inexperienced. You are really on your own in these places and it would be good to be sure of your ability before tackling such a walk.
Last edited by tasadam on Mon 26 Nov, 2007 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The Caveman » Fri 20 Apr, 2007 8:30 pm

Hi Adam,

that's some of the most speccy pics of Frenchman's I've seen.

Totally in awe, hell of a walk but the camera takes us there.

Nice work.
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Postby Son of a Beach » Fri 20 Apr, 2007 9:13 pm

I concur... fantastic shots. And your descriptions are pretty cool... love the ghost trees. It's true that sometimes the less-than-'perfect' weather can make for not only better photos, but a better experience.

I'm very jealous. I've been wanting to do the Irenabys route ever since reading of it in Chapman's book on the South West about 15 years ago, but (being a bit inexperienced at the time, and walking with even less experienced people) I only ended up doing the return trip via the sodden Lodden, and haven't been back to Frenchmans since. It was still a great walk, but now I'm getting the urge to try to organise an Irenabys version again.

Is the track hard to find in places? It looks fairly clear in some of your pictures.
Last edited by Son of a Beach on Mon 17 Sep, 2007 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby kantonysen » Sun 17 Jun, 2007 7:43 pm

Great photos, Adam.
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I recognised that tree at Barron Pass!

Postby tas-man » Mon 03 Sep, 2007 10:39 pm

I enjoyed looking over your photos and being reminded about how some things change from one trip to the next, but many don't seem to change and are the reference points that trigger memories on the next trip. I first visited Frenchmans Cap in 1970 and have dug out a slide that confirms my recognition of that very photographic tree on the western side near the top of Barron Pass. When I can work out how to post images, I will provide a link to it. LINK.
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Another try at linking that 1970 photo

Postby tas-man » Mon 03 Sep, 2007 10:49 pm

Haven't quite worked it all out but this thumbnail will link to the photo I hope.

(Thumbnail deleted and actual image added, now I have had lots of practice) 8)

Tree@BarronPass1907.jpg.jpeg
Last edited by tas-man on Fri 08 May, 2009 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby tasadam » Tue 04 Sep, 2007 8:40 am

Yep. No doubt, that's the tree.

Linking the direct photo from your imahe host site doesn't seem to work because the actual jpg seems to be embedded in php code.
But the thumbnail works!

Cheers, thanks for sharing.
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Postby tasadam » Mon 26 Nov, 2007 10:32 am

OK, following on from the discussion in [edit]an old topic that doesn't exist any more[/edit] I decided to dig out a few photos to show the way we took across the Irenabyss.

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This is looking down from the cliffs on the south side, looking downstream.

If you can make your way out on the rocks, it's only a short swim, but you do need to get out further downstream than the "direct route" -

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This is looking straight across from the rocks where you get in.

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This is looking slightly downstream, at the "exit zone".

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This is me crossing, with a rope to pull the packs across, and a garbage bag with my clothes and boots to get dressed when I get out.
The route I took wasn't as direct as perhaps I should have taken. Next time, try to swim straight across (see 2nd photo) and then look for a way to get out by swimming or drifting downstream. So in this next photo where I have drawn a line, the line should appear more direct across then turn downstream.

From the other side, something like this...
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When you get out, you are looking for the track - fairly obvious -
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That should answer any questions you have about crossing.
One last, obvious word - if you are not confident to give it a go, don't!
On my last trip I found the water very, very cold. It is a concentration to remain focused at the task of swimming across, and not to let shock or panic set in. Not that it was close or anything, but I could understand it happening.
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Postby corvus » Mon 26 Nov, 2007 7:19 pm

Adam as usual awe inspiring picts I wish I was 20 years younger and I would have a go but just dreams now for a trip like that so I will reminice and concentrate on the walks that I am capable of now :)
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Re: Frenchmans Cap, late Feb 2005 (dialup warning 25 pics)

Postby the_camera_poser » Thu 07 May, 2009 10:57 pm

holy cow- those are awesome. What a magnificent spot!
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Re: Frenchmans Cap, late Feb 2005 (dialup warning 25 pics)

Postby Ent » Fri 08 May, 2009 8:46 am

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Last edited by Ent on Thu 11 Nov, 2010 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Frenchmans Cap, late Feb 2005 (dialup warning 25 pics)

Postby MJD » Sun 10 May, 2009 8:10 am

Very nice. Never been to the Irenabyss so thanks for those.
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Re: Frenchmans Cap, late Feb 2005 (dialup warning 25 pics)

Postby Mortar Art » Fri 19 Feb, 2016 1:00 pm

So Google, and a friend who is more experienced at hiking than me directed me here for answers, regarding linking the Raglan Range to Frenchmans Cap. I'm a pretty sturdy, and determined sort, so on fitness and distance, I don't see a problem, but the talk of how isolated the in between segment is concerns me a bit. Are we talking about full, off track navigation from Irenabyss to past Mount Maud? What's the preferred route? After the narrow gorge, the terrain looks like it flattens out into almost a flood plain ... do you follow the river?

At the moment this is the map that I'm looking at; http://www.opencyclemap.org/?zoom=13&lat=-42.24266&lon=145.80482&layers=B0000
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Re: Frenchmans Cap, late Feb 2005 (dialup warning 25 pics)

Postby Mortar Art » Fri 19 Feb, 2016 1:12 pm

I'd assume that a path like this might be somewhat logical; http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=12311122

Although, this spur descends far more gently than the path to Irenabyss, and as a result skips the valley with the steep walls; http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=12311176

Likely the Franklin will be fuller here, as there's yet another tributary, but it seems quite logical to me...
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