Eastern Arthurs - reopened

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Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby bumpingbill » Mon 19 Sep, 2022 3:44 pm

From PWS Facebook

Eastern and Western Arthurs and Huon Track have reopened

The Eastern Arthur Range Traverse, Huon Track and the full Western Arthur Range Traverse have reopened.

The tracks were under repair for almost two years following the 2018-19 bushfires.

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) worked with contractors to clear and rebuild more than 40 km of tracks extensively damaged by the bushfires.

These tracks are two of Tasmania’s most challenging backcountry bushwalking tracks and are for experienced walkers who wish to experience some of the most spectacular and remote ranges in Australia. Both these tracks contain many steep cliff sections where rock scrambling and pack hauling is required. It is very important to be prepared.

Overnight walker registration for the Eastern Arthur Range Traverse is now open. There is a daily cap of 6 walkers. Walkers who only want to focus on Federation Peak (rather than the full traverse) can register for the Farmhouse Creek Track, but must use the Cutting Camp campsite, for a maximum two-night stay. This also has a daily cap of 6 walkers.

As we prepare for another busy walking season it is important to register your overnight walks.

For more information on the tracks and to register your walk, visit

https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-pa ... thur-range
https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-pa ... e-traverse
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Re: Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby bumpingbill » Mon 19 Sep, 2022 3:47 pm

Oh and an announcement from the State Government

(Re-posting here for the record)

Eastern and Western Arthurs and Huon Track reopen today

The Eastern Arthur Range Traverse, Huon Track and the full Western Arthur Range Traverse has reopened today, Monday 19 September.

The tracks have been under repair for almost two years as part of a $2.4 million project funded through the Community Recovery Fund, a joint Commonwealth-Tasmanian Government investment under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

It has been delivered by Tasmanian contractors using locally-sourced materials.

The project has allowed Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) to work with contractors to clear and rebuild more than 40km of tracks extensively damaged during the 2018-19 bushfires.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Murray Watt, said the reopening signals a significant milestone in the area’s bushfire recovery.

“This was a huge undertaking for everyone involved. The Commonwealth Government is pleased to have been able to support the works and in turn, the local economy and tourism.

“These tracks are challenging and are for experienced walkers who are eager to experience some of the most spectacular and remote ranges in Australia, and safety must come first,” Minister Watt said.

The project team rebuilt more than 4km of track across the Cracroft Plains and in the Strike Creek area, to help minimise spread from the area which is infected with root rot (Phytophthora cinnamomi).

The team also raised and realigned tracks and relocated two campsites, Cracroft Crossing and Pass Creek, to reduce the spread of root rot and help keep the majority of the track network uninfected.

Tasmanian Minister for Parks Roger Jaensch said the completed work means experienced walkers will once again be able to enjoy the full Western Arthur Range Traverse.

“These are two of Tasmania’s most challenging backcountry bushwalking tracks and feature highly on many walkers’ wish lists. Both these tracks contain many steep cliff sections where rock scrambling and pack hauling is required,” Minister Jaensch said.

“These are areas without phone reception where navigation skills are required. It’s very important to be prepared. It’s an alpine walk and includes several sections that are dangerous for inexperienced or unprepared walkers and weather conditions can change rapidly.”

Walkers are urged to play their part to help protect the environmental values of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area by remaining on the walkways, and only camp on the platforms provided in these areas.

Overnight walker registration for the Eastern Arthur Range Traverse is now open. There is a daily cap of 3 tents (6 walkers).

“Our skilled and experienced PWS Wilderness Track Rangers who are deployed over the peak walking season, along with the walker registration system that manages daily departures, are key to walker safety and protecting these fragile and remote bushwalking environments,” Minister Jaensch said.

“The registration system has been well received by walkers who recognise their role in helping to protect these special areas. As we prepare for another busy walking season it’s important that people register their overnight walks.”
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Re: Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby north-north-west » Mon 19 Sep, 2022 8:04 pm

A little later than hoped, but at least it's ready for when the better weather arrives.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby CBee » Mon 19 Sep, 2022 9:15 pm

A booking system (max. 6 people) for a campsite at the base of an alpine route where summiting is subject to weather, is a non-sense.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 20 Sep, 2022 10:22 am

Nice.
Any volunteers to sedate me so I don't panic, then bear me on a litter up and down these tracks so I might say I've done the Arthurs and Fed Peak?
Long term goal is to do WAT. Very long term, but you never know.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby Mcspud » Sun 25 Sep, 2022 4:54 pm

Limit of 6? When I did the WA a to k all camps were overflowing last summer.
The reason? Idiots with pyramid tents taking an entire tent platform for 2 people and their ‘special tents’.
Left people having to sleep on the boardwalks.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby headwerkn » Mon 26 Sep, 2022 9:52 am

CBee wrote:A booking system (max. 6 people) for a campsite at the base of an alpine route where summiting is subject to weather, is a non-sense.


And falls completely apart when a big group of interstate rock climbers take over the entire place regardless... "it said it was booked out but the system is voluntary" *insert dopey face* :roll: :evil:

Some places just need a couple more tent platforms, simple as that.

But good news regardless... can't wait to explore the middle chunk of the Arthurs and get up a few peaks... :-D
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Re: Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby CBee » Mon 26 Sep, 2022 4:33 pm

Booking system ok for hiking routes where people walk in one direction. WArthurs makes more sense to limit the groups to 6 per day. Also, regardless of weather, you still hike to the next platform. But Farmhouse Creek to Fed, is another thing. Cutting camp is crucial and also, aside from getting traffic from EArthurs hikers descending moss ridge, can be used for two nights for parties attempting the summit in one day. Not everyone plan is to drag the big pack up to berchavais and camp there. Unless you are a rock climber. There are other camp spots before cutting camp, but to me this system is far from perfect. Hammocks and group tarps is probably the way to go is you are not planning to camp at berchavais.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby Last » Mon 26 Sep, 2022 5:02 pm

I remember cutting camp as being mosquito infested. Large and vicious. if using hammocks and group tarps take industrial strength mosquito nets.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby headwerkn » Tue 27 Sep, 2022 10:33 am

The whole place was mosquito and march fly infested last summer. And by 'whole place' I mean most of south-west Tasmania ;-)

If the summit is your only goal then daytripping out from a base at Cutting Camp makes sense for most. But if you're aiming to spend some time at Hanging Lake/Geeves Bluff (highly recommended) then bouncing between it and Bechervaise is IMHO preferable. The latter has platform room for ~4 double tents only and the moment anyone gets weather-delayed by a night things get jammed up. There is a bit of space at 'lower Berchervaise' but it's marginal and gets wet quickly. Justification (if not funds) for a second platform and sputnik loo here wouldn't be difficult. Especially now as the full trail network is open again and people will be coming in, out and through every which way.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby weetbix456 » Tue 27 Sep, 2022 10:20 pm

Ben..you’ve brought the rock climbing saga up quite a few times now..seems they really got to you? I’m not defending their actions in any way, and the booking system is farrr from perfect, but it does seem to be the best option for helping to manage numbers and impact at least in the interim. From various accounts - some of the folk in your party weren’t exactly approachbly receptive to the unexpected scenario that unfolded. It sounded like things got a little heated on both sides. Guessing this was also on your 3rd night? Not sure, but I thought everyone was usually allocated only 2 (up high) when booking? I actually had an apology sent to me (from one of the climbers) to pass on to your party (not sure if you got it, I hope you did), so I hope you can reflect deeper on the events that played out and pause maybe on belittling people when they’re not here to defend themselves. Rock climbing has a long and proud history on federation peak..and unlike Frenchman’s..PWS has not allocated spaces for extended visits necessary to complete many routes.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby headwerkn » Wed 28 Sep, 2022 11:20 am

Because it aptly demonstrated the inherent weakness of the voluntary booking system, particularly in managing areas/camps with limited space and bidirectional movement vis a vis to people's immovable plans.

Had the said interstate climbers been blissfully unaware of the booking system obviously a bit of grace would have been given, but they'd knew it, deliberately ignored it and made zero attempt to do anything about it (obviously had several other bodies to accommodate, who were still on the walk in) so yeah, that was a bit frustrating. Especially as our club had done the right thing, conferred with PWS and booked out the camp, some four months in advance. As a club you've got to do things 'right' so it's a bit sad when you're forced to camp on an area with signs everywhere saying "we're trying to regenerate this area".

But I suspect this scenario has already played out many times and only will continue to into the future. At least with the Huon and McKays tracks reopening they're might be somewhat fewer people out-and-backing the Farmhouse Creek Track, so they're passing through only once? Again, another decent platform and a toilet to protect the water supply on Bechervaise seems like an uncontroversial and much-needed use of taxpayer funds.

I have zero qualms about rock climbers on Fedders (or anywhere else for that matter, everyone has equal right to public lands) however it does highlight the need for 'static' groups base-camping themselves at such places for extended periods to consider their impact on other 'overnight' bushwalkers passing through. A dedicated, separately bookable "climbers camp" on Federation is probably justified.

Interestingly the last time we were at Tahune the combination of a large rockclimbing group (apparently 10, though can't confirm, that's just what I was told) alongside a higher-than-average number of walkers made the place particularly chaotic and tent/space was still in very short supply. I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect we're soon heading to not just a paid-booking system for certain walks in the coming years, but a US-style ballot system to even get a chance.
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Re: Eastern Arthurs - reopened

Postby CBee » Wed 28 Sep, 2022 1:07 pm

There are other campsites between cutting camp and south cracroft camp, that can be used by hikers coming from Easter Arthurs, with a little planning. But cutting camp is crucial for hikers summiting from farmhouse creek. As Berchavaise is a crucial base camp for rock climbers attempting the blade or the face. My opinion is that we have to share a place with little space, so we should understand each other priorities and plans and compromise accordingly, but always cooperate. So, I don't understand the need for people to join large groups or even clubs, to go for a hike like that. Of all the places they can go in the world, is just NOT a suitable hike for large groups or inexperienced bushwalkers.
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