Frenchmans Cap

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Frenchmans Cap

Postby bhogan » Thu 06 May, 2021 7:22 pm

Hi all,

Firstly this forum is great, I have learned a lot from all the reading. Who knew old bike tyre tubes were great fire starters!

The reason for my post is that I'm planning a trip to Frenchmans Cap in mid October.

Is the summit reasonably achievable if it's wet for an average bushwalker/scrambler?

Is there likely to be be any snow or ice around on the cairned ascent at that time of year? If there is, would it be worthwhile purchasing microspikes to help with the climb and would they be helpful?
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Re: Frenchmans Cap

Postby Warin » Thu 06 May, 2021 8:29 pm

bhogan wrote:Is there likely to be be any snow or ice around


In Tasmania?!
I've had snow on Mt Wellington just out of Hobart on Xmass day.

Anything is possible.
Your best allowing a wide window and select the best weather nearer the date.
Looking at the BOM for Lake St Clair... and then allowing for the elevation change ... below freezing at night in Oct.
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Re: Frenchmans Cap

Postby CBee » Thu 06 May, 2021 8:42 pm

If is only rain, the summit scramble from Tahune is perfectly achievable IMO, on grippy rock.
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Re: Frenchmans Cap

Postby Tortoise » Thu 06 May, 2021 9:06 pm

Also see https://www.yr.no/en/forecast/daily-tab ... mans%20Cap and https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks ... casts/1444

I'd be happier with micro spikes if there was much ice around, but I haven't needed them on Frenchmans yet. Someone else might have experience with that.

A friend and I went there in dodgy weather, and thought we'd just go as far as the 'tricky bit' in the rain. Before we knew it, we were on top, and figured out what the tricky bit must have been in hindsight. Needed to take it carefully on the way back down though.

The other thing that living in Tassie has taught me is the importance of having a plan B - something else you'd enjoy doing elsewhere in the state. Too wet/cold and no views, versus dry and gorgeous. Consider a second option on the East Coast, where it's often better weather. Occasionally it's better further south. :)
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Re: Frenchmans Cap

Postby bhogan » Fri 07 May, 2021 10:29 am

Thanks for your replies Warin, CBee and Tortoise.

I know to expect any weather in Tassie so I'll be well prepared. I've never visited in October so hopefully I get perfect Spring weather with clear days and cool nights!

Great to read that the summit should be achievable for us even if it's wet. We'll tackle it exactly as you did Tortoise!

I've allowed 5 days for the walk starting Monday and I plan to be back at Lake St Clair mid afternoon on the Friday which gives me a little bit of time to wait out any bad weather.

I could even start earlier (being Saturday) depending on the forecast.

I have my heart set on Frenchmans but as far as a "Plan B" goes I'm looking at the following alternatives:

1. Pine Valley
2. Walls of Jerusalem
3. Mt Anne Circuit

Unfortunately the Mt Anne Circuit may not be open by then. PWS were expecting parts of the track to be open around now (April/May) however they advised December would be a safer bet due to some delays around Lake Judd.

Itineraries would be as follows:

Frenchmans Cap
Day 1: Car Park to Lake Vera Hut
Day 2: Lake Vera Hut to Lake Tahune Hut
Day 3: Climb Frenchmans Cap
Day 4: Lake Tahune Hut to Lake Vera Hut
Day 5: Lake Vera Hut to Car Park

Pine Valley
Day 1: Boat to Narcissus Hut (walk to Pine Valley Hut)
Day 2: Explore Acropolis
Day 3: Explore Labyrinth
Day 4: Pine Valley Hut to Echo Point
Day 5: Echo Point to Lake St Clair Visitor Centre

Walls of Jerusalem
Day 1: Car Park to Wild Dog Campsite or preferably Dixons Kingdom
Day 2: Explore Walls
Day 3: Explore Walls
Day 4: Dixons Kingdom to Lake Adelaide
Day 5: Lake Adelaide to Car Park (can anyone tell me the approximate walking time on this day?)

Mt Anne Circuit
Day 1: Car Park to Shelf Camp
Day 2: Attempt to Climb Mt Anne
Day 3: Shelf Camp to Lonely Tarns
Day 4: Lonely Tarns to Lake Judd
Day 5: Lake Judd to Car Park (can anyone tell me the approximate walking time on this day?)

I know some of these days are short but I've allowed enough flexibility to join some days together if needed.

The only small issue I have with the Walls and Mt Anne is the 3 hour drive on Day 5 to try and get back to Lake St Clair by 2PM.

I suspect if the weather is wild all of these options would probably be in the same boat. Are there any other 4-5 day walks I should consider?
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Re: Frenchmans Cap

Postby CBee » Fri 07 May, 2021 1:16 pm

I, personally, would go all the way from highway to Tahune in one go and not waste time around Vera hut. If the weather is good, being at Tahune, you'll have other options such Lion's Head, Lake Nancy and a stroll along Irenabyss trail or, if you are ok with some offtrack, try a daytrip to Clitemnestra. However, if weather is bad, Tahune hut is an excellent place to relax and do nothing. Vera hut is just plain boring IMO.
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Re: Frenchmans Cap

Postby bhogan » Fri 07 May, 2021 5:25 pm

Hi Cbee,

I like the idea of camping down at Irenabyss on the Franklin River for a night and returning the following day.

Is the track pretty well defined and/or marked?

How long do you estimate it would take to walk there from Lake Tahune?
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Re: Frenchmans Cap

Postby CBee » Fri 07 May, 2021 8:17 pm

Yes is a defined track. Spectacular higher up on the ridge. From North Col, you'll be down at the river in no time, but is a slog to come back up with heavy packs. Steep and slippery down low. Not fun in bad weather.
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Re: Frenchmans Cap

Postby bhogan » Fri 07 May, 2021 8:49 pm

Thankyou CBee.
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