Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.
Thu 26 Aug, 2021 6:26 pm
Just keen for the opinions of some that have summited Clytemnestra. Myself and two mates, who are all fit young adults, are keen to climb C in October. Two of us have hiked Frenchman’s before, and my other friend is inexperienced in hiking but very fit, and I’m confident in his capability. However, we’ve done very limited untracked hiking. I have a very good gps, good spatial awareness and am pretty literate with maps etc. Assuming fair weather and good visibility, would attempting the Abel be a risky pursuit for 3 moderately experienced 20yo’s? Or should it be put off for later once more experience has been gained?
Thu 26 Aug, 2021 7:03 pm
From Tahune? Easy in good conditions provided you go the right way. Do you have any info on the best route? There are routes you really don't want to try.
Might be advisable to take microspikes because there will probably be icy patches.
btw: Urban fit or sport fit and carrying a pack over multiple days fit are very different things. It's a good track and straightforward to break the trip up into easy sections but it can be a step too far for a newbie. See how he goes and if he struggles pull the pin on the extra leg out to Clytie.
Thu 26 Aug, 2021 7:47 pm
IMO in bad weather or whiteout, forget it. The right descent of the back side of the cap summit, is steep and tricky to find, there are several gullies heading in the same direction but some of them look way to steep to tackle. The route used to be cairned (sort of) but far apart and useless unless you have a clear day, then navigation is easy.
Thu 26 Aug, 2021 8:45 pm
NNW, yes, from Tahune, over the cap. At this point my decision will prob be made on the day depending on conditions, and how my inexperienced friend is faring. I know the general path, but am unclear on exactly how to find the right the gully. A lot of people talk about finding the right gully w/o providing any detail on how. Does anyone have a gps coordinate or anything indicating the correct gully?
Fri 27 Aug, 2021 4:55 am
GPS sharing is frowned upon on this site. Publically at any rate. PM it to him if anyone does. Having said that Cbee is right it's probably cairned. There's a pretty cool bivy cave at the top of the gully too. Look for that. Having said that too we went down the wrong gully and had a steep but relatively short climby bit to reconnect with the right route. Don't be tempted to traverse too early once down. You need to go all the way to the tarns
Fri 27 Aug, 2021 5:02 am
Heres the wrong gully in case you find yourself here.
Fri 27 Aug, 2021 3:57 pm
In exposed alpine places where the weather plays a big part, regardless if terrain is easy or hard, a GPS is a good backup IMO (topographic map and compass mandatory). If you leave Tahune without bivvy gear and the weather is uncertain, you have no option but return to the hut and therefore you may find a GPX very handy especially if you get caught by darkness. Most of this route is on rock so no drama there about significant off track erosion. So, if you think I can be of further assistance in planning your hike to Clytemnestra, just send me a PM, I'll be happy to do so in private and avoiding to brake the forum rules, frowning upon, etc. etc.
Fri 27 Aug, 2021 5:17 pm
CBee wrote: If you leave Tahune without bivvy gear and the weather is uncertain, you have no option but return to the hut and therefore you may find a GPX very handy especially if you get caught by darkness.
Or a white out.
Fri 27 Aug, 2021 7:15 pm
Heres the wrong gully in case you find yourself here.
Right, so the cairns I followed weren't the right ones. Good thing I went back a completely different way.
Fri 27 Aug, 2021 7:27 pm
The cairns I followed went the right way.
Fri 27 Aug, 2021 8:57 pm
I would certainly recommend taking all the usual nav gear, a PLB and a bivy when heading beyond the Frenchman's Cap summit. As everyone else has said it is straightforward off-track walking in fine weather but it does take a surprisingly long time to get off the Cap, to Clytemnestra and back up onto the Cap.
This is a fun photo from a descent down one of the lesser traversed Frenchman's gullies... Most of the 'wrong' gullies from the Cap to the saddle are easy to moderate scrambling, but I wouldn't want to do this in low vis or even in the wet. Some of the gullies do lead to unpassable cliffs so be willing - and leave enough time - to go back up and revise your route if you end up making an error.
Mon 11 Oct, 2021 1:47 pm
Did Clytemnestra last November. The "safe" (relatively speaking) route is somewhat marked/cairned and in sections padded from the SW corner of Frenchmans, the drop down to the tarn is certainly steep and a bit scrubby in areas but not in the realms of rock climbing/serious scrambling you'll face trying to get down off the southern face... or potentially dangerous routes under the northern face. If you're heading down something that seems totally sketchy, you've dropped down too soon. Refer to Louise Fairfax/Nature Lover Walks' trip report details.
Personally I think there's a way to cut out the time and energy consuming drop all the way down to the tarn and back up onto the main ridge without resorting to any risky rock scrambling, based on what I saw underneath the southern face, but can't say with any confidence. Might get out there this summer with a mate and try.
From the tarn up back up to the connecting ridge and onwards to the summit plateau itself is relatively straightforward, but is a fair trot longer than it appears when you're staring at it from atop Frenchmans. We found ourselves needing pretty much all day from Tahune Hut to get out there and back... dragging yourself back up the SW side of Frenchmans in the late afternoon is tiring
. That was in perfect November weather, clear and warm. In bad weather... yeah, wouldn't recommend it. Be prepared for any weather regardless - it's an elevated and exposed area in a region that rarely knows meteorological stability. I personally wouldn't take anyone with me who wasn't at least a bit experienced in extended off-track adventures, but YMMV.
You're also unlikely to find running/drinkable water past the tarn, so make sure you take plenty.
It is an awesome peak though!
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