Here is the photo gallery for sharing photos from past MountainSphere trips.
A fantastic weekend with a group of 8 from Sydney Sole Sisters. The second Sole Sisters navigation weekend of the year. The weather was as good as it gets - cool clear spring day with long hours of daylight, some cloud, a chilly night, no rain, only light winds. The Sole Sisters were all great company, enthusiastic navigators and keen to get out and enjoy the bush.
Fantastic to be back in business with navigation weekends in full operation! The ominous weather forecast didn’t deter the crew of 6 who attended this navigation weekend, and the weather was kind to us with only about 30 minutes of rain in total over the course of the entire weekend. Wildflowers were in abundance, the scenery was a fantastic backdrop for learning navigation. Despite the fact that a group of 40 (!!) were camping in the same area, we had a lovely quiet evening camped away from the large group in a pristine location with frogs chirping. It began raining as we packed up on Sunday so we did detailed nav planning for the day under a rock overhang out of the rain but soon after setting off it cleared up. Thunder rumbled and a little more rain fell just as we got back to the cars. So another very successful navigation weekend was had with a great group of people. Well done to everyone who attended!
Some old photos and notes of the Frankland Range Traverse that I did in 1991. Party of 3. Day 1, 30 Jan 1991: Bus at 08:00 picks us up from Sandy Bay Caravan park and takes us to Serpentine Dam, arriving 11:30. Weather wet. Start up towards Mt Sprent and set up camp but return to dam wall camp cave due to foul winds and rain higher up. [Edit: There is a partial tunnel dug into the rockface at Serpentine Dam, very grotty, but the only dry place in bad weather. It was a bad idea to head up in that weather at all, but the other two guys on the trip were not convinced until they saw for themselves how bad the weather was up top.] Day 2, 31 Jan 1991: Very wet day as we head up Mt Sprent and on to Islet Lake, finding the lake eventually in the whiteout at around 18:00 after leaving the dam at 08:50. An unpleasant day, no views, very wet and difficult finding the way in these conditions. [Edit: We only had the old 1:100000 maps and old school navigation, no GPS in those days, guess who did the navigation] Day 3, 1 Feb 1991: Weatherbound at Islet Lake campsite. Weather seemed to improve towards evening. [Edit: I remember being stuck in the tent all day, we were sharing one Macpac Olympus tent for the 3 of us and had taken the fly only to save weight.] Day 4, 2 Feb 1991: Rise at 05:30 in fine weather for excellent traverse from Islet Lake onto Frankland Range and Cupola Camp including side trip to Coronation Peak. Good views, some wind, 11 hour day. [Edit: The Cupola is a spur off the Frankland Range and "Cupola Camp" is on the flat ridgetop moor at 223452]. Day 5, 3 Feb 1991: Rise at 05:30 and start packing but tops of peaks clagged in, windy and squalls of rain. Improved during morning so we leave camp at 11:30 and go to Citadel Shelf, climb The Citadel and camp. Day 6, 4 Feb 1991: Leave Citadel Shelf at 07:30 and continue along range. Weather quite good. Lunch on Frankland Peak then camp at Jones Pass at 17:00. Some bad scrub getting down to [Jones] pass. Day 7, 5 Feb 1991: Leave at 10:30 and climb up onto the Giblin Range. Sunny periods but intermittent rain. Drop down to lake shore, walk for a few hours along foreshore then camp by lake. [Edit: The lake shore is muddy and depressing. The last 2 photos in this album are from near where we camped on the lake shore.] Day 8, 6 Feb 1991: Clear morning but cloud came over early. Leave at 09:00 and continue to Scotts Peak Dam arriving at 10:15. We hitch to Strathgordon turnoff with a Swiss couple then good hitching from there into Hobart. Dinner at Doctor Syntax [a hotel/pub in Sandy Bay] and stay at Sandy Bay Caravan Park. [Edit: As you can see, we hitch-hiked out from Scotts Peak dam quite easily].
I feel immensely proud of my clients who attended the navigation weekend on 27-28 November. Undeterred by the drenching of rain that took place in the preceding 2 days, the entire group of 10 embraced the unseasonably wet and cold conditions with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. The reward is there for those to are prepared for the conditions and who venture into it with a positive spirit and willingness to brave the cold and wet for the sheer fun of it. The trip met and exceeded all expectations, the weather did not deter or detract from the trip and everyone learned heaps of new navigation skills, had enormous fun, made new friends, and brought back many memorable experiences. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who attended the final navigation weekend of 2021!
The ongoing deluge of rain during the week leading up to this trip wasn't going to deter us, as this navigation weekend had been postponed several times. Rain hail or shine we were going to do it and have fun! And so we did. Even though it was misty and drizzling when we arrived at Bell early on Saturday morning, the rain held off for most of the time that we were out walking. Apart from the occasional shower, we enjoyed calm and mild overcast conditions. Our campsite was a sheltered overhang in an amazing spot with a clear stream close by, and glow worms at night. The group of 3 clients were enthusiastic learners and had a great time exploring the bush with their newly acquired navigation skills. A great weekend in a very special area.
At last the flooding rains stopped, and by the weekend the sun was out for what seemed to be the first time in weeks. Miraculously we enjoyed a weekend of calm winds, mild temperatures, partly cloudy skies and no rain at all! Better still it was a full house of 10 enthusiastic clients for a fun and educational weekend adventure! Upon reaching the campsite we were lucky to have it all to ourselves, and better still enjoyed the very rare sight of a flooded Gooches Crater. Only after intense rain events does the crater become a lake, and even then it only lasts as such for a few days. It is a spectacular sight. The clients learned a huge amount of new skill and will be back for more adventures in the future! Thanks to all who came for a fantastic weekend!