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Lake Skinner and Snowy South

A solid climb, with beautiful Lake Skinner as a stop-off point, and great views from the peak.

Images - click to enlarge

Features

Mountains, alpine lake, myrtle forest, stupendous views of western and south-western mountains.

Difficulty

Medium, long climb, and track can be very wet after rain. Peak and approach very exposed.

Distance

Altitude

Climb/Fall

Time

Gear Code

15km

470m - 1398m

920m/920m

6 - 7 hrs

C

Access from

Huonville

Distance from
Huonville/Hobart/Huonville

38/75/38 km

Road Directions

See the Google Map also.

From Huonville, cross the bridge heading south, and immediately turn right along Glen Huon Rd. Travel 14 km along this road to Judbury. The road re-crosses the Huon River and a short way up the hill comes to an intersection at a shop. Turn left along Russell Rd. The signposts mainly indicate the correct route; ensure the avoidance of a right-hand into Woolleys Rd. Take the left fork into Denison Rd. This road winds over a ridge, then down again to the Little Denison River.

Soon after crossing this river the signposts indicate a right-hand turn to continue along Denison Rd, (the road straight ahead goes to Southwood), and you will shortly pass the Snowy Range trout farm. Eventually an intersection is reached with McDougalls Rd. From here signs clearly indicate the correct route. Eventually you will come to a road termination with a large sign indicating the start of the walk.

Road Types

Sealed to just beyond Judbury, then good and moderate dirt roads, although narrow in places. The road deteriorates a little in McDougalls Rd, but remains easy to drive on even when wet.

Description

See the Google Map also.

The track start is clearly marked entering the forest at the end of the road. The track twists around the trees and then undulates southwards for about 15 minutes. It then joins the older track and climbs gradually through delightful, mossy forest. The track climbs moderately for about 2 km, then becomes steeper for a kilometre, climbing through teatree and eucalypts, and then myrtle again. The track emerges on a ridge, then descends slightly on the far side. A new track has been cut here, avoiding the boggiest section of the track. The track sidles the hill, then curves around to the west (left) and climbs moderately to Lake Skinner, at its outlet called Falls Rivulet.

In good weather this is a particularly attractive place, with shelter from the (seemingly continual) wind available behind and even underneath a large boulder, and a magnificent view of the cliffs around Lake Skinner. The summit of Snowy South is not visible from here, but lies almost due West, NOT where it is shown on Edition 1 (1987) of the Nevada 1:25,000 map. Snowy South is actually the 1398m peak (Map Ref 720454) to the NNW of that identified on that mapsheet.

From this point, the track is rated T4 by Parks and Wildlife. As such, it should not be promoted/described. However the walk is well known and described in detail in many walking books. As such, the description from this point is quite sparse, but sufficient to get you to the peak. The description has also been included to correct false impressions that might be caused by the erroneous placement of the peak on the Nevada mapsheet.

There is a track on the north side of the lake outlet, which climbs steeply through the cliffs to the north of Lake Skinner, emerging on boulders at the edge of the plateau. It is to this point that you must return for the easiest descent again.

From this point follow the cairns then head by whatever route you like for the peak which is obvious in front of you. I recommend finding the small tarn, and then heading a little left and up pineapple grass slopes and smaller boulders. If you continue straight ahead ie. more to the right (north) then there is a lot more clambering and route-finding over and around very large boulders. This peak should not be climbed if the plateau is in cloud. The return is a retrace.

Safety

As for the whole of South-West Tasmania, the Snowy Range is subject to sudden changes of weather - even in summer a sunny day can change to fog, rain, icy wind and even snow. Walkers must always carry warm and waterproof clothing. The weather can easily change in the time it takes a party to return from the peak, particularly if tired. In winter the higher parts of the park may be covered in deep snow. Care is required in maintaining warmth, route-finding and retaining footing at these times.

Snow can persist until late spring or summer on certain slopes shaded from the sun. It is recommended that you carry and be familiar with the use of map and compass. If visibility decreases while you are at the peak, navigation skills will assist greatly in finding the route back.

An overseas visitor became lost on this track awhile back, having been left behind by her party. She was recovered after a night out. This occurred below Lake Skinner where the track is well marked and obvious. Take care to look where you're going, and make sure the person behind you is still in sight and hearing.

Maps

Google Map. Nevada (4624), 1:25,000; Tyenna (8212), 1:100,000.

Facilities

Nil. Last shop at Huonville.

Nearby items of interest

Nevada Peak, Snowy Range Trout Fishery, Judbury.

History

None available.

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