A Karst Limestone Wonderland at Mount Owen

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After a chilly night camping at Siberia Flat we prepare to leave from a frosty Courthouse Flat
After ascending up the track by Blue Creek we get a first glimpse of the view with Mt Patriarch behind
We arrive at Granity Pass hut in the early afternoon and enjoy the sunshine whilst discussing whether to head on to camp further up or whether to stay at the hut. Emily encourages us all by reminding us that there are not many opportunities where we are in such a great location in good weather. We don’t take too much persuading to carry on to find a cold but scenic camp spot for the night
The view back to Granity Pass Hut
We find a great spot to camp near some tarns just above Sanctuary Basin.
Frances and Dan provide some tunes
As soon as the sun goes down it gets very cold. Everyone heads straight for their sleeping bags at 5.30pm. It must be added that the Kedgeree for dinner was a masterpiece.
Awakening to this sunrise could be worse.
We all try to get some artistic shots with the nice morning light. I think our attempts don’t entirely do it justice.
We set off up Mt Owen. You can just about make out our camp spot in this shot.
Passing by some frozen tarns
And we enter the Karst Limestone Wonderland of Mt Owen.
It’s an easy 2 hours (or so) from our camp to the summit. Although somehow Megan and a few others decide to try an alternative to the cairned route and make it a much harder ascent. Everyone else follows the cairned track and wonders what possessed them…
Arriving at the top just before the weather arrives we all feel that this must be the luckiest trip ever. It’s clearly all down to Emily’s excellent planning. Does she have a direct line to the weather gods?
The group do not stick around on the summit for long. It’s just too darn cold.
There’s a good view of Haystack.
There’s a bit of time for some risk assessed messing around on the way down. Long legged trampers with a well calibrated leap only.
Most of us prefer to stay safety on one side.
By the time we arrive back at Granity Pass Hut the weather has arrived. It’s only 2pm, so we settle in for a chilly afternoon of reading and tea drinking. This must be the only MF trip ever where the group do more sleeping than tramping.
We take the ridge top track out on Monday morning
And there are some snowy views across to Mt Patriarch and the Arthur Range

Trip route details:

Sat: Courthouse Flat via Blue Creek track to our campsite just above Sanctuary Basin. Approx 5-6hrs. Lots of layers and good down sleeping bags required – it’s cold!

Sun: Campsite to Mt Owen. Approx 2hrs. Mt Owen to Granity Pass Hut. Approx 2-3hrs. Follow the cairned track to avoid crevasses and slippery snowgrass.

Mon: Granity Pass Hut to Courthouse Flat Approx 4hrs via ridge track. Not as nice as the Blue Creek track – that way had better bush.

 

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