Category Archives: track maintenance

ALMOST FINISHED

Devils Throne Reroute

Tuesday 20 June 2017
We had the day reserved for another task, but it got done the previous week, which left a free day to do a bit of refinement to the Devils Throne reroute. On the way both there and back we walked on the proposed route from Thark Ridge to the reroute start that avoids the unpleasant boulder field on the existing track.  The three of us concurred that is what a much better option. It took about 30 minutes, but if it was made into a track the time would be not be dissimilar to the existing track. More information on the proposed route is online.
 

Some additional trimming of low scrub was done and a considerable amount of rock work, both manoeuvring rocks to make passage easier and adding some to the softer bits of the new track. One short scree remains to be done and a short wet area where water drains off the moorland. 

A web site holds details on the Devils Throne site and the work that has gone on
there.
 
Close view of the rock work performed by Greg
 
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IMPROVING THE WALKING EXPERIENCE

Devils Throne Reroute

Friday 2 June 2017
 
There had been enough days of milder weather to melt the snow from earlier in the week and it was decent enough day, with some sun. This was the fourth day at creating a new track to avoid the wet plain on the way to Devils Throne in Wellington Park. All the final 200 metres, left to be cleared at this event, was over solid rocky ground and included large flat rock making for easy
passage for walkers.
We were able to complete the task and also move a considerable number of nearby rocks into gaps.  The rocks make it both easier for walking and help define the route.
 
 
Greg and Adrian at the junction, the new track leads off behind them

 

Bruce and Nick lunching, Greg in foreground.
 
Over
the four days we have created a new route of 800 metres; which is quite a feat. The old wet and degraded crossing was 520 metres, but as the new route is more direct, some 175 metres of track became redundant. When this added in, the old track totalled roughly 700 metres making it not that dissimilar in distance to the new way; but of course, it is now ever so much more pleasant for walking.
 
 
New track through a thick section of vegetation
Route before  work

 

Same site as above after clearing
 
On the way  to and from the site it was most noticeable that the old track from Thark Ridge down was like a creek with water running rapidly.
Over the last 5 years the Wellington Park Bushcare Group has created   over 2 kilometres of completely new tracks in the park, replacing braided and degraded tracks.  This figure does not include existing tracks that have been cleared of overgrowing vegetation.
 

Almost Half Way Devils Throne Reroute

 

Wednesday 12 April 2017
 
 
On the day prior to the scheduled work we learnt that Pinnacle Road may be closed until 10 AM,
because of helicopter shuttling track materials.  By late afternoon notice was received that
the road would in fact be open, so the work was able to go ahead.


Peter clearing vegetation

 

 

The previous day’s rain was still sitting on the bushes as low cloud cover didn’t permit
dispersal. Sun did eventually arrive and it became a very pleasant day.  Initially the best route had to be selected before the clearing work could commence.  Progress was good especially considering that
quite a bit of the work involved cutting dense low vegetation and 165 metres of new track was done. This brings our overall length cut to 310 metres leaving 450 metres to go. 
The group

 

More Than Expected

Mount Connection

 Tuesday 7 February 2017

 It was known that almost 600 metres of track lay between the high point on the mount Connection track and where we finished work in January. What wasn’t known was how overgrown it was, and any hope of getting through it quickly was soon dispelled.
Our morning and lunch break lookout, here with Greg and Ted
Without the hedge trimmers, it would not have been possible to compete the work, which has boosted our conviction that they are a great aid to track work.

PWS drove us along the East West Fire Trail to the start of the walking track which meant going past 500 metres of thick and at times tall bushes overgrowing the track.  This is down on our agenda for the near future.
Site A before clearing, obviously quite thick

Ted finishing of a spot on the now cleared track  Site A
Section of track cleared on the day

 

Trimming Power – Mount Connection Track

Tuesday 10 January 2017


Having hedge trimmers made a huge difference to what could be achieved in clearing the track to Mount Connection in Wellington Park. Our group purchased one last year, after seeing how effective the Parks & Wildlife Service’s one was, and had already tested it out on this very track. On this trip, Peter and Josh from PWS shared operating one whilst Greg K and Adrian used ours.

Cutting back the overgrowing vegetation
 
 
Vegetation now clear of boardwalk, cut with hedge trimmer
Meanwhile the remainder of the party concentrated on the taller bushes and small trees that needed pruning with the result of tremendous 1.25k of track being rejuvenated.
One of the advantages of working with PWS is vehicle access, and on this occasion, it was along the rough and at times steep Big Bend Fire Trail allowing at least some of our party to get a lift close to the work site. Even so, with such a great turnout of volunteers not all could be accommodated and had to walk.
Craspedia alpina
Billybuttons
 
 
Work finished some 600 metres shy of the crest of Mount Connection and about 1.8k from the end at the   East West Fire Trail. It will now be more productive to start from that point when the work is recommenced in February.
 

 

 

Morning break at Mount Connection track

 

 

A Vigorous Native – Mount Connection Track

8 March 2016

Part of the now cleared track

For quite a number of years the track near the headwaters of Mountain River has been in need of trimming. The track leads to Mount Connection in Wellington Park and the Bauera, a vigorous native plant, has bit by bit been reclaiming ground and making walkers clothing wet whenever there had been dew or rain.  After a day of work there is now a much wider gap for the first 200 metres through.


The group was able to purchase a petrol driven hedge trimmer and after going through the necessary processes with PWS we were able to trial it this track which was ideal for the purpose. We were very pleased with results and a great deal more track length was cleared than would have been possible with just manual hand tools.  The only negative was the need to carry the extra weight of the trimmer, fuel and protective gear, so we have resolved to try to arrange transport with PWS closer to the work in future.

Adrian at start of section and on right after the work has been completed
 
Below is part of the track prior to the work
Click the image for more photos
 
 

A three-year hiatus – Collins Cap

Tuesday 12 January 2016

The walking track to Collins cap has now been cleared to bring it up to a reasonable standard. A little over three years ago, in September 2012 work started on clearing back the thick vegetation that had encroached over the track so much that it required pushing through to progress along to the last 800 metres or so to get to the summit. A second day was spent there in November of that year, but before we could finish the job a serious bushfire devastated the area.

The fire burnt right up to the part cleared and in several places went beyond but it stopped at the very spot that our work finished and didn’t burn any of the uncleared section.

For one reason or another we didn’t manage to get back there until now, but it was an ideal day for working. Atmospheric mist was hanging about, but unlike a report from the other side of the range near cathedral Rock, there was no drizzle and at times a diffused sun made an appearance. The last 250 metres of track was cleared by lunch time, the work somewhat speeded by the use of a hedge pruner, and this section now looks really good.

A party of three walkers arrived, just as we finished the work, expecting a scratchy time getting through and were decidedly pleased with the track.

On the botanical side we noticed a pretty little plant in flower, in the burnt area, that none of has seen before. A suggestion that it might be a Derwentia proved correct; it was Derwentia nivea a small native that is usually found on mountain moors. A daisy was also present in quantity, which is thought to be Olearia erubescens.

Derwentia (sometimesVeronica) nivea   Snow Speedwell Milfoil Speedwell

 

Olearia erubescens                                                         Scaevola hookeri

The photo album is online, click the image below.

Collins Cap 2016

Some before and after photos