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Western Arthurs Day 6 : High Moor - Beggary Bumps - Haven Lake

Western Arthur Range Index

The Beggary Bumps


We set off from High Moor at 10:00 that day, very glad that the storm had finally subsided. After clearing camp, we walked South-Eastwards along the wooden walkway, past the toilet, and began the short climb onto the ridge above us. When we reached the top, we were greeted by spectacular views of the lakes as the ridge ran above and between the two lakes of Lake Saturn and Lake Ganymede, with the former on the left and the latter on the right (travelling Eastwards).

Lake Ganymede from the High Moor ridge

Lake Ganymede from the High Moor ridge

The Beggary Bumps The Beggary Bumps lay just ahead of us and we were able to see a lot of sections where descents had to be made down scree-filled gullies as well as large, jagged rock formations, that would require us to scramble up and over, trying our best to avoid the very exposed drops between each formation. Everything that I had read about the Beggary Bumps had left me feeling a little apprehensive about this section but I pressed on nonetheless.

We made a sharp right turn and scrambled steeply down a gully before rounding a bump on the left side that brought us to a shoulder that had glorious views of Lake Dione and Lake Saturn with Dorado Peak in-between. As we were rounding the next bump, but on the right side this time, we passed a high-altitude trail runner who was equipped with just a water bladder and some energy bars. He stopped for a minute to say that he was trying to run the full traverse (more likely Kappa to Alpha Moraine) in just 12 hours, before running off once again. We continued on past the shoulder and up and over the bump with another steep, almost vertical, descent right after.

I was really glad the weather had improved. The skies were clear and the views around us were completely breathtaking. It was still very wet and slippery though as residual water still dripped slowly down the rocks, through the moss lining the sides, and down to the mud and roots below. We reached the tilted chasm not long after and began the steep descent down. I immediately found myself marveling at the stark contrast between the soft green moss on the right and the hard, bare rock on the left of the chasm. The surface of the chasm however, was very eroded and filled with plenty of loose scree, so I decided to drop back a little to ensure that none of the rocks would end up getting knocked down onto anyone below. At the bottom of the chasm, the path wound around the edge to traverse East along the Southern foot of the cliffs, before beginning its ascent up to the Dragon (elevation : 1006m).

Looking back at Lake Dione and Lake Saturn

Looking back at Lake Dione and Lake Saturn

The Tilted Chasm

The Tilted Chasm

The path curved right to once again traverse the Southern side of the range on the slopes of the Dragon, before dropping down into another scree-filled chasm. Looking down this chasm, one could see the curve of the Eastern bank of Lake Ganymede down below, peaking out from behind the sides of the cliff. I stopped here for a while to take some macro shots, but in my haste to catch up, I negligently continued to descend down the gully past a thin string that had been strung across the path. The descent down the gully ended up becoming increasingly treacherous and it dawned on me that I must have gone off the path. I laboriously made my way back up and soon found that the path had very obviously snaked off to the left instead of continuing down the chasm.

Next : Western Arthurs Day 06 - High Moor – Haven Lake (Part 2)

Western Arthur Range Index

Western Arthur Range Index

Leaving the Beggaries behind


Lake Mimas

Lake Mimas

I soon found myself descending down to the shoulder that crossed between Lake Ganymede and Lake Mimas, with the last of the Beggary Bumps lying just in-front. The straightforward path and the excellent visibility allowed me to admire the scenery of the ranges that stretched as far as my eyes could see. I found myself appreciating the fine weather far more too as the sun was out and was basking us in its warm radiance, more than making up for the foul weather that we had to endure the previous few days. The difficult sections apparently were done, and the going was said to be easy beyond Mt. Taurus - its two-pronged peak easily seen off in the distance.

I hadn't found the Beggary Bumps as hard as all the online accounts that I had read had left me expecting, but the fact that one would have to devote a lot of attention and vigilance when navigating them rang true. The slightest lapse of concentration could easily have proven fatal. I also found that this heightened attention or awareness to the task at hand was very similar to the almost meditative state that I seem to find myself in when rock climbing, my focused concentration blocking out all other thoughts - hunger, fatigue, and the occasional shudder that racked my body when the cold wind blew.

Leaving the Beggary Bumps behind

Leaving the Beggary Bumps behind


Mount Taurus


The cairns were easy to spot and follow from here as we made the climb up to the West peak of Mt. Taurus (elevation : 1011m), with Federation peak hovering conspicuously on the distant horizon. Lake Jupiter was spotted across to the South East before the track seemed to plunge down another chasm that seemed to lead right towards it. It instead continued left and ended up skirting the Southern slopes of the West peak (with the peak to the left) and winding its way around to and through the shoulder that lay between the twin-peaks, before once again switching directions and heading off to the right instead to skirt the Northern slopes of the East peak (making an S-shaped switchback). By then, the sun was quite low on the horizon and crepuscular rays skittered down the edges of the Beggary Bumps behind us, accentuating the jagged peaks of the pinnacles in the process.

Leaving the Beggary Bumps behind

Next : Western Arthurs Day 06 - High Moor – Haven Lake (Part 3)

Western Arthur Range Index

Western Arthur Range Index

Haven Lake


Haven Lake

As the sun began to set, we continued on North East for the final stretch, and then down to the Haven lake campsite, nestled peacefully next to the eerily still lake down below.

Route Playback

Suunto Movescount Stats

MC06a

MC06b

 The information from the Suunto Ambit for this trek can be found on my Movescount Page

For those who also have a Suunto GPS device, the entire route for the Western Arthur Range can be found below :

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Western Arthurs Day 07 - Haven Lake – Promontory Lake

Western Arthur Range Index
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