Western Arthurs Day 4 : To High Moor

Western Arthur Range Index

Lake Oberon

We left the Lake Oberon campsite at 09:00 the next morning, still completely oblivious to the hidden beauty that surrounded us. We made our way back up the junction towards the base of Mt. Orion (elevation : 1151 m), but took the path on the right that snaked up and around the lake instead. The path continued along the ridge, then dropped down once again past a smaller tarn on the upper tier and to the flat saddle between Mt. Orion and Mt. Pegasus.

We reached a near-vertical rock face that was several metres high soon after, an obstacle that would necessitate a pack-hauling rope for most parties. I climbed it with my pack still strapped to my back but found that the additional weight of the bag kept on trying to rip my hands off the rock and hurl me back down to the bottom. I managed to cling on to the water-logged, slippery cracks in the rocks by leaning in and over as best I could in an attempt to tip my bag's weight over towards my head instead. This is definitely not something that I would recommend others do.

As the clouds slowly passed in and over the shoulder, a magnificent vista began to open up in front of me, with the beautiful Lake Oberon shimmering below to the left and the sunlit plains beyond the shadows of the clouds to the right. We continued along, up and around boulders, in and through gaps and cracks, and down fissures and gullies. There was a point where we seemed to just reach a precarious and sudden drop-off that looked impossible to descend, but after looking around the area, we found a stack of boulders with two little holes leading upwards. We ended up passing our packs up and through the hole on the right before squeezing ourselves up and through.

There seemed to be several false leads after this point, the trail continuing on through the scoparia shrubs (Richea scoparia) and mud. The path sidled Mt. Pegasus (elevation : 1063 m) with the peak off on the left, before descending down a steep gully where the glorious views of the Lake Uranus and Lake Titania system appeared in-front of us. I stopped here for a while just soaking in the views, completely mesmerised, aware of the tiny ripples of water that skittered across the lake and watching in fascination as water would be lifted up and off the lake's surface whenever strong gusts of wind shot through. It seemed as if an intricate dance was being performed by the water to the sounds and music of the wind...

Panorama with Lake Oberon on the left

Lake Uranus

Lake Uranus and Lake Titania in the distance

After passing the summit of Mt. Pegasus, we sidled under a huge buttress that towered over us on our left and continued on carefully past gaps in the rocks that revealed huge drops down below. From there, the trail made its way down south-easterly and then back up to the curved saddle between Mt. Pegasus and Mt. Capricorn. The clouds seemed to rise vertically just behind the saddle, with the ridge giving them no option but to be pushed upwards. The speed of these rising clouds indicated ferocious winds coming from below and evoked thoughts of a huge roiling cauldron.

The saddle between Mt. Pegasus and Mt. Capricorn at the centre of the image

The track seemed to disappear across and over the saddle but in actual fact, it ran along the saddle and up to the summit of Mt. Capricorn (elevation : 1037 m). As I rounded the saddle, I was caught in very strong winds, so strong in fact that I was almost blow off my feet several times. I hurried across, eager to find some sort of shelter from the ferocious winds that were coming in from the other side. Unfortunately, there was no shelter to be found and the wind continued, completely unyielding. To make things worse, the clouds rolled back in and left everything blanketed in a sea of white. I had to resort to walking almost diagonally, fighting the wind constantly, and just focusing on my next step in-front of me and ensuring that the space in-front of me did not drop off into a void.

I prodded on, step after step, blinking away the wind-induced tears from my eyes.

Next : Western Arthurs Day 04 - Lake Oberon – High Moor (Part 2)

Western Arthur Range Index