Western Arthurs Day 9 : To Lake Rosanne

Western Arthur Range Index

The Pheonix

It took us an hour and a half to reach the peak of the Pheonix from the Promontory Lake campsite, following the trickle of a small stream up to the peak. We stopped there for a moment admiring the views and spotted the prominent, jagged peak of Federation Peak floating over on the south-eastern horizon.

From the summit, we descended down to the saddle in-between the Pheonix and Centaurus ridge, before heading east to climb up and onto the almost 3 kilometre-long ridge itself. When we got up onto the ridge, we caught sight of a large, grey, barren patch along the spine of one of the off-shoot ridges that ran southwards. I figured then that such destruction could only be the result of the invasive pathogen, dieback disease (Phytophthora cinnamomi), but in hindsight realised that it could also have been caused by a recent fire.

The destruction left by dieback disease

The trail sidled the north side of the ridge before descending steeply. It then veered right, southwards, through some boulders before continuing eastwards once again. We began to approach a tower and I looked up in dread thinking that the trail would take us up and through the precarious-looking spines but fortunately it took us around the south side of the tower instead, completely skipping the rocky sections up above. We sidled the sphagnum (Sphagnum sp.) moss-covered rocks and plunged into the underbrush with long drops just to the side.

West Portal

The trail continued eastwards with a long, gradual climb up the open ridge, with the occasional climb up and around, in and out, and down all manner of crags, boulders, and pinnacles. We were used to a constant change by then, the range giving us different problems and obstacles, never letting us get complacent or bored. This ridge however seemed almost endless. We eventually reached the junction on the west side of West Portal (elevation : 1181 m) and swung around to the left to follow it northwards on to the Crags of Andromeda.

The spires of West Portal

The track was fairly easy to follow here despite the ubiquitous rock outcrops but it did fade away on occasion. Whenever it did however, there always seemed to be a cairn in the distance that showed us the way. The track went right up in-between two large dark grey buttresses with scattered boulders that we had to clamber over to get through, before skimming up along the eastern side of the western buttress. It then descended sharply off the western side of the Crags of Andromeda and zig-zagged steeply down through the middle of the next buttress.

The Crags of Andromeda

Next : Western Arthurs Day 09 - Promontory Lake – Lake Rosanne (Part 3)

Western Arthur Range Index